Benton Middle School faculty and staff prepare for reopen after weekend storm damage

Education

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) –  Benton Middle School faculty and staff prepared their classrooms Monday while the campus was closed during a clean-up workday after weekend storms.

Benton Middle Principal Kyle Machen says their number one responsibility is taken care of and that’s the safety and security of all teachers and students tomorrow morning.

“We were very blessed that the storm happened when it did, which was overnight. There were no students or teachers here, and you know brick and even instructional resources can be replaced,” said Machen.

Many who suffered the most damage to their classrooms were distraught after learning about the impact the storm had.

“All these years of teaching with all of my materials. Everything I’ve collected over these 15 years of teaching is gone,” said Erica Livers, an educator for the middle school.

She acknowledged through donations given back by the community through, there’s much more to gain from their losses.

Shannon Nugent is also an educator at the school, and agrees with the same sentiments.

“Teachers spend a lot of time in their classrooms. This is our second home. A lot of us had sentimental items in there from over the years and from our own personal kids and so that’s been hard.”

Nugent says remaining positive is what will set the tone for their student’s attitudes and outlook when they return.

Volunteers and outside contractors have been working around the clock for clean up just in time for students to return Tuesday.

Sarah Bahr is a special education student who is worried about her children’s readjustment to her new classroom. She spoke with parents to best prepare those students for the change.

She’s grateful for her donations after checking out a wish list made for the school for supplies needed.

“I checked just to kind of see what was left, and I was like holy cow, most everything’s been purchased,” said Bahr.

The school is still taking donations from businesses and community groups and members.

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