A letter from GMSA anchors to town of Uvalde on first day of school

Tuesday marks the first day back at school for Uvalde CISD school district

. (KSAT)

👉 WATCH LIVE: GMSA provides live coverage of Uvalde CISD’s first day back to school since Robb Elementary tragedy

It’s the first day of school for students, teachers and staff in Uvalde and we want you to know that you are all in our hearts and in our prayers.

We watched as your community survived through the unimaginable and we’ve seen your incredible resilience to this day. On the afternoon of May 24, like many other parents who were following what was happening to you on TV and on social media, I went to pick up my child from school. And, like many other parents on that afternoon, I kissed my daughter and hugged her so tight. At the same time, my heart was heavy, knowing that many parents in Uvalde would not get to have this moment with their children ever again.

You have been in our thoughts and prayers all summer and a few weeks ago, as I walked my daughter back to school for the start of her school year I thought about you -- Uvalde -- again. While my daughter and I had the usual “first day of school” nervousness, I was thinking of you, knowing you would be going through so much more as your community heads back to school. Today again, you are in our hearts, our prayers and our thoughts on your first day back to school. And, as we continue to cover your stories of resilience and hope, just know we are wishing you a school year of peace and healing and we know you will remain “Uvalde Strong.”

-Stephanie Serna


Good morning, Mark Austin here. I’m a dad, but have usually kept being a father pretty private. With my job, and in an age where almost everything is shared online, I’ve always held a little bit back to keep for myself.

Naturally, being a dad changed my worldview as a journalist. I vividly remember the absolute heartbreak of the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. I picked up my young son from school and later that day I just shattered. We do our level best to set aside emotion as journalists and that’s especially true during live newscasts. Days later, however, I broke…but hid those sobs from studio lights and cameras.

The Uvalde tragedy hit me differently, especially seeing those places in person. We drove around the corner one sunny afternoon in August and there was Robb Elementary School. My eyes immediately tracked, right to left, the ditch… the school doorway… the boarded-up windows and then a sea of dried flowers, rain-soaked stuffed animals and photos blanketing the street corner out front. Real. Very real. And then numbness.

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I still can’t process everything that happened in Uvalde, not as a journalist but especially as a father. Driving around town that day, I sensed the loss down to my bones. How can you not?

With the first day of school today in Uvalde and as we prepare to witness these crucial steps in recovery and healing, I’ll go with what I know. To the students, families, teachers and other staff, my thoughts and prayers are still with you.

As I do my job, my respect for you all and your journey is hard to put into words. Please know that your state and people everywhere care. I do too. I will always worry about you…because that’s what dads do.

Have a safe and blessed day Uvalde. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

- Steph, Mark and KSAT 12.

Here’s what’s on Good Morning San Antonio for Tuesday, September 6:


Today’s Headlines

Uvalde fourth grader and her family try to find joy again in start of new school year

Gina Garcia and her now fourth-grade daughter Flor Lara, who used to attend Robb Elementary, talked to KSAT 12 about their path to normalcy and finding hope.

Victims of Robb Elementary tragedy try to move forward as Uvalde CISD begins first day of school

As the community of Uvalde heals and gets ready to head back to the classroom on Tuesday, the return to school is a completely different story for the families of the 21 victims.

Uvalde Resiliency Center helps find hope, joy for families impacted by Uvalde school shooting

The Uvalde Resiliency Center was established almost immediately following the horrific events that happened at Robb Elementary, being temporarily set up at the Uvalde County Fairplex.

What’s Trending

GMSA to provide live coverage of Uvalde CISD’s first day back to school since Robb Elementary tragedy

KSAT anchor Mark Austin and reporter Sarah Acosta will be live from Uvalde on Tuesday to cover the first day of school for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.

KSAT viewers send messages of hope to Uvalde community as UCISD starts new school year

KSAT asked viewers to share messages of love and inspiration for the community and dozens of you did. We will also be sharing some of the responses on GMSA on Tuesday, the first day of school for UCISD.

Nervousness in Uvalde the day before school begins

School starts Tuesday in Uvalde, and it’s the first time students are returning to class after the May 24 shooting that left 21 people dead. The district has been working on implementing safety and security changes. While headway has been made the changes won’t be ready in time.

Get to know the new reporter coming to KSAT, Allysa Cole

Allysa Cole is making her move to San Antonio from the Rio Grande Valley where she has spent years delivering critical news reports in the South Texas region.

Meet the new meteorologist at KSAT, Mia Montgomery

Mia comes from a local TV station serving the Brazos Valley, KBTX, but is not a stranger to San Antonio. She grew up in the area!


What's the weather going to be like? Click here for more details and get the latest weather forecast from KSAT 12, Your Weather Authority:

TRAFFIC: Transguide Traffic cameras give a live look of the latest traffic conditions

About the Authors:

Mark Austin is well-known to South Texas viewers having spent the bulk of his decades-long TV news career at KSAT. He can be seen weekdays on San Antonio's top-rated 'Good Morning San Antonio' and 'GMSA @ 9.' Mark won Lone Star Emmys for Best Newscast in 2011 and 2017 and has covered every Spurs championship.

Stephanie Serna is a weekday anchor on Good Morning San Antonio and GMSA at 9 a.m. She joined the KSAT 12 News team in November 2009 as a general assignments reporter.