Mr. Kirby: Just a City Boy, Born and Raised in South Detroit

Mr. Kirby reaches back to the full bookshelf behind his desk and pulls out a heavy tome. There is excitement visible in his eyes as he carefully places it on his desk, title flashing by. The Declaration of Independence. He enthusiastically flips through the pages – men in blue coats, bayonets being pointed, yellowed pieces of faux parchment. As students lean over him to catch a glimpse of history, it is clear why Mr. Kirby is a beloved teacher.

Kirby, who currently teaches LSN and has taught almost every other social studies course at North Point, from Human Geography to United States History, started his journey to North Point long ago, when he was a young child in Michigan.

“To be honest with you, I knew I wanted to be a teacher since I was a little kid…I thought my teachers were cool,” he said. In 9th grade, Kirby determined that, without a doubt, education was the field for him. After high school, he enrolled at Eastern Michigan University and received a degree in History and English.

From there, ending up at North Point was a stroke of chance. He interviewed with Ms. Hill for a job in the English department. As the two began conversing, she remarked, “It says here you’re a history major – why are you interviewing for English?” “Because that’s what they called me for,” he replied. Instead, Kirby tried for a history job and received it. Four years later, he has never looked back.

When he isn’t going over the drama of Marbury v. Madison or explaining what the Federal Reserve does, Kirby devotes a significant amount of time to North Point’s Model United Nations team. That group allows to students to become diplomats, representing a country outside of the U.S. to a mock United Nations General Assembly, composed of two hundred of their peers.

“It’s great to get to see kids show their potential in other areas outside the classroom,” he said. Some moments make him especially proud. “Every time I watch one of my kids speak in front of a couple hundred kids and show their maturity,” he mentioned, are such times.

“He’s a great coach,” said Julio Castellon (’11). “When you’re at the conference, he always has your back.”

Besides the fact that he stewards the newest generation of American diplomats, Kirby is unlike his colleagues in many ways. For one, he has had a lifelong obsession with Alexander Hamilton, the only founding father to have been murdered in a duel. Kirby remains unaware of the roots of this fascination, but is the proud owner of a Hamilton bobble head.

Outside of North Point, Kirby enjoys spending time with his wife, Mrs. Kirby, an English teacher. He takes advantage of living in Charles County by doing “touristy” things with his family – exploring D.C. and visiting Annapolis. The West Wing and Ghostbusters can be found in his DVD collection – a combination of political knowledge and comedy that aptly describes Kirby’s personality.

As much as Kirby loves his job, he says he has another career he can always fall back on if necessary. “I’d be a stand up comedian, even though in class I’m a sit down comedian.” Don’t expect to see him to be the next Jon Stewart though, because as he puts it, “I honestly think my job is awesome.”