Class of ’21 Senior Spotlight: Kira Kaplan

Name, city of residence

Kira Kaplan, Aptos and Santa Cruz

Grade you started at MMS


What inspires you?

When I look at the world, I find hard working people to be one of the most inspiring things. People that have a lot going on – family stuff, work stuff – but still manage to give back in some way. My mom is one of those people, she is very hardworking and definitely has been a very strong figure in my life. She’s shown me how meaningful you can make your life.

What is your favorite subject in school, and why?

I like math a lot.  I used to not like it, but it’s grown on me. I also really enjoy science. Biology, which I took last year, is really interesting.

If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I would say social equality and equal opportunity, especially with everything that’s been going on with social justice over the past year and how it has been highlighted.

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

I was talking with someone the other day, and they said “In COVID, I would go anywhere,” and I definitely agree with that! But, specifically, I’d like to go to Europe again, maybe to Scotland. It looks very beautiful.

Name one big challenge in your life right now:

I feel like I don’t really have any significant challenges in my life right now. Everyone is struggling in their own way due to COVID, but I don’t think I am struggling in any specific way.

During quarantine what have you done to keep yourself busy, or for fun? Have you started new hobbies or anything interesting due to the pandemic?

I have become way more busy in quarantine than I ever was before, which has been really great! I started working, I took a position with the Red Cross, I joined more clubs and took extra classes – so, I have been very busy, which has been very nice. It’s been a little overwhelming too, but it’s been good to have a distraction. I’ve also been going to the beach a lot and getting outdoors as much as possible.

What is your dream job and why?

I hope to one day be able to do something that I enjoy, but that also helps people. So right now I’m thinking maybe a doctor, or something within the medical field. It would be interesting and you would always be learning and you get to help people and save lives. We’ll see how it all works out.

What are your three favorite things? 

Family, friends, and food.

Favorite book:

I don’t know if I have a favorite-favorite book. I like The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak a lot; I think it’s written well.

What do you want to do after high school?

Go to college!

Something that you are proud of – and why:

That’s a good question, and a hard question. I am very proud of the work I have done with the Red Cross. I’ve thrown myself into that this year and done a lot with my club, as well as within the broader scope of the organization.

Something that makes you smile:

My friends, definitely. A simple but true answer. Friends are the best.

A favorite MMS memory – and why?

You know, all of them have been good memories and favorite memories. I have really enjoyed my time at MMS – I’ve been here my whole life, it’s like a second home. The people, the teachers, the faculty. I don’t know that I have a single favorite memory that pops into my head, but definitely Ramayana! as a whole is one. For years after, you remember the smell of Ramayana!, the cement and how it feels on your feet, even the pizza and how greasy it is…Ramayana! as a whole, that experience and those memories, are the really good ones.

Top three most played songs on your favorite playlist: 

“Castles in the Air” by Don McLean; “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry; and other Don McLean songs. I like listening to him when I’m in nature; he’s very calming.


Alumna Lexi Julien (’15) interviewed Kira for this spotlight feature. 

After graduating from UCLA in 2019, Lexi moved back to Santa Cruz and has been working at UCSC as an academic advisor for the past two years. In the fall, she will be moving on to attend law school at NYU.