MOORE, Okla. – On May 20, 2013, Maylene Sorrels, a single mother of 10, was at Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore, Oklahoma along with her children, when a tornado destroyed the structure and her home. While working as a teacher’s aide, she became a local hero after protecting the children in her classroom.
Busy with her job as a teacher’s aide at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Maylene usually didn’t worry too much about her own children who were at various schools scattered throughout the Moore district. But on May 20, after sirens began to sound, Maylene found herself emotionally torn between protecting the students in her class and worrying for her own children. Her children consists of a blended family from a previous marriage and 4 nieces and nephews, whom she adopted. While she prayed and sang with the students, a twister came down on the school. She stayed calm and protected them. After the tornado, although she was slightly injured, she proceeded to check on her own children. Everyone survived.
Without a home, her family moved with friends and close relatives. They are currently renting a home close to where the Tornado hit. Even with the chaos brought by the storm, Maylene remains positive and thankful for a place called Moore and the family that lives there with her. This experience forced Maylene to start over. Her home was heavily damaged, both vehicles were destroyed and the school where she worked was leveled.
Although, many parents think of her as a hero, Maylene simply replies, “I did what any other mom would have done. I would do it again tomorrow.”
Today’s she’s trying to rebuild her life with her children. Even with the chaos brought by the storm, Maylene remains positive and thankful for a place called Moore and the family that lives with her. Her children are Taylor, Cody, Michael, Nicole, Aylee, Gabriella, Breanna, Dalton, Victoria and Jaden.
As PTA president, she has been fundraising with local businesses and families to build a new playground at the school.