Class is in again

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 2, 1999

Third grader Adam Johnson woke up for school today with a tummy ache.

Thursday, September 02, 1999

Third grader Adam Johnson woke up for school today with a tummy ache.

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"He’s kind of nervous," said his mother, Debbie. "He’s got butterflies."

On the first day of school in Austin, Debbie Johnson and scores of other parents arrived at Banfield Elementary walking hand-in-hand with their children.

Meanwhile, principal Brenda Saxton ushered young pupils off the bus and into the school where they’ll spend a good deal of the coming nine months.

Daphne Wickham and her son Eric, a kindergartner, walked together down the hallway.

While Eric said he was "kind of" excited, Daphne wasn’t looking forward to returning home, where an empty nest awaited her.

"This is my baby," she said. "He was my last one at home and now he’s going to be gone all day. It’s kind of emotional."

Stephanie Stark took the day off of work, planning to clean the house. But only after she let go of her kindergartner, Jake.

"I’m sad," Stark said. "It’s like he’s growing up. He’s not going to be my baby anymore."

Jake woke up this morning and, for the first time, expressed fear.

"His big concern was he’s not going to know anybody," said Stark, who reminded Jake that he’ll know a friend from day-care.

The entire Lopez family arrived at shortly before 8 a.m. Father Elias, mother Eva, and their two sons, Xavier, a second grader, and Abraham, a kindergartner, strode to the school entrance like they always do on the first day of school.

"We’re really enjoying this," said Eva, who comforted her youngest by telling him he’s going to meet new friends and new teachers.

"There’s a lot of changes in our life."

Crossing guard Gordy Harder watched and admired as the families arrived in waves. Last year, Harder was there when his granddaughter entered her first day of kindergarten in St. Cloud.

"It’s the way it should be," he said. "They’ll always remember it."