School starts

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Elsie Meier, 5, wasn’t too happy that her mom, Allison Meier, was going to leave her at school Friday morning as classes began at St. Edmond Catholic School. Elsie Meier was OK a few minutes later.

It took a few quiet conversations and a few hugs with her mom before Elsie Meier, 5, made it all the way to her kindergarten classroom Friday morning as classes began for the year at St. Edmond Catholic School.

Her mom, Allison Meier, assured her it would all be OK — outside on the sidewalk, in the hallway and finally, with a few tears, in the classroom.

Allison Meier was sure it would be fine.

“It’s just three,” she said. “We’re going to be great now.”

This is Elsie Meier’s second year. She was one classroom down in pre-k last year.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Clayton Gullickson, at left and his fellow pre-k student Anna Nickelson work on their right hand/left hand over heart during the Pledge of Alliegance Friday morning at the first assembly of the school year at St. Edmond Catholic School. Both are 4.

“The building is familiar,” Allison Meier said. “We talked about all the fun things.”

Of course, as a mom, she might shed a tear or two herself.

“There might be,” she said. “I’ll wait till I leave, though.”

Her kindergarten teacher, Cathy Prelip, has become an expert on welcoming her students.

“I just try to make them feel like it’s their home,” Prelip said.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Ashley Makuch and her daughter, Madison Makuch, 5, cast long shadows Friday morning as they spend a few mintutes making sure everything is just perfect for the first day of kindergarten at St. Edmond Catholic School.

Within minutes, Elsie Meier was looking at a book, her smile returning and her eyes dry.

“I try to get their mind off of it,” Prelip said. “Before you know it they’re on with their day.”

That first day of sending their child off to school can be harder on parents than their children.

Ashley Makuch was seeing her daughter, Madison Makuch, 5, off to kindergarten.

“I’m a little nervous,” she said. “But I’m OK.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Harrison Carzoli, 6, poses on the park bench by the St. Edmond sign Friday morning as he prepares to go inside for his first day of first grade.

She’s confident her daughter is in good hands.

“We know the school is good,” she said.

Harrison Carzoli, 6, was starting his first-grade year.

He got his picture taken standing on the bench by the big St. Edmond sign.

He was excited to get inside and start learning, his most anticipated subject.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Elsie Meier, 5, gets a hug from her mom, Allison Meier as they make their way towards her kindergarten classroom Friday morning at St. Edmond Catholic School. Elsie Meier was OK once she spent a little time in her new classroom.

“I get to learn math,” he said.

Of course, the teachers are excited to see their new students.

Julie Irwin, who teaches pre-k, will have students joining her next week. She was really enjoying seeing last year’s group settling into their new rooms with their new teachers.

“They all look so grown-up in their uniforms,” she said. “I’m visiting all their rooms this morning.”

After a few minutes of putting away supplies, getting to meet their desk partners and all the other quick tasks that start the day, all the students made their way to the gym for an assembly.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
St. Edmond Catholic School students walk towards their first assembly Friday morning as classes get underway for the year.

The Rev. Brian Feller used Legos as a metaphor for the upcoming year.

“We have the opportunity to build something really cool,” he said. “You can look at the school year the same way, the pieces are your time. They’re all pieces of your school year. What are you going to build?”