Innovation in Education and the Teaching Profession

Innovation in Education and the Teaching Profession

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Sutherland Institute’s 2019 Congressional Series: Join Congressman Rob Bishop in discussing the importance of education reform on both federal and local levels.

A high school teacher of over 20 years,  Representative Bishop will speak about the importance of education reform on both federal and local levels. A public school teacher turned public servant, Rob Bishop represents Utah’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. Congress. Bishop spent 16 years representing the Brigham City area in the state Legislature. His last two years he was unanimously elected to serve as Speaker of the House. Bishop started teaching at Box Elder High School in Brigham City in 1974. From 1980 through 1985 he taught German and coached debate at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden, Utah, before returning to Box Elder. Before retiring in December 2002, he taught advanced placement courses in government and U.S. History. On January 7, 2003, Bishop was sworn in as the new Congressman from Utah’s First Congressional District, replacing the retiring Rep. Jim Hansen. For his first term, he was appointed to serve on his top three choices for House committees – the Armed Services Committee, the Resources Committee, and the Science Committee – all three of which handle critical issues for Utah’s 1st District. In January 2005, Bishop was sworn into a second term. He was subsequently appointed by the speaker to serve on the powerful House Rules Committee.

“Before coming to Congress, I taught in the public high school classroom for 28 years. If there’s one thing that experience taught me, it’s that education is a local issue. Our education priorities in Utah should be established by parents and local teachers, not mandated by the federal government.” – Rob Bishop

Bishop is now in his ninth term in the House. He serves as ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources and as a senior member of the House Committee on Armed Services, where he sits on the Readiness Subcommittee and the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee. Bishop has worked at nearly every level of the Republican party, from precinct chair to member of the Republican National Committee, and has spent years working in every corner of his district. Bishop is a lifelong resident of the 1st District, with the exception of two years he spent in Germany while serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was born and raised in Kaysville, Utah, where he graduated from Davis High School with high honors. He later graduated magna cum laude from the University of Utah with a degree in political science. He has been a resident of Brigham City since 1974. Bishop is married to Jeralynn Hansen, a former Miss Brigham City. They have five children: Shule, Jarom, Zenock, Maren and Jashon.  They have seven grandchildren. Before coming to Congress, Bishop was active in community theater, which is how he met his wife many years ago. As an avid baseball fan, Bishop is a season ticket holder to the Salt Lake Bees and has coached in multiple leagues.

Following Bishop’s remarks, a panel will discuss how Utah should address teacher shortages. 


Tami Pyfer

Tami Pyfer serves as Governor Gary Herbert’s Education Advisor. Prior to her appointment by the governor in 2014, she taught at Utah State University in the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation. Pyfer served on the Logan City Council and the Logan Schools Foundation Board of Directors where, prior to her Foundation Board term, she served as the Foundation’s Executive Director. She also enjoyed her work as a Program Specialist for the Utah Commission on Civic and Character Education. She has served in various other capacities in Utah schools, including PTA and classroom volunteer.

Aaryn Birchell

Aaryn Birchell is 2018 Utah Teacher of the Year. She teaches English and AP Literature at her alma mater, Uintah High, where she also helps with ACT prep classes and Honor Society. She serves on the local and state education agencies and is a board member of the Uintah Literacy Commission. She shares her deep gratitude for the joy that teaching brings with her husband, Garn, and their four kids.

Brad Asay

Brad Asay serves as president of the American Federation of Teachers Utah, a union of professionals representing public and higher education faculty and staff. He has served in this position since 2013. Asay is an executive board member of the Utah AFL-CIO and vice chair of the Utah One Coalition of Public Employees. He is a retired public school teacher. Mr. Asay resides in Clinton, Utah, with his wife, Tanya.

Attendees are required to register online prior to the event. For questions, please contact Rayanne Matlock at rayanne@sifreedom.orgRegistrants will be emailed location & parking details prior to the event.

Sutherland Institute’s Congressional Series is designed to facilitate civil dialogue and convene stakeholders, elected officials, and community leaders to discuss important issues. They are private events. As such, Sutherland reserves the right to deny access to or remove any individual who interrupts a speaker or panelist, is disruptive or combative in tone, and/or refuses to allow open and civil dialogue. By attending any event, you agree to these terms and conditions.


Aug 28 2019


1:00 pm - 3:00 pm




Sutherland Institute
15 West South Temple, Suite 200, Salt Lake City