Schenectady High School teen hero Draven Rodriguez petitioned to have a highly stylized photo of himself and his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, be included as his senior portrait in the school's yearbook. Instead, he took a second photo at the behest of the school principal that will run on her page and also include her dog, Vivienne.
Rodriguez's original photo will run in the yearbook, Schenectady High School Principal Diane Wilkinson assures the Times Union, just not in the senior portraits section. "Being principal of 2,400 kids, you want to think of all the kids who want to have a professional shot that looks consistent in that area," Wilkinson told the Times Union. "I loved Draven's picture so much."
She loved it "so much," it seems, that she wanted to get in on the action. The photo running on her page will be "accompanied by a message advocating animal rescue and adoption," with any donations being sent to the school to be forwarded to the Animal Protective Foundation in Glenville, NY.
The teen is keeping a brave face, telling the Times Union, "I'm actually really excited because the photo is fantastic." But he has benefited from his viral photo:
Rodriguez's campaign to pose for his official senior photo with Mr. Bigglesworth began with an online petition that attracted national attention and trended on social media.
It was even tweeted by singer Kesha, and he was contacted by the blog site Tumblr to sponsor his personal page, Rodriguez said with excitement. "It's like being contacted by Facebook itself," he said.
But deep in the Times Union's story, Principal Wilkinson's reveals her possibly insidious intentions for snaking her way into the photo: "I generally have a boring head shot and, like Draven, I loved his original photo." Stealin' this kid's idea because you take boring photos? Damn.