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"Great Year" Underway at Stetson Elementary School

The Murphy boys arrive at Stetson Elementary School Aug. 2. Students and parents descended upon Stetson Elementary School Aug. 2 for the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

“This will be good for his independence,” said Kristin Murphy, about her son Ashton, 5, entering kindergarten. “He’s spent a lot of time with Mom.”

Kristin was dropping off Ashton’s brothers, Ethan, 8, third-grade, and Noah, 10, fifth grade prior to the first bell of the school year.

“I’m looking forward to getting better at reading in third grade,” said Ethan.

Parents were seen giving hugs and taking photographs of their children in front of the school to mark the beginning of another year.

“Meeting new kids and people is exciting,” said Lillian Randall, 5, heading toward her kindergarten classroom. “And my name is on my lunchbox. I have everything in here.”

Lillian took a picture with her family in front of the marquee prior to entering the building.

“She’s already reading well,” said Lillian’s dad, David. “I’m looking forward to seeing how she grows in a full school environment.”

Master Sgt. Kiki Hancock, 21st Operations Support Squadron, US Air Force, sat on a bench with her husband and their son Jayden, 7, before the main doors opened.

“He’ll be learning more and making more friends,” said Hancock. “He’s been here since pre-k so he’s comfortable here.”

“I’m most excited for second grade,” said Jayden.

SES librarian Lori Cunningham serves as crossing guard Aug. 2.  The Hancock family waits for the SES front doors to open Aug. 2.  Faith Sheets, 6, charges toward the SES front door Aug 2.

Crossing guards were busy helping the families navigate the drop off line and crosswalks to keep everyone safe.

“This is the best part of the job,” said Lori Cunningham, also the school’s librarian. “I get to see everyone and say hello at the beginning and end of the day."

Faith Sheets, 6, first-grader, stomped toward the school ahead of her mom, Katie, and sister, Elizabeth, only one month old.

“I’m excited because my baby sister won’t be here,” said Faith as her Mom smiled.

“I’m most excited about meeting my teacher,” said Marcus Starks, 8, getting right to work on a project after finding his seat in his third grade classroom. “It’s going to be a great year.”

The Randall family walks toward the front door of Stetson Elementary School Aug. 2.

Matt Meister