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A new beginning

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Los Alamos students return to classroom for first day of school

By Sarah von Sternberg

Students of all ages walked, biked, bussed or drove to their respective school Thursday morning for the first day back to school.

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While some may have dragged their feet a bit as they approached the building, others practically skipped inside.
Regardless of the enthusiasm level, the beginning of a new school year is always full of promise: new classes, new teachers and maybe even new friends.

Another school year means another chance to excel as a student and grow as a person.

Some students look forward to diving into a challenging new course, while for others the excitement comes from diving into a swimming pool. The possibilities are endless.

The first day back is not only exciting for the students, but also for the teachers and staff. When asked what she likes about the first day of school, Mountain Elementary School Principal Jennifer Guy said, “The kids’ excitement and enthusiasm, the teachers are excited, and just the energy in the air. It’s really great.”

Guy also commented on the state of the returning kids, saying, “Some are nervous, some are excited…but I think the parents are more nervous than the kids.”

A group of incoming Aspen Elementary students proudly held up hand drawn signs, which colorfully indicated what grade they were about to enter. When asked what they were excited for, the answers were, “Everything!” and simply, “School!”

An older Aspen student, Sophia Ross, is coming into the elementary school with a unique perspective, as she was previously homeschooled. Ross is going into sixth grade and this will be her first experience in public school, something that can be quite a scary feat. Ross confidently said, “I’m excited to try new things today,” which is a great attitude for the beginning of something new.

Tessa New is a returning Los Alamos High School sophomore with electric blue hair and said she was excited for Fine Arts this year. New believes this will be a good year, especially due to the accelerated program she is in this year.

Ryan Hudson, an incoming sophomore as well, said he was looking forward to a few particular classes like Geometry, English and weightlifting. This will be his first year at weightlifting and Hudson remarked, “I think it’s going to be a good year.”

More LAHS students, Monica Smith and Bella Luke, sat outside before the first bell while they chatted and said “Hi” to passing friends. Both were ready for the first day of school, although a tad nervous, understandably.

Luckily for incoming high school freshman, some of the nerves were shaken off at Freshman Orientation Wednesday morning where they were able to check out the school and meet their peers.

The group of 270 freshman played games, toured the building and met their Topper Freshman Academy Principal, Jill Gonzales. 

“Link crew did a phenomenal job with the 9th grade students during orientation and we really feel that that transferred to a much smoother transition today,” said Gonzales. “Our teachers were commenting that this is one of the smoothest first days that they’ve seen.”

Overall, Gonzales said it was a fun day of reconnecting with friends and teachers, and feelings of optimism, school spirit and a fresh start were felt throughout.

Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus congratulated students and staff on a successful first day of school and said, “By all accounts, the 2017-18 school year for Los Alamos Public Schools is off to an outstanding beginning.”

Steinhaus visited each school on Thursday and his favorite quote came from an elementary student who said, “I had super-duper fun on the first day of first grade.”