BROOKVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — Teachers and students in Brookville are returning to a sense of normalcy after a summer of devastation.
“Nobody really knew what was going to happen or the extent of what had happened,” recalls Brookville senior and student body president Emily Brown after the Memorial Day tornadoes.
Following the tornado outbreak, Brookville teacher and student council adviser Amy Boyd put a call out on social media to spearhead cleanup efforts in neighborhoods.
“I was so impressed with the kids. Even, especially the seniors who had just graduated. They just poured out,” beams Boyd.
In the days after the tornado, dozens of students showed up in neighborhoods cleaning up houses and picking up debris.
“It was like an army came in and just cleaned up house to house to house,” describes Boyd.
“The next week we had smaller groups kind of meet together to do more raking, and picking up,” says Brookville teacher and senior class adviser Ann Stammen who was instrumental in coordinating cleanup crews.
Seniors Darian Hughes and Emily Brown were part of the cleanup efforts.
“There was nothing else that I would’ve rather been doing than helping,” says Brown.
For some, the devastation struck an extra nerve.
“My parents’ house was hit,” says Boyd. “Their house wasn’t destroyed, but the damage was significant. They lost their porch, their shed, their roof.”
One of Hughes’ best friends lost her house in the tornadoes.
“She couldn’t live there anymore. And I just — you know. I just felt for the effort,” states Hughes.
While Brookville students are back in school trying to return to a sense of normalcy, perhaps the most important lesson was one they learned this summer outside of the classroom.
“It just makes you proud to be here in Brookville and to live in Brookville and see the community to come together like that,” smiles Hughes.
“I have never been more proud to say I’m from Brookville until this happened,” says Boyd.
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