Archer Birrell, a fourth-grade teacher at Hillside Elementary, will receive the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence. Birrell is one of 45 public school teachers who will be presented this prestigious award at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala next February in Washington, D.C. Hillside Elementary will receive $500 from California Casualty.
“Grateful” is how Birrell feels, after receiving the award. Birrell said it was an amazing surprise and he feels so much gratitude. “It really is a dream come true. You hear about these awards and I’m really grateful to receive one.”
Archer Birrell’s name may sound familiar because he was also named 2018 Granite School Teacher of the Year and was also second runner-up for Utah’s Teacher of the Year.
Birrell grew up with both of his parents as teachers and really looked up to his mother for creating fun in the classroom. He loved to visit their classrooms.
Not a day goes by that Birrell’s students don’t make him laugh and that is something he loves about his job. He describes the people that he works with as super heroes and gives them credit for why he loves teaching.
Awardees are nominated by their peers for their dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity, and advocacy for fellow educators.
“In order to keep a child engaged you have to think like a child and the way to do that is exciting games and activities” said Birrell. His students are having fun but learning.
Five finalists will be announced at the beginning of the school year and receive $10,000 at the gala. The nation’s top educator will be revealed at the gala on February 7, 2020. The top educator will receive an additional $25,000. Congratulations to Archer Birrell!