Teacher Feature: Cat and math lover Mrs. Kvaal


Picture submitted by Kelly Kvaal

Kelly Kvaal, a teacher in the math department here at North High, teaches Algebra 1 and Geometry. Kvaal is relatively new to North, she taught Algebra 1 here last year, and this year also teaches Geometry. Hopefully this feature will help everyone get to know Miss Kvaal!
Kvaal grew up in the small town of Dawson, MN, where she attended Dawson-Boyd High School. Growing up, Kvaal always believed she would be a Veterinarian. Although it’s something she would still enjoy, she loves teaching; she ended up wanting to be a teacher in the middle of her junior year of high school. During her high school years, Kvaal played basketball and participated in Cross Country until she broke her back in two different spots. She also had a funny little story to tell that happened in her adolescence.
“We had this thing called a ‘Corn Drive’ where all the AG [agriculture] kids would deliver corn all day,” she said, “anyways, there was this one day where we were coming back from a basketball game and we forgot to grab the mail earlier that day. So, we listened to the answering machine and it was USPS who informed us that a LIVE chicken was inside our mailbox.” Kvaal said, “And sure enough when we went to check the mailbox – there was an entire, live chicken in it. One of the AG kids’ family raised chickens so they stopped by, grabbed a chicken, and just shoved it in my mailbox.” Fortunately, the chicken had a happy life when Kvaal’s cousins got the chicken and raised it.
Kvaal graduated in 2016 with 35 other students in her class, then she left her hometown to study at NDSU. She attended school for four and a half years before receiving her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Math Education. Her graduation and student-teaching was impacted by Covid, so she had a slightly different experience, and ‘student-taught’ for a year at South High. While she was there, she had an interesting experience came with a male student who would “Argue with her about the female anatomy and how it worked.” Spoiler alert: he was wrong.
Afterward, Kvaal started her teaching career in the fall of 2021 when she started to work here at North. She has been popular among her students, including my friends and me, even with a young career. Kvaal is an amazing teacher. She is very patient when it comes to teaching new material to students and being understanding when they have a hard time understanding the material.
Kvaal’s classes have always been pretty interesting, but nothing more interesting than period five-six Block Algebra 1. “I don’t know how the topic came up…but we ended up discussing family circles and I brought up mine,” she said. “Basically, one of my distant cousins married another one of my distant cousins. I want to clarify that they are very, very distant cousins. So, yeah, they got married and adopted a few children.”
Indeed a very interesting topic, and I am glad I participated in that original discussion.
Other than teaching, Kvaal has some other hobbies. She enjoys running – when it isn’t snowing – playing the Sims (the best game ever), and watching television. Currently, her favorite television show to watch is “House of the Dragon,” which is the new “Game of Thrones” prequel show. An improvement from “Grey’s Anatomy.” “I haven’t had much time to watch it.” Kvaal said. Thank goodness, I’ll say. More facts about Kvaal are that she loves Taylor Swift. “I would do anything to see her,” she said. Swiftie confirmed! She loves, loves, loves Mexican Village, and the chicken place Slim Jims.
One of my favorite things about Kvaal is her love for cats and her cats specifically. If you have read the past issue, you might know about Louie and O’Malley, but I am here to spread the knowledge even further. O’Malley is one of the most “scrunkly” cats you could ever meet, he looks like he’s lived through eight lives and multiple wars. He may be only nine, but he looks ancient.
Kvaal told me a short story about how she came to adopt this crunchy cat. “I saw him, and how scrunkly, grumpy he was and was like…I need him. I want that one.” She said, “So yeah, he was also a garbage cat like literally, they found him in a dumpster.” O’Malley is very chunky and grumpy looking: The best combination. Kvaal’s other cat, Louie, is very old. She rescued Louie from a hoarder’s house and kept him ever since.
Kvaal is looking forward to July of 2023, when she will get married! Her fiance, Levi, proposed in July 2021, and they’ve planned most of the wedding.
Kvaal is one of my favorite teachers I have ever had, and I believe she deserves that title. Everyone else should also take the chance to like her as well because I say so. She’s a pretty laid-back person, but still is a little strict when it comes to the classroom. As Kvaal has said, “ I think of myself to be sarcastic, maybe a little sassy, and…understanding I would say, when it comes to helping students,” said Kvaal. I hope that this feature convinces you to enjoy Kvaal as much as my friends and I do and if you don’t…that’s pretty lame.