About Us

Scott Trinh

My entire childhood was spent growing up a few miles off the Atlantic coast in Virginia. As a first generation American of immigrant parents, it was always instilled in me that an education was incredibly important. Seeing my parents work tirelessly to provide me and my siblings a good life was a testament to that pursuit of the American dream through the growth of learning and knowledge. Even though my own mother had a disabling condition being completely deaf and lacking any way of communicating in English, she continued to work hard to provide in whatever way she could. You could say that this exposure to seeing my own parent learn to accommodate for herself in an English-speaking and hearing world piqued an initial interest in me to supporting others with individual differences and impairments. As with many young college freshmen, I started my undergraduate studies at Old Dominion University not entirely sure of what to pursue as a career. My interests were varied and included architecture and engineering (as they matched my visual-spatial and mathematical strengths), graphic design (as it spoke to my creative and imaginative side), and advertising and marketing communications (for the highly social, design, and problem-solving aspects of the field).

However, none of these seemed to fulfill this innate drive to helping others in a more meaningful way. It was not until I took an introduction to psychology course did I discover how much I enjoyed learning how the mind functions and influences every aspect of human behavior (along with environmental factors). I was hooked, and from then on, I committed to completing an undergraduate major in psychology. In one of my undergraduate courses, I had the opportunity to shadow psychologists in various fields (e.g., clinical psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, etc.). One truly spoke to my desire to supporting individuals, especially at an early age, and that was school psychology. The ability to intervene and change the trajectory for students before their individual academic and social-emotional behavior challenges became chronic, habitual, and relentless is deeply fulfilling. As I think about it, the field meets the needs of my ideal career as it requires creativity and problem-solving in assessment, designing effective plans of intervention, meeting and socially interacting with individuals of all walks of life, and allows me to help others determine why they or their child may be struggling in school. The layperson might not typically think of this, but psychologists also deal with some math and statistics as well. Indeed, I had found the right path for me.

The year of 2010 was a significant one for me. In the span of a few months, I graduated, got married, and moved across the country to Utah to begin my graduate studies in school psychology at Brigham Young University. Another considerable year followed in 2013 in which I completed my school psychology internship in the Alpine School District, graduated with my Educational Specialist degree, and had my first child. In fact, my wife was in the hospital with our newborn son watching through a blurry live feed while I gave my graduation address at the podium and walked the stage. From then on my career began in the Alpine School District providing psychological assessment and services for students with a range of disorders, including autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and many more.

In 2016, our family made one of the biggest life changing decisions ever — moving abroad to a foreign country we knew so little about. If Utah was considered my second home, then South Korea became my third. Both my wife and I took a leap of faith and began an adventure working for Korea International School (KIS) in Seoul. This experience showered us with so many opportunities to explore the world, learn about different cultures, work with diverse international populations, establish friendships across the globe, and the list goes on. On a professional level, I established the role as KIS’s first school psychologist through the administration of psychological assessments, development of intervention plans, delivery of counseling services, and my legacy of originating the school’s multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) framework that is still used today.

My wife and I made the decision to settle back down in Utah to be closer to family after our four years overseas and moved back in June of 2020. At that time, I rejoined the stellar faculty of the Alpine School District to continue fulfilling my life’s call to supporting students and using assessment tools to assist families and school teams in developing effective educational interventions and recommendations that are data-driven and tailored to individual needs. I am fortunate to also take on the role as one of the lead psychologists in the Alpine School District, allowing me to work closely with the psychologist leadership team in making crucial decisions regarding our district’s psychologist practice model. Recently, the faculty of BYU’s School Psychology program have also selected me to become one of four collaborators on a multi-year project to improve their graduate students’ practicum and internship experiences.

I feel very lucky to have had so many different opportunities to grow in my field and am thrilled to continue this professional growth at Utah Excel Psychology with Dr. Aaron Allred. There is so much value in using psychological assessment to not only identify patterns of strengths and weaknesses, but also in helping families and individuals come to understand the reason for the difficulties they have been facing. I am a firm believer that understanding yourself leads to greater self actualization. To some degree, those we help discover profound realizations about themselves that enables them to improve and to better advocate for their needs. That alone makes this some of the most rewarding work I could have ever asked for.