RINGGOLD, CATOOSA COUNTY (WRCB) -- A line of busy hands tap the keyboards at the newly rebuilt Ringgold Middle School.
In the computer lab students go through various programs aimed at improving their typing skills, all thanks to a U.S. government program that only heard about the devastation in Ringgold, and wanted to help from Washington.
Ringgold Middle School Principal Michael Sholl says, "They called us and said we have equipment, can we help? I said yeah, we really need computers."
The school lost more than 60 computers in wake of the storm, but the United States General Services Administration donated more than 50, which Sholl says is a blessing in disguise.
He didn't know if school would be in session this year.
"I really thought there is no way we can have school this year, " Sholl says. "I didn't think we could get school ready."
The storms ripped through Ringgold, causing millions of dollars in damage and claiming eight lives.
The middle school was completely leveled, in fact, students were in the classrooms earlier that day.
Scholl says he remembers getting a phone call saying everything was gone.
"In your mind you try to figure out how bad it is," he says. "'Gone' means it's nothing there."
The eighth grade wing was moved to the high school after it too was reduced to rubble.
After six months the area is coming back together, but the process for some has been quite tedious.
Through the disaster Sholl says he's learned much about himself as a leader, but during the down times it's the students who have made him stronger.
"Kids persevere," he says. "Adults don't do so well; kids know how to adapt."
The donated computers have an estimated value of $60,000.
The General Services Agency paid for the donations.