Laurie Cornell

Director of Early Childhood Program and Early Elementary


B.A., English, 24 Units in Early Childhood Development
Hawaii Pacific University, Cal State Fullerton
Teacher since 2004

How many years have you worked at Oak Grove?

I began working at Oak Grove in 2013 as a preschool teacher. I have been in my current roll as ECP director since 2018.

Why do you work at Oak Grove?

I work at Oak Grove because I believe in the values of the school and align with the holistic approach to education.

A quote that inspires your approach to your job.

“Be careful what you teach. It might interfere with what they are learning.” ~Magda Gerber

Where is your special spot on campus?

I love walking the paths on campus and watching the way the light falls.

Coffee or Tea?


What outdoor experience has been most impactful for you?

The first 10th grade back-packing trip I went on in the Sespe was really magical. I hadn’t back-packed since college, and it was so amazing to spend a week, together with students, connecting with nature and exploring the mountains in our backyard. We navigated some unexpected weather, and one afternoon it even snowed!

Which teacher in your life affected you greatly? How?

My 7th and 8th grade English teacher, Karen Pavliscak, greatly affected my life. She introduced me to creative writing and gave me a wonderful outlet during a difficult and tender time in my life. She was progressive, artistic, interested in her students, and inspiring.

Person (dead or alive, famous or not) that you’d most like to share a meal with.

My sister, Trina.

Name a place you’ve always wanted to visit, but haven’t yet.


How many Patagonia clothing items do you own? How many are you wearing now?

Probably about five or six, and I am currently not wearing any.

Favorite Oak Grove expression?

“Let’s begin with a moment of silence.”