The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 15, 2013

Seneca students to remember classmate by participating in Joplin run

SENECA, Mo. — Kayleigh Teal will be remembered Saturday by several participants and bystanders in the Joplin Memorial Run.

They can be recognized by their teal-colored shirts reading “Running in Memory of Kayleigh Teal.”

Teal was 16 on May 22, 2011. The Seneca High School student was working as a waitress at the Joplin Pizza Hut at 1901 S. Range Line Road when the tornado devastated the building, killing Teal and four others. Those killed also included manager Christopher Lucas, who had herded those in the restaurant into the walk-in cooler and tried to hold the cooler door shut with a cord or rope.

Teal would have been among those receiving their high school diplomas Saturday at Seneca High School.

Susan Herbert, a teacher at Seneca High School, and some of her students, decided to participate in the 5K in Kayleigh’s memory. She said she realized the run was on graduation day.

Herbert said senior class donations were largely a thing of the past, but she brought her idea of participating in the Joplin Memorial Run in Teal’s memory to members of the senior class. They embraced it.

The class raised the $190 for a memorial banner honoring Teal along the route of the run. There also is a T-shirt, and more than 100 of them have been sold. A Facebook page has been created: Running in Memory of Kayleigh. The designs include butterflies, which were a favorite of hers.

Herbert said the school administration has been supportive.

She said it’s not possible to determine how many students or others have signed up to run in Teal’s memory, but she estimates it is five to 10.

Herbert said she didn’t have Teal in any classes, but the teenager made an impression.

“She was just all smiles, friendly,” Herbert said. “Everybody liked her. She was a little spitfire, but not in an ugly way. The kids loved her.”

Among those who will be participating in the 5K is Tayler Higginbotham, Teal’s stepsister and classmate. She said she thinks participating in the run is a good way to remember Kayleigh. She said she and Teal’s other classmates likely will walk the route because they haven’t trained for the run.

“I think it’s awesome, especially around graduation,” Higginbotham said.

She said the tornado anniversary is difficult and the graduation ceremony will be difficult knowing Teal isn’t there.

“She was a really sweet girl,” Higginbotham said. “She impacted a lot of people. She always had a smile.”

Another run participant is RaeAnn Willey, a friend and classmate of Teal’s.

“She was very bubbly and happy,” Willey said. “She was always laughing.”

Willey said the way her class has supported the run is encouraging.

After participating in the Joplin Memorial Run in the morning, her classmates will participate in the graduation ceremony at night. All who spoke with the Globe said Teal’s presence has been missed the past two years and that will be apparent again Saturday night.

Butterfly pendants

Seneca High School Principal Willie Ng said Kayleigh Teal’s classmates at graduation on Saturday will wear butterfly pendants provided by her father.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • r072814dogbike.jpg Cross-country trip promotes animal adoption

    Where’s Bixby? Not the town in Oklahoma, but the dog on the back of a bicycle ridden by Mike Minnick. On Monday, the two were in Joplin, one stop on a cross-country bike trip to promote the adoption of dogs and cats from local shelters.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4.3 magnitude quake reported in northern Oklahoma

    The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.3 struck northern Oklahoma on Monday night.

    July 29, 2014

  • 4 workers injured in SE Kansas oil refinery fire

    A Texas company says four workers at a southeast Kansas oil refinery were burned in an early morning fire.

    July 29, 2014

  • Seneca man draws concurrent term in sexual abuse case

    A 39-year-old man who sexually abused a girl over a four-year period in both Joplin and Seneca received a 15-year sentence Monday in Newton County that will run concurrently with a term he received earlier this year in Jasper County.

    July 28, 2014

  • Judge lifts seal on records in Parsons quadruple slaying

    A judge has rescinded his order sealing court records in the case of David Bennett Jr., who is accused of killing a Parsons woman and her three children.

    July 28, 2014

  • Defendant who pulled knife on ER doctor sent for treatment

    A man accused of pulling a knife on a Freeman Hospital West emergency room doctor pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Monday and was sentenced to the state prison system’s Institutional Treatment Center.

    July 28, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to build second local Neighborhood Market

    A second Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market store is planned for Joplin. The company has filed an application with the city to rezone nearly six acres of land on the west side of town in the tornado zone to build a new Neighborhood Market and gas station.

    July 28, 2014

  • r072814mailcar.jpg VIDEO: Train mail car trailered on Joplin's Main Street to Redings Mill

    With a police escort leading the way Monday, postal car No. 34 breezed through downtown Joplin en route to its new home in Redings Mill, where it was greeted by a welcome party of local residents and railroad enthusiasts.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that electronic devices and communications are protected from searches and seizure without a warrant, do you think Missouri needs Amendment 9 added to its constitution?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter