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Homeland Secretary tours Joplin and promises support - KOAM TV 7

Homeland Secretary tours Joplin and promises support

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Reported September 22, 2011 at 5:05 PM CST:  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and other cabinet promise support after touring Joplin's damaged and temporary high school.

Federal officials come to Joplin to assess tornado recovery in the public schools.

The Homeland Security Secretary and other cabinet members talk with students and leaders about progress since the tornado.

The first stop on their tour today - the high school destroyed by the twister.

Along with Janet Napolitano, other dignitaries were Education Secretary Arne Duncan and FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino.

The group moved to the new junior senior high school at the mall.

The tour was followed by a roundtable discussion with students who asked officials about goals in education and shared their feelings about life after the tornado.

Cabinet members not only talked with students, but with community leaders as well.

They held a news conference after their tour and meetings.

It appears our federal officials are genuinely impressed by our progress.

Both Napolitano and Duncan are amazed that a new high school  was created in just 55 days.

Duncan commented on the common areas where students can work together and said Joplin's temporary school is a model for the nation in itself.

Napolitano said people set egos aside and made decisions quickly, a feat that shines a light on all of the city.

"The 'can do attitude' of this community is really unsurpassed," says Secretary Napolitano.  "I've been in a lot of number of communities this past year especially and I will say Joplin certainly has something very special going for it."

Napolitano says we learn from all disasters how to do things better.  She and Joplin Schools Superintendent CJ Huff both said communication during and after the tornado was an issue.  Federal officials say they will look at what can be done to improve that situation.

Reported September 22, 2011 at 9:57 AM CST:  Joplin schools are once again receiving national attention with a visit today by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The cabinet officials will get a first hand look at how the city of Joplin and its schools have bounced back after the deadly May 22nd tornado.

The government officials say they want to stop by to praise the community's effort to reopen the schools.

Ten schools were damaged or destroyed in the storm.

A media conference is scheduled around 1:30 where Napolitano and Duncan will make remarks about their trip to Joplin. 

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