Graduates in tornado-raked Okla. town vow to stay

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 25, 2013 at 5:53 pm •  Published: May 25, 2013
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A teacher in the district said despite being big enough to have three high schools, the 56,000-strong community is still tightly knit.

"This is such a big district, but this is a small town," said Tammy Glasgow, a second-grade teacher at Briarwood Elementary, which was also destroyed but didn't have any deaths. "When you see somebody in the street, it's not a 'hi' and a handshake, it's a hug."

Some students lost everything in the violent storm. Southmoore senior Callie Dosher, 18, said she sifted through the debris of her family's destroyed home in the past few days, looking to recover precious possessions — her mom's two Bibles and the teddy bear Callie's granddad gave her shortly before he passed away.

But Dosher, too, wants to stay: "These people, I've grown up with them. I have all my friends here," she said.

Miranda Mann, an 18-year-old Southmoore grad whose family also lost their home, couldn't recognize her own neighborhood because of the damage. Yet the family has vowed to rebuild on the same ground.

"We loved the house we were in," she said. "But we get to make new memories in the new house."

Westmoore Senior Alex Davis, 18, will attend University of Oklahoma after graduation partly so he can stay close to friends and family.

"It speaks to how the community's banded together," he said. "We're not going to let a natural disaster beat us."