HOUSTON — If there were ever a story to tell during Teacher Appreciation Week, this would be it.
We know teachers go above and beyond, when storms roll through in the Houston area, sometimes "going above and beyond" means camping out with your students.
"We never want to be too quick to make decisions, because we know it affects our families," said Southside Primary principal Janie Snyder.
On Tuesday afternoon, as severe storms rolled northeast of Houston toward Cleveland, Snyder and administrators with Cleveland ISD watched the radar.
Roads were flooding, and at 6 p.m., parents and buses were having trouble navigating dry roads.
"We have Pre-K all the way up to 5th grade, so roughly 4 years old all the way to 11 and 12," said Snyder of the students who are her primary concern. "We had at approximately 6 p.m...roughly 1,000 students still, maybe 1,100."
Five photos posted by Cleveland ISD on its Twitter page chronicle what happened next.
Snyder, administrators and teachers opened the campus cafeteria and prepared meals for more than 1,000 students to eat.
"Until the numbers got low enough, the students stayed in their classrooms with their teachers," Snyder said.
A majority of the students were picked up by their parents, but about 60 of them had to sleep at the school.
Southside's gym was transformed into a shelter.
"We had our soft music playing and lamps on in the gym, and it was actually very comforting, I think," Snyder said.
As students slept, teachers kept watch.
Wednesday morning, educators were back in the kitchen to prepare breakfast for the students.
"The way everybody pulled together," Snyder said. "When something like this happens, just like when we had Harvey, and this campus was used as a shelter, just the way people pour in and help. It’s not about what their job title is, it’s about taking care of kids."