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Off to a good start

Parents shuffled their kids into elementary school classrooms, dropped off the middle school kids and waved goodbye to the high schoolers at the breakfast table Monday as the 2015-2016 academic year got underway.

The summer time preparations and teacher training paid off in Pilot Point. At the elementary school, Superintendent Dan Gist greeted the kids and said the full hallways made the hard work worth it.

“At the admin office, it gives us kind of a break actually. We’re pretty busy during the summer, so it’s nice to see the smiling faces,” Gist said. “It’s an exciting time of year. Everybody shows up in new clothes and new shoes. It’s a fun time. It’s a good time.”

Lily Kirby, 7, started first grade Monday and said she’s looking forward to her reading classes. Her brother, Jake, 6, started kindergarten and hopes school will be fun. He said he likes painting.

In the Aubrey High School parking lot Aug. 20, students and parents personalized parking spaces with latex paint and creativity. Senior Abbey Brewer created a bright, polka dot display to celebrate her entrance to her final year in high school.

“It kind of makes the school more lively,” Brewer said. “It looks not as depressing as some people would say school is.

“It’s makes everything more fun and brings the community together, talk to more students.”

HL Brockett Elementary School Principal Connie Lott and Assistant Principal Kari Abrams stood at the intersection of three hallways taking hug after hug from returning students.

“It’s absolutely wonderful,” Lott said. “The children are happy and the parents are happy. We’re prepared and ready for them. It’s just a great beginning and we always look forward to it.”

Abrams is the school’s first assistant principal. First and second grade classes have grown, but overall enrollment is slightly lower than last year after the district moved fifth grade to the middle school.

“Because we prepared ahead of time and started making preparations, we were able to accommodate the growth of Aubrey,” Lott said.

At the Tioga School where administrators wear multiple hats, Principal Cody Patton showed school spirit as he patrolled the hallways in a bright green tie. Assistant Superintendent Josh Ballinger said it felt like the school picked up where it left off June 4.

“It’s been really smooth. They just rolled right in,” Ballinger said. “We’ve seen some new faces, but our older students have helped them out quite a bit. That’s an advantage to being a smaller school. Everyone notices when there is a new student and they usually chip in and help them out.”

Assistant Editor Steve Schwartz contributed to this report.

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