WYNNE, Ark. – Class is back in session in Wynne for the first time since a tornado tore through the city nearly two weeks ago.
The process started Wednesday with elementary school students who were welcomed back at Wynne Intermediate School. Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, school officials and staff came together to cheer and greet students going back to school.
School officials say kindergarten through eighth graders were welcomed on Wednesday and they will welcome back high schoolers on Thursday and Friday.
Sarah Riddle is the mother of 8-year-old Remington Riddle. She said she couldn’t believe her eyes after the destruction the twister left.
“When I saw the school right after it happened, I was like okay things are about to change,” Riddle said.
School officials said they had already released all students and staff when the tornado hit, so no one was inside the schools. Riddle said she is grateful no one was hurt and did not expect for students to be back in less than two weeks.
“I’m actually pretty surprised we’re going back as fast as we are,” Riddle said.
Wynne School District Superintendent Kenneth Moore said his colleagues worked tirelessly to try to bring their students and staff back to school.
“I can’t thank my team enough. These guys worked sometimes until 1 or 2 in the morning,” Moore said.
Officials said one of the school’s supporters was Sanders. She said the state is in Wynne as a partner for every step of the way until the city is fully back on its feet.
“It’s so incredibly important for them to get back to having a routine and some normalcy,” Sanders said.
She also says some of the resources they used to help the school district was connecting them with some of their private partnerships.
“A company out of Little Rock came and helped set up an air conditioning system in one of the gymnasiums so they could use that facility for classrooms,” Sanders said.
Students walked back into school seeing decorations everywhere to show how much they were missed.
“We’re really excited to have all the kids back and I think the kids are excited to come back,” parent Jessica Burkett said.
As recovery continues in Wynne, the governor said she will continue to be there for them and give them all the help she can.