Hundreds of teachers and other professional staff from the Killeen Independent School District gathered Thursday to celebrate completing their first year working in the district.

More than 432 employees were honored at the district’s annual induction celebration at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.

Those in attendance included teachers who were completing their first year as educators, as well as experienced educators finishing up their first year of employment in the Killeen district.

“This is a way of saying thank you,” said Jo-Lynette Crayton, the district’s executive director of elementary leadership. “We want them to know that we appreciate what they do, and that (the district) is here to support them.”

In addition to the new educators, attendees also included staff who act as their mentors and guides, including those selected as “teacher of the year” from each of the district’s campuses.

“There are thousands of people working behind the scenes to make sure our students are successful,” Crayton told attendees.

Superintendent Robert Muller thanked those present for their service, and characterized the newest batch of the district’s educators as promising.

“I’ve heard that you have had a very strong start,” Muller said. “We thank you for your service. You have made significant contributions to this school district. ... We want you to become our best and brightest.”

The event’s keynote speaker was Metroplex Hospital CEO Carlyle Walton.

“It’s always an honor to speak to the igniters of wonder and curiosity,” Walton said. “My teachers made the most profound impact on my life.”

As the district honors those educators who have just completed their first year working in the district, it is busy hiring for the 2013-14 school year. A recent job fair, held in April, saw more than 400 applicants.

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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