(Goodman, Mo.--04/04/18) Painful memories brought back to life after an EF2 tornado ripped through a elementary school in a Southwest Missouri town.One year ago
FOX5 spoke to school officials who are turning an emotional anniversary into a positive experience.
It has been a year since an EF-2 tornado ravaged parts of Goodman, Missouri, leaving behind a trail of devastation and destruction to the elementary school.
"The emotions are still pretty raw and still pretty tough and it seems silly because it’s bricks and mortar. It’s a building, but it’s the life of this community," explains Goodman Elementary's Principal Samantha Hamilton.
Although traces of the storm still linger Hamilton says the school community continues to stay resilient.
"The building was a huge loss for us, but it wasn’t who we were and I think I’ve learned that our impact can beyond the walls.."
Since the building was unusable and deemed a complete loss, Neosho Shool District made room for teachers like 3rd Grade Teacher, Cody Crocker, and for more than 300 hundred students to attend classes at Neosho Middle School
"Make the biggest impact on kids lives as I can. If that means I’m doing it at a temporary building or a brand new building, or a hundred year old building, the motivation is the same," adds Crocker.
Now, educators are turning the tragedy into a great, deserved opportunity as they look forward to the next step.
"There’s a lot of memories and a lot of happy times and lot of emotions going and looking at that space. It’s both looking at the sad and then looking at what an amazing facility will be there in a years time," explains Hamilton.
With the building ripped apart, educators like Beckah Griffith say it was important to let everyone know the wildcats will rise from the ruins as Goodman breaks ground for a new 45,000 sq. ft. school on the same location.
"Super exciting to see it and to remember all the sadness, but to know we’re turning the page and starting this school finally," explains Griffith.
The school has come a long way in the past year, but students are excited for the future.
Cyler Collins is a 4th grader at Goodman Elementary and tells FOX5, "I’m so excited because we are going to have our new school back and it’s just exciting."
William Ebbinghous also a 4th grader says, "I don’t want us to go to school in different places and I want us to just to stay here where we were."
The new school is expected to be completed by the fall of 2019.