By Tom Tolen /

Anyone driving by Brighton High School’s main entrance these days is going to be greeted by nearly 500 young faces smiling at them. Bright and early on Tuesday, Principal Gavin Johnson, members of the school’s Parent Teacher Organization, Board of Education Trustee Ken Stahl and other volunteers arrived at the school to put up hundreds of senior class photos - complete with the name of each student.

Johnson freely admits it was not his idea, saying that a number of other high schools across the country have done something similar - although perhaps not with such a large graduating class. The signs were paid for by the PTO, using funds that in a normal school year would be used for the senior class picnic. But then, this has not been a normal year. Johnson took his idea for the photos to graphics teacher Sean Carney, and he teamed up with English instructor Tami Heinonen, who is also in charge of the yearbooks. She gave the yearbook photos to Carney, who shopped around for the best price to have them enlarged, complete with names. Stahl says that with all of the volunteer help, it only took them about an hour to get the signs up. But that’s not all there is. Johnson says school officials want to do other things to honor the senior class.

Johnson says an informal survey was taken of senior parents and the majority said that rather than holding a small event before the coronavirus restrictions are lifted, they would rather wait and have a true celebration. The busy principal is planning other events to honor the graduating class as well, but not all are definite yet because of the fluid situation with COVID-19 restrictions. One activity that is definitely a “go” is a “Senior Drive By” on Friday, May 29th. Students will drive onto the high school campus from 5-6 p.m. in a kind of informal procession and Johnson will hand each student their cap and gown.

Other activiies are envisioned, and Johnson says an announcement will be made when plans are finalized . He says any students who didn’t have their senior class picture taken, and want to be recognized with the other seniors, should e-mail him. Likewise, parents with questions pertaining to graduation-related events should contact him at