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Corbell Elementary School Dedicated (September, 2006)

Friends, colleagues, and former students of Weldon Corbell remembered the towering principal fondly Sunday as Corbell Elementary was dedicated in West Frisco.

The late Corbell served 13 years as principal of Frisco High School and also served as the baseball coach. He later went on to serve as superintendent in Trinidad and Little Elm schools. He was also assistant director of Community Schools of Texas in the early 1980s.

Joe Stubblefield, superintendent of Chapel Hill ISD, is a former student of Corbell, noted that Weldon Corbell took an interest in many of his students. He encouraged students to do their best, to look for opportunities of leadership and to have respect for other people. He once lectured Stubblefield on how he was behaving with his girlfriend in the halls at school, reminding him to keep her reputation in mind. That girlfriend later became his wife, Bernice, Stubblefield said.

“Mr. Corbell opened doors for me,” Stubblefield said. “He had always taken an interest in me. He was my coach, my principal, my counselor, my boss at one time and a mentor.”

Stubblefield explained that he had come to FISD for high school from Little Elm. “We were the lake rats,” he said. In those years, the Little Elm students traveled by bus to finish their education at Frisco High School. As the new kids at school, they had trouble fitting in with the Frisco kids. “Mr. Corbell had a counseling session with me about the perception of the Little Elm kids. We had tried to fit in but it was tough. The Frisco kids had all been together since first grade. He challenged me to do something about it. I tried to be a leader. I graduated as Valedictorian in 1966.”

Corbell’s encouragement of Stubblefield to be a leader, led him to seek a college education because he received a $125 scholarship. He became the first person in his family to go to college. “That door was partially opened by Mr. Corbell.” He said.

Later, Corbell offered Stubblefield a job as head coach at Trinidad ISD, thus starting him off on a career that continues today. “He encouraged me, he challenged me, he was a role model. He took a personal interest in me and he wanted me to succeed.”

Stubblefield said he hoped he had been able to help his students because of the model set by Corbell.

Brian Rehders, an area golf pro who described himself as another “Lake Rat” was a friend of Corbell’s in Corbell’s later years. The two, though very different in age, were golf partners and played all across Texas. He listened to Corbell’s many stories of students he had known and the family he loved and knew just how much education meant to the retired educator.  “I am so glad Frisco and the community did this for him,” Rehders said.

Corbell’s widow, Jean Corbell, accepted flowers and a photograph of the school from Principal David Wehmeyer.

Corbell Elementary School is located at 11095 Monarch Drive in Frisco.