HELMETTA, NJ - The borough is honoring the members of the Class of 2020 with banners. Banners showcasing the senior pictures of Helmetta's high school graduates will hang along Main Street for the month of June. The 27 banners were unveiled on Monday and are a gift to the graduates from Helmetta Mayor Chris Slavicek.
"As a proud alumnus of Spotswood High School, I understand the heartache that coincides with the interruption of the final months of senior year, the excitement and closure, as these young adults prepare to venture into the real world," Slavicek said. "They are deserving of a recognition of such during these uncertain times; hence the banner initiative."
With the closing of schools across the Garden State and remote learning, seniors have faced the cancellation of the spring sports season, all extracurricular activities, plays, trips, concerts and more. Uncertainty has hung in the air since April as seniors and parents awaited New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's decision on graduation. The governor announced last week that outdoor commencement ceremonies could begin on July 6. A final decision on the commencement ceremony for Spotswood High School's graduating seniors has not officially been announced by the district. Remote learning ends for Spotswood School District students on Wednesday, June 17.
Slavicek had banners made up for every graduating senior in Helmetta including those students that attend a high school other than Spotswood. Parents provided the mayor with photographs of their seniors along with their permission to have the banners on public display. The Helmetta native began thinking of recognizing the borough's Class of 2020 with the special graduation banners back in April.
"As the high school graduation banners will line Main Street in Helmetta today and for the month of June, we honor and celebrate the fine accomplishments of all Class of 2020 Graduates," Slavicek said on Monday when the banners were unveiled.
Along with the banners, Slavicek also has a message for Helmetta's Class of 2020.
"With the banners being a personal gift to each family, the greatest gift we reap is that YOU, the Class of 2020, are our future leaders," the mayor said. "My advice to you...Make good decisions. Be honest. Help others. Get involved. Work hard. Lead with your heart. Be the change. And, YOU will succeed."
"Congratulations and best of luck in your next chapter," Mayor Slavicek added.