After Florence: New Hanover Schools Rebuild

Edwin A. Anderson Elementary School 2nd grade teacher Jenna Parker spent the first day back to school talking with students about their experiences before and after Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington. Hurricane Florence caused widespread damage and flooding.
Credit Michael Cline Spencer / For WUNC

Since the day Hurricane Florence began battering the North Carolina coast, WUNC’s education reporters have been following staff and families in New Hanover County Schools, as they first weathered the storm, and now work to put their classrooms and schools back together.

They visited with students and teachers at Anderson Elementary School and Trask Middle School. And while the rebuilding process will take time, students, parents and teachers have found community in a familiar place: their schools.

Reporters: Lisa Philip, Liz Schlemmer
Photographers: Ben McKeown, Michael Cline Spencer
Broadcast Editor: Dave DeWitt
Digital Editor: Elizabeth Baier

Ways to Connect

Islands Fresh Mex Grill in Wilmington hosted a fundraiser for Trask Middle School's PTA, which has been giving aid to families and teachers affected by Hurricane Florence. Staff and families at the event, just a week into school, already had the threat of
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

New Hanover County Schools are just getting back to class, meanwhile the threat of Hurricane Michael has many feeling nervous.

Trask Middle School staff and their families gathered at Islands Fresh Mex Grill in Wilmington for an evening fundraiser this week. Proceeds from the burritos and taco salads sold will go to the school's Parent/Teachers’ Association.

Edwin A. Anderson Elementary School 2nd grade teacher Jenna Parker talks with students on Oct. 4, 2018 as they reflect on their experiences Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington.
Michael Cline Spencer / For WUNC

Since the day Hurricane Florence began battering the North Carolina coast, WUNC’s education reporters have been following staff and families in New Hanover County Schools as they first weathered the storm, and now work to put their classrooms and schools back together.

New Hanover County teacher Jenna Parker looks through her planner at her desk in her second grade classroom at Anderson Elementary School in Wilmington.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Since the day Hurricane Florence began battering the North Carolina coast, WUNC’s education reporters have been following staff and families in New Hanover County Schools, as they first weathered the storm, and now work to put their classrooms and schools back together.

Jose Perez-Santiago, right, holds his daughter Jordalis, 2, as they return to their home for the first time since it was flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Spring Lake, N.C., Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. "I didn't realize we would lose everyt
David Goldman / AP

Since the day Hurricane Florence began battering the North Carolina coast, WUNC’s education reporters have been following staff and families in New Hanover County Schools, as they first weathered the storm, and now work to put their classrooms and schools back together.

State education leaders are calling for donations to assist students and educators who lost belongings and school supplies during Hurricane Florence.

Principal Maggie Rollison of Trask Middle School in Wilmington, N.C. fights back tears while recalling her experience as a "shelter principal" during Hurricane Florence
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Since the day Hurricane Florence began battering the North Carolina coast, WUNC’s education reporters have been following staff and families in New Hanover County Schools, as they first weathered the storm, and now work to put their classrooms and schools back together.

When storms roll into Wilmington, Trask Middle School usually serves as an emergency shelter. But the school’s principal Maggie Rollison knew Florence was different when shelter guests started arriving 10 hours before the shelter opened.