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Nerves, Excitement Run High for Hugh Cole Students on First Day

Mixed emotions for both students and parents as summer ends and school year begins.

Despite Tuesday morning’s wet weather, students and parents were up and out early for the first day of school.

“I don’t want to see him go. I’ll miss his company,” said Tracy Mullen of her son Christopher DeCosta.

The two were waiting on Main Street in Warren for the school bus to pick up a small group of rain-drenched kids and deliver them to . DeCosta, like many of the other students, was excited to see who was going to be in his fourth grade class.

“But I think I know everybody,” he said.

DeCosta’s buddy, Drew Maynard, was also happy to start fourth grade. He had heard his teacher, Mrs. Vacchelli, was “really nice.” Plus, he was looking forward to spelling and science, his favorite subjects.

Nearby, five-year-old Christopher Romano was less excited than the older boys. He gripped his mom’s hand tightly, and looked down at the ground, He was worried about the first day of Kindergarten.

“When’s the bell going to ring?” he said.

“It rings at school, not out here,” said his mom, Ashley O’Brien.

O’Brien said she was anxious the night before, but was feeling much more calm on Tuesday morning. Mostly, she was concerned that all Romano’s friends were younger, so he wouldn’t know anyone in his class.

When the bus finally came, Romano climbed aboard bravely. Mother and son waved at one another until the bus pulled away.

Over at the school, Christine Gorman and her daughter Zoe trudged through an intense downpour toward the brick building. In a purple plaid skirt and matching tie, Zoe smiled brightly and said she was only “a little bit nervous” for school to start. Unlike most everyone else, Gorman said the delay caused by Hurricane Irene actually worked in their favor.

“The hurricane actually helped us,” she said. “She’s been sick for the last week and would’ve missed school if we’d started when we were supposed to.”

Tamara Kaplan also chose to drive her twin daughters, Edda and Iris, to school instead of putting them on the bus. Despite the fact they were going off to their first day of Kindergarten, Kaplan says she was nothing but excited for them.

“They’re going to have so much fun,” she said.

Marny Kindness, conversely, felt quite teary when her son Miles went off to Kindergarten. Fortunately, that was last year. This year she feels nothing but pride for the boy who seems “so much older" to her today. Kindness says that Miles was a bit nervous last night, but woke up full of energy.

“The first thing Miles said to his first grade teacher when she came up to him was, ‘Hi! Look at my new sneakers! And my new backpack!’ Then he started chatting with his friends, and I knew he would be fine.” Kindness says. “I'm so proud of him for being so adaptable, smart and confident.”

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