First day fun

The first day of school started off with a few tears for kindergartner Ethan Uganski, but he ended the day with a bright smile.
Krystle Wagner
Sep 4, 2013


Uganski, 5, smiled and hugged his mother after a successful first day at Holmes Elementary School, joining thousands of local children who returned to school on Tuesday.

“He was excited until we started leaving (for school), then he cried a little,” said Ethan's mother, Heidi Uganski.

The young learner said he’s looking forward to the rest of the school year.

“Because it’s fun,” Ethan said.

Fellow kindergartner Cooper Lenkeek said he had a good first day of school. The 5-year-old said he enjoyed playing with friends, but the highlight of his day happened early in the morning.

“Riding the bus,” Cooper said.

Second-grader Jadon Thayer left Peach Plains Elementary School with some joy because he didn’t have homework on the first day, but his mother did since she had paperwork to finish.

The 7-year-old said the best part about returning to school this year is getting to play on the second-graders' playground.

Keith Konarska, superintendent of Grand Haven Area Public Schools, said Tuesday went great throughout the district. He said they're working out some transportation issues, as is typical of first days of school, and worked to resolve a problem with the phone system before the school day ended.

Although a couple of students were nervous Tuesday morning, Peach Plains Elementary School second-grade teacher Beth Bolhuis said her students had a “fabulous” day. She said it was great getting to know her students and making connections with them.

As the school year progresses, Bolhuis said she hopes her students "learn a million things," but a few are priorities.

“I want them to know how valued they are," she said, "and continue to do their best when things are difficult."

See the photo galleries of the first day back to school at



“I want them to know how valued they are," she said, "and continue to do their best when things are difficult."

I know many adults that could use you assistance Ms. Bolhuis.


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