SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Graduation Day at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School was a microcosm of the academic year itself: fraught with uncertainty and gloom for an extended period of time, only for the darkness to give way to the sunshine at the end as the Class of 2020 took a bow on Wednesday, July 8.
Held at Tyson (football) Field with social distancing measures in effect, following Gov. Phil Murphy's limits on outdoor gatherings with a limit of 500, the ceremony featured Pomp & Circumstance (by Edward Elgar) but was devoid of much of it. The national anthem was sung by Tara Kenoff to commence the proceedings, but there were no speeches from valedictorian Carina DelCore, salutatorian Jonathan Yu, or the class president Christopher Muskus. Principal Dr. David Heisey explained what would take place and refrained from giving an extended fare-thee-well.
When students' names were called, they went on stage, picked up their own diplomas, shook no one's hand, and posed for a picture with their coveted diplomas. In order to stay within social distancing guidelines, parents and other family members were not allowed to attend. It truly was a celebration of the graduates, by the graduates, and for the graduates.
After every student left the stage, Muskus led his classmates in moving their tassels from right to left, signifying their transformation from students to alumni. Following the traditional cap toss, the speakers blared the theme from High School Musical and Alice Cooper's classic School's Out, as the graduates embraced and posed for photos before walking back through the parking lot and leaving SPFHS for the last time before embarking on the next stage of their journey.
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