Summer break is officially over for students in Aiken and Edgefield counties.
At Hammond Hill Elementary School this morning, parents greeted one another as their children waved to and hugged their friends before school.
Nine-year-old Tommy Burch said that he most looked forward to “seeing my friends again” after the summer break.
The fourth-grader and his brother, Ben, who is in third grade, were accompanied to their classrooms by their mother, Deana Burch.
As a parent, it’s exciting to see the children get excited about the start of school and being ready to reconnect with their teachers and friends, said Burch, who volunteers regularly at the school.
Fifth-grader Shelby Enevoldsen has one goal in mind this year – “have a good year,” she said. The family was prepared for the school year, said her mother, Desiree Enevoldsen.
“My family prepares by gathering school supplies, getting our clothes together the night before and lots of prayer,” she said.
Teachers were all smiles as they waited for pupils to arrive.
Tamara Butler, the school’s current Teacher of the Year, said that she was eager to met and teach her new group of students.
“I’m looking forward to just getting into the school year with the new kids, learning their personalities … giving them everything second graders are going to need,” said Butler, who has taught at the school for 16 years.
At Paul Knox Middle School, pupils laughed, talked and caught up during their lunchtime.
So far, the day has been going well, said seventh-graders Mills Murphy and Abby Thornton.
“My first day of school has been really good,” said Mills, 12.
“It’s been really fun, for the classes I’ve been to,” said Abby, also 12.
Paul Knox Principal Kyle Smith said that he is returning to the North Augusta area after serving as principal at Kennedy Middle School.
“It allowed me to come back home,” Smith said of getting the position this month. “I live about two miles from the school and (am) very familiar with the community.”
Smith spent 17 years at North Augusta High School and four years at North Augusta Middle School before serving at Kennedy Middle.
Despite being a veteran in the education world, Smith said the first day of school never gets old.
“Even after 26 years in the schools, it’s always an exciting day to see the kids, the parents and the teachers,” he said.