Before Magnet: Mrs. Cornehl and Mr. Johnston

Learn more about Mr. Johnston and Mrs. Cornehl

Mr. Johnston and Mrs. Cornehl

Mr. Johnston and Mrs. Cornehl

For an ongoing section in The Talon, Adriana, Caroline, and Savannah have decided to interview two teachers a week to learn more about their backgrounds and time before coming to Magnet. This week we choose to talk to Math Teachers Mrs. Cornehl and Mr. Johnston.

What’s a favorite story from your childhood?

Cornehl: “Either when I was 5 or 6, I was on an Indian Princess Campout with my dad. I was sledding and I ended up in a body cast. I broke my femur. Also, the day I turned 16 I wrecked my car into a brick wall in the driveway and didn’t tell my parents. Then I went out with paint thinner to scrub the paint, and I said my parents hit the wall and this was the punishment! Also in seventh grade, I flipped over my handle bars to avoid running over a dog”

Johnston: “When I was 16, I ran my jeep in a lake twice, you can see the article on a bulletin board in my room. I also did a wheelie on my bicycle off a bridge and broke an arm”

Have you met any celebrities?

Cornehl: “I met a lot of celebrities when I worked at an amusement park. Rafael Nadal, the singers in Next, and I went to high school with the members of Lady Antebellum”

Johnston: “I met celebrities playing music, I played with Mr. Grimshaw at the Charleston Riverdogs and met Bill Murray… I was in a band in college, and in 1989 at Hurricane Hugo benefit concert and we shared the stage with Hootie and the Blowfish”

What’s something you regret or a worst decision you’ve made?

Cornehl: “Getting a tattoo on a vacation in Hawaii is definitely something I regret, but in general being mean to people. But you can’t regret much because it makes you who you are. There are things I’m not proud of but I don’t have many regrets. Well, I regret stealing when I was a child, I stole a little easter bunny and my mom brings it out every single easter to remind me that I stole it. 35 years and I’ve been looking at that bunny!”

But you can’t regret much because it makes you who you are.”

— Mrs. Cornehl

Johnston: “I regret being mean to teachers in high school and just being a horrible student. I was disrespectful to them, but they have forgiven me since. But I agree that regrets make you who you are… I also regret not buying a bunch of guitars in the late 70s because they’d be worth a fortune now.”

What’s the most interesting job you’ve had?

Cornehl: “I was a ride operator at an amusement park. The worst job was I worked at Boston Market before they had non-slick shoes”

Johnston: “I was the manager of candy store downtown when I was 20.  I made pralines, peanut brittle, cooked up corn syrup over a copper pot in front of tourists. I have also played a lot of music, and  after Hurricane Hugo many of my friends and I became construction workers and started working for contractors. I worked for a contractor until becoming a teacher. In high school I worked at Andy’s deli and Sandy’s hot dogs in Columbia (note: he was fired for being rude to a customer losing temper). I also worked for seafood restaurants in the summer on Pawley’s Island”

What made you decide to become a teacher?

Cornehl: “I just love it. I’ve always liked working with people, I like that it can be different every day. I also think we laugh a lot more at this job. But neither one of us got education degrees originally in college, we’re both math nerds who turned that into a job.”

Johnston: “I became a teacher because of the vacation time because I have so many hobbies and want time for them. I also really love math too. Being a teacher keeps me in touch with all the hip trends. I don’t think I would laugh as much if Mrs. Cornehl wasn’t here, she reminds him of his sister except she’s not as crazy.”

Being a teacher keeps me in touch with all the hip trends.”

— Mr. Johnston

Memories from the old campus? 

Cornehl: “Here’s a crazy story, remember when it was raining and the Assistant Principal allowed the kids to do a slip n’ slide at lunch? After lunch all these kids wanted to come in school, they were covered in head to toe from mud. Who let you do this? The administration!”

The Assistant Principle allowed the kids to do a slip n’ slide at lunch… who let you do this? The Administration!”

— Mrs. Cornehl

Johnston: “the old campus was like the wild west. It was like Wyoming compared to the new campus and you could kinda cut loose a little more on the old campus. I could bring my grill in back of my truck, pull the truck up to window and climb out the window to grill burgers for lunch during the school day. Also the ceiling of my classroom caved in a few times during class. It was full of water and kept sagging and sagging… One time the seniors put a teacher’s car on cinder blocks for senior prank. The teacher pressed full charges and the students got carted off in a police car. In the following year, the seniors enclosed the teacher’s car in a wooden structure during the school day so they didn’t touch the car and couldn’t get charged.”

Swim in the glory of the moment”

— Mr. Johnston

What would you have told your younger self or your current students?  

Cornehl: “I would say, enjoy the journey and learn to listen to people. Everybody’s in a rush to get to the next phase… a rush to graduate high school, then college, and to get a job…”

Johnston: “Live in the moment, try to swim in the glory of the moment. Growing up is not all it’s cracked up to be. Don’t Rush to move on to the next leg of life”

Stay tuned for the next publication of The Talon to learn more about your teachers!