I grew up overseas in the international school community as my parents were international teachers. I loved living in an environment that allowed me to interact with people of different cultures and backgrounds. I always knew I wanted to live the same life; to travel the world, be an educator, teacher mentor and school leader.
It is important to me to be a lifelong learner. I am always looking for opportunities to increase my knowledge in education, leadership and as a world citizen. I accomplish this goal by being self-motivated, creative and collaborative in embracing challenges and change.
I was born in Oklahoma to Melanie and Terry Cornelius, both teachers. My passion for teaching and teaching international comes from my parents. Curiosity of the world and other cultures led my parents to take a teaching job with Aramco Schools in Saudi Arabia at the beginning of my 4th grade year. For the next six years my two younger brothers and I attended the international school where our parents taught. I loved living in an environment that allowed me to interact with people of different cultures and backgrounds. I later went on to attend an international boarding school in the country of Bahrain. I have been fortunate to travel to many countries, encountering new situations and meeting people.
At the beginning of my 11th grade year my family relocated to Frisco, Texas where my parents took jobs as Assistant Superintendent of Technology (father) and Elementary Science Curriculum Director (mother) for one of the fastest growing school systems in Texas. Once I graduated from high school I attended a local college to study digital media art and photography.
In college I worked as a photo tech in a Wal-Mart store, over the years I worked my way up to the corporate office as a Print Production Artist. I have always wanted to share my love of digital media art with students and encourage their creativity. After seven years of working for the largest employer in the U.S., I took some time off to earn my teaching certificate.
Once I earned my teaching certificate in Technology Applications, I started my teaching career at Pioneer Middle School in Frisco, Texas. After two years of teaching Multimedia and Video Production, I was ready to start my career overseas. In 2010 I made the move to Yangon, Myanmar where I taught high school Digital Media Art at the International School of Myanmar. I truly treasure my time in Myanmar and the connections I have made with students.
After five years of teaching secondary I felt I was ready for my next adventure, teaching Elementary! In August of 2013 I moved to the beautiful island of Jeju, South Korea. I took on the role of the Elementary Educational Technology Integrator and Coach at the Korea International School, Jeju Campus. I would never of thought I would love teaching Elementary as much as I do! Inspiring our youngest students to explore the world of technology is a truly rewarding experience. My biggest accomplishments at KISJ was the development and management of the 1:1 iPad program as well as the creation of a fully integrated technology program.
After seven years in Asia I was ready for something different, a new part of the world to explore, the pura vida life was calling! In July 2017 I made the move to San Jose, Costa Rica where I took on the role of Elementary Educational Technology Coordinator at the Blue Valley School. During my time at Blue Valley School I implemented and coordinated a fully integrated EdTech curriculum (Robotics, iPads, MacBooks, Chromebooks and MakerSpace) for grades PreK-5.
While I greatly enjoyed my time in Costa Rica, I felt a pull to return to Asia. In August of 2019 I made the move to Shenzhen, China and took on the role of Educational Technology Educator and Coach at the QSI International School of Shenzhen. I taught EdTech classes to grades 3-9 as well as coaching teachers in best practices of integrating EdTech into their homeroom lessons. During my three years at QSI Shenzhen I hosted several teacher and parent EdTech trainings and was very active in after school activities such as Dragon TV, yearbook and the Fast and Furious Typing Club.
After 14 years in the classroom I felt I was ready for a new challenge. In August 2022, I made the transition to Elementary Director of Instruction for the QSI International School of Chengdu. My new role is a combination of being a principal and curriculum coordinator for Preschool to Grade 5, and I am loving every minute of it!