Mr. Griffel: The funnest history teacher you’ll ever have


Griffel with the 2018-2019 Student Body Officers

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fly in a squirrel suit, or have the coolest history teacher ever? You are in luck! AP United States History teacher Joshua Griffel teaches right here at Hillcrest.

Mr. Griffel has been at Hillcrest for 9 years now, and has loved every year of it. Griffel currently teaches AP United States History classes, but has taught IB History of the Americas, US History and World Civilization in the past. As well as teaching history, Griffel was the Athletic Director at Hillcrest for 7 years, and the Student Government Advisor for 6 years. 

Griffel’s favorite part about teaching at Hillcrest is getting to interact with the students. He loves teaching in the Progressive Era because he gets to talk about the infamous president Teddy Roosevelt. 

“It is fun trying to joke with the students and hopefully make them enjoy learning about history,”

Griffel hasn’t had a specific weird memory that sticks with him about teaching, but rather has many…random…ones. 

“Every year I will get asked random questions from students that I am not prepared for, which usually makes me laugh.”

As seen, Griffel really enjoys teaching. Teaching history has pretty much always been what he wanted to do. 

“I wanted to become a teacher so I could try and help students see the fun that can come with learning about history. A lot of students just think history is boring, so I try to make things more entertaining. Hopefully students can connect with the information if they are having more fun.” he stated. 

A former student and class officer of his, Lizzie Moss, said, “Griffel generally cares about you and your life outside of school! He doesn’t let you cut corners! He makes you work hard for what you want, and makes you work through the whole thing, not just some of it!” she said. “He totally changed my life and I wouldn’t be where I am doing what I’m doing CONFIDENTLY if it weren’t for him!”

Griffel has changed the lives of many students, and is continuing to make an impact for good.

One of Griffels current students, Laney Cluff says, “He’s really outgoing and funny.”

Griffel attended the University of Utah and received a Bachelor’s degree in History Teaching, along with a minor in coaching. 

Teaching history is a passion of his, but Griffel, along with many other teachers, is missing getting to pursue this due to the shutdown of schools because of Covid 19. 

“I really miss teaching at Hillcrest right now. I have been able to spend a lot of time with my three kids, which has been nice, but I definitely would have been happy to come back to work.”

In the meantime, Griffel has some tips about life for his students. 

“My general advice would be to not always compare yourself to others. Be happy with who you are and your strengths. Do something productive that makes you happy and feel fulfilled.”