On Wednesday, May 27, more than 400 lawn signs, each with a photo of a graduating senior, rose like a monument on the front lawn of the newly built Trenton Central High School on Chambers Street, in celebration of the high school’s graduating class of 2020. Working together to place the signs were: Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora; Trenton Central Principal Hope Grant; and Maria Jones, President of Trenton Central High School Alumni Association. The COVID-19 public health emergency prevented Trenton Public Schools from holding a formal graduation ceremony this year.

“We felt strongly about finding a way to publicly honor the graduating class of 2020; to let them know that the city, school and their leaders are proud of them and their accomplishments and that we wish them well as they begin a new phase of their personal and educational lives,” said Mayor Gusciora. “These students are the future and will help us rebound from the economic challenges caused by the pandemic.”

In Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 107 (EO 107), signed on March 21, 2020, the State of New Jersey officially prohibited gatherings of individuals for parties, celebrations, and other social events until further notice. On May 8, 2020, the state’s Department of Education released suggestions for holding virtual graduation ceremonies and celebratory events.

Jones commended all the students for their determination in a time of crisis. “Your ability to
continue attending class and completing your homework in the middle of a pandemic demonstrates your resiliency and depth of character,” she said. “The Capital City is proud of what you have done and is eager to see what you will accomplish in the years to come.”

Principal Grant added, “I am deeply committed to seeing our students graduate, and also to let them know that we recognize their hard work and support all their efforts to make our communities better.”

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