Our hats are off to Clinton City and Sampson County education officials for what appears to have been yet another smooth school opening, one more that can now go down in this county’s history.

Everything seemed to run like a well-oiled machine Monday, with school-age students brought safely to their destinations, in their seats and accounted for by each system’s opening bells. Principals and teachers, alike, helped to make the first day of school an easy one, greeting students with welcoming smiles and escorts to classes if the need arose. Everyone, it seemed, was there to help whether you were at Butler Avenue or Salemburg Elementary, Union Middle or Hargrove.

It was heartwarming to see youngsters eager to return to school. Even the newbie, kindergartners with wide-eyed wonder, appeared ready to release their parents hand and enter the world of knowledge, eager for the new adventure that was just beyond the doors to their schools.

What’s more, within minutes of arriving, instruction seemed to be taking place at every school, with teachers welcoming young people back and immediately turning everyone’s attention to the lessons at hand.

That easy transition can be attributed in large part to open houses held in the days before the official start of school, giving parents and students a chance to get the lay of the land in terms of where things are, what students needed to have and what the expectations would be for the first semester of this new year.

We have long supported open houses for that reason, and we applaud educators for continuing a successful practice that seems to help everyone, most particularly young people.

No opening starts without its hiccups, though, and we are certain there were some to be found across Sampson County Monday, but they had to have been minor and limited, given the reports we received on what a tremendously successful day the start to 2017-18 had been.

We hope the entire school year mirrors Monday, with excitement abounding, education at the forefront and safety always a top priority.

We applaud teachers, custodians, bus drivers, cafeteria staffs, teachers, assistants and administrators for being on the mark and ready to go, making what could have been a dizzying day a great one. If Monday’s successful opening is any indication, and we believe it is, then this should be a great school year for everyone.

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