Local students go back to school

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— It's Sandy Conlon's 42nd year of school, but she admits to still getting excited for the very first day.

The World Literature and World History teacher was among those shopping for school supplies at Wal-Mart Sunday, the eve of the school year.

She was picking up a pack of crayons something she said even the junior and senior students she teaches at Steamboat Springs High School still use.

Although Conlon is a veteran at going back to school and has been preparing for 3 weeks, she claims to turn into a "bundle of nerves" a month before the first day begins.

Sheabrea Carson was also anxiously awaiting her first day of school. The soon-to-be kindergartener was doing last-minute shopping with her parents Ross and Samantha Carson. Sheabrea will be starting her first day at South Routt Elementary today.

"I'm very excited," she said.

Steamboat Springs and South Routt school districts start school today. Christian Heritage begins Tuesday, Lowell-Whiteman Primary begins Wednesday and Hayden Schools begin Sept. 3.

Carson and Conlon were among the many shoppers in Wal-Mart's four rows of school supplies with folders, pens, pencils, calculators and notebooks.

Wal-Mart Customer Service Manager Harold Sanders described back-to-school business as being excellent. He said the store is just trying to keep the shelves stocked as it reorders the supplies in highest demand folders and loose-leaf paper.

"You always get the last-minute shoppers," Sanders said Sunday.

Colleen Sherwood of Craig was also busy spending money.

A mother of three whose oldest child is headed for Colorado Northwest Community College in Rangely, Sherwood has been through the school shopping frenzy many times.

She predicts it takes $100 for each child to be prepared for that first day of school.

"Don't procrastinate. The sooner the better," Sherwood said.

She also listed mechanical pencil sharpeners and college rule notebooks, the one with the smaller lines, as the essential back to school items.

Lowell-Whiteman eighth-grader Brigger Root had an unusual list of supplies.

He was collecting slippers, a mug and roll of film to go with the paper and pencils. Attending a privately-funded school, Root's supplies help stock the entire school, which means taking along Kleenexes and modeling clay.

Root's school year begins on Wednesday with a three-day camping trip, a nice mix between school and vacation.

"It is great chance for them to get know each other," Brigger's mother Margy Root said.

Caitlin Pahl's shopping cart was filled with a wash basket, trash can and poster board, and it was clear her first day back to school was going to be at college. Pahl was preparing for a semester of French, yoga, anthropology and watercolors at Colorado Mountain College.

She flew in from Michigan earlier this week and decided to buy some essential dorm room items before starting class today.

'I got in two days ago and I couldn't bring a lot of stuff," Pahl said.

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