Q&A with Mrs. Kireev


Misty Morris

Amy Baker-Kireev teaches her students about biology.

Story by Abby Hill, public relations editor

Amy Baker-Kireev has been a part of the Tiger family for many years now. After graduating from Texas High, she went to New Mexico Tech to study biology and then ended up back in TISD teaching.

Q. When did you decide to start teaching?

A. Teaching as a possible profession first entered my mind in high school, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do until my second year of graduate school.

Q. How do you like to connect with your students?

A. I try to show them how biology is relevant to real life.  Everyone deals with biology every day, even people whose jobs have nothing directly to do with science.

Q. What made you feel compelled to come teach at Texas High?

A. I felt like I could relate to students at Texas High since I am a Texas High alumna.  Several of my teachers whom I really respect still work here, and the chance to work with them as colleagues has been every bit as fun as I thought it might.

Q. What changes do you in see the school that were different when you attended high school?

A. The facilities have improved, and some rules have changed since I was a student.  The new Math and Science Building and the multipurpose building have been added, and the older parts of the school have been remodeled.  When I was a student, flip flops were not allowed, but rolling backpacks were allowed. Now, the opposite is true.

Q. What was your favorite thing about Texas High when you were a student?

A. [I enjoyed] having lunch and classes with some really good friends. A small group of us still consider each other family, even after all these years.

Q. What is your favorite thing about Texas High now?

A. We try very hard to find out each student’s talents and interests and help him/her find a good career path. That is very important, and I like how much emphasis is placed on that now.

Q. What is you favorite part about your job?

A. I actually get paid to talk about biology all day. I enjoy watching some students develop an interest in biology, and I also enjoy watching students who may not like biology learn new material and realize how it can help them in life. Even if my class isn’t your favorite, if you learn something you’ll use later, I’m happy.

Q. What do you enjoy to do outside of school?

A. I enjoy playing video games, talking about science with friends and family, watching action and horror movies, watching nonfiction on TV (about science, crime, or shows like How It’s Made), and reading some kinds of books (mysteries, nonfiction, and a handful of others).

Q. What’s your favorite movie/video game/song to watch/play?

A. I have a handful of favorite movies, and it’s difficult to choose, but Alien and Silence of the Lambs probably tie for first.  My favorite video game is The Legend of Zelda:  A Link to the Past.  I like several different kinds of music, depending on my mood, but “Beautiful Life” by Ace of Base is one of my favorites.

Q. What is your favorite pastime to do with family or friends?

A. I love playing video games with friends and family.

Q. Did you have any other jobs before the ones you currently hold?

A. A couple of summers while I was in college, I came back to Texarkana and worked as a high school science tutor at OPTIONS summer school.  During the latter part of my undergraduate years in college and in graduate school, I worked in a research lab as part of a drug discovery team.  We tested compounds for potential anticancer, antiviral, and antibacterial activity.  I also taught Biology I Lab and Molecular Biology Lab when I was in graduate school.

Q. Anything else you would like to share?

A. No one is perfect.  No one is good at everything.  High school is temporary.  Hard work really will pay off later, just maybe not when or how you thought it would.  I’ve been amazed at how many times in adulthood I’ve actually needed to use things I learned in school in classes I didn’t necessarily like at the time.