By TARA SCHMELZ
Doug Arnold knew he wanted to do something to help out Henryville Elementary and Jr./Sr. High School as soon as he heard the news of the destruction the March tornados left behind.
Arnold, superintendent at Maconaquah School Corp. near Kokomo, had ties to the small town. His first job as principal was at Henryville Jr./Sr. High School from 1988-1992.
“I said there’s got to be something we could do to help out ... and my principals flew with it,” he said while walking outside the Henryville campus as sounds of construction filled the air.
The four schools in his district raised $10,000 in one week. He said the schools offered many incentives to students, including having a principal sleep in a tent in the school’s courtyard, pies in teachers’ faces, and Arnold even shaved his head when certain milestones were reached.
But the school wasn’t done there. The high school’s Key Club then worked with the South Miami County Kiwanis Club to match that amount. On Saturday, representatives from Kiwanis, the Key Club and Maconaquah School Corp. came to Henryville to present school representatives with a check for $20,000.
West Clark Community Schools Superintendent Monty Schneider said this is one example of the outpouring of support from all around the country.
“It’s still continuing. We’re surprised daily,” he said. “Insurance never takes care of everything. [These donations will] help to make us whole again, if not better.”
Henryville Jr./Sr. High School Principal Troy Albert said all the support has been a blessing.
“We’re at a point right now where we are thinking of what ways can we give back,” he said.
He said his staff is already making plans on ways to pay it forward.
“Just to do that just because you feel the need to help others, and it doesn’t have to be a crisis to do it,” Albert said.
He said he wants it to be a surprise, so he wouldn’t release details, but said he is hoping to have students and staff participate in various community projects.
“Little things go a long way,” he said.