Students, teachers set for first day of school


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Students aren’t the only ones anxious about the new school year.

“I’m nervous, but I’m really excited. I’m not really a worrier, so I’m just going to let the first day happen,” Firsty-year teacher Nicole Mutchler said.

Mutchler has been hard at work getting her new classroom ready for the school year.

“Having my own classroom has been really fun. It’s a lot of work; I’ve spent a lot of long nights here at school getting everything ready,” Mutchler said.

Kids have to leave their family during the school day. But Mutchler is hoping they find a new one in their classmates.

“I really stressed to parents in our conferences that we were going to try and model our classroom values after family values, so we protect each other, we look out for each other, we forgive each other, and we just support each other all of the time,” Mutchler said.

Giving them all the motivation to know they can make It through the year.

“I also love motivational quotes and mantras, I have a Monday mantra and a motivational quotes everywhere because I want them to be surrounded by knowing that they’re supported and knowing they deserve to be here,” Mutchler said.

That same support goes out to her fellow colleague and new third-grade teacher Kelli Moeller, who is just down the hall.

“Nicole and I know each other from Augie, so we’re alum and were in this together,” Moeller said.

She too is looking to give her classroom her own unique spin.

“I’m trying to incorporate a lot of mindfulness so my students just know that if they’re feeling upset, they can just take a breath. I just want them to feel like this class is super calm and inviting,” Moeller said.

A teacher’s main focus is on helping students, but they never forget to help each other on the way.

“All of the staff here has been super helpful with my first year here and just being new to the building, so I’ve had lots of support,” Moeller said.

Moeller says if she could tell her new students anything before the big day: 

“I would tell them that the teachers are nervous too, so it’s really OK and just take it in stride,” Moeller said.

“When they get into school, they are a part of something bigger, it’s not just about them anymore, there are people there all the time for them,” Mutchler said.

And a chance to explore a new beginning.

“Let’s do this. It’s a fresh start for everyone, not just the kids,” Mutchler said.

Classes at Hawthorne start at 8 a.m. Thursday.

And if you have kids you are sending off to school, we’d love to see your first day of school photos!

Email photos to or send them to our KELOLAND News Facebook page along with names and locations; we’ll get them included in an online photo gallery.

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