Dawson Springs teachers hoping for normal school year

Dawson Springs teachers hoping for normal school year
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 5:54 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Preparations for the upcoming school year are underway in Dawson Springs. The community is still recovering from the December 2021 tornadoes, and the faculty at their schools are working to give their students a sense of normalcy.

After helping their students maneuver remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, and then making sure all their needs were met in the wake of the tornadoes, the teachers in Dawson Springs are hoping this next school year is a little bit closer to normal.

The past few years have been hard on faculty at the schools in Dawson Springs.

”It was heartbreaking, and I just couldn’t stop crying,” said English teacher Kati Griffin. “I had to go get on medicine because I just could not.”

The school served several functions in the aftermath of the tornadoes, including a temporary shelter, a supply hub, and their library was even used as a triage center by the American Red Cross.

During that time, many of their students were displaced. Now that registration is open again, school officials are happy to see many of them are coming back.

”Our numbers are looking pretty positive. We are starting to get some pretty good interest and we are getting some kids to come back to us,” said Superintendent Lenny Whalen.

The faculty’s current priority is providing their students with a sense of normalcy. One teacher pointed out that after years of COVID-19 as well as the tornadoes, this year’s senior class has never had a normal high school year.

”Hopefully we can give them that this year, their last year here, but they don’t really know normal, which is pretty sad,” said social studies teacher Elizabeth Robinson. “But we’re going to try this year.”

Despite all the hardship brought by December’s storms, some teachers say they’ve learned from the experience, and they want to use those lessons in the classroom.

”We’ve learned that you have to take care of your culture, and you have to take care of your students, and then they’ll learn,” said Griffin. “So if we meet their needs and we feed them and clothe them, and they know we love them, they’re going to learn.”

Preparations will continue until the first day of school next week on August 10.

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