Lincoln County Schools kicked off the 2019-2020 school year with in-service Thursday. Teachers heard from two powerful motivational speakers, Jack Berckemeyer and H.K. Derryberry, along with his friend, Jim Bradford.

A nationally recognized presenter, author, and humorist, Berckemeyer began his career as a middle school teacher in Denver, Col. After two years of teaching he was named as an outstanding educator at his school, and shortly thereafter he was identified as one of the outstanding educators in the district. In 2003, he received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Falcon School District. Helping teachers and administrators remember why their jobs make a difference, he presented in conference and school district settings both nationally and internationally.

He has served as a judge for the Disney American Teacher Awards and served on the selection committee for the USA Today All-Teacher Team.

Berckemeyer is known for his motivating, practical ideas, communicating a message of hope, laughter, and insight into education.

He was also the assistant executive director for the National Middle School Association for 13 years and is the author of Managing the Madness - A Practical Guide to Middle Grades Classrooms. He is also the co-author of H.E.L.P. for Teachers. His most recent publications are Taming of the Team - How Great Teams Work Together and Deliberate Optimism - Reclaiming the Joy in Education, co-authored with Dr. Debbie Silver and Judith Baenen.

Derryberry and his buddy, Bradford, who had spoken to students and teachers at Fayetteville High School in December of last year, shared a story of survival, perseverance and a friendship that transcends age.

According to medical science, Derryberry should have never survived. Born July 8, 1990 in Nashville, the two-pound baby boy arrived three months premature due to an automobile accident that took his 19-year-old mother’s life. Because of the accident and his premature birth, HK is blind, paralyzed on his right side and has cerebral palsy. But, the now 28-year-old doesn’t let his physical limitations hold him back, sharing his inspirational story and quick wit with thousands each year.

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