Byng teacher and East Central University graduate Deborah Cornelison — along with four educators whose experience combines with hers to total 116 years —was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in June.
“I was honored by the selection,” Cornelison said. “The induction was very humbling. Thousands and thousands of teachers deserve recognition. Those of us who have been selected for this honor feel like we are representing them.”
Cornelison has taught ninth-grade physical science at Byng Junior High School for most of her 28-year career. She earned a master’s of education degree in secondary education and a bachelor’s in biology and chemistry from ECU. She was an adjunct instructor of general biology and general physical science before taking the job at Byng.
“For a small school, we probably had one of the best biology departments in the state,” said Dr. Elmer Brown, professor emeritus of biology and one of Cornelison’s mentors,. “Schools from all over the area were recruiting science teachers here. We had to be doing something right.”
Her involvement with ECU has been ongoing as Mathematics and Science Partnership Master Teacher, Upward Bound Saturday Science instructor, Upward Bound Regional Math-Science Center Summer Academy instructor of biology, physics and forensics science and Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Environmental Science and Astronomy Summer Academy instructor.
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