Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 5, 2012

Former Westview principal OK after tornadoes blast his high school in Henryville

EMMA — At the Westview sectional basketball game Friday night, the news started to circulate that the tornado that tore through Henryville, Ind., had a connection to the LaGrange County community.

Troy Albert, former Westview High School principal and current Henryville High School principal, was in the school Friday, along with about 39 students and staff, as the tornado blew the building apart. Miraculously, no one was injured.

Current Westview Principal Rich Cory said word got to him about an hour after the tornado that his predecessor’s school had been hit.

“At that point as a staff we were on the Internet and tracking down family members,” Cory said. “In about an hour, hour and a half, most of the people in the Westview community were praying and trying to find out what was going on.”

Cory, who talked to Albert Monday morning, said it was about two hours before word was received Friday that Albert was safe. Cory said Albert’s son, Austin, was at home at the time of the tornado, but Albert’s home only sustained minor damage.

Students had been sent home from Henryville schools Friday because of the weather, but when it became clear not everyone could get home in time, the buses brought some students back to the high school.

“There were 39 people in the high school office with him when the tornado hit,” Cory said. “He (Albert) said they were hit twice. Another came through 15 minutes later.”

Albert reported that all of his students and all of their families made it through the disaster safely.

With many in the community wanting to help, Westview High School will become a “hub” Cory said, for anyone wanting to make donations. School staff is working with the LaGrange County  Community Foundation and the American Red Cross to make sure donations are made properly.

Cory said Albert was the principal at Westview from 2004 to 2007, when he took the job at Henryville. Albert’s wife, Karen, was a Westview junior high science teacher and a Westview High School graduate. She still has family in the Topeka area, Cory said.

Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the Henryville Tornado Disaster Relief fund is asked to make a check payable to the Red Cross or the Lagrange County Community Foundation with the words “Tornado Relief” written in the memo line. Checks should then be sent to Westview Junior-Senior High School, 1545 S. 600 West, Topeka, IN  46571. In addition, non-perishable food items and toiletries may be dropped off at the school as well.  

For additional questions about Westview’s Henryville Tornado Disaster Relief fund, contact Rich Cory at 260-768-4146.


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