Home » School » Cheryl LeFevre and Jeff Brinkerhoff Leave Mustangs Behind, but Not in Spirit
School photos of Bryce Valley teachers Cheryl LeFevre and Jeff Brinkerhoff.

Cheryl LeFevre and Jeff Brinkerhoff Leave Mustangs Behind, but Not in Spirit

Bryce Valley is losing two dedicated faculty members who retired this year: Cheryl LeFevre and Jeff Brinkerhoff.

Years ago, on the day of class registration for 7th grade at Bryce Valley High School, Mrs. Cheryl LeFevre was sitting at a table on the tile floor right outside the office. She, like all of the teachers at BVHS, was working outside normal school hours to greet the students. 

As the wide-eyed 7th graders filled out the class registration sheets, she would ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” If they hesitated, she would say, “I would’ve been an astronaut.”

Cheryl did not become an astronaut. Instead, she spent 30 years teaching math and coaching cheerleading at BVHS.

“I think teaching found her!” said Cheryl’s daughter, Elaina Purcell. “She and my dad were moving back from Louisiana and the math job opened up which is funny since her degree was in science.” 

It turned out math was a great subject for her. “I call her a math legend,” said Elaina, who took math from her mom throughout high school. “She was so good at making math actually make sense!”

Truly, Cheryl would do anything to connect with the students and make math interesting to them — not an easy feat! Her classroom was known for its rewards including Frooties and the mustangs’ “green cards” — but mostly Frooties.

She also tried to keep the students very involved and invested in whatever they were doing. In both her teaching and her coaching, she would quote pop songs, incorporate funny or familiar names and involve students in decision-making processes. That was the case when she spent hours after school flipping through catalogs to choose uniforms with the cheer team.

Elaina said there were too many stories to tell from her mom’s teaching days, but “they usually involved a clever prank!”

The whole school laughed their heads off when Cheryl got together with the English teacher, Lacey Jensen, and mimicked the Saturday Night Live superlative sketch or when she put on fake braces and they acted like teenagers from another sketch.

“Overall she loved the students and the school,” said Elaina. Her mom’s love for the school did not end with retirement. “When she turned in her resignation she wrote a second letter telling them she would continue to volunteer her time because she loves coaching cheer so much!”

Cheryl’s retirement plans will involve continuing to volunteer with the cheer team, being the “big boss” at the family business and visiting lots of beaches.

Unfortunately Bryce Valley is losing not just one, but two dedicated faculty members this year.

Jeff Brinkerhoff served the school as principal for 14 years. He will now be leaving to be the CTE director for Garfield County School District.

Like Cheryl’s math teaching, Jeff’s plan was not originally to be a principal. “He originally started teaching shop,” said his son, Josh Brinkerhoff. “I don’t think it was in his original plans to be a principal, but it worked out that way for him.”

Principal Jeff did so much for Bryce Valley High School. Any given day, you could find him there morning or night, administrating needs of the school and supporting sports teams. Like many at small schools, he took on much more than just a normal principal’s job. And the school felt that.

Jeff’s full retirement is not for a few years, and he will keep serving the school on the district level. “After that, I’m sure he has lots of plans!” said Josh.

Cheryl LeFevre and Jeff Brinkerhoff will surely be missed in the Bryce Valley hallways as they take their paths elsewhere next year.

by Abbie Call

Feature image caption: Cheryl LeFevre, math teacher, and Jeff Brinkerhoff, principal, retired from their jobs at Bryce Valley High School in 2024. Courtesy of BVHS website.

Read more about local retirements in Loa Elementary Teacher MarJean Davis Retires after 35 years.

Portrait of Abbie Call

Abbie Call – Cannonville/Kirksville, Missouri

Abbie Call is a journalist and editor at The Byway. She graduated in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in editing and publishing from Brigham Young University. Her favorite topics to write about include anything local, Utah’s megadrought, and mental health and meaning in life. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hanging out with family, quilting and hiking.

Find Abbie on Threads @abbieb.call or contact her at [email protected].