ESCHENBACH, Germany -- Decked out in fresh duds and oversize backpacks, students with parents in tow converged Aug. 25 at schools across U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria for the first day of the 2014-2015 school year.

At Netzaberg Middle School, here, teachers and administrators greeted everyone near the main entrance and directed the flow of students between the cafeteria (sixth-graders) and gymnasium (seventh- and eighth-graders).

Kristen Stone, a seventh- and eighth-grade teacher at the school, shared why she especially enjoys the first day of school.

"It's the excitement, the energy," she said, "welcoming the new faces, and, of course, seeing all the growth spurts that happened over the summer."

Netzaberg Middle School sixth-graders also attended a "boot camp" Aug. 22 for about two hours to get a quick orientation, meet with teachers and discuss expectations and, most importantly, to find their lockers.

The same day, some elementary school students also got a "sneak peek" by visiting their classrooms and talking with teachers to help allay the first-day jitters.

For more photo coverage from the first day at USAG Bavaria schools, visit