High school student includes family pet in yearbook photo

Draven Rodriguez and Mr. Biggelsworth pose with Schenectady High School Principal Diane Wilkinson holding her Chihuahua, Vivienne — click for full version. (Photo credit: Trinacria Photography)

Let’s face it, yearbook headshots can be boring…that was until now. Thanks to 16-year-old Draven Rodriguez, a senior at Schenectady High School in New York. He wanted to pose with his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth.

Rodriquez told ABC News, “I really wanted to be remembered and this is kind of my last chance in the area before I move on to college and hopefully do great things with my life. I want people to remember my personality and not just my face.”

He knew that bringing his cat to school for the yearbook photo would be out of the question. So he started a petition featuring his photo with Mr. Bigglesworth, and got more than 7,000 signatures. The good news for Rodriguez was he didn’t even need to show it to his principal, who loves animals.

“My traditional headshot is just a boring headshot,” Diane Wilkinson, principal at Schenectady High School, told ABC News. “I wanted to take Draven’s lead.”

So, she posed with her Chihuahua, Vivienne, and their High School yearbook now has a photo of Rodriguez holding Mr. Bigglesworth and Principal Wilkinson holding Vivienne.

The photo, which was taken last week with Principal Wilkinson, will appear in the 2015 yearbook on the principal’s page. A photo of him holding Mr. Bigglesworth will appear on a seniorclass page in the yearbook, and his headshot features him wearing a button in his lapel with Mr. Bigglesworth’s face on it.

Rodriguez was hoping to leave a legacy at his school by showing him with his rescue cat. Since the photo appeared online, fans have been sending donations to the school, which will be sent to a local animal shelter.

Rodriguez and Principal Wilkinsonare pleased that this is also raising awareness for shelter animals.

She told ABC News, “I’ve seen a number of emails not only in support of what we’re doing to help the animals but in support of thinking outside the box and working together with students, not against each other. We’re a team.”

Sources: ABC News, People