COPPERAS COVE — Hettie Halstead Elementary School halls bustled with noise from students and parents on the school’s first morning of the new academic year Monday.

“We are kind of excited, and she is nervous,” Shannon Hudson said as she held the hand of her daughter, Eva Fielder.

The two were up early and ready to go to class at the elementary school by 7:45 a.m. The elementary school is one of seven in the Copperas Cove Independent School District.

A little behind schedule, they walked down the main hall to Eva’s prekindergarten classroom.

First days are always going to have hiccups, said Cove ISD Superintendent Joseph Burns. But what

makes them great are seeing the students,

teachers and parents as they enthusiastically make their way to classes ready to start teaching and learning.

“It is my very best day when I have the opportunity to go out and see the campuses, staff and students,” Burns said. “It is always exciting to see those young and eager faces on campus. There is a lot of energy and a lot of excitement and everyone is really excited about being back in school.”

More than 7,900 students were among those first-day students in Cove ISD classrooms, said Olga Peña, the district’s spokeswoman.

Giovonni Rivera, 7, was up before his mother, Katharine Hillard, attempted to wake him for school.

“As soon as I came into the room, he was ready to go,” she said. “He said, ‘I am glad to be awake.’”

Giovonni, a second-grader, said he was excited to make friends but his mother said she was happy for him to be learning.

“Their education is important,” she said.

Prekindergarten student Dwayne Wilson Jr., 3, said he also was ready to make friends and already knew his numbers and alphabet.

Prekindergarten will be good for Dwayne “just to expand on the things we been teaching him at home,” said his mother, Jennifer Wilson.

Burns said he saw several great attitudes from parents and students all day Monday as he visited each campus.

Overall, the day ran smoothly for the 11 schools in the district, Burns said. That was true even at Martin Walker, where parents had to navigate new traffic patterns because of U.S. Highway 190 construction.

“Parents are equal partners in this, and make sure those types of things go very smooth,” Burns said. Staff and parents were patient at the school, which moved student drop-off to a street on the side of the school instead of the highway in front of the school.

Back at Hettie Halstead, Eva said she was excited to color and learn about art.

“We hope the day goes good and she learns rules,” Hudson said. “I am ready for her to go to school. I am ready for her to learn.”

What did you do this summer?

Eva Fielder, 4, prekindergarten: “I gots to spend time with my daddy. I jumped on a trampoline a lot.”

Dwayne Wilson Junior, 3, prekindergarten: “I went to Las Vegas with Gigi (grandmother).”

Giovinni Rivera, 7, second grade: “I went to the beach and jumped on the waves.”

By the Numbers

  • 7,901 Enrolled in Copperas Cove Independent School District Monday
  • 573 teachers educate students at Cove ISD.
  • 1,282 staff and faculty members contribute to educating students
  • 11 schools are in the district

Contact Mason W. Canales at ​ or (254) 501-7474

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