Sioux Falls, SD
The Pledge of Allegiance around the flagpole; one of many traditions that make up the history of Mark Twain Elementary School. As students file in for their first day of classes, they know that some of that history will soon only be a memory.
"We have another great year ahead for us at Mark Twain and that's exciting. There's a big change coming up, and that's exciting, too, but it's a little bittersweet," teacher Kristi Hauck said.
That change is a brand new school. By this time next year, the new Susan B. Anthony Elementary will be ready to welcome students.
"They are excited to watch the construction of the new Susan B. Anthony Elementary School. They're excited about having a wonderful, beautiful new library and media center. The playground will be park-like," principal Marie Rickert said.
The last first day of school is enough to bring back former students, including Drew Reaves, who attended Mark Twain in the 1960s.
"It was just an awesome place to grow up back then. I had a lot of fun, made a lot of friends that are still my friends today, actually," Reaves said.
Even with the excitement of getting back to school, students still understand what it means to say goodbye.
"I'm really sad because my parents have gone here and I think my grandparents have gone here and I really like this place; it's so fun," fourth-grader Katie Jensen said.
It will be one more year of learning at Mark Twain before students make their own history in the new school.
"Make the most of it. This is still Mark Twain; this is still our school. We have this for one more year, enjoy it and we'll face the change when it comes and take it one day at a time," Hauck said.
Mark Twain Elementary will be torn down once classes end in May.