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Some Joplin students take center stage as their new school build - KOAM TV 7

Some Joplin students take center stage as their new school building is officially opened

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Community leaders, students, and teachers helped with a ribbon cutting this morning at Joplin's new Irving Elementary School.  The old school building was destroyed by the tornado.

One soon to retire FEMA representative was given a thank you plaque from students and teachers.  KOAM General Manager and Mercy Hospital board member Danny Thomas also spoke at the welcome ceremony.

Joplin Schools Superintendent Dr. CJ Huff says he hopes students remember this day, so that they'll be able to tell their kids and grand kids how much Joplin cares for youth and education.

Irving's principal says she's enjoying seeing big smiles on students' faces.

"It's the beginning of the end, I guess.  We've waited so long to move into this new building and now we're finally here, to have that excitement in our building...  There are so many thing we're able to do in this facility that we weren't able to do in our older buildings," says Principal Nila Vance.  "The students at Irving Elementary are the future of Joplin.  And they're able to build those leadership qualities and become productive citizens in the future.  And this gives us opportunities to teach our kids how to cooperate with each other, how to work together."

 "Coming back to this area allows our families to get closer to their kids on a daily basis, which is very exciting because it increases parent involvement, and it's easier for them to be actively involved in their child's education," says Vance.

FEMA officials spoke about how they still use Joplin as the definition of resiliency.  Board members of Joplin's Mercy Hospital donated about 13 acres for the new school.

 

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