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Education/Schools

May 22, 2013

Henryville students, staff donate, contemplate volunteering

HENRYVILLE —

With news of an all-too-familiar disaster 800 miles away, summer vacation plans for some students and administrators at Henryville’s schools have already changed.

Just more than a year after their campus was decimated, some of the school community members at Henryville Junior/Senior High School have said as soon as their graduates get their diplomas in June, they’re making their way to Moore, Okla., to help tornado victims hit Monday by an EF-5 tornado — one of the country’s most fierce on record.

Nick Cooper, a junior at the high school, said the March 2, 2012, tornado that swirled across Northern Clark County was still fresh in his mind when he heard about what happened in Oklahoma.

“I didn’t hear about it until our first class [Tuesday] morning,” Cooper said. “When I heard that the death tolls were around [24] people, I could only think of how lucky we were to have everyone safe inside the school.”

After his friends graduate June 2, he said he wants to do what so many strangers across the country did for Henryville in the wake of their disaster.

“We’ve already set up a money fund and I donated to that,” Cooper said. “I thought about maybe going to Oklahoma after graduation and going to help out. It’s really the shared experience that we have with them. We saw when we had the tornado, how many people stopped their entire lives to come down and help us. I think it’s the least we could to repay that.”

Troy Albert, principal of the junior/senior high school, said he and his wife heard about the tornado late Monday night. Though he hasn’t much time to consult with his staff about fundraising, he said he and his wife will head to Moore, Okla., to volunteer with recovery efforts after graduation.

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