New science teacher, Mr. Steve Cornell, starts a spark in the Seabury Hall community

Elizabeth Thibaudeau, Staff Writer

Keeping students interested in the natural world can be a challenge. However, Seabury Hall’s new science teacher Mr. Steven Cornell knows exactly how to promote science, as an exciting way to learn about our world through his bright personality and hands-on science experiments.

Cornell was born in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. When he reached his early teenage years, his family moved to Roswell, New Mexico, where he attended middle school and high school.

Cornell’s high school differed in the opportunities that students can find here at Seabury Hall. He said, “One thing that I can remember about my high school is that we had a vocational education program, so when I was a junior in high school I became a certified nurse’s assistant.” Other than that, Cornell describes himself as being an average high school student with big dreams of one day becoming a fighter pilot.

He started off his education at Mesa Community College (MCC) in Mesa, Arizona, where he majored in nursing. From MCC, he then transferred to Arizona State University (ASU) to take sociology classes because he thought he wanted to be a sociologist. Before he got his sociology degree, he realized he wanted to be an astronaut, so from ASU, he transferred to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Science, Technology, and Globalization.

Different career choices have lead Cornell on many different journeys. For a little while, he decided to have some fun waiting tables at a quaint restaurant in Albuquerque. He said, “After doing this for a little while I thought to myself, I can wait tables anywhere in the world, why am I in Albuquerque New Mexico?”

Cornell moved to Maui at the age of 32, and after his move, he realized he wanted to be a science teacher. He said, “I was just wandering around life trying to figure out what I was going to do, and once I moved to Maui, I just figured it all out.”

After falling in love with the island, Cornell looked for a job that would involve something he loved and would pay well enough to live here for the rest of his life. He found a job as a science teacher at Lahainaluna High School and started graduate school in 2003 and earned his master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Phoenix.

During his 13 years at Lahainaluna, he started a hands-on biotechnology lab course, where students were able to learn current molecular biology techniques and use the same science equipment and tools that are found in research labs and industries around the world. He looks forward to bringing this advanced science education to Seabury Hall.

Change has been a constant in Cornell’s life. He believes that the changes he has made throughout his life have brought him here. He said, “What brought me to Seabury Hall? Well, there was a job opening! But that’s not really what brought me here. God brought me to Seabury Hall. Everything just worked out and was the right timing.”

Cornell has a set of goals he would like to achieve this year with his students. He explained, “I really believe that science should be hands on, and that our students here should start working with types of technology and science that they will be seeing at major universities and colleges.”

This year, one of Mr. Cornell’s goals for every one of his students is to experience science firsthand through interesting experiments conducted in the lab rather than just reading it from a book or conducting online simulations.

Describing himself to be a lively person who is excited to learn and teach, Cornell said, “What makes me unique is my energy level, positivity, and my wanting to use different ways to help students learn science.”

Kallalei Ryden, a sophomore in Cornell’s Chemistry class said, “I am excited to be in Mr. Cornell’s class this year because we conduct many fun experiments, he explains what we will be doing very well, and he teaches us how to take data on the experiments.”

Alastair Hebard, another new science teacher here at Seabury Hall said, “Mr. Cornell has proven to be a wealth of knowledge and a pleasure to work with. I am glad to be able to work with him as a team member in creating biology curriculum.”

Cornell has one piece of advice for every Seabury student here: “My advice to all students would be to not get caught up in drugs and alcohol; it will always be around and it is always best to stay as far away from it as possible because all it will do is waste your time and energy.”

Cornell is proud of the job that he has serving the community by educating young adults and getting the chance to watch their minds grow. He said, “I like my job because I get to help students. I think that it is a honorable and noble profession, and I like that I can take it really seriously and be professional. I’m definitely not in it for the vacations, but to really try and make a difference in students’ lives and get them interested in a career in science, or just to even help them to understand the science we all experience.”

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Bridget, and two beagles, Charlie and Oliver. He also likes kiteboarding, and reading about molecular biology. He and his wife like building items such as shelves, tables, wall hangings or anything else they need for the inside of their house.

Cornell is looking forward to meeting new families and becoming involved in the Seabury community. “I know Seabury is a unique and special place, and I look forward to becoming a part of it.”