Beloved Teacher, Coach Reflects On Time as Teacher


Adam Kirby teaches his AP comparative government class with a smile, proud of how much his students know about the world. Kirby sets his students up for success when going into the final exams. (photo by Emily Low)

Adam Kirby is a Civics/Economics and AP Comparative Government teacher along with being the girl’s soccer coach. Beloved by many, Kirby dedicates his time to his students and thrives on their successes. As a Central alum, he feels “at home” teaching here, which is why he’s been doing it for 15 years. Because of Central’s diversified student body and the students willingness to learn, Kirby says he wouldn’t want to teach anywhere else.

Graduating from Central High School, Kirby continued his education at Millsaps college in Jackson, Mississippi, he graduated with a masters in education and then furthered his education at Wesley Theology Seminary in Washington, D.C. He decided to come back to his old stomping grounds and has been a teacher at Central for years.

If he weren’t teaching, Kirby would want to pursue a career in political and faith based leadership as the Director of Faith and Public Policy for The Center For American Progress. This position highlights many of Kirby’s skills, as he would help shape the debate on faith and how faith can be used for progressive change. With his progressive mind and impressive skill set, Kirby especially enjoys teaching his AP Comparative Government class of Juniors and Seniors.

“I love my Comp Gov class because it forces me to think about the political and economic position of other countries,” Kirby said.

Although he enjoys his AP Comp Gov class, he also loves teaching Civics and Economics. With a class full of freshman, Kirby notes that he treasures getting to know these students, so that he can watch them grow throughout their high school career. Even if these two courses don’t sound extremely different, there is a unique mindset that comes with teaching them both.

“Its difficult to go from AP to Pre-AP; you get about 7 minutes to re-adjust your thoughts and shift from Comp Gov to Civics/Econ. It’s hard work,” Kirby said.

When asked about the hardest part of being a teacher, Kirby noted the bureaucratic pieces of the education system that don’t help teachers grow, and waste time that could be used to help students comprehend subjects. Even when teaching gets hard, especially with the turmoil in the LRSD, Kirby said he wouldn’t want to teach anywhere else. Although he would enjoy teaching in a tropical climate such as Belize, or somewhere state side such as Key West, FL, Kirby loves his job at Central, and even if provided the opportunity, would stay at his beloved alma mater. Kirby has an unforgettable impact on the students he teaches.

Former civics student senior, Ty Barrett reflects on his time in Kirby’s classroom.

“Kirby was one of the best teachers that I have ever had the privilege of having. I have never been very good at history, but with his class he made me love his class and everything that he had to say. I’ve never had a teacher that put so much effort into making sure each student not only understands the information, but is interested and involved in each lesson and feels comfortable going into each class. Even though I only had him my freshman year, I have kept up with him for the past three years and try to go talk to him as much as I can. Not only was he a good teacher, but also a role model and someone that I look up to greatly.”

“He isn’t afraid to call you out, and he taught me to think before I speak which is obviously really helpful,” Junior Rishith Vaddavalli said.

Junior Keeling Baker also joins in on the praise for Kirby by exclaiming that Kirby has been able to reach him and allow him to understand things he would not normally think about, while maintaining a sense humor that is similar to his own.

Not only is he an exceptional teacher, but one of the best coaches that the Central girls soccer team has ever had. Junior Caroline Bryant has had him as a teacher and a coach and has loved every minute of it.

“Starting from when we were freshman on the soccer team, Kirby has always made sure that everyone was included. He comes early to practice and stays late for us, always. This is the first year that soccer has had an athletic block and he puts in so much effort and dedication to make sure that each practice is planned to give us the most help. I’m the goalie for the team, and although he isn’t the goalie trainer, he has always made sure that I had a proper training to insure that I get just as much practice as everyone else. I still eat lunch in his room everyday, I monitored his class, and have stayed close with him for the past three years. He’s my go-to teacher for me whether it’s editing a paper or just needing someone to talk to”

With his dedication to his career and his students, Kirby is an excellent teacher who puts in tons of effort to ensure his students success.