The first day of school

That new building smell. All those new, fresh faces. It must be ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Syndal Castaneda Rogers, 9, a fourth-grade student at Duncombe Elementary School, is a bit shocked to see just how many school supplies she has to organize Wednesday morning as class gets started on the first day of school.

Duncombe Elementary School fourth-grader Syndal Castaneda Rogers, 9, had a small problem Wednesday morning as she spent the first few minutes of class trying to put all her school supplies away.

The drawer in her desk was too small to hold it all, no matter how carefully she worked to arrange it.

She had other things on her mind, though.

“I’m excited to learn more about school and other things,” she said.

She would have a chance at that later in the day. All of the students attending school on the very first day of class in their very new school were scheduled to get a tour.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Jessica Abrams comforts her son Yadiel Sanchez, 5, as she gets to leave during the start of his first day of kindergarten Wednesday at Duncombe Elementary School.

Aside from her desk drawer, she was pretty happy with the building.

“I like that there’s more space,” she said. “There’s more things down in the lunchroom.”

She was also hoping for time with her favorite subjects.

“I like to study science and reading,” she said.

Principal Pat Reding spent the morning outside making sure that his students got across the street safely and into the building without a hitch. For most of those arriving, it was a new traffic pattern.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Damien Smith, 6, and his sister Addison Rauhauser, 6, pose for a picture Wednesday morning as they start their first day of first-grade at Duncombe Elementary School. Mariah Messerly takes care of the photo chores.

“I know it’s a little further, but would you please walk down to the crosswalk and go across there,” he told a family about to cross mid-block. “Please use the crossing.”

He spent plenty of time with several teachers and staff saying hello to the new arrivals.

“I like to thank the parents for entrusting their youngsters to us,” he said. “We promise we’ll take good care of them.”

The first day in a new building that still has that entirely new building smell was a delight for him.

“It’s so exciting,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of first days and this is as excited as I’ve ever been. It’s fantastic.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen There was a little confusion among the kindergarten students Wednesday morning about right hand and left hand as they recite the Pledge of Alliegance during their first day of school flag raising ceremony.

The new building replaces a structure that was found structurally deficient on the same site. Duncombe students have been attending classes in the former Fair Oaks Middle School for several years.

That history isn’t forgotten. A stone engraved with “Duncombe 1912” is built into the entrance. It became the backdrop for dozens of first-day-of-school pictures.

Yadial Sanchez, 5, got a little emotional when it was time to say “see you later” to his mom, Jessica Abrams.

A few tears were shed.

“He’s a little scared today,” she said.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Duncombe Elementary School teacher Jenny Litwiler stops to visit with Daniel Cardenas, 6, a first-grader and his mom, Danitza Cardenas Wednesday morning at Duncombe Elementary School.

Sofia Blanco, 5, was pretty anxious to get her day in kindergarten started.

Her dad, Danile Blanco, took her to school and her sister, Sara Blanco, 4, came along to watch.

“I’m excited for her,” he said.

She was pretty excited too.

“She always sleeps in,” he said. “Today she was up and ready to go early.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Rae Lynn Larson helps her son Erik Larson, 9, makes sure he’s got everything he needs for his first day of school in his backpack Wednesday morning at Duncombe Elementary School. Larson is a fourth-grade student this year.

Erik Larson, 9, was starting his fourth-grade year Wednesday.

He, too, had some things he was looking forward to.

“The math,” he said. “Or maybe getting a tour of the school.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Among Duncombe Elementary School’s principal Pat Reding’s many task Wednesday morning was helping a parent get backed out of their parking spot and exit the parking area in the right direction.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Duncombe Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Kristin Hatton meets with her new group of students Wednesday morning to help them get to know each other better.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Sara Blanco, 4, along with her dad, Daniel Blanco, peek into the classroom as Sofia Blanco, 5, begins her first day of kindergarten at Duncombe Elementary School.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Students make their way to class Wednesday morning during the first day of school at Duncombe Elementary School.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Duncombe Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Reekha Dolley had a friendly greeting on her window for her students on the first day of school Wednesday.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Students gathering in front of Duncombe Elementary School for the first day of school flag raising ceremony are reflected in the surface of a balloon decorating the entrance to welcome them to school.

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