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Ryan Kirk, Social Studies Teacher, Mount Vernon Performing and Visual Arts Magnet School

Mr. Kirk is entering his second year as a teacher with the Mount Vernon City School District. He serves as social studies teacher at the District’s Performing and Visual Arts Magnet School, where he instructs students in grades 9 and 10.

“I’m constantly amazed by how talented my students are,” said Mr. Kirk. “Working at the magnet school is really unique because the students bring their creativity and passion for the arts into the classroom – regardless of the discipline they’re studying.”

“Last year, I taught a unit on the Harlem Renaissance,” he added. “At the end of the semester, instead of a test, each major was asked to demonstrate their understanding of the course through music, dance, art or poetry. The dance students choreographed an interpretive dance to demonstrate what the era was all about.”

Mr. Kirk holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of South Carolina, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago School of Law, and a Master in Teaching degree from the Teachers College at Columbia University. After graduating with his undergraduate degree, he moved abroad to teach English to students in China.

Mr. Kirk has spent a total of six years living abroad and has traveled to more than 50 countries. “I think my experience living and traveling abroad helps make the lessons taught in my classroom come alive more than they would by just reading words on the pages of our textbooks,” he said.