As news began to spread Tuesday morning of Governor Ned Lamont’s executive order closing Connecticut public schools for the remainder of the academic year, the Joel Barlow High School counseling team was already on a mission. Supported by administration and staff, they were executing a carefully orchestrated plan to deliver Barlow Class of 2020 signs to the homes of each senior class member in Easton and Redding.

Members of the sign sorting team at work early Tuesday morning.
Members of the sign sorting team at work early Tuesday morning.

Traditionally, graduation signs have been sold as a fundraiser for the school’s Youth Mental Health First Aid group. This year, Barlow administration and faculty thought it important that every member of the senior class — 213 total — receive a sign. An elaborate and detailed plan evolved which included the ordering, route planning, sorting and delivery of the signs by approximately 34 adults.

Representing teachers, administrators, counselors, support staff, and coaches, the delivery team sang songs, decorated their own cars and played loud music as they planted the signs in Easton and Redding. The gesture was well received by the seniors and their parents. “It was such a bright spot. It made her so happy,” said Joelle Johnston, mom of graduating senior Gabi . “It was a special memory in a year when she’s missing out on the ‘expected’ special moments. It was truly appreciated.”

  • Rebecca Mauro poses with her new sign, delivered by Barlow Athletic Department’s Kristen Fallo.
  • Joel Barlow High School senior Madigan Stichter.
  • The family of Tyler Cummings, a member of Barlow’s senior class who passed away from a rare disease last summer, received a yard sign in his memory.
  • Harrison Wenig with Barlow lawn sign.
  • Joel Barlow High School senior Gabi Johnston.
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