“I’ll start again…” Teacher affected by two tornadoes, in two years, at two different schools

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MOORE, Okla. -- A Moore elementary school heavily damaged following Wednesday's tornado, is all too familiar for one first grade teacher.

Waynel Mayes made headlines back in 2013, after she and a class of first graders were pulled from the rubble at Briarwood Elementary.

Two years later, it's a new school, with new students, but a new storm means yet another classroom for Miss Mayes.

If you stop by Emmaus Baptist Church, you may find box after box, stacked and packed waiting to be delivered to a teacher in need.

"The church has been so wonderful to us," said one teacher. "We're very thankful."

For at least the next year, the church will play host to Southgate Elementary, after parts of the school crumbled earlier this week.

The boxes outside are filled with items found at Southgate, but few of these will be brought to the door of Ms. Mayes.

"I haven't got to see my room," said Waynel Mayes. "It's condemned on the right side of the building."

There's little salvageable from her room, but Waynel will be ready for school on Monday, thanks to some generous donations.

"I feel very fortunate that I'm taken care of by so many people."

This is her first year at Southgate, but not her first time in the church.

Waynel was a teacher at Briarwood Elementary in 2013. School activities relocated to Emmaus Baptist that year as well, after an EF-5 tornado brought the school down.

She and her first graders sang 'Jesus Loves Me' for what felt like hours, as the walls fell down around them.

"We were there for a long time," said Mayes. "I lost a classroom this time, this is nothing."

So as the boxes pass by, Ms. Mayes is content with new supplies, and new beginnings.

"These are just things. I'll start again."

Ms. Mayes says though there's a busy weekend ahead for her, she'll be ready to go come school time on Monday.

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