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updated: 8/20/2013 2:13 PM

Mostly smiles at first day of school in Batavia

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  • Emmerson Pierce, 5, is not quite sure what the first day kindergarten holds for her as she stays close to her mom Tuesday at H.C. Storm Elementary School in Batavia.

      Emmerson Pierce, 5, is not quite sure what the first day kindergarten holds for her as she stays close to her mom Tuesday at H.C. Storm Elementary School in Batavia.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Sebastian Gruener, 5, is comforted by his mom, Coreen Larson, before Tuesday's first day of school at H.C. Storm Elementary School in Batavia. Sebastian, who was originally reluctant about kindergarten, walked right into class with the rest of the students.

      Sebastian Gruener, 5, is comforted by his mom, Coreen Larson, before Tuesday's first day of school at H.C. Storm Elementary School in Batavia. Sebastian, who was originally reluctant about kindergarten, walked right into class with the rest of the students.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 

By bus, by car, by bicycle and by foot, students poured into Batavia's public and private schools Tuesday for the first day of the new school year.

"I like my kids' excitement about the first day of school," said Megan Gabriel, after her two children had walked into H.C. Storm Elementary School.

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She also admitted to liking the resumption of a routine schedule for their days.

Parents snapped portraits of smiling kids with their new backpacks. One mom was heard whispering to her daughter, as she hugged her, "I love you more than anything."

"My favorite thing is to watch the kindergartners," said Brad Newkirk, the Batavia public school district's chief academic officer, who was greeting staff and parents at Storm.

New for District 101 this year are instructional coaches for teachers. There's a new principal at the high school, new assistant principals at the high school and Rotolo Middle School, and the addition of two assistant principals at elementary schools.

It also has a new superintendent, Lisa Hichens. Hichens, formerly the high school principal, took over July 1 for Jack Barshinger, who retired.

The district added the equivalent of 7 full-time teachers to the staff. And it has 36 new teachers.

As of Tuesday, 6,309 children were enrolled in the district, about the same number as last year.

Over at Holy Cross Catholic School, growing enrollment led the school to convert a storage room in to a kindergarten classroom over the summer.

Immanuel Lutheran also started classes Tuesday.

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