Nearly 150 brand new teachers gathered at Plano East Senior High School for an orientation program called "Day Zero" Friday.

It's the first year the district has carved out a day specifically to welcome teachers new both to the district and to the educational career path.

Dana Reynolds switched careers after 16 years in advertising and attended the event. Reynolds will teach high school English come the start of school and says she discovered her passion while mentoring a young girl in her previous career.

"It was like a light bulb, where it felt so good to work with a child and hear them tell you you've changed their lives," Reynolds said.

Other teachers like Sharon Yu are starting straight from college and say education has always been "a calling" in their lives.

"What really connects with me is I keep learning too. It doesn't stop," Yu said.

Ashley Helms is in charge of professional development for the district and organized the first ever new teachers' welcome. The goal is to welcome teachers and to get them on board with the district's mission.

"It really is a sense of family and support," Helms said.

Orientation for all teachers starts next week ahead of the start of school for students later in August.