Last Thursday marked the first day back for students of the White Salmon Valley School District for the 2013-2014 school year.
At Whitson Elementary School, some parents gently coaxed their children into their first day of public education and meanwhile at Columbia High School freshmen could be seen nervously learning where their classes were while some audible groans could be heard by upperclassmen clearly unenthused by the thought of summer vacation slipping away.
Dan Williams stood outside of Whitson with his two children, Sara and Matt, both 6, and both ready for their first day of kindergarten. Williams clutched a bucket of flowers ready for teachers, including his wife, Becky, who had her first day teaching fourth grade at Whitson on Thursday.
“I’m a little sad, but I’m super excited and they’ve been waiting anxiously all summer for this. They have some really great teachers,” Williams said.
For other parents, the end of summer came with a sigh of relief. Jessica Labryer dropped off her 7-year-old son, Luke, at Whitson on Thursday ready for the new school year to begin.
“It’s great and I’m ready. We had a fun, fun summer, but it’s time,” she said.
At Henkle Middle School, Cher Yarnell dropped her son, Josh, 10, off for his first day of fifth grade. Both took solace in the fact that Josh’s cousin, Gunnar, would have his back on his first day of middle school.
“It seems too early, but I’m excited, for sure,” Yarnell said.
Across the parking lot at Columbia High School, freshmen were feeling similar pangs of nervousness. Raven Ericson, 14, rushed into the building after being dropped off by her mom.
Her first stop? The office to visit Mindy Rude, attendance and discipline secretary, to get a feel for where her classes were and the layout of the building.
Butterflies aside, Ericson maintained a positive attitude about taking the next step in her academic life.
“I’ve met a lot of teachers and I think they’re pretty cool, but right now my stomach is doing flip-flops,” Ericson said. “Yeah, I have a good feeling about this school.”