Yesterday, 340 fresh-faced educators attended the 51st annual RISD New Teachers Luncheon presented by Richardson Chamber of Commerce. RISD School Board President Kim Quirk welcomed the new teachers to an “interesting time in the district” and said, “we are happy to welcome you into the RISD family.”

Attending were 42 new teachers who graduated from RISD and others from Dubai, The Netherlands, and all over the world. Deputy Superintendent Patti Kieker assured them, “we’ll make sure you have the support, resources and leadership you need” and welcomed them to “the best school district in the world.

More after the jump:

Lake Highlands’ own Nancy Barry served as keynote speaker, sharing tips from her book, When Reality Hits: What Employers Want Recent College Graduates to Know. “You have the power to make children work harder than they ever have before,” she told them, “to help them understand the impact of a zero, to encourage them to experience music and art. You have the power to make dreams come true.”

Barry herself graduated from LHHS, as did son Chris – a graduate of Yale – and daughter Lauren, who heads off to Samford next week on a leadership scholarship. Both were named Miss LHHS, a high honor for Wildcat seniors.

“I encourage you to teach honesty, integrity, and responsibility,” she stressed, “and tell them managers will hold them accountable. I hope you’ll teach them to be nice to every person – to look them in the eye and shake their hand.”

She also encouraged new teachers to keep a journal, jotting down “light bulb” moments in the classroom. “Later, when you are exhausted, you can pull that journal out and remember your successes.”

She closed by telling teachers, “you are heroes to students, families, and the entire community. Thanks to you our children have a bright future.”