Stranded at school: ‘I knew I wasn’t going home’

Karen Evans, a teacher at Thompson Middle School, had a friend drop off her daughter, Gracy, at TMS before the two traveled to meet her older daughter, Nina, at CVES.

“We’ve had a good day. We’ve played in the gym and done lots of fun things,” Karen Evans said as she sat in the CVES cafeteria on Jan. 29, a group of students dancing to a Roger Day video on the other side of the room. “The teachers have been so great.”

Nina Evans seemed to have grown weary of her time spent in the school.

“Kind of,” she answered when asked if she was having fun during her “slumber party.”

At Cornerstone Christian School in Columbiana, two staff members provided shelter for 11 students who otherwise would have been stranded at the school overnight.

We didn’t have any kids stranded at CCS, because a couple of staff members took the 11 who couldn’t get rides in at their own homes,” CCS director Jay Adams wrote in an email.

At Hilltop Montessori School in Mt Laurel, stranded students enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas for dinner, and awoke to a pancake and cereal breakfast.

“We cannot say enough about the commitment of our faculty and their dedication to making sure the children are happy,” read an email issued by the school on Jan. 29. “We are fortunate enough we have several dads, a doctor, a nurse and the staff, so the children are safe, well fed and happy.”

Campanotta kept a positive attitude about the ordeal, but admitted she will be glad to return home once all the kids have been picked up by loved ones.

“We’ve got everything here except a shower,” Campanotta said with a laugh. “This will be a night we will all remember.”