SHERMAN, Texas (KTEN) — The Sherman Independent School District celebrated and welcomed new teachers with a special luncheon at the high school on Friday.

"It's been a challenge every year as you have really experienced employees that are retiring and leaving the profession," said Superintendent Dr. Tyson Bennett. "It's very important that we have a pipeline of new teachers coming into the profession."

Last school year the district saw 32 retirees. They've hired 200 new educators for this upcoming school year.

Texas state Rep. Reggie Smith (R-District 32) offered some words of encouragement.

"The future success of the state is dependent on our ability to provide great education for all, and I'm committed to working to ensure our school systems have the support they need," he said.

Emily Ellis, one of the new teachers being welcomed, said she is excited to start her career in the classroom.

"In fourth grade I was like, 'This is it! This is what I want to do!' And so as soon as I could get back, here I am... I'm back in my original elementary school as a music teacher."

"I student taught in Sherman and I absolutely fell in love with the kids and the community," said new teacher Hailey Woodard. "And all the support from fellow teachers and the administration, so it was pretty much my calling to just stay here."

For Kylie Green, teaching hadn't always been on her radar.

"I've never taught before, and I'm doing the new initiative that Sherman ISD is offering so I can get my degree in teaching," she said. "So it's a really neat thing coming into it from that side of it. I was in banking before, so it's a really new thing, but I'm excited for it."

Sherman ISD is still looking for substitutes, but Superintendent Bennett said he's grateful to have so many new teachers ready to start the new semester.