Skip to main content
Kelly Waddleton

TV Stations features Tribute Video of NHS’ Class of 2020

As COVID-19 spread across the US, schools all across the country have been effectively shut down. While schools continue to do online classes, assignments, and meetings, students still miss the experience of being in schools, near their teachers and friends. Nutley High School closed its doors on March 13th, and as of the publishing of this article, it is unclear when the school will open again. As a result, this has left hundreds of students wishing to be back into the building.


However, in the wake of the negativity surrounding the world, NHS Senior Kelly Waddleton compiled a video with other seniors, discussing how the Class of 2020 has been through many events through the last 18 years and this virus will not bring them down. In early April, this video was presented on News 12 New Jersey. Later in the month, PIX11 interviewed Kelly and then featured the interview along with the video.


The video features almost 20 NHS seniors, each of them saying parts of a message Kelly wrote. It discusses how the Class of 2020 has “persisted through the unthinkable”, and goes on to list the many events in America’s history they have gotten through. One student says, “We were born in the wake of 9/11.” Another says, “We entered elementary school at the peak of the stock market crash.” Again, “We entered middle school after the Boston Marathon Bombing.” Lastly, one senior says, “We entered high school as school shootings became ‘normal,’” as she says in air quotes. Lastly, the video finishes off a positive and uplifting message, with many students saying, “But nonetheless, through every hardship and success, we have gotten stronger, we stay positive, and we have grown because we are given what we can handle.”


Kelly Waddleton wanted to put the video together to “share our perspective on the whole pandemic.” While this virus has impacted millions of lives, Kelly wanted to show the world how the Class of 2020 has gone through many impactful events, and how this virus won’t bring down her peers. “I wanted to tell the world what we are going through as a class. Not only Nutley but the entire Class of 2020 as a whole.”


Since Nutley has not been opened since March 13, Kelly shares the same feeling as many other NHS seniors. “It's really upsetting and disheartening how myself and the rest of my class have spent 12 years of schooling, and the last three months potentially being completely taken away from us.”


Kelly is one of the many seniors that fears not having a graduation ceremony and a prom. These events are supposed to be the pay off for the last 12 years, and they might potentially disappear as a result of this pandemic. Kelly also misses “making connections with my friends and teachers, and I just miss the whole environment of the school.”