Mr. Gunn Lauded for Teaching

Headmaster Pete Sanders awarded Mathematics Instructor Mike Gunn the 2024 Distinguished Teaching Award, given annually to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence.
“This year’s honoree certainly demonstrates excellence – long-term excellence,” Sanders said during the May 10 chapel. “He came to MUS in 1985 and has been teaching math and, at times, serving in administration for 39 years. He is known for his ability to make mathematics concepts understandable but also for his snow-white beard.”

Mr. Gunn earned a degree in mathematics from Christian Brothers University in Memphis and taught at a military high school in St. Louis. He later attained a master’s in mathematics from Vanderbilt University and a master’s in education from University of Memphis.

From 1993 until 2005, he took on a series of administrative roles, including assistant principal for academic affairs, academic dean, chairman of the Academic Council, and AP coordinator, always teaching a class or two on the side. In 2005 he decided to return to the classroom full time, saying it’s why he got into the business. Although he has taught courses from Algebra 1 and Geometry to AP Calculus and AP Computer Science, he specializes in Precalculus and Algebra II, the courses he currently teaches.

Math Department Co-chair Phillip Stalls has often joked that he wants to be like Mr. Gunn when he grows up. “Mike always puts the needs of his students and the department over his own. He is a masterful teacher and has a great gift for being able to teach our boys incredibly difficult topics in a way that makes difficult things not seem difficult. His influence on me as an educator has been substantial, and I will always contend that I want to be a teacher like him.”

Math Department Co-chair Darin Clifft described Mr. Gunn’s precalculus courses as the foundation of the curriculum. “Mike’s wisdom and knowledge help the Math Department to maintain consistency in our curriculum and to properly place students in the classes that will most challenge them. Beyond that, he doesn’t just look like Santa; he’s jolly like him as well. As fantastic as a teacher as he is, he’s an even better friend and colleague.”

Mr. Gunn’s sister, Tricia Whitsitt, and nieces, Virginia Whitsitt and Allie Whitsitt, were in the audience to celebrate with him.