The following the letter was written Wednesday, Aug. 14.
I am happy to say that McDowell Elementary will be back in school tomorrow [Thursday, Aug. 15] on a regular schedule. This would not be possible without a tremendous amount of support from many different people.
I want to send out a sincere, heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who volunteered their time helping with the cleanup after Monday evening’s flood. Parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors, alumni, local businesses, church groups, even students from other schools and folks with no ties to McDowell from all across Floyd County poured into our campus Tuesday morning to contribute.
I also want to thank the many teachers and administrators from all across our school district, along with central office personnel who took time from their own busy schedules to assist our staff in a time of great need. Many of you helped clean, brought food, donated supplies, ran errands, answered phones, offered prayers, and expressed genuine concern for our school. You were among the first to arrive and the last to leave.
To everyone, on behalf of our students, I can’t say “thank you” enough!
I have never personally observed the enormous generosity, from so many, both known and unknown, that our school has received this week. At a time when it seems the majority of news we hear is bad, it was both refreshing and uplifting, to personally witness the best in people. The last three days have been among the most humbling of my life.
Finally, to the faculty and staff of McDowell Elementary, you went above and beyond any expectations of mine this week. I am amazed at your professionalism, devotion to our school, our students, our district, and our community. Monday evening’s tears quickly turned into Tuesday mornings determination and resolve. Through the whole process you remained optimistic and tenacious at the same time in the face of tragedy. With a positive attitude and a smile on your face I believe you ultimately turned three of our darkest days into some of our finest hours. I could not be more proud to be the principal of McDowell Elementary. I am honored to serve the children of our community at your side.
Principal, McDowell Elementary