Tornado Sirens Sounding, Affton School Board Holds Meeting in Hallway

“The Affton School Board was on agenda item 8.5 when the tornado sirens went off.

After a hot and sunny day, the storm moved in fast, dropping large hail and producing strong winds. Expecting bad weather, the board had moved through its meeting at a brisk pace.

At 7:38 p.m. the sirens went off. The National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning for St. Louis County as a powerful storm cell moved directly overhead.

“Do we have a protocol for this?” board president Michael McNeil said as the high-pitched sound filled the Rogers Middle School library.

The board took a recess and board members, building principals and others in attendence moved into the school’s central hallway, just outside the auditorium. The auditorium roof hummed with the beat of heavy hail.

Meanwhile, the Grantwood Village board of trustees moved its meeting into the town hall basement, according to Katy Forand.

After several minutes the school board gathered chairs and continued their meeting with item 8.6. Spirits were high among both board members and audience.

While seated in the hallway, the board accomplished several items, including:

The board also assigned members to its four committees. The new assignments are as follows:

  • Building/Budget Committee: Tom Bellavia (chair), Sue Casaleggi and Chris Castellanos.
  • Curriculum Committee: Castellanos (chair), Casaleggi and Bellavia.
  • Personnel Committe: Larry Knox (chair), Mike Alexander and Doug Beck.
  • School Improvement Committee: Beck (chair), Alexander and Knox.

By this time the storm had mostly passed, and the board adjourned to a closed executive session, thanking those in attendence for bearing with them during the storm.

As the group packed up, McNeil joked that he had another reason not to forget his first regular meeting as board president.”

Printed in the Affton-Shrewsbury Patch on April 19, 2011

Article by Andrew Dana Hudson

Original Article

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