GLEN ROCK, NJ – With June fast approaching, and no in-person ceremony permitted, a group of parents banded together with Glen Rock School District for a visual gesture to help send off the senior class.
Alissa Somers and Sharon Scarpelli, Glen Rock moms of seniors, organized the project.
“When Sharon and I spoke about the banners, the administration immediately approved the project and funding," Somers said. "Steve Silver of Sports Time, also a Glen Rock parent, was eager to get involved and make the banners. We had a parent who was able to help with the design and a small group who were able to hang them. The class of 2020 deserves so much recognition for all of their accomplishments. All of Glen Rock wants their graduation to be as special and memorable as we can possibly make it.”
Scarpelli, president of the Glen Rock Board of Education and mom of a senior weighed in, as well. “The 163 banners, hung along side each other, reflect the strength and resilience of the Class of 2020. I am so happy the district did not hesitate to sponsor this endeavor, which was spearheaded by parents. It a true reflection of our community, one that works together and supports one another. “
In Glen Rock, much like the rest of New Jersey and much of the country, the district set-up a tribute to honor students whose final year in high school was upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday evening, May 19, banners for each of the 162 graduating seniors were installed outside the high school, along Radburn Road, according to Glen Rock High School Principal John Arlotta.
Creating the banners, which are a first for the high school, was an idea by several parents, who also volunteered to hang them, he said. The district purchased the banners, the principal added.
Due to the public health emergency, seniors across the state have missed out on coming of age traditions, like prom, as K-12 schools were closed as part of an effort to combat the outbreak.
Besides honoring graduates virtually next month, district officials said they are committed to scheduling an in-person ceremony once gatherings are deemed lawful and safe.