Kira Duvall felt intimidated when she first entered Mrs. Geggatt’s 6th-grade class because she heard Geggatt was very strict and frequently yelled at her students.
“However, as the days progressed into weeks, I found the rumors only seemed to have been coming from those who did not put forth their best effort,” Kira said. “In fact, those who excelled the most in her class were those who were willing to take academic risks, and if you never disrespected her or any of your peers, you were ‘safe.’”
Kira still carries the lessons she learned from Geggatt’s class with her as she enters Mashpee Middle High School in Mashpee, Mass., where she is expected to graduate in 2028. Kira counts civics, music, algebra, and French as her favorite subjects and said she enjoys participating in the Bill of Rights Institute’s Think the Vote campaign because “I am able to hear perspectives which I would have never even considered beforehand.”
“I also believe that it is important to share your beliefs on different topics because it helps you to build character and to express who you are,” she said.
In her spare time, Kira enjoys going for a walk or a run, listening to music, and reading. She also describes herself as an “overachiever” who practices the violin for two hours daily but still prioritizes her rest to “ensure that my academics do not overwhelm me to the point where it is affecting my ability to bring forth my best effort with everything that I do,” she said.
Kira is interested in pursuing a career in marine biology or astronomy and considers climate change, the cost of medical care, and inflation the issues she cares about most.
In addition to Mrs. Geggatt, Kira draws inspiration from another teacher – her mother.
“She is able to maintain a work-life balance whilst at the same time taking classes to receive a master’s degree,” Kira said. “I know how stressful it can be for her after helping out in her kindergarten classes for days when my school was canceled. This is something that I do not want to have to struggle with, and so I want to first get all of my education out of the way and then work towards building my career.”