Ultimate senior prank: Class of 2017 blocks student parking


Photo courtesy of Jane Szymanski

Seniors Aaron Gearhart, Rachel Damge, Anna Loveless, Angela Adamo, Max the dog, Lauren Kainrath, Jane Szymanski, Virginia Aabram and Mary Kelly sit in the senior lot, blocking parking spots and preventing underclassmen from parking.

Riddhi Andurkar, News Editor

Releasing pigs around the school, filling the principal’s office with balloons and listing the school for sale on Craigslist… there is no limit to the pranks seniors can pull off. So what did the seniors of the Naperville Central Class of 2017 conjure up this year?

The seniors arrived at Central around 5:30 a.m. and began settling themselves in the parallel parking spots on Hillside Road behind the school. Each of the seniors brought lawn chairs and some brought speakers, scooters, penny boards and even a grill. As a result of the ensuing “tailgating,” underclassmen were unable to find parking spots when they arrived for school.

Seniors change the display on the scoreboard to read “seniors” and “2017” instead of “Home” and “Away.”

In addition, several seniors were able to access the press box in Memorial Stadium and changed the scoreboard to read “Senior Night” and changed the home team to “Seniors” and the away team to “2017.”

“It’s senior year and we wanted to do as much as we can before we left high school for good,” senior Maneesh Karnati said. “Previous years jagged on their prank so we didn’t want that to happen for our year.”

At around 7:00 a.m., school administration and police began to arrive at the location and the seniors were forced to leave all Hillside parking spots. By this time, there was a significant decrease in the number of seniors participating in the prank, from about 180 people to about 60. However, that did not stop the remaining seniors from continuing with the plan. They immediately thought of another location to move the party: the senior parking lot.

Seniors gather in the senior parking lot after being forced out of the parallel parking spots on Hillside.

In the senior lot behind the away side of the football field near door 8, the seniors had another party with food and music, where Principal Bill Wiesbrook joined them for a hot dog and congratulated them on a job well done. The seniors parked their cars in all the parking spots they could cover with their own cars. When underclassmen tried to enter the lot, they were denied entrance… unless they paid $5.

This party lasted until the school bell rang at 7:45 a.m. Once the bell rang, the participating seniors ran around the school attempting to get inside the building and get PLASCOs, the computer-generated attendance tickets for tardy students.

Photo courtesy of Maneesh Karnati
A senior blocks access to one of the senior lots. Underclassmen were required to pay $5 to enter and park.

“We tried every door and tried to get underclassmen to open doors,” Karnati said. “We were unsuccessful and considered getting on the roof but we called it a day by then.”

The masterminds behind this prank were Karnati and fellow seniors Matt Reagan and Nolan Vaughn. The three of them decided to become “partners-in-crime” and began brainstorming ideas in one of their classes about one month ago. Karnati did the majority of the planning, but seniors Joe Lopez, Matt Meyer, Peter Mueller and Bill Young helped Karnati plan the prank.

Wiesbrook seemed to appreciate their efforts, or at least the spirit behind them.

“The majority of the students were cooperative, fun, and respectful,” Wiesbrook said. “No property was damaged and nobody was physically harmed.”

Seniors enjoyed the prank and thought it was a great end to their high school career.

“I really enjoyed participating in the prank because it brought our class together,” senior Lexi Haskell said. “I thought the prank idea was perfect because it was annoying but not destructive.”

Karnati agrees with Haskell and believes the plan was a success.

Principal Bill Wiesbrook accepts a hot dog from seniors and congratulates them for a job well done.

“I think it was successful,” Karnati said. “The point was to get as many seniors involved in the prank as possible since it would be the last time we would have an event at school together. To my surprise, a very large number of people showed up. It was awesome to say the least. We turned a gloomy 40-degree-second day-of-summer morning into a memory.”

The tradition of senior pranks is well and alive at Central. Let’s see what future seniors have in store.