In all the things that won’t be the same this school year, here is a tradition that will be: the Van Buren High School Paint Day.
Seniors gather in the parking lot to paint their spots for the year. Principal Jamie Simmons said Paint Day has become a community event for seniors, their families, and faculty.
“It’s a great project, a community project as well as a student project, to pull everybody together and to do,” Simmons said. “It helps them to have a lot of pride in their ownership of their senior year.”
Simmons said family members and friends come together to help the senior paint their parking space. She said everyone grows closer together during and after the project. The high school has hosted this event for over five years.
Not only do family and friends grow together, but also faculty and teachers.
“It’s like they get to see us in another light,” Simmons said. “We’re not just teachers or administrators. We get to talk about ‘hey how was your summer? What were you doing? Why do you like this?’ and then we actually get to help them. They just see us in a different light and it starts the year off in a good way.”
As each year passes the senior parking lot becomes more colorful and unique, Simmons said. She said the high school was the first out of Tennessee to begin this tradition that originally came from Florida.
Paint Day begins Saturday, but will be pushed to August 8 in the event of rain. Simmons said it’s better for seniors and their families to arrive early to beat the heat.