Faces of UVU: Archer Birrell


Major: Elementary Education


2016 – Master’s in Curriculum and Instructional Design

2012 – Bachelor's in Elementary Education

I am not doing this for recognition, but for the people, because they matter.

Archer Birrell has taught in the Granite School District for eight years. He was named the district’s 2018 Teacher of the Year and second runner-up at the state level.


“I received my bachelor’s and master’s of education at UVU,” he said. “I was given the title of valedictorian for my bachelor’s degree. I cannot thank UVU and my professors enough for their dedication to helping me as a student. I don’t believe I could have received this type of success in my career without them.”


“My professors were so helpful, accommodating, and very friendly,” he added. “I really give credit to them, especially those in the education department. They are there to help the students, not weed them out like some other universities.”


Birrell has taken their example to heart as he has become a teacher himself. “I have decided to put that same philosophy into my teaching,” he said. “I put safety first, then well-being. That includes social, emotional, and positive relationships. It has caused them to flourish.”


He works to keep communication open between his students, their parents, and himself. We work together as a team, he said.


Birrell said it is important for teachers to be creative in how they present their subject matter to the students. His goal is to make things fun, unique, and engaging for them, he said.


The teaching honors he has received may have been for that philosophy, but that was not his motivation.


“I am not doing this for recognition, but for the people because they matter,” he said. “I am here to make somebody else’s life better. That will make mine better also. I try to be in a service mindset. Overall I have always had a belief in success.”