Big smiles mixed with a few tears Tuesday as students headed back to school at Lake Ripley Elementary School.

Most of the students who bounded off of the steady stream of buses seemed happy and excited for their first day of the new school year — for many kindergartners, their first day of school period.

But there was some apprehension, both from the young students and from some parents.

All were greeted by smiling teachers and administration, in addition to school resource officer Aaron Nelson, who stood outside the building’s main entrance, welcoming students with waves, high-fives and other encouragement.

Brent Schacherer is publisher of the Hutchinson Leader and Litchfield Independent Review.

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