As a distinguished alumnus and retired professor of the McKay School of Education, Ruel Allred is a prime example of exceptional educational leadership. We had the opportunity to interview Ruel and document some of his interesting experiences.

Below are highlights from our interview with Ruel, and following that is the full video of our conversation.

  • After earning a degree in elementary education from BYU, Ruel served in the Air Force as a fighter pilot. With many options available to him, he decided to teach elementary school.
  • As a young teacher, he experimented with classroom management and even arranged his class so that they would manage themselves in the event that he was not there. One day, he spent the first hour of school away from the classroom while his class organized and taught themselves.
  • Ruel believed (and still believes) that the most effective thing a teacher can do is show genuine concern for his or her students.
  • Ruel observed that often the most problematic students get all of the teacher’s attention. He found that it is just as important to give the well-behaved students sufficient attention and remind them that they are appreciated.
  • As the author of many spelling programs, Ruel applied academic research and made usable teaching programs out of it.
  • As an administrator, he developed a cohort program for masters students that fostered teamwork and collaboration.
  • Ruel found that public relations are important in education so that good actions and accomplishments can be celebrated.
  • Even considering all of the many things Ruel did in his career, working at BYU was the most rewarding thing he has ever done.
  • Ruel reminds teachers that they must be ready for the challenges of their profession—as well as prepared to reap the rewards.
  • In retirement, Ruel and his wife, Betty, served a mission at the Hawaii Temple Visitors’ Center and have traveled the world, including places such as South America and the Mediterranean.


Below is the complete video: