“At the end of the school year my son was in tears as he left Mr. Cornell’s class for the last time. He loves his students and it comes through in everything he does in the classroom.”
“Mr. Cornell is a master story teller. He has a magical way of making History come alive and become real to his students. His love for the Founding Fathers instills in his students a strong witness of the divine hand involved in our nation’s founding.”
“My son was supposed to go with his scout group…to an exciting event on BYU campus, but when he found out he would have to leave an hour early from school he refused and literally cried that he did not want to miss a minute of Mr. Cornell’s lecture.”
“Our daughter has never been so enthusiastic about learning history! She recounts all she is learning in class around the dinner table, and we have enriching discussions as a family. She has thrived in his classroom in all subjects, and has had great leadership opportunities in the classroom.”
“Mr. Cornell [has a] deep love and understanding of history, and how it pertains to our lives in modern times. He has instilled that same love for history in my daughters through his captivating storytelling of important events that took place when our nation was being founded.”
Why do you love teaching at AHS? – I wanted to come to teach the truth. So many places the truth has to be filtered. We can discuss it safely and openly, and let the students draw those conclusions.
What is unique about AHS? – That the importance of parents and their children’s education is recognized and built upon. We have such great parent involvement. We are helping the parents teach, but not replacing the parents in that role.
What legacy do you hope to leave your students? – A life-long passion in learning history and understanding its influence in their lives. They come not liking history, and I hear later from many that they have developed a life-long love for studying, and a passion for history. I want to see the stories of America incorporated into their lives. I think that through the stories of history, the students are learning character and how real people applied true principles in real situations. They receive models to follow in their lives.
What do you love about History? – I have always loved American History. The land we live in–a choice land, chosen for a choice people. Our values are needed. Where we come from, and why we are who we are is important for us; to know what God wants for us in the continent and this nation. Without the knowledge of where we come from and the why, there can be no real meaningful future.
Student interactions – I love it when the students draw the conclusion what the truth is based on their beliefs. I don’t tell them the answers or the truths. I’m not here to teach the truth. Truth is a personal thing. I teach that their lives reflect their beliefs, not their beliefs reflect their lives. Beliefs determine your actions and your life, rather than a chosen lifestyle dictating what you believe. The forefathers were like that. They lived a lifestyle tailored to what they believed.
Curriculum Highlight – The Patriotic Program. It is a culmination of history in our nation. It focuses on the chain of freedom down through the Civil War. It is an overview of all that led to the freedoms we enjoy as a people and are putting out there across the entire world in many ways.
Why teaching? – To share the passion and love of learning with students; to engender the love of learning through whatever means. The methods are not really that important–what is really important is that they love to learn.
“I hope my students to gain a life-long passion for learning history and understanding its influence in their lives. “
– Mr. Cornell
I founded six living history organizations. My wife and I organized and the Mormon Trail Wagon Train in 1997 – The 100-day long event, where we crossed from Omaha, Nebraska to Salt Lake City. We had 10,000 participants in that. My wife was inspired one day, when we were talking about ways to draw attention to the monument that has become the This Is the Place state park. She originally imagined three or four wagons, but through eight or nine years of planning, that grew and grew. After we came home, President Hinckley told me that outside of the publishing of the Book Of Mormon, no other event in church history has done more positive good for the church. Brigham Young took the church out of the world to Zion, and our event brought it out to the world again–350 million people heard about the church because of the wagon train. My great passion is military history – Revolutionary War through the Civil War.