Al Church

Contact info:


1968: BA, Georgetown Univ. History/Philosophy

1974: M.Ed. University of Utah: Cultural Foundations, College of Education

1999: Ed.D. University of Utah: Educational Leadership and Policy


2013: Recipient, Governor's Medal for Excellence in Science and Technology: Science Education

2006: Inductee, Utah Educator Hall of Fame, Phi Delta Kappa 

2002: Educator of the Year, Utah ASCD

2001: Outstanding Leadership Award, ELP Dept., University of Utah

1986: Recipient, Milton Bennion Scholarship, University of Utah



I began my career in education as a VISTA Volunteer working with adult literacy programs, first in Colorado with migrant populations, then with SLC schools, from 1969 until 1972. Additional assignments in Salt Lake City School District (1974-1991) included junior high reading teacher and administration, high school alternative programs, social studies teaching, as well as working with inmates in the SL County jail. 

After almost two decades with SLCSD, I accepted a junior high principalship in Murray district, working with middle school reform. I also worked in curriculum and assessment in Murray's district office until 2002 when I accepted the principalship of AMES (Academy for Math, Engineering, and Science), Utah's first early college high school, serving traditionally under-served populations (first-generation, low-income, ethnic minority, and women), specifically in STEM programs of studies and careers. 

I retired from AMES in 2010. Since that time, I have been an adjunct instructor with ELP, Urban Institute for Teacher Education, and the Honors College. I also work with the Utah State Office of Education Title One division conducting appraisal and improvement efforts for under-performing schools.

I received my elementary and high school education in Detroit, Michigan. This formative experience impacted my commitment to social justice at an early age.

I have two grown children, both affiliated with the U. My daughter is a digital collections specialist at the Marriott Library (she received her MFA from the U.) My son is pursuing a career in academic advising with ELP's higher education program, after serving as an academic adviser with SLCC for 5 years. He received his BA in Gender Studies from the U. 2007.

In my spare time I enjoy cooking, golf, biking, bird watching, reading American history, listening to jazz, and travel. Favorite destinations include Cape Cod, Utah's national parks, Washington, DC, southern California, the Oregon Coast.


Affiliations: Phi Delta Kappa (1988 to present)