The search for members of the Joplin R-8 family ended Friday, with eight members killed in the May 22 tornado, Superintendent Dr. C. J. Huff said this afternoon at a gathering of the district employees, parents, and students, held in the parking lot at Joplin High School, which was destroyed during the tornado May 22.
"At 3:16 last Friday, I received a text message that indicated that mission was complete. As a result of your diligence and unlaboring fortitude in the face of insurmountable challenges, 100 percent of our family are accounted for," Superintendent Dr. C. J. Huff said.
"Today we grieve the loss of eight members of our family. We lost seven children and one educator and today we celebrate that we are all together again in body and eternal spirit," Dr. Huff said.
"Schools are at the heart of every community," Huff said, and pointed that the schools are helping lead the charge in rebuilding the community.
Huff also reassured staff that the loss of buildings would not also result in the loss of jobs.
"We need you now more than ever," Huff said.
School will be back in session June 13 when summer school starts, Huff said. Construction began at East Middle School Thursday and all students will be back in class when August 17 arrives, Huff said.