It was a surprise that left one Westmoore math teacher in awe of her students as they showed up Friday to help clear out the debris littering her three-acre property.
Before graduation on Saturday morning, 75 students from Westmoore and Southmoore high schools decided to help our Sharon Liston, whose house was ripped apart in the tornado. Luckily she and her husband are OK, but the house is a complete loss.
The insurance adjuster told Liston the few walls that remain standing would have to be bulldozed and they would have to rebuild from scratch.
"I had a couple teachers, their houses were completely destroyed," explained Westmoore Salutatorian, Christine Nguyen. "We were over there yesterday helping her clean up her house, so she's got a lot on her plate. I wouldn't be surprised if she couldn't make it here today."
Liston did show up to graduation on Saturday morning. She said she could not miss a day so important to her students that have worked so hard to graduate.
"Today is the kids' day. Today is not about tornadoes, today is for those kids who are graduating and hats off to them," Liston said.
The past week has been one full of challenges for Liston and the students in Moore. The stories of devastation are all too common and it seems everyone is somehow connected to someone who has been directly impacted by the tornado.
"This is not something you can do by yourself. You have to have all your friends, you have to have all your family members. You have to have everybody just standing behind you," said Liston. "We'll just take one day at a time and we'll get through it."
Liston is retiring after 40 years of teaching. She said she is unbelievably proud of her students and knows their hearts are in the right place as they move on from high school.