OLD BRIDGE – Students of the Old Bridge High School (OBHS) Class of 2020 are celebrating stolen milestones as best they can, in piecemeal.
On June 11, OBHS senior Olivia Pospisil and her friends gathered outside her home in their caps and gowns for the community applaud of the graduating seniors. Buses with banners “OBHS Applauds Our Graduates” traveled to 20 different locations including Olivia’s neighborhood and honked their horns. Olivia and her friends threw their hands up as well as their caps.
OBHS Vice Principal Sally Fazio joined in on the fun with a sign “Fazio loves (drawn heart) You” and took photos/videos with the graduates.
Milestones of prom and graduation are still on the Old Bridge School District’s calendar on the district’s website – OBHS prom on June 12 and OBHS graduation on June 23. The two occasions have been canceled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
With Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement to allow 500 people to gather outdoors on July 3 and to allow in-person graduations after July 6, school officials have been coming together to plan what is best for the approximately 750-member OBHS 2020 class.
Fazio said they plan to hold four separate graduation ceremonies on July 8 and July 9 on Lombardi Field. The graduation normally is held at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.
Murphy lifted the state’s stay-at-home order on June 9, which went into effect on March 21, and also increased limits on the number of people who can gather indoors from 10 to 50 people or 25% of a building’s capacity and 25 to 100 people outdoors. The numbers of people allowed to gather outdoors will increase to 250 people on June 22 and 500 people on July 3.
On June 12 – the night of the scheduled prom, which would have been held at The Addison Park in Keyport – Patrice Tranchina planned a “Prom at Home” for her son, Matthew, and his friends with prom 2020 trinkets and knickknacks.
Tranchina said Matthew is her youngest child and he saw his siblings enjoy their milestones – Jeffrey in 2011, Justin in 2013, and Jessica in 2016.
She said at first her son was against the idea when she suggested it in April, but as the prom date neared, he warmed up to it. Matthew and his friends enjoyed taking photos in their prom attire including corsages for the girls, food, a live prom DJ through Zoom, and pool time in the backyard.
Fazio stopped by to see the graduates for their special “Prom at Home” night.
In continued efforts to celebrate the Class of 2020, Schools Superintendent David Cittadino planned an #OBBannerDay on May 9 to create new memories for the class. He booked a New Jersey aviation company to fly over the township with a banner “OB Schools We Miss Our Kids (and hear) the 2020 Class. Stay Well.”