Teachers prepare for students’ return after tornado damages Kershaw Co. high school

Although North Central High School was nearly destroyed by a confirmed tornado this past weekend, students are expected to return to school on Wednesday.

Kershaw Co., S.C. (WOLO) — Although North Central High School was nearly destroyed by a confirmed tornado this past weekend, students are expected to return to school on Wednesday. They’ll just be at a new location. Teachers spent Monday and Tuesday at the old Applied Technology Education Campus (ATEC) getting ready.

“Our old vocational site has three buildings right on one campus with classrooms; 37 classrooms. So we have more than enough classroom space,” said Shane Robbins, Kershaw Co. School District Superintendent. “What we want to do is inconvenience our community as much as possible, at the same time still provide them an opportunity to go to school.”

No one was hurt in the damage caused by the EF2 tornado.

Nearly 500 students will return Wednesday, starting the new semester at a new address.

“The first thing I thought was like ‘oh my gosh, what are we going to do now?” I just thought back to all the memories that we had,” said Valarie Johnson, theater teacher at NCHS.

Most of the classrooms were damaged by the tornado.

“I saw the first pictures, and it was just heartbreaking. This is year 14 for me at North Central, it’s the only place I’ve ever taught. I love being there, and you spend as much time there as you do at home,” said Suzanna Hall, Science Department Chair at NCHS. “To be able to keep our faculty community, our student community together, that’s huge. Especially when you’re facing something like this where everybody is heartbroken over something, to all be able to stay here together in this space and to have it available is just amazing.”

“I immediately thought about my students, and how they would feel because like my class that we’re starting this semester, we’ve been together in that room together for four years,” said Johnson.

Like the students, teachers will need to adjust to the new surroundings.

“Right now it’s about our kids, and being able to bring them in and love on them, and just let them know that we’re here. And just be able to give them the quality education that we were giving them at another building,” said Johnson.

As much as they can be; teachers are prepared for the first day of school.

“We want to provide them with as much as a normal environment as we can, because they’re going to be heartbroken too,” said Hall.

“North Central High School is not a building, it’s the people,” said Johnson.

Teachers expect to spend part of the first day back talking with their students about the tornado and North Central High.

Kershaw Co. School District released a list of immediate needs for teachers as they begin school in the new building.

Categories: Kershaw, Local News, News, State