Welcome to Kilby!

  • Originally from Panama City, Florida, Eric is a graduate of Rutherford High School. He came to Alabama on a full music Scholarship from the University of North Alabama in 1992. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education in the fall of 1997, and a Master’s Degree in Music Education from UNA in the Summer of 2000. He received his Doctorate Degree in Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in the Summer of 2009.

    While at UNA, Eric was the lead trumpeter and featured soloist in the marching, jazz and concert bands. He was also the director of the Ascending Voices Gospel Choir for three years. In addition, He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity, Order of Omega, National Panhellenic Council, and an Honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. After graduation, Eric stayed at UNA and served as a Graduate Assistant in the office of student life where he worked with the Interfraternity council, the National PanHellenic Council, and student organizations. One of his most cherished memories of UNA involved his selection as “University Man of the Year” in 1997.

    Dr. Kirkman’s educational experience spans the course of over twenty years starting with his volunteer work as a summer band camp instructor at a local high school. He was the band director of the award-winning Sheffield High School “Sound of the Shoals” Marching Band. His bands achieved over 180 superior ratings and “best in class” designations at contests throughout the United States. His bands also won “Most Entertaining Band” at numerous competitions. Sheffield High School Bands have performed at a BCS Championship Bowl game, a Macy’s Christmas Parade, and the White House in Washington, D.C. Some of his most recent work was captured in the award-winning documentary film “Muscle Shoals”, where he can be seen portraying a composing W.C. Handy at the piano.

    Prior to moving into an administrative role, Dr. Kirkman was named the 2012 State of Alabama Secondary “Teacher of the Year” for District 7. He was also named the UNA Alumni Educator of the Year for 2012. Dr. Kirkman has served as a guest clinician for honor bands and honor choirs in North Alabama and in Florida. He has also served as a keynote speaker and professional development facilitator for various professional workshops at the secondary and post-secondary level. Some of his research interests include defining leadership roles for school administrators and exploring the mental well-being of school administrators and classroom teachers.

    Dr. Kirkman has served as a vice-principal and a principal in Sheffield City Schools. He completed his 18th year in education while serving as the principal of Sheffield Junior High School. He is currently the Director of The Kilby Laboratory School located at the University of North Alabama. In addition, he is the Worship Leader at Highland Baptist Church, Broadway Campus of Florence, Alabama.

    Lastly, Dr. Kirkman is the husband of Dr. Tera Kirkman, who is the Associate Dean of Nursing at the University of North Alabama. They have two sons, Jalen and Justin.