CLINTON — With single-minded forethought, Clinton High School valedictorian Kira Price loaded her high school class schedule with advanced placement and honors classes for four years.
The effort earned her a 4.53 grade-point average and a full ride to the University of Iowa.
Seated by the river on a cool, sunny morning, Price talked about her life in Clinton and her future plans before she headed to work at Wagner’s Pharmacy.
“Each year of high school I took as many AP and honors classes I could,” Price said Thursday. During her junior year, Price took honors physics and honors astronomy that earned dual high school and Clinton Community College credit.
Price also picked up AP language and composition and honors precalculus.
In her senior year, Price finished the list of advanced classes with AP statistics and AP literature.
The academic stringency of the classes appealed to Price, she said. “It’s just a more mature setting than [general education].” Timelines were stricter and tests were structured more like college tests, an advantage for someone who was college bound.
“When I was really young, I wanted to be a marine biologist,” said Price. Later she came to love math and joined Future Business Leaders of America. Her future is in finance, she said. She likes the office setting, the math and the analytical aspect of the job.
The career, said Price, will make her financially able to live the lifestyle she wants to live. She enjoys traveling and wants to experience different cultures, religions and ways of life.
Still interested in marine life, Price would love to go to Australia and visit the Great Barrier Reef, she said. Greece is on her wish list as well. “My grandmother went there, and she absolutely loved it.” Price would like to take her grandmother back there.
Price is used to travel. Her mother, Maggi, made their vacations educational, Price said. She’s visited Civil Rights sites and plantations in the South, and she’s learned about United States history and government by visiting places such as Washington, D.C.
Growing up in a single-parent household, Price knew she’d have to attend a college she could afford, and she wanted it to be a good one. Getting a free ride to the University of Iowa fit the bill.
“I’m really excited to have that opportunity,” Price said. “I leave Aug. 17. I’m really excited.”
Born and raised in Clinton, Price didn’t spend every moment of her childhood studying and raking in academic honors. “I am really into art,” Price said. “I like to paint and draw.”
She’s creating art for her friends’ dorm rooms — so they won’t forget her, she said. Sometimes people will commission artwork from her as well.
Besides her mother and her grandmother, Linda Wilson, Price is close to her younger sister, Mya Price, and older sister Brigita Wilson.
Price teared up when she thought about leaving Mya for Iowa City. “She is a huge reason I do what I do,” said Price. “I’ve loved her more than I love anyone in my life.”
In her valedictorian address, Price talked about the example she has tried to set for the high school junior.
“Growing up, I wanted so badly to be a good role model for her,” Price said of Mya. “I taught her to read, and to ride a bike, but I knew I must lead her by example as well.”
Price worked to get good grades and to make her community better, to demonstrate to her sister what a great person is capable of. “I just hope to be that role model for her,” Price said Thursday.
Brigita works with Price at Wagner Pharmacy. “She is a huge supporter of mine,” Price said. “She always has my back. [She’s] a huge reason I’m successful.”
Among Price’s memories of Clinton High School is her favorite teacher, Kellen Schneeberger, “because of the person he is and the way he teaches,” Price said.
Schneeberger teaches more than AP language. He teaches empathy, Price said.
And he’s well-traveled. Schneeberger’s descriptions of his travels fed Price’s love for it.
A member of the 2020 pandemic class, Price didn’t have a normal graduation but still managed to give a valedictorian address and graduation party.
She’ll finish her summer break preparing for the next chapter of her life as an Iowa Hawkeye.