SAN ANTONIO – A new school year began Monday for the majority of 43 Catholic schools in the San Antonio Archdiocese.
After weeks of suffering in the Texas heat, kids woke up before sunrise to slosh through much-needed but ill-timed rain.
"We have new uniforms, everybody's with their umbrellas, so you know what? Rain or shine, we make it happen," St. Gregory the Great principal Daniel Martinez said as he watched elementary and middle school children cross the street.
More than 12,000 Catholic school students in San Antonio have plenty to celebrate.
Providence Catholic School seniors Cassie Eng and Esa Irby cheered in their last pep rally.
"(It) feels like yesterday (when) I was a sixth-grader," Esa, the school's student council president, said.
With their college wishlist picked out and the rest of their lives on the horizon, this is a last hurrah for the students.
"Honestly, I know it's going to go by so fast," Cassie, the senior class president, said.
In the meantime, 7-year-old Aly Garcia is attending a new school at St. Gregory the Great.
She's shy, but brimming with optimism. Aly said she plans on making 30 friends.
"Looks like a nice school," she said.
There's plenty of excitement in the air at St. Gregory, where the football team will field a varsity team for the first time.
As the seniors aim to finish strong and the young continue on their journey, some parents still breathe a sigh of relief every year.
"I love them being there (at home), but silence is beautiful," said Jennifer Garcia, Aly's mom.