Account on her

Kirk reflects on the journey she made on her way to MCHS


Kayla Martin

Kayla Martin, Contributing Writer

As Mrs. Vanessa Kirk sits at her desk preparing for her class of the day, she reflects on her journey and how she ended up teaching at McHenry Community High School. From being a project manager at multiple companies to teaching for fifteen years, Kirk is turning the business classes into something that the students and staff have never seen. 

Kirk grew up in Carpentersville, Illinois and went to Barrington high school. “I had planned on going into accounting, but that was a bust,” Kirk stated. Right after Kirk got out of high school she did an internship at Allstate Insurance and that was when she realized that accounting wasn’t the right career path for her.  “ I had realized at this point in time there was no way I was going to go into accounting. It was like needles to the eye awful,” said Kirk. After realizing that she didn’t want to go into Accounting she had to figure out what she wanted to do in the future. 

Kirk eventually earned her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and Management with a minor in Marketing. “I didn’t go to college the traditional way. We had some struggles at home so I had to go to MCC part-time and kind of work and help my mom out,” Kirk stated. She continued going back and forth from school and work to help out her family, she transferred to a four year school. “I continued going from work to school and finally got my degree through Columbia College” said Kirk. Kirk didn’t waste any time and went straight into working after school. 

Kirk was working as a project manager at various companies in the marketing department. “It was all marketing and advertising,” Kirk said. Kirk realized that working in an office isn’t for her and realized that she had a passion for teaching and decided she wanted to switch her career path. “Right before I had my son, I had thought that I wanted to be an educator,” Kirk stated. She got her first teaching job at Elgin High School and then she jumped around Illinois and Wisconsin for a while and ended up at Badger High School for 13 years. 

Kirk moved to MCHS and is now teaching Intro to Business, Sports and Entertainment  and Business Management. “I wanted to make a difference in my community,” Kirk said. “I did a lot of good things at Badger High School. Especially running the DECA program.” In a few years she hopes to bring the DECA to MCHS and allow all the aspiring business students to succeed in their future careers. The DECA program prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. 

Kirk has started to create an amazing Business program at MCHS. From project manager to teacher, from school to school, she has finally found her place at MCHS. Kirk has the opportunity to teach students who are willing to learn everyday.