Brennen Priefer. Photo by Careena Chase

Hillbilly Brennen Priefer returns to his Idyllwild roots — to his hometown, elementary school and to his fifth grade classroom. “I’m glad to be back,” said Priefer.


Priefer has lived in Idyllwild since he was five years old. “My father came out [from Ohio] to Palm Springs for work, then moved up to Idyllwild,” he said. Like most Hillbillies, Priefer completed K-7 at Idyllwild School (8th grade was added later) then 8th through high school graduation at Hemet High School.

After starting college, Priefer took a break to work in the golf industry, opening up Arnold Palmer golf courses throughout the country. He returned to finish his bachelor’s degree in social sciences at Chapman University in Orange and then completed a master’s degree in education technology at American Intercontinental University. Priefer received his teaching credential at Chapman.

Priefer’s first teaching assignment, after completing student teaching in Palm Springs, was in Desert Hot Springs. He taught there for two years. He has also taught at Jacob Wiens and Little Lake Elementary schools in Hemet and a previous stint at Idyllwild School.

In addition to teaching fifth grade, Priefer is active in coaching — boys volleyball and boys and girls basketball.

“The thing I appreciate most about Idyllwild School is the involvement of parents in the life of the school, said Priefer. “We have great parent volunteers who assist in class. I really like to teach where I know the parents.

“And there are so many more things, like the smARTS program. You don’t get that anywhere else. It [smARTS] gives our students a chance to express themselves in many different ways,” he said.