BLAINE - Blaine schools all started at the same time for the first time this year, making for a frenzied but fun morning rush as kids of all ages poured from cars and buses Wednesday, Aug. 27.
At the high school, the first day of school started off with some pep, as cheerleaders performed and administrators amped kids up at an assembly before classes began.
A group of seniors, including the class president, came to school dressed as senior citizens in honor of their status as the old kids on the block. Matt Kelly dressed as Gandalf the White, from the "Lord of the Rings," and announced to freshmen at the assembly: "You shall not pass geometry!"
"It feels awesome," Kelly said of being a senior. "It's the last year we're in high school, and I couldn't be more excited."
Though the summer sun made some students bummed to be back inside, Kelly didn't mind being back on campus.
"Summer is fun to have a break, but it's not fun to be away from good friends," he said. "It's good to come back to school, where you're forced by law to see your friends every day."
High school senior Mariana Arena said the morning was hectic with the change of starting times, but she was excited to start her last year of school.
"It's cool because it's the last year," she said. "It's kind of scary, but it's exciting."
Science teacher Donald Sayegh marveled over how fast the freshmen had turned to seniors, recalling having the seniors in his class when they were just starting at high school.
"It's been a great summer. I hate to see it end with the good weather, but it's great to see the kids," he said. "This is where we all belong."
Blaine's school board voted Monday to bring a $45 million bond before voters in February, and most of that bond will focus on rebuilding and renovating the high school. Students and teachers seemed to agree that the aging campus could use some fixing. Having more room, not having to go outside to get from class to class and having better ventilation in the classrooms would all help, they said.
"It'd be nice because the school is pretty old," junior Aaron Freeman said. "In the winter, it's annoying having to walk around in the rain to get to classes."