LAKE TOWNSHIP, OH (WTOL) - It was an emotional graduation ceremony Sunday afternoon for the Lake High School Class of 2011.
They received their degrees and parted ways after a year that's brought them all closer together.
Lake High School was destroyed on June 5 by a tornado.
Classes were moved to Owens Community College.
Students didn't let the change in scenery affect their attitude and education.
"What they've accomplished in so many areas is just off the chart. They made that old building over there look like their own school" says Lake Superintendent Jim Witt.
Like most of the Lake students, Ahmad Ismail says the tornado may have destroyed their school but not their friendships.
"We're graduating together as a class because, even though our school is gone, we're still here together."
But Ahmad's mother Mayssa Ismail says there was an emotional toll.
"Emotionally, they did suffer a lot. But I think they did great. They came together as a school and as a family more than anything."
Kurt McKee says he learned some valuable lessons too during his senior year at Lake.
"Our friendships. Definitely our friendships kept us together. You got to stay closer with everyone and build off it."
Kurt's mother Rose says he reached out to his friends affected by the tornado.
"He had a couple of his close buddies lose their house and had them stay with us. He learned to step up. I think it made him a better person all around."
The new Lake High School will open in August of 2012.
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