Barnsdall Students Bid Farewell To School Year Following Tornado

Students in Barnsdall made a final visit to their schools on Tuesday to turn in books and say goodbye to their teachers. The last time students at Barnsdall Public Schools walked the hallways and rummaged through their lockers was the same day tragedy struck their small town, cutting the school year short.

Tuesday, May 21st 2024, 9:46 pm



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Students in Barnsdall made a final visit to their schools on Tuesday to turn in books and say goodbye to their teachers.

The last time students at Barnsdall Public Schools walked the hallways and rummaged through their lockers was the same day tragedy struck their small town, cutting the school year short.

But on Tuesday, they were given the chance to properly conclude the year.

Students from all over Barnsdall are visiting their schools to collect their belongings and say goodbye to their favorite teachers.

Instead of celebrating the completion of another year of high school, Maverick Lanphear is tidying up his locker.

"It's a bummer we didn’t get to finish out the year, I really hoped I could see some friends after everything that’s happened," he said.

Teachers are cleaning up, too.

"When I inventory, I have to go through each cabinet and get an inventory of everything. It takes a little bit, but I have those kids help me," said Austin Gann.

Coach Gann teaches biology at the high school.

He says he has been amazed at the resilience of all his students.

"One of the biggest things I noticed was how quickly they responded to help themselves," he said.

Gann hasn’t seen most of his students since the day of the tornado, so he’s grateful for today.

"I want to see them; my heart's been broken because of not being able to see them, what so many of them went through," he said.

So, he’s saying farewell knowing he and his students have faced the unthinkable together and came out on the other side stronger.

"Just going out and helping, you learn a lot," said Lanphear.

As the students carry their books and belongings out, they also carry with them lessons learned both in and out of the classroom.

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