School: Tivy High School.
Subject Taught: Accounting I/II (dual credit), Business Information Management (dual credit), and Money Matters.
Years Teaching: Eight years.
Years at School/District: Six years, four at Hal Peterson Middle School and two at Tivy High School.
College: I have a bachelor of science in accounting from the University of Houston, and a master of business administration from Our Lady of the Lake University.
Reason you chose a career in education: Education is a second career for me. Prior to teaching I worked 16 years in the oil and gas industry as an accountant. Becoming a teacher was a two-fold decision. First, I wanted to be able to teach students about the subjects I lived and loved, to prepare students for what the world will expect when they graduate high school, using my real-life experience. Second, as a single parent of twin daughters, I wanted them to be close to my parents, Jeff and Sharon Kirby, and grow up in a beautiful, close-knit community. Teaching business at a great district like KISD turned out to be my dream job.
Most enjoyable part of teaching: The best part of teaching is the students. I definitely enjoy being able to interact and engage the youth of this community. Christmas is really Christmas around kids.
Hardest part of teaching: Managing the many relationships involved in teaching. Coming from private industry, it never occurred to me that knowing all the ins and outs of accounting was actually the easy part. The difficulty lies in how to build trust and respect with students, so you can convey information in a way that they can understand and move through. With those relationships, everything falls in line.
If I could change one thing in education it would be: Industry is technology-driven, so everything is state-of-the-art. We should be using the same current technology in school, but I know it's expensive to constantly update hardware and software.
Other duties at school: I sponsor the Tivy High School Interact Club, and I am the UIL coach for accounting and computer applications.
Hobbies/interests: I love to read, and I read everything. I would rather read the news than hear it. I also love gymnastics. I was a gymnast for many years in my youth, so I love to help my daughters build their skills as gymnasts and cheerleaders.
Personal history: I was born and raised in the Clear Lake area of Houston, and graduated from Dickinson High School in 1991. I started college at the University of Houston not really knowing what I wanted to do, but by my sophomore year I realized accounting was my field. I graduated from UH, then I spent 16 years in private industry for several Fortune 500 companies, including Enron Corporation, El Paso Corporation, and LyondellBasell Industries, in a variety of accounting and financial roles. They helped me earn my MBA from OLL in 2001. Having twins in 2006 led to a change in my career plans. My father, Jeff Kirby, had had deer leases in the Hill Country since the 1970s, and he and my mother, Sharon, visited often. In 2001 they retired, and fulfilled their goal of settling in Kerrville. I wanted my children to grow up close to their grandparents, in a great community, and with the opportunity to start and finish school without moving around, so I moved to Kerrville in 2010. I taught for two years in Center Point, then I taught math for two years at HPMS. Four years ago I got my dream job, teaching business classes at THS. My twin daughters, Eva and Kaitlyn, are in the eighth grade at HPMS, and I can't wait to have them here at Tivy with me next year.