Seniors Paint Tiles

If you had been in the commons Feb. 22 you would have seen a group of students gathered to listen to music, hang out with friends and paint ceiling tiles.

This gathering was part of a new tradition at PHS, started by the Leadership class.

“We just started it last year. We were looking for a way to kind of allow students to leave a legacy,” Leadership teacher Jaime Mooring said.

Students were invited to join in tile painting if they had a cumulative GPA of 3.7 or higher at the end of first semester their senior year. Mooring says she wanted students to have a place to show off the pride they have in their academics.

“There’s a long history of pride in athletics [at PHS], there’s a long history of pride in music, but there’s a lot of other things that we have to be proud of at Puyallup and academics is definitely one of them,” Mooring said.

Students don’t have to dedicate their tile space to academics however.

“[Students can paint] whatever they want, as long as its school appropriate of course…not that many of them have anything to do with academics,” Mooring said.

Seniors Dharma Shaw and Courtney Huber painted a pair of matching snails.

“Our zodiac animal, we found out, is a snail, which is super funny and ironic because we’re both slow and bad at basketball,” Shaw said.

Senior Autumn Lyle used her tile to express who she was in high school.

“I’m painting a bunch of music notes and music-related things because that’s basically what I did and what took up most of m

y time throughout high school. I thought it was

a cute little thing to remember by,” Lyle said.

Mooring chose to begin the tile decorating tradition as a way to celebrate student achievement because it is an easy way to add a touch of student creativity to the school, she says.

“The tiles are so hideous and so it really provides a cool way to cover the hideousness with the students’ own work. It’s a really easy thing for us to do,” Mooring said.

This tradition is still brand new and has a lot of room for expansion.

“We are starting [to place tiles] downstairs. We want to fill downstairs first then upstairs [and] to the front of the commons. There are hundreds and thousands of tiles in this building. We just are gonna spread it as far as it needs to go,” Mooring said.

The tiles are a way for seniors to leave something behind for future students after they graduate.

“[The tiles] will stay up, my guess is u

ntil they tear this building down. That was our plan,” Mooring said.

Senior Emery Edwards likes the idea that her tile will stay here for years to come.

“I like knowing there will be something that I left behind when I graduate and that when people look up they might be inspired by something I said or by something someone else left on their tile,” Edwards said.