I have to share a tornado related story here that I think is important for others to read:
When I walked into Briarwood Elementary on May 20th to pick up my daughter due to dangerous storm coming, I was immediately told I needed to go to the hallway where the pre K class was taking cover. As I rounded the corner, I saw my daughter's Pre k teacher, Stacey Montgomery, kneeling on the floor, hovering if you will, and patting the backs of several children in her class. Because the children were kneeling and were face down, I had to ask her where my daughter, Addison, was. She pointed her out and I knelled down and started mimicking the actions that I saw Stacey Montgomery doing to comfort these children. There was another teacher or parent or school volunteer that was on the other side of me helping with the children in the Pre K class. There was a lot of commotion and action of people trying to get in place and take cover. The sirens were blaring and I even noticed that there were several adults that were in tears as I walked in. Stacey Montgomery has these children so comforted and made them feel so secure, many of them, my daughter included, were smiling.
Then we heard the massive roar of this ominous storm. As the roar got louder, we all drew closer to the children. Then, the sirens stopped. The other adult that was helping with the Pre K class asked me if it was over. She said, is it done? Are we safe? I said, I don't know, let me go see. I walked out the west hallway door to look for the location of the storm. It was about 100 yards away, and as I looked, the house that was next door to the school, exploded into mere splinters. I ran back into the school, and as calmly as I could tell the teachers, I said, "It's here. Get our heads down." I saw the size of this tornado, and that it was heading directly at us.
The sounds of wind, and what was most likely debris started to make deafening sounds. Then, suddenly, the door at the end of the hallway, that was about 15 feet away from us, snapped open. the noise and scene was horrible. Stacey Montgomery, without hesitation, crawled over to the door and pulled it back closed. She sat in the floor holding the door, trying to keep it closed. Her screams and cries were drowned out by the roar of the storm. Suddenly, the tornado ripped the door from her hands and nearly pulled her out of the doorway. She quickly crawled back to the children and laid across them.
When it was over, and I had found our path out, Stacey Montgomery made sure that every child in her class followed us out. She made sure that everyone of them were out in the parking lot and safe.
I know there were other teachers that did similar things at the school that day, but I will say, that I saw no one show the bravery and offer the sacrifice that Stacey Montgomery did. She is the greatest hero I know during this horrific storm. Thank you to all of the teachers at Briarwood Elementary. Stacey Montgomery, you are indeed a hero. Thank you.