A door decorated for Middle Township senior Ava Karimalis

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COURT HOUSE -- As high school seniors worry about missing out on milestones such as prom and graduation, schools are pivoting to celebrate the class of 2020 in nontraditional ways.  

New Jersey schools are closed until at least May 15 as the state fights to contain the COVID-19 pandemic; the fate of large gatherings such as graduations remains in doubt.  

But thanks to Middle Township High School, seniors are already enjoying a creative graduation tribute on social media.  

Seniors and their families were encouraged to decorate their front doors in recognition of their greatest high school accomplishments, and then submit photos of their decorations. 

School administrators created a photo album on the school’s Facebook page. Followers are encouraged to “react” to these posts and provide additional encouragement to the students.  

The photos show doors decorated with signs and lights in the school colors of orange and black, student-athletes' sports jerseys and equipment, and many photos of the soon-to-be graduates.  

“As an administration, we understand the measures taken during the pandemic are necessary, but we also want our seniors to have memories about high school that are positive despite the circumstances,” stated Superintendent Dr. David Salvo. “While we may not be able to provide the traditional high school experience most of us know and have experienced, we can still support these teens, shout out their accomplishments, and show them how proud we are of them.”  

“The Class of 2020 is remarkable, and we are so proud of each and every one of them,” stated Principal George West. “Knowing they aren’t able to fully celebrate their senior year is heartbreaking. The challenges they faced, based on circumstances outside of their control, is a lot for 17- to 18-year old to handle. We’re doing what we can to give them some semblance of a ‘normal’ senior year.”

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