After Tornado Devastates, Joplin High Bounces Back
Filed by KOSU News in US News.
May 17, 2012
Nearly one year ago, a devastating tornado ripped through the city of Joplin, Mo. The tornado was the deadliest in the U.S in almost 60 years–killing 161 people and injuring over 900. But life for Joplin’s residents is finally starting to return to normal.
That includes life for students at Joplin High School. The school was destroyed by the tornado just hours after last year’s commencement ceremony. Although the school’s old location is still in ruins, the city has found a temporary solution to keep classes going.
“We’ve had a lot of great experiences this year and obviously a lot of tragedy and we’re working with people that emotionally are having a difficult time. But, people have bounced back in Joplin and we’re still bouncing back,” Principal Kerry Sachetta told <em>Tell Me More</em>’s Michel Martin.
Students attend school in two locations. The 9th and 10th graders are housed in an older building in the district. The 11th and 12th grade students attend classes in a vacant space in the city’s local mall. The 90,000-square-foot mall space was repurposed to temporarily accommodate students and faculty just weeks after the tornado.
President Obama visited Joplin a few days after the tornado devastated the school. He will return to deliver this year’s commencement speech to the Joplin High School graduating class.
Joplin and especially its students and faculty are adjusting to these new arrangements and are particularly looking forward to next year. According to Principal Sachetta, “We started a lot of new things this year and next year is the year to refine it, rethink about what we’ve done, and just make those things become better year after year.” [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]