“Mrs. Kornegay does every possible thing she can do to make a student better,” Wilhelm said. “She treats them like her own and pushes them to be the best, not accepting any excuses. Mrs. Kornegay has always pushed me to be my best and helped me achieve whatever I wanted.”
This is Kornegay’s fourth time being named STAR Teacher by one of her pupils.
“It is a great feeling to be recognized by Ben as having a positive impact on his education,” she said.
Wilhelm first became an academic student of Kornegay’s his sophomore year when he took honors chemistry and robotics. He took AP Chemistry and a second year of robotics his junior year. As a senior, Wilhelm is taking AP Environmental Science and AP Physics.
“When I graduate, I will have taken every class she has to offer,” he said. “AP Physics is my favorite. I love the way the class is never boring and we are always doing hands-on labs.”
Wilhelm appreciates how science offers definitive answers.
“Science is different from English class,” he said. “Science is either black or white; there is no in between where you have to explain your answer based on how you feel about some writing.”
Though Wilhelm is a years-long student of Kornegay’s, high school is not the first time the duo met in a scientific or academic setting.
“I first got to know Ben when he was in middle school and a student on the LEGO League team I coached,” Kornegay said. “Since then, Ben has taken six of my classes and he was on the robotics and Science Olympiad teams I coached, so I have had the opportunity to work with Ben in a variety of settings.”
Wilhelm is actively engaged in whatever he does and consistently meets high standards of excellence, she adds.
“Whether in the classroom or on the field, Ben does not shy away from a challenge,” Kornegay said. “Anyone who knows Ben knows he is very competitive; it shows on the field and in the classroom. At robotics competitions, teams are judged on showing ‘gracious professionalism’ to other teams. Last year, Ben’s team brought home the top award from region competition and a special award from state for the way they worked together and interacted with other teams. Ben does not let his competitive drive overwhelm his sense of sportsmanship.”
Wilhelm intends to continue his appreciation for science in college and hopes to land a job in mechanical engineering as his chosen career.