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Jun 13, 2023 MOST Staff

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Kyle Summers

Memphis University School Headmaster Pete Sanders recently named Dr. Kyle Summers (Bishop Byrne High School Class of 2004) as the Sally and Wil Hergenrader Chair of Excellence in Science at the school. Summers has taught Biology and AP Biology since arriving at MUS in 2020 and serves as co-advisor for the school’s HOSA Club.

“Dr. Summers has established himself as a solid classroom teacher in the mold expected of an MUS faculty member,” Sanders said. “By virtue of his doctorate, he is thoroughly steeped in his subject but does not teach from on high. He is a master of the art of making science understandable, engaging, and fun for his students.”

Summers brought experience teaching at both the university and high school levels to his role, most recently as the Upper and Lower school STEM teacher at Margolin Hebrew Academy from 2016-20 and as an adjunct professor for Anatomy and Physiology at Christian Brothers University from 2013-16. He’s also served as a National Science Olympiad judge.

“I was in public school up until ninth grade, when M.O.S.T. gave me the opportunity to go to private school (Bishop Byrne High School, which closed in 2013),” said Kyle. “Public schools can be great. I just found it better for me to be in a smaller classroom setting. I'm not necessarily super outgoing, so the smaller school I went to was really perfect for that. I also had a science teacher that had a doctorate in science. I think that maybe it was these experiences in private high school that influenced me to become a high school science teacher.”

A life-long Memphian, Kyle earned his biology degree at Christian Brothers University, receiving the Biology Award at graduation. He completed his doctoral degree in biomedical sciences (neuroscience) from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center where he served as a post-doctoral fellow conducting neurotransmission research.

“Through M.O.S.T. I was able to go to Catholic school, and afterwards I did not take any of my knowledge away from the city,” said Kyle. “I opted to go to college here in Memphis, opted to get my Ph.D. in Memphis, and opted to now teach others and enrich the city right here because this is my home. That's not to say I couldn't have made worthwhile contributions if I had not gone to private school, but I don't think my skills would have been maximized to do exactly what I’m doing.”

“I’d like M.O.S.T. supporters to know that contributing to this organization is not even only a donation,” he said. “I would say it's really an investment in Memphis.”

Published by MOST Staff June 13, 2023