Marissa Vizzoni, valedictorian of the Class of 2020 at Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville.  Mike Ehrmann photo
Marissa Vizzoni, valedictorian of the Class of 2020 at Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville. Mike Ehrmann photo
“My faith in God has helped me during this difficult time. My senior year was taken by the coronavirus, but I am happy everyone I know is healthy.” • Christopher Pfirrman, Mater Dei Prep, Middletown

“It took a global pandemic to show us it’s good to take time and slow down. We go through years of education sometimes wishing for school days to end, yet once we were all given a few months off … seniors wanted just one more day to see everything one last time.” • Dylan Oswick, Monmouth County Caring Award recipient, St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel

 

“This quarantine has really brought my family and I closer than ever. Before, because of work, school and sports occupying us, we barely got to see each other. But with this quarantine and all it has taken from us, it also gave us the luxury of family time.” • Isabella Vilarelle, eighth grade, St. Paul School, Princeton

 

“Since I’ve been home the past few months … I’ve especially spent time immersing myself in nature, appreciating God’s beautiful earth even more than ever. I don’t take the small things in life for granted anymore. You don’t realize how enjoyable those small things are, like getting food with a friend or two after school, until they are gone.” • Mark Finnegan, Salutatorian, Donovan Catholic High School, Toms River

 

“[Prayer] helped me cope with the fact that senior year was suddenly cut short, and that I didn’t even know my last day of high school was my last day until after it happened.” • Marissa Vizzoni, valedictorian, Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville

 

“When something like this happens, a virus practically shutting life as we know it, we have to keep marching forward through life. The only thing we can control is our reaction to life’s absurdity. Shakespeare said life is a play, and we all play a part in that. If life is truly a play, then the show must go on.” • Jonathan Abadir, Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft

“Like stars, the Class of 2020 will forever be a part of the constellation of my life. … Class of 2020 – now that we stand at a crossroads, hesitantly ready to take our next steps, I urge you all to walk without fear, because it is not the end. Though we walk on different paths, we all walk under the same sky. • Mia Quiles, salutatorian, St. Rose High School, Belmar (speech during Baccalaureate Mass)

“I will always cherish the traditions I was lucky enough to be a part of ... We will get through this together, if we remain strong and stay positive.” • Matthew Zeimba, school president, Holy Cross Preparatory Academy, Delran

 

“These past few months have taught me not to take anything or anyone for granted. I also realized and was reminded how blessed I am to have an amazing family and support system.” • Victoria Federico, valedictorian, Donovan Catholic  High School, Toms River

 

“It doesn’t matter how much you think you have done, what matters right now is how you react to this change. What defines us is when we choose one of two paths: to let change destroy us or let change make us better.” • Paul Gannon, Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft

 

“I learned that despite the fear of the unknown, a person must always possess a good character. … At the end of the day, we are all human and should help one another with kind words and politeness.” • Paula Narvaez, valedictorian, Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton

“I have been inspired by the creativity and adaptability of people during this crisis, in my own communities and on a broader scale. … We have created and enjoyed plenty of happy moments despite all of the odds.” Aditi Mehndiratta, Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Princeton

 

“We have overcome every challenge that has come our way; it is now time to celebrate what we have accomplished together. Thank you for the memories that will last a lifetime.” • Daniel Magrini, student council and senior class president, St. Rose High School, Belmar

 

“My teachers were so helpful and our school leaders and directors were involved every step of the way. I noticed that their moral support played a significant role in making me feel better about everything going on.” • Bexy Duarte, salutatorian, Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton