Tradition takes back seat to tragedy during Ringgold graduation - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Tradition takes back seat to tragedy during Ringgold graduation

Posted: Updated:

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) --  It was one month ago that tornadoes ripped trough the Tennessee Valley, damaging parts of Ringgold and the city's middle and high schools.

Tradition takes a back seat to tragedy, but graduating seniors say that's ok.

"We're still Ringgold High School despite the fact the school is damaged. As long as we're together, we're fine," says Niki Harden.

A stream of blue divides the red gowns. Lakeview High School seniors graduated just two hours before their in county-rivals Ringgold, Friday night.

The tigers typically walk across their football field at graduation, not a stage at UTC's McKenzie Arena.

"People were sending texts and wanted to protest, but we have so much more seating and there's room for our family," says Kelsey Kile.

When the April 27th tornadoes toppled parts of Ringgold High and Middle School. That meant many changes for these seniors finishing out the year walking the halls of a rival school, Heritage High, and then a new venue for graduation.

"It's been like everything else in the last three weeks, you go to plan be...it's gonna be nice, cozy, it'll work," says Principal Sharon Vaughn.

Seniors David Crawford and Savannah Woods wrote a song, to share with their friends on graduation night. They hope it will be an inspiration of hope and happiness.

"Something to knock you back on your feet," says Crawford.

"Its more personal too because we all gone through this...and hope it help," says Woods.

The triumph over the storms, hits close to home for some.

"Our home, four vehicles and our business is gone...it's been special to come together," says Shay Cope.

As the 2011 graduates walk across the stage and open a new door. They gain this right of passage, a little wiser, a little stronger according to them and looking on the positive side of change.

"I do wish I coulda been at school but the main part is we're graduating together," says Cope.

"At the same time this is cool, it's a big area ...And the news people are here," says Trevor Snider.

  • NewsMore>>

  • American waistlines are still expanding

    American waistlines are still expanding

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 7:41 AM EDT2014-09-17 11:41:26 GMT
     While body mass index, a key measure for obesity, has stabilized, our bellies have increased an inch over the last decade — to a circumference of almost 39 inches.More
     While body mass index, a key measure for obesity, has stabilized, our bellies have increased an inch over the last decade — to a circumference of almost 39 inches.
    More
  • NY Dog Turns Up in Florida Nearly 3 Years After Disappearance

    NY Dog Turns Up in Florida Nearly 3 Years After Disappearance

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 7:38 AM EDT2014-09-17 11:38:50 GMT
    More than two years after a New York man's dog disappeared from his home, the pooch mysteriously turned up in Florida.More
    More than two years after a New York man's dog disappeared from his home, the pooch mysteriously turned up in Florida.
    More
  • Very nice weather through the weekend

    Very nice weather through the weekend

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 7:22 AM EDT2014-09-17 11:22:24 GMT
    We are still 5 days away from fall, but our weather is finally turning away from summer and toward the cooler time of year.  Average highs are in the low 80s this time of year, and we will hover around that through next week.More
    We are still 5 days away from fall, but our weather is finally turning away from summer and toward the cooler time of year.  Average highs are in the low 80s this time of year, and we will hover around that through next week.
    More
Powered by WorldNow
Can't find what you're looking for?

WRCB-TV
900 Whitehall Road
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 267-5412

WRCB Jobs EEO | FCC Public Files

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WRCB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.