South Central Calhoun Students Graduate One Week After Tornado

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ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa -- After a week of cleanup, 73 seniors at the South Central Calhoun High School were awarded diplomas on Sunday.

It was one week ago an F-1 tornado ripped the roof off of the high school. That was during the annual awards ceremony. There were no injuries.

As the families and students gathered for this ceremony, black stormy skies were off to the west. This time, it was just a little dousing of rain, which most people were not even aware of during the ceremony.

"To say that this past week has been a whirlwind of emotion, would technically be an understatement," said Haley Birks, who is Senior Class President. "As we sit here today as the Class of 2015, we want to say thank you for all you have done to support our school for the past 13 years, but especially, this past week."

Birks quoted a country song lyric saying, "In this kinda town, people stick together."

School Board President Jim Brown said, in a moment of humor, what happened a week ago was the ultimate senior prank.

"You guys really know how to raise the roof," Brown said.

"It was nice no one got hurt," said Senior Blake Fonken. "It just kind of makes you think, you get a tornado warning, and nothing ever happens, then all of a sudden it happens."

Fonken taking a lesson from the past week said, "You always got to expect something, you can't just take that stuff lightly."

"It's kind of surreal," said Senior Lucas Farrington when talking about the past week. "You think about all the times in elementary school, you wish your school would get hit by a tornado, then it finally does, and you wish it wouldn't have."

Farrington plans to go to college, in hopes of one day being a cardiologist. Fonken plans for college and then return one day to the farm.

The class flower was a white rose, tipped in purple. Class colors were, purple, black and silver.

The class motto: "We met as strangers, grew as classmates, and leave as friends."

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