Birch Creek teacher, Jeremy Smith, chosen to be a Utah Teacher Fellow
Teacher Jeremy Smith with several of his students
Fourth-grade teacher Jeremy Smith is one of just twenty educators selected to be a Utah Teacher Fellow. As such, he will work to engage his colleagues and serve as a liaison between teachers and the State Board of Education. He is the only teacher chosen from Cache Valley for this honor.
According to their website, UT Teacher Fellows are experienced professionals who work to engage their educator peers and submit teacher-led solutions to the State Board of Education to inform policy and practice. The Hope Street Group Utah Teacher Fellow application process is thoughtful and competitive. Fellows receive training on developing and leading professional learning, engaging their peers, professional uses of social media, facilitating difficult conversations, hosting successful meetings, and how to look at challenges with a solutions-oriented mindset. Teachers with these skills can be powerful assets to a district and their peers by elevating teacher voice.
Tabitha Pacheco, Director of the Utah Teacher Fellows Program explained that Jeremy Smith "has demonstrated an exceptional willingness to collaborate, persevere, take initiative and risks, and honor the perspectives of colleagues and decision-makers.” She continued, “We are confident he will be a unique and positive leader for other educators while benefiting from the teacher leadership development training and opportunities the Fellowship provides."
Smith's profile on the Utah Teacher Fellows website gives insight into his passion and experience as an educator. It says, "Jeremy Smith is an experienced educator in the Cache County School District dedicated to improving education and promoting learning for all students. With experience in special education, gifted and talented, and general education, Jeremy understands the myriad of challenges in teaching, yet seeks opportunities to help teachers and students continuously improve. Jeremy enjoys presenting at the national, state, and local level about building the key characteristics of good learners and promoting powerful practices for outstanding educators. He enjoys helping others find effective and sustainable ways to meet the challenges that come with being an educator. As a current Utah Teacher Fellow, he looks forward to linking teachers and educators across the state."
Smith graduated with his Masters in Elementary and Special Education from Utah State University. He has been a 4th-grade teacher at Birch Creek Elementary since it opened in 2009. His personal philosophy is to always keep growing. He encourages his students to improve without feeling the stress and anxiety that he sees so many students facing today. “The idea of continuing to grow requires effort,” Smith explained. “It requires risk and requires being open to possibilities. As an educator, besides teaching all the content and standards, at the core is the idea that wherever you’re at, you can keep growing.”
Throughout the year, Jeremy will engage with many education stakeholders including hosting focus groups with teachers across the state, meeting with legislators, and participating on USBE committees. Congratulations to Mr. Smith on this selection, and we wish him luck on this new opportunity for growth. For more information about the Utah Teacher Fellows program, visit their website: Teacher Fellows Network