CEDAR GROVE, NJ - It's a tough time for all of us in Cedar Grove, but for one group it may be just a little bit tougher. With school's closed for the rest of the year due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Cedar Grove High School Class of 2020 is missing out on a lot. They can't see their friends, senior sports seasons were canceled, end of the year traditions are impossible, and now it looks likely that their graduation will be virtual. Principal Rick Mangili wanted his seniors to know that he and his staff are proud of them and stand with them, so he sent the biggest message he could -- a billboard on Rt. 46 now proclaims his and the Cedar Grove community's pride in our Class of 2020.
"This is a great class. They are going to some super schools. Some of them are continuing their athletics in college. They have plans to be nurses and doctors. And there's no question they are getting a raw deal right now," Mangili said. "We love them, and we miss them, and we wanted to do something to put a smile on their faces. We wanted to do something a little different and as they say, 'Go big or go home.'"
Mangili, with the help of teacher Jenna Bentley, worked with Outfront Media over the past three weeks to deliver the surprise to the seniors. The billboard on Route 46 West near the Home Depot and Fortunoff Outdoor Furniture Stores will be up for 5 weeks beginning Monday.
"We know it's been tough. I have a senior myself, so I'm living it," Mangili noted. "We have more surprises coming. Just hoping to make things a little better and brighter for them -- to let them know that we are thinking of them and will continue to think of them in the coming weeks."
TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.