AUBURN — Sporting a pink backpack, pink sneakers and an excited smile, Aurora Martel, 5, greeted her school principal Wednesday with big news.

“I brought enough money to buy a milk!” Aurora said to East Auburn Community School Principal Sue Dorris. There was more.

“See my backpack? I’ve got three kinds of pencils, one eraser is purple, one’s a blue eraser, and one’s a pink eraser.” The little girl was literally jumping up and down about starting kindergarten. “She’s very excited,” said her father, Chris Martel.

Summer’s over. The big yellow buses rolled across Lewiston-Auburn, Greene, Sabattus and Poland as schools opened.

Lewiston High School, Edward Little, Leavitt and Poland high schools begin Thursday for grades 10-12, which allowed the freshmen to have their new school to themselves on Wednesday.

At the Lewiston Middle School, school begins late on Sept. 2 because more time is needed to ready classrooms in the school renovation construction.


As the first day of school got underway Wednesday, children stood with parents at bus stops.

Parents showed up early at schools with cameras, ready to catch the big day.

East Auburn, the smallest school in Lewiston-Auburn with a student population of about 190, was no exception.

Thomas Dunn said he photographs his children on the first day on the school steps every year. Standing with his wife, Susan, he said their daughter, Caroline, 21, “went here 15 years ago.” Their youngest, Cooper, is starting the fifth grade. “We have a 25-year-old starting law school today.”

Deanna Nyberg, the mother of four sons, stood with her youngest, Oliver Vincecruz. The 5-year-old leaned into his mother, a bit shy, when someone told him his new haircut looked great.

Fourth-grader A.J. Fournier, 9, was with his mother, Stacey Fournier, and grandmother, Alfreda Fournier. Stacey had flowers for the principal, celebrating Dorris recently getting her doctoral degree.


Fournier said he was glad to go back to school, mostly. “I’m happy about seeing my friends, but I’m not so excited about homework,” he said.

After the last bus pulled up, the principal stood on the school steps and rang a hand bell. She raised her hand, the signal for everyone to stop talking. Students raised their hands too and became quiet.

“Good morning boys and girls!” Dorris said.

“Good morning Dr. Dorris,” they replied.

“Welcome to a new school year, and welcome to our new kindergarten class,” she said.

Everyone applauded the new students.


“We are so excited to have you here. Are you ready to learn and have fun?” Dorris asked.

“Yes!” students answered.

One grade at a time, students filed in. Teachers checked attendance, found out who was taking hot or cold lunch. Students recited the Pledge of Allegiance. The year had begun.

In Sabattus, RSU 4 Superintendent Jim Hodgkin said the first day of school in his district went well. “It wasn’t perfect,” he said.

A few buses were early or late.

“One missed a whole road. I talked to those parents, they’re all fine,” he said.


Hodgkin visited Oak Hill Middle School. The vibe from students, he said, was some were excited, some couldn’t believe the summer was over. “They said, ‘I’m not awake yet,'” Hodgkin said.

At the Sabattus Primary School, youngsters were happy to be back. “The kids were all jazzed up,” Hodgkin said.

In Lewiston, Superintendent Bill Webster visited all nine schools, beginning at 7:45 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m.

School got off to a good start, he said.

“All the buildings looked great. The custodians did a fantastic job,” Webster said. “The smiles I’m seeing from students, parents and staff is uplifting. Everyone’s spirits are very high, allowing us to deal with this heat just fine.”

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