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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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Nonnewaugs Ellie McDonald dribbles the ball during a game last season. McDonalds nickname is Smellie -- one of many Chief names that exist on the girls soccer team. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
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Lots of Competition in Nonnewaug’s Student Parking Lots

The+parking+lots+at+Nonnewaug+can+become+the+battlegrounds+for+students+seeking+to+have+a+car+on+campus.
Deme Jones ’26
The parking lots at Nonnewaug can become the battlegrounds for students seeking to have a car on campus.

WOODBURY — Students have waited years to get off the bus and in a car on the way to school and back, but for Nonnewaug High School students, that dream is taking longer than it should just because of parking constraints.

Ever since Nonnewaug’s renovations concluded in 2020, students have had trouble getting parking spaces later in the year.

“I think the problem with parking is that there’s not enough spots to accommodate all of our students,” says Nonnewaug principal Mykal Kuslis. “Typically younger students, like juniors and sophomores, who get their licenses after Christmas break [and] may need to drive to school because of outside work and other obligations take up most of those spots.”

Eva Ripperger, a junior at NHS, has been struggling to get a spot even after applying because of how late in the year she applied. 

“Because of the amount of people, if you are late getting one, it’s incredibly hard to get a parking spot,” says Ripperger. “It’s first come, first serve, but because of the issues, even if you get a parking spot, you might be kicked out by somebody else.”

Noah Zupan, a sophomore who recently received his driver’s license, has been kicked out of the spot he uses and is not happy.

“This really messes with me because I work every day after school trying to make money and a name for myself,” said Zupan. “It was hard enough before, and now I have to take the bus or find a ride, so I can’t get as many hours and makes it harder to get what I need to get done or what my boss needs me to get done.”

Many juniors think that sophomores should not be able to park with the upperclassmen even with a license due to upperclassman privileges being just for them.  

Trevor Santopietro, a junior at NHS, is one of them. 

“They are taking other people’s spots and it’s hard for juniors and seniors to find spots and get spots every year,” said Santopietro. “Since some sophomores are older, they can get their license, but they shouldn’t be able to drive [to campus] at all unless they are a junior or senior.”

Junior Eva Lockwood disagrees with Santopietro and thinks sophomores should be able to park among the upperclassmen if they are eligible to drive to school.

“Sophomores should be able to have parking spaces because if they have their license, it just makes sense for them to be granted the same privilege as juniors who have a license,” says Lockwood.

“People are getting really mad because they are getting their parking spots taken, especially by sophomores that drive,” says Santopietro. “The sophomores should not get what we [juniors] have because that takes away from upperclassmen privileges.”

Kuslis is aware of the problems taking place at Nonnewaug and is tightening the rules.

“We do talk to them and ask them not to do it anymore, and next year we’re going to make it a bigger part of the [student] handbook and express the way it’s supposed to be,” says Kuslis. “If you’re not parking in your spot or you’re not registered, you get a warning, and after that, you get towed. I know we haven’t done that in the past, but we are bringing that part of the handbook to attention next year.”

Lockwood thinks that despite some sophomores disregarding the rules, they should still have a chance to apply and park under the right circumstances.

“Some of them are the same age as juniors, so telling them they can’t have a spot because of their grade is dumb,” says Lockwood. “There’s no reason a sophomore with a license shouldn’t be allowed to have the privilege of a parking space. Any individual should be able to under the same condition of first come, first serve.”

Zupan isn’t too happy about this situation because it takes a toll on his plans.

“I bought a truck and paid for the program to get it sooner just to still not be able to drive,” says Zupan. “I could see how it could be a problem, but it wasn’t, so I don’t understand why they kicked me out.”

Kuslis is doing everything he can to resolve these students’ problems and have enough parking for everyone.

“One of the things I’d like to do is repaint all the spots so when someone gets their parking spots they get a sticker with the number on their car and it’s easier for us to check [if] that car be in that spot,” says Kuslis. “We have also talked about potentially opening up down by the fields for another 20 or so parking spots for the day, but right now there’s not a lot [of space] because I can’t change the parking with a month left of school.”

Junior Abby Rinaldi, who has just recently got a spot, had to go through some troubles in the months she had to wait for a parking spot.

“When you go to see Mrs. [Lisa] Gombos so late into the school year for a spot, she will most likely put you on the waitlist,” Rinaldi says, referring to the secretary who handles parking permits. “You still, of course, have to bring in the application paper, $5 and a copy of your license and registration.”

NHS administration has yet to resolve the anger of some student drivers, but they are working to find a compromise so that more students have a place to park and a smile on their face.

About the Contributor
Deme Jones '26
Deme Jones '26, Reporter
Deme Jones is a sophomore at Nonnewaug High School who writes for the NHS Chief Advocate. This is her first year as a writer for Chief Advocate, and she hopes for a great year filled with many well-written pieces. Demetra enjoys her sports - lacrosse and field hockey -- and hopes to play in the future.
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