“I was at Walmart,” Pennock began, “a Disney song came on and I just started belting it, and a little girl asked if she could sing with me.”
Anyone who has had Corinne Pennock as a teacher, friend, or even shared a single conversation with her likely doesn’t doubt this occurrence. Her high energy, contagious spirit, and love for all things Disney are some of her most prominent and lovable characteristics.
“Ms. Pennock’s personality is very exciting and youthful, so it’s easy to connect with her. She’s one of the younger teachers at Central so she understands a lot of our problems,” Student Council Treasurer Ryan Anton said when asked what made Corinne so fun and easy to work with.
Pennock, while working full time as a teacher and part time at a makeup store, also takes on the role of Student Council Sponsor. While she admits it is often stressful, Corinne loves the hands-on aspect of Student Council. She enjoys how casual it is, appreciating the fact that she can show up in leggings and no makeup to decorate for dances and events. Overall, Pennock loves the relationships this role opens up for her. She is given the ability to form closer relationships with her former students as well as students she never taught in the classroom.
Corinne believes it is extremely important for students to have a voice and feel in control. She is able to help students find this voice through her Student Council position, and just through being there for her kids.
Ever since she was a child, Corinne Pennock identified with everything Disney. When asked simply what part of her this piece should be written on, her only answer was “Disney.” This could be a confusing answer to someone who doesn’t know her. After getting to know her this year, however, I was not surprised in the slightest.
At any event where it’s acceptable, Pennock is in her shimmery mermaid tail or Anna costume. Whether a school spirit day, children’s Halloween event, or her own Halloween plans, people almost can’t tell her apart from the real princesses.
Outside of a fantasy world, she is able to reflect her favorite qualities of the characters and the wonderful magic of Disney. Visiting Pennock’s classroom is almost as fun as visiting Disney World. She admires the optimistic, fun loving, and happy aspect of the films and the park, and that shows tremendously through her amazingly and bubbly personality.
I asked Ms. Pennock how she tries to bond with students and break the barrier at the beginning of a new year. “I try my hardest to form a fun and energetic relationship from the first day. Class is full of my Disney music and bad (Disney) puns”. It is very important for her to show her students her crazy personality and let them know it’s a judgement free zone.
Before high school, Pennock had dreamed of being a Dolphin Trainer because it was the closest thing she could think of to a Mermaid. When her mom sat her down and told her she couldn’t swim very well, she had to make a new decision. Following her freshman year of high school, young Corinne Pennock had found a role model in a position she would aspire to succeed at herself. She admired a certain teacher- an ideal Disney teacher. “She was able to make everything in that class fun and made learning something they wanted to do every day”.
Thanks to the kind, fun loving, Disney role model Pennock found, so many students can now admire her in the same way. Students look up to their exuberant, kind hearted, beautiful teacher. Whether being taught by her, led through student council, or just seeing her in the halls of Central, Pennock has had a positive influence on a huge majority of the school.
“It’s been so easy for me to just be myself as a person with the students, but also with the staff. We have such a close knit group of teachers who really, really care,” she began as a final statement. “It was easy for me to open up to them which also made it easy to open up to the students”
Corinne Pennock is one of the most successful and admirable teachers I have had the pleasure of knowing at Central High School. While she credits this to the identity she found through Disney as a young girl, and still to this day, I personally think she deserves all the credit.
She says she can’t imagine teaching anywhere other than Central, and has never hoped to be anywhere else. On behalf of all of Central High School, we can’t imagine the second floor without the far off sound of Disney hits coming from Room 208 and the contagious laughter with which you fill the halls.