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PHOTO: FSSD Director of Schools David Snowden stands alongside the Liberty Elementary School Lion mascot as students return for the first day of the 2019-20 school year. / Photos by John McBryde

By JOHN McBRYDE

Students returning to Liberty Elementary School Wednesday morning for the start of a new year were greeted by the sounds of enthusiastic teachers playing kazoos and by the sight of one tall Lion mascot.

At Poplar Grove Middle, arriving students hopped off the bus and were met by school cheerleaders and cheering teachers as they made their way into the building and on to their classrooms.

It was another start to the year for the eight schools in the Franklin Special School District. Wednesday was a half-day, and the year gets fully underway with all-day classes Thursday.

“As far as we know, it’s going really well,” said FSSD Director of Schools David Snowden, who made trips to most of the schools Wednesday morning. “Everybody’s excited. It’s the first day, and there are lots of smiles and lots of happy faces.”

Snowden said most everything was going like clockwork.

“Our administrators and teachers work together and have everything organized,” he said. “They make sure students know where to go when they get into the school.

“They’re extremely organized. It takes a lot of planning, and they do such a great job in that planning. There are always hiccups, but for the most part things go as they were planned.”

In addition to principals, teachers and students, it was also the first day back for the school resource officers at each school. Some spent the summer working in another capacity such as patrol, and others even had enough comp time saved to take the summer off.

“I love the kids here,” said Jamie Haynes, in her fourth year as SRO at Franklin Elementary School. “There’s been a lot of high-fives, a lot of smiles and hugs.

“I get to meet all the families and kind of become part of their family, and give the kids a better view of police officers.”

The 48 schools in the Williamson County Schools system begin the new school year Friday with a half-day.

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