Houston, Texas: Don Kirby, North Shore Senior High School physics teacher, and his students were surprised when Courtney Perna, KHOU 11’s reporter for the Debra Duncan show, burst into his classroom to award him with their first ever “Red Apple Award.” Sponsored by Capitol One, the award recipient is chosen from nominations submitted to KHOU 11. Mr. Kirby’s passion for math and science, along with his record of excellent teaching and his dedication to coaching the calculator apps team to four straight state championships, made Mr. Kirby an obvious choice as the award’s first recipient. June Harris, GPISD Board of Trustees Member, was able to attend. Her reasons for joining in this celebration were personal. “My two daughters had Mr. Kirby. He’s absolutely amazing! They loved him. His students love him. Nobody deserves this award more than he does,” Harris said.

Dr. Kareen Brown, Assistant Principal at NSSHS, nominated Mr. Kirby for the Red Apple Award. “We appreciate Mr. Kirby and all he does for our students. You can look around his room and see all the trophies his students have won in various math and science competitions and know he is an exemplary teacher,” Brown said.

Don Kirby is also admired by his students. He is a perennial selection to be honored as a Dazzling Diamond. Chosen by the District’s top 5% students, “Dazzling Diamonds” are educators who have had the most impact on a student’s academic success. “He’s very motivated toward [his goals]. Once he sets a goal, he will continue to strive to achieve it. He inspired me to be like that too,” said Theresa Yee, a former student of Kirby.

Ever the humble, unpretentious gentleman, Mr. Kirby acquiesced to the intrusion and graciously accepted the Red Apple Award. When the reporter asked if he was upset at the intrusion taking away from his teaching time, he answered honestly, but with a smile, “A little bit, yes.” ┬áHe then good-naturedly laughed and thanked everyone for the sentiment. He graciously posed for pictures. But when the hubbub was over, the apple unceremoniously placed on his desk, he and his class went immediately back to work. There would be time to find a proper resting place for this new award later, when it wasn’t taking time from valuable instruction. That is why he is a teacher, after all. That is why he’s so amazing.


Don Kirby

Pictured: KHOU 11's reporter surprised Mr. Kirby with a Red Apple Award LIVE during the Debra Duncan TV show.


Don Kirby

Pictured: June Harris (far left), GPISD Board of Trustees Member and Dr. Angi Williams (far right), Superintendent of Schools were in on the surprise to honor Don Kirby (center right). Courtney Perna (center left), reporter for the Debra Duncan show, awarded the Red Apple Award during a LIVE broadcast.


Don Kirby

Pictured: The students in Mr. Kirby's classroom were just as surprised as Mr. Kirby.





Media Contact:

Crystal Murray | Assistant Superintendent for Communication Services | | 832.386.1063