MONTVILLE, NJ – June 13 dawned bright as the graduates from the Learning Garden Academy’s kindergarten-prep classes had their drive-thru graduation ceremony at the Pine Brook school on Changebridge Road. Three waves of classes pulled up in cars and saw their friends and teachers one last time to pick up their “diplomas” and a special treat from their teachers.

The teachers were visibly moved to see their students for the first time in months, since the governor shut down schools due to the COVID-19 crisis. The kids were happy to see each other and their teachers as well. One student wanted to go in to the school to play and learn, despite her parents’ explanation that it was empty, but she was just so happy to be back that it was hard to deter her.

As each student got out of their car with their family, one group at a time, it was difficult, given the current mask and non-contact guidelines, for the teachers to not embrace their pupils.

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“It’s hard,” said Annette Soussa, Learning Garden Academy director. “We do a lot of hugging here.”

But the excited students talked to each other car-to-car and said goodbye to their teachers until they were able to see them again.

The graduates were:

Aadit Arora, Anthony Murano, Aashvi Shah, Aarush Malvania, Antonia Lagis, Angelina Buldo, Aarvy Patel, Ariana Gutierrez, Anthony Mascellino, Ansh Patel, Eren Calikiran, Beren Nisa Kaya, Azra Ozkok, Isabella Bruno, Gavin Carroll, Cole Hendershot, Jaycob Soto, John Cono Sabatino, Jeffrey Ahmadi, John Rozanitis, Joseph Costantino, Kalena Miranda, Kahaan Shah, Marcelina DelGuidice, Kyler Franklin, Kartikeya Yekkollu, Mia Tapia, Massi Sulaimanzada, Lacey Anderson, Nico Bertuglia, Riaan Shah, Maanvit Gandhi, Riyan Joshi, Saraya Solorio, Maya Zayed, Sreeram Jonnageddala, Shania Junnarkar, Prisha Chetani, Travis Urspruch, Sophia Walter, Vivaan Padpu, Tyler Matus, and Vishakha Vinjamuri

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