Draven Rodriguez was determined to get a special senior picture placed in the Schenectady High School yearbook with his beloved rescue cat, Mr. Bigglesworth. Rodriguez has the photo edited to feature Bigglesworth and, of course, a whole bunch of lasers. Rodriguez was then dubbed the “laser cat student,” and his appeal to the school to allow the photo began. However, Rodriguez got support from an unlikely person — the school principal.
Today reports that Rodriguez’s laser-cat portrait was originally met with some uncertainty from the New York school’s administration, and he even launched a preemptive petition in case it was denied. The petition got over 7,400 signatures according to IRJ. But the petition wasn’t needed, as principal Diane Wilkinson quickly embraced the 16-year-old senior’s vision and made a deal with him: His original portrait would not appear in the student section, but a new photo of the two of them and their rescue pets would be printed on her page. He was sold.
After the agreement was met, the two made their way to the original photo studio where the original laser cat portrait was taken, Vincent and Fran Giordano’s Trinacria Photography studio. Rodriguez and Mr. Bigglesworth and Wilkinson and her rescue dog, Vivian, made their way to the studio and the resulting photo is certainly one that will catch the attention of yearbook viewers as they search through the pages. Check out the “glorious” photo.
Principal Wilkinson is also using the opportunity to promote rescue animals as pets. The page will feature the priceless photo along with a few words encouraging the adoption of shelter animals.
Vincent and Fran, owners of the photography studio, are also rescue pet owners, and along with Rodriguez and Wilkinson hope to use the publicity from the photo to raise awareness about caring for these animals. They’re proposing that the national ASPCA do a raffle as a fundraiser, and the winner would get a laser cat-style portrait.
The Giordanos also plan on presenting Schenectady High School with two large prints, one of the original and one of the updated version, so that everyone can remember what was, in Rodriguez’s words, a “glorious” moment in school history.
What do you think of the student’s efforts and the “glorious” laser cat portraits? Wilkerson is nothing short of an amazing principal, she found a way to celebrate the uniqueness of this student along with raising awareness of the joys of owning a shelter animals? Did you have a principal that went above and beyond like Wilkerson?