OLD BRIDGE – Schools Superintendent David Cittadino wanted to do something “original, memorable and truly a New Jersey thing” for his students of the Class of 2020.
“As a superintendent I am presented with many suggestions from what other districts across the nation are doing to recognize their students during these very difficult times,” he said. “When you have nearly 8,500 students and approximately 750 of them are from the Class of 2020, certain ideas, like putting up pictures of every senior around town, are not as feasible as when a school that has 30 seniors does something like that.”
And “original, memorable and truly a New Jersey thing” the Class of 2020 got.
The superintendent booked a New Jersey aviation company to fly over the township with a message of support to students and the graduating seniors.
The banner, which read “OB Schools We Miss Our Kids (and heart) the 2020 Class. Stay well” was flown crisscross over the township between 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on May 9.
“The banner planes at the New Jersey Shore are iconic symbols of the Jersey Shore experience,” Cittadino said. “For me, the concept of a banner plane sending a positive message to our students and the Class of 2020 is more symbolic than anything else.”
The superintendent funded the majority of the flyover costs with help from the Old Bridge Education Foundation. He let the students and parents know about the event via a tweet on May 7.
New memories have been created with “Old Bridge Banner Day” as the novel coronavirus pandemic has stolen what would have been memorable milestones of proms and graduations for the Class of 2020.
“It was nice to see the excitement mount and families from our community have something to look forward to,” Cittadino said. “I saw many families gathered on their lawns looking up toward the sky smiling. I especially hope it creates ‘remember when’ moments for students of the Class of 2020 who have had so much taken away from them.”
Cittadino asked students, who are part of the selfie generation, to capture some good photos of the moment and post them on social media at #OBBannerDay.
Aidan Aisenberg, a member of the senior class, said it was “such a nice idea for the Board of Education to show us a token of appreciation during this difficult time.” He added the senior class misses Old Bridge High School and for everyone to “stay well.”