Remembering May 20th, 5 years later
Temperatures to climb back up over the next few days

The Untold Stories: Plaza Towers teachers turn heroes for students in their care

MOORE, Okla. – There were no cowards, just courage. Plaza Towers teachers and staff faced one of the angriest tornadoes Oklahoma has ever seen.

They knew it was coming and had the option to leave.

"I just kept saying the Lord's Prayer and I don't want to die," said counselor Kristin Atchley.

Everyone stayed and braced for the inevitable.

"You'll do anything to take care of those kids. Absolutely anything. Things you never thought you were capable of," Atchley told News 4.

Lindsie Wright safely tucked her class in a bathroom. No room for herself, Wright and an assistant held onto each other in the hall.

"We linked arms together and her husband was on the phone praying. At one point, we separated. The wind separated us, and I remember not knowing what happened," said Wright.

When it was over, the roof above Wright was gone. But, her students walked out of Plaza Towers without a scratch.

Emily Eischen's classroom was demolished. But, the kids in her care, also unscathed.

"I remember seeing a police officer. He came over to calm the kid's nerves. He knelt down and said, 'I know you're scared. I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure you're okay and safe.' In that moment, it gave us a bit of hope," Eischen recalled.

Within minutes, there was a cavalry of police, firefighters and unsung heroes.

"I remember scanning around and seeing people running to help us," said Atchley.

Atchley climbed out of the debris and immediately began directing volunteers.

“We've got more kids. We're moving kids. Get the triage center. And I would stand there so hopeful," she told News 4.

Hundreds of children survived that horrible day in May because of their bravery. When children are in jeopardy, teachers do so much more than teach.