Thanks to a naturally curious soul, science just clicks with Kevin McReynolds. Ever since teaching childhood friends about the animals and plants found on his grandparents’ farm, Kevin has been drawn to understanding the inner workings of the world around him, leading him on an extraordinary journey marked by exploration and transformation.
That journey has led him to the Laurel Springs School, where he has been teaching multiple levels of chemistry, physics, astronomy, biotechnology, and earth science since 2014. Although he loves the rewards of freedom and flexibility that have come with the school’s asynchronous delivery, he admits that the move to online education was a risky one.
“I had taught in a traditional public school setting for 35 years and then retired,” says McReynolds. “I wanted to continue to work after retirement and was fully expecting to teach in a traditional private school.”
Any reservations Kevin may have had were quickly put to rest upon meeting with the Laurel Springs Science Academic Department Chair, who described how our online private education operates. Kevin notes that his experiences have been nothing but fulfilling and is amazed by the accomplishments of his students. “So many of my students are very talented in sports or the arts,” he says. “And the qualities that make them competitive and successful in those endeavors fuel their academic zeal as well.”
As many teaching successes as Kevin has enjoyed in both brick-and-mortar and virtual classrooms, it’s important to accentuate all he has accomplished as a scientist, especially in the field of water-use issues. In his home state of Georgia, Kevin has assisted Georgia State professors and Environmental Protection Agency leaders in collecting samples from the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers, which flow into Florida’s Apalachicola Bay.
The bay, a thriving habitat for shrimp and oysters, is comprised of a healthy mix of fresh and salt water. During prolonged drought periods, however, water withheld for residences and businesses can often lead to intrusions of starfish and other predators into the bay, which threaten shrimp and oyster populations. Kevin’s insight and efforts in gathering evidence have been vital to state and federal agencies seeking to make informed decisions on how to handle this crisis.
When not leading a lesson or lending a hand to other scientific pursuits, you can often find Kevin playing a different kind of hand. “I love playing bridge,” he notes. “Duplicate bridge has become a focus lately and I play at the social, club, and tournament levels.” In addition to his affection for the card game, Kevin’s pursuits include birding and landscape gardening.
With such a wide array of hobbies and interests, Laurel Springs School is lucky that the natural world still calls to Kevin. We hope science continues to click with him for years to come.