BROOKVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — Brookville Local Schools is celebrating the last day of school on the second anniversary of the Memorial Day tornadoes. On May 27, 2019, a tornado destroyed part of the school’s roof and other homes in the area.
Then, in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic caused Brookville to close in-school activities earlier than planned. So for the last two years, end of the year celebrations have been on hold for students, staff and teachers.
“For the last two years we’ve not been able to have the end of school,” said Brookville Superintendent Tim Hopkins. “Both of those school years were curtailed early, so the kids are excited with field days and clap outs and all the different things they have going on [at] the end of the school year.”
Hopkins says the last two years have put teachers, staff and students through tough times. The school district is focusing on social-emotional learning and providing resources to support students through tornado recovery, pandemic pressure and more.
“They’re exhausted, it’s been a long hard year but they’ve done an outstanding job and it’s something to be proud of,” said Hopkins. “Some of our students have gone through a lot and they continue to hurt and we want to continue to support them anyway we can.”
Two years later, the school building has been completely repaired and rebuilt. The school district is also replacing trees that were damaged and lost in the tornadoes. A memorial remains in the high school’s hallways as a reminder of the obstacles overcome by the Blue Devils and the Brookville community.
“It’s been two years now. We have recovered … it’s something that we lived through so we will always remember it and it will be part of our history, but we want to continue to move forward,” said Hopkins.