With backpacks draped over their shoulders, filled with new school supplies, 576 students burst through the front doors of Mitchell Elementary School.
It was a time to be joyful. As of 2:55 p.m. on Aug. 17, this year's Mitchell Mustangs had …
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It was a time to be joyful. As of 2:55 p.m. on Aug. 17, this year's Mitchell Mustangs had successfully completed the first day of the 2017-18 academic year.
“The kids had a really good time today,” said Janelle Nelson-Gardner, the assistant principal. “There were so many smiles and happy faces.”
But it was a full first day, Nelson-Gardner added. Along with the getting-to-know-each other activities, students participated in what will be their normal routine until spring next year. They received lessons, had lunch and a recess break and went to their specials — art, music and P.E.
“I loved it,” said fifth grader Koah Wozniak. “I really like all my teachers. They seem funny and fun.”
But Wozniak has attended Mitchell since the first grade and mentioned that she's “never had a mean teacher.”
“Koah loves to learn here,” her mom Katie Chandler said, adding her daughter especially enjoys the afterschool activities, such as pottery and zumba. “This is her place.”
Principal Samantha Hollman runs a great school, said Kim Suman, vice president of the PTA.
“I love the fact that Sam knows every kid by their first name,” she said. “I love the togetherness of our school community.”
Suman's son A.J. entered the second grade this year, but her daughter goes to The Manning School, a Jefferson County option school for seventh and eighth graders.
“She's a new seventh grader, so I'm excited to hear about how her day went,” Suman said.
Likewise, Canice Rupp was waiting outside the front doors to hear about her children's first day went. Rupp has two children that go to Mitchell — a third grader named Sebastian and a fifth grader named Isabella.
“There was a little bit of anxiety with the fifth grade,” Rupp said, “because they change classes for the first time.”
Isabella was nervous because she will have more than one teacher in one day, and she wasn't sure if she would always know where to go for her various classes, Rupp said.
But when Isabella joined her mother outside after completing the day, she reported back that everything went OK.
“I had a remarkable first day,” said fifth grade teacher Adam Markert. “I have brilliant kids. I was really impressed with their jump-right-in mentality.”
This is Markert's 12th year of teaching, but his first year at Mitchell, and he said it was the best first day of school he's ever had.
“We're going to have a great year,” Markert said.
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