More than you Eck-spect

Jones math teacher shows creative interests 


Kyle Eck is a multi-faceted individual whose expertise and interests are not limited to his titles of Jones math teacher, math team coach, and e-sports manager. 

Eck has a lot of diverse interests, and a prominent one is his longtime involvement with the theater. 

“During high school, I was in the stage crew,”said Eck. “I spent thousands of hours in our high school theater doing sets and lights and a little bit of sound. When I went to college, I majored in theater and math.”

When Jones students needed guidance for the play regarding lighting, Eck stepped into the role. 

“For the play, our student lighting designer approached me three weeks before the show,” said Eck. “The designer said ‘Hey, I heard you know something about lights. Can you help with them?’ I thought it was going to be a quick conversation, but then I learned a little more about what had been going on with the new show. We looked at the situation and realized that we were starting from scratch.” 

Stage lighting has always been something that Eck was passionate about, even though he’s not had a lot of recent practice.

“It has been 12 years since I’ve programmed a show and focused on lighting. But it’s always been something that I like doing and I kind of fell right back into it,” said Eck.

Eck’s involvement with the play was not limited to lighting, as he took on an acting role in the play. 

“The role was just a last-minute substitution. They needed someone to take on the role of Professor Caligari,” said Eck.“…They also needed someone who already knew the play and was familiar with the cast and everything that was going on.”

Eck reflected on his role and began to recognize similarities  to what he does with his job as a teacher. 

“It was a role that was written for Jones as a way to stitch the scenes in the play together,”said Eck.. “In terms of my role it is basically like what I do every day: I go in front of a crowd, tell them what’s next, and what the schedule is for the day.”

Layla Sterling ‘24, Eck’s student, went to the play specifically to see Eck perform. 

“He has definitely expressed interest in helping out students. The students needed someone to help with the play, and he stepped into that because he cares about them,” said Sterling. 

Eck’s interests aren’t restricted to theater and lighting. He has also expressed his love for hands-on skills. 

“I’ve always been interested in taking apart things and fixing things,”said Eck. “I got my first bike and I took it all apart in various ways. I tried to make it better and fix it when it broke. I’m not an auto mechanic, but it’s just fun to sort of see how things work.”

Eck’s interest in building and creating, including 3D printing, has been equally useful in the classroom. 

“I’ve made a lot of math-related objects throughout the classroom. Some of them I’ve even used for teaching Multivariable Calculus because it’s all about 3D graphs. Having a 3D print of a 3D graph is way better than trying to draw it on paper,” said Eck.

Making products that are practical is a focus for Eck. He tries to create things that are fun but also useful. 

“I made 3D printed headset holders for the e-sports team. I’m into video games and am a big fan of computer stuff. It fits with all the other themes in my life,” Eck said.

His students find that his love for video games makes him more in touch with them as teenagers.

“I honestly do feel like being a gamer makes him really relatable,” said Luke Sharba ‘24, another student of Eck. “He understands that we don’t always spend 24/7 working on schoolwork and that we do enjoyable stuff, like playing video games.”

Finding connections with teachers is something that students value, and Eck appears to put sincere effort into making those connections.

“It makes it more fun to know who your teachers are as people, and I think Mr. Eck has shown that there is more to him than just being a teacher,” said Eck’s student Georgia Beal ‘24.

Being a math teacher with varied interests such as crafts, building, and creating, Eck reflected on how all these things intertwine. 

“I think that school should teach people how to do things not just with their brains, but also their hands,” said Eck.“Folding paper, making something out of origami, even if it doesn’t turn out well. The act of making is important,”