New Brunswick

'A motivational boost:' Minto celebrates grads with banners

The pandemic appears to have put the kibosh on any plans Minto HIgh students had of having a normal graduation, but that doesn’t mean the community will forget about their accomplishments.

Banners featuring all 29 graduates hang along Main Street

The 29 graduates from the school are being celebrated with banners displayed on utility poles along Main Street. (Submitted by Mary-Faith Mazerolle)

The pandemic has put the kibosh on any plans Minto High School students had of having a normal graduation, but that doesn't mean the community isn't marking their accomplishments.

The 29 graduates from the school are being celebrated with banners displayed on utility poles along Main Street in the community.

Each banner features a graduates photo and name.

Mary-Faith Mazerolle is one of the people behind the village–wide celebration.

Her son Owen is a member of the graduating class.

With COVID-19 shutting down regular graduation plans, she said people in the community wanted to show the grads they're thinking of them.

"We wanted something to show them that their accomplishment is still recognized in the community and that we're very proud of them," said Mary-Faith.

'Motivational boost'

Owen Mazerolle said the gesture is appreciated by grads.

"It's like a motivational boost," said Owen.

"You picture it as something that's happy and you're partying about, not something that you worry about."

Since the pandemic hit, schools and universities have been trying to figure out how to mark graduation.

“It's like a motivational boost,” said Owen Mazerolle. (Submitted by Mary-Faith Mazerolle)

A lot of these celebrations have taken place online since physical distancing requirements make a graduation ceremony difficult.

Mary-Faith said the students of Minto High School are having a much different graduating year than their predecessors did.

"Your senior year's supposed to be a really exciting year with lots of milestones reached and lots of ways to celebrate," said Mary-Faith.

"They don't get their normal graduation. We're not even sure if they're going to get a graduation of sorts. Their prom is still up in the air."

Community support

Each banner costs $45, which a local business is manufacturing at cost.

Mary-Faith said it was important for the community that all grads be represented and that no student had to pay for their banner.

The graduate banners will be displayed in Minto until the end of June. (Submitted by Mary-Faith Mazerolle)

"We just put it out on Facebook and the response was overwhelming," said Mary-Faith. 

"Community members, parents, grandparents, friends of graduates, all wanted to make a donation"

The banners will be on display in Minto until the end of June.

With files from Gary Moore

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