Hello! My name is Kathy Cornelius and I have worked at Cullender for over 3 decades. My husband (Mike) and I have been married 38 years. We have three children and nine precious grandchildren. I have a sign in my kitchen that says. “Some people call it chaos, but we call it family!” and I think it depicts our crew perfectly. My husband and I both share a deep love for children and we feel extremely blessed.
Cullender is a very special place to me. I began teaching here fresh out of college in 1983. I remember celebrating my 21st birhday that same year. Beth Larned was my first principal and I learned so much from her. I married my second year of teaching and taught until 1988 when my precious sons were born. I was a stay at home mom for seven years. During that time, I squeezed in another year of teaching and had my beautiful daughter in 1991. I soon returned to teaching at Cullender, as well as, a year at Tatom. Cullender, however, has always had my heart and feels like home away from home.
My teaching career has been a joy. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to teach. My mother tells of when I was a young child, I would teach in my bedroom for hours. Apparently, I’ve always had a love for phonics as she has shared memories of hearing me blending sounds and writing words on my chalkboard. My teaching was patterned after my very special first grade teacher, Mrs. Bertha Dayton. I continued this passsion in high school and was a memeber of FTA (Future Teachers of America) where I would spend some of my time in elementary classrooms. I love working with children and I especially love teaching students how to read. A few years back, I became engrossed in the reading process. I am very interested in the latest reading research and reading strategies. I believe in giving children every opportunity possible to become successful readers. Daily, I get to help students unlock the complexities of beginning reading by providing small group reading instruction that is intensive, focused on children’s needs and scientifically research based. I feel so blessed to get to do what I love to do! My hope is that my students will always feel safe, loved, and encouraged so they can grow as readers.