Many area students, staff and faculty started their 2017-18 school year Monday (Aug. 28, 2017).

Arriving home from their first day, students no doubt had that montage of paperwork that requires parental knowledge year after year — emergency forms, permission slips and even Picture Day forms. I like to call it the “parents’ homework.”

Maybe some of the youngest students brought home “first day of school creations,” from drawings and worksheets to colored-in pictures.

While I’m not sure if she arrived home with it, a teacher friend shared that a student drew a picture of her as a superhero on the first day of school.

“How cool is that?” she gushed in her social media post.

Cool, indeed.

Coolness noted, let’s talk about heroes.

How many times do we need to emphasize the need to sometimes look no further than your own backyard to such figures in life? Heroes don’t have to wear jerseys with numbers on their backs, run down a field or slide down an icy arena, or wear a cape and mask and soar in the air on a big screen. They might wear a firefighter’s helmet, boots and heavy coat. They might carry a gun, handcuffs and a Taser gun. They might even have a spatula in their hands at times and use it for either cooking or disciplining (think mom or dad here, or even “nona” — grandma). Ha ha! Looking to the catastrophic flooding in Texas, they might don rain gear and steer boats as they work long, wet hours rescuing people and pets from water-filled homes.

It’s refreshing when children or even teenagers name heroes outside of the worlds of celebrities and athletes, yet it’s perfectly fine to look up to those people. I’m not saying that it isn’t. I just find it amazing and sweet that a child could look at a teacher, or anyone in everyday life, and say, “You’re my hero” or “You are super.”

Best wishes to parents, teachers and students alike for a successful school year, and may those heroes in our lives continue to serve as inspiration to us all!