LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Chris Corbin

Position: Physical Education Teacher
School: Angus Valley Elementary School
School District: Sand Springs Public Schools
City, State: Sand Springs, OK

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On April 15th, 2020, Mr. Corbin was surprised as a national LifeChanger Award winner! Check out his surprise below.

Chris Corbin was nominated by his colleague, Claudia Smith.

“The encouragement just oozes from him for every runner,” said Gina Myers, a colleague. “He shows up early and stays late. Every. Single. Day"

This statement stands out among all others. Collectively, all who know Mr. Corbin as a teacher, mentor, husband, father, and coach have personally witnessed the profound impact he makes within his community. Keep in mind, he has never missed a day of work for personal illness in his 18 years of teaching. He has a proven ability to make a difference in the lives of students and families. He teaches life skills. Ask any student at Angus Valley Elementary, and most of them can tell you where to look on a food or drink package for the sugar content and be able to tell you which foods may be good or bad for you.

Mr. Corbin never seeks the limelight or any attention for his laudable efforts because he believes his work is already an expectation we should be striving for on a daily basis. He not only seeks to motivate his students to be healthy and fit, but he aims to equip them with the knowledge of what it means to be fit. His efforts compel students to go home and share that information with their families. One student commented, “Whenever there isn’t PE, sometimes he goes out and runs laps!”

Exercise may feel like a death sentence for some students, so Mr. Corbin, who has worked for the district since 2004, tries to make exercise feel like a game. Students who would never otherwise willingly exercise at school with classmates or at home with their families eagerly participate during and after school hours.

“Coach Corbin has an incredibly positive impact on his students, including my own children," said Kristin Pope, a parent. "He’s someone the kids look up to and feel comfortable with. He is one of those teachers who you’ll remember as a favorite for the rest of your life. Coach Corbin is funny, but very influential to these children. My kids come home from school talking about all of the things he has taught them!”

Mr. Corbin has written several successful grants and has been recognized by former students. Healthy, Happy Hearts is the name of a 2015 grant he wrote, and one that was subsequently funded by the Sand Springs Education Foundation. This grant allows Angus Valley Elementary students and teachers to get immediate data that shows the effort being performed by individuals in fitness class. The students are taught about resting, target, and maximum heart rates along with the importance of getting in the target and maximum zones every day for a certain amount of time throughout the year. Part of the equation to staying healthy is getting the heart rate up through exercise or physical activities.

The result is to show them that they do not have to be an athlete to stay healthy for the rest of their lives. Such is the case with one student who was in Mr. Corbin’s second grade class at Angus Valley Elementary many years ago. The student eventually attended the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, a two-year residential public high school for academically gifted students in mathematics and science located in Oklahoma City. This student vividly remembered the influence of Mr. Corbin so much that he was instrumental in rewarding his former educator with a “Most Impactful Teacher” award.

Mr. Corbin not only provides the template on which others can structure their fit lifestyle, but he also shares scientific research with district staff supporting the need for brain breaks in the classroom and extra recess. In addition, he is always eager and willing to step in for others to fill any possible needs. His leadership is felt throughout the district, as he has created and participated in the following initiatives and programs:

  • funding and construction of a district track facility and cross country course;
  • All City Track Meet;
  • Sand Springs Youth Running Club;
  • Angus Valley Elementary Field Day;
  • a special needs running program (including the Conner’s Classic 5K Run, which benefits all of the district’s running programs and Sand Springs Community Services);
  • Recess Running Club;
  • Miracle Marathon;
  • CrossFit Kids, and;
  • Nex Gen Minutemen, a school club that teaches manners and respect to young men.

In his classes, Mr. Corbin lives by and emphasizes the mantra “effort over ability." This translates into providing a safe environment for mistakes to be made. Students understand that growth can occur individually at one’s own pace. He sees it as his responsibility to guide and nurture by example. His discussions with students send a clear message about the importance of integrity, effort, respect, and kindness. More importantly, this is how Mr. Corbin lives his own life, while challenging his students to catch him not doing these things.

Over a span of 15 years, the Sand Springs Public Schools' track and cross country program has grown from a number you can count on one hand to roughly two hundred. These numbers include a wide range of students extending from grades kindergarten through twelve. Some runners participate in racing strollers, and Mr. Corbin provides the leg and lung power for those who are not physically able. Other runners have earned track scholarships to facilities of higher education, such as Grand Canyon University, East Central University, University of Oklahoma, Oral Roberts University, Southern Nazarene University, Savannah College of Art & Design, and the United States Air Force Academy, to name only a few.

Mr. Corbin has been a “quiet presence” and integral component in building the foundation for running and fitness in Sand Springs and the surrounding area. The success of both the girls and boys programs is attributable to the youth program he created and led. Even for students who aren't destined for competing post-secondary, Mr. Corbin's philosophy is to encourage everyone to race at their pace, regardless of the outcome.

Come to any elementary practice and you will see several high school runners there to help because they want to be around Mr. Corbin He treats each student with respect and positivity. Each practice and race finds Mr. Corbin encouraging the first runner just as much as the last. He physically finds each one and gets them across the finish line. This tradition has spilled over to his students, who take it upon themselves to encourage their own teammates, as well as runners from other schools. 

Additionally, Mr. Corbin was selected as the 2013 Oklahoma Cross Country Coach of the Year as an assistant coach, a first in Oklahoma. 

“Coach Corbin was a trendsetter from the start," said Mike Burdge, former Mayor of Sand Springs and current Charles Page High School cross country coach. "It wasn’t until he came on board that we were able to start our summer running program, and he was right there in the mix as we lobbied for the new track facility. He started the elementary cross country program around the same time, and he has elevated both programs. It’s easy to see that he loves kids, and just as easy to see kids love him. In over 35 years of coaching youth sports, I’ve never seen anyone with more dedication to children or more integrity than Chris Corbin. Sand Springs would be a lesser place without him.

Comments (51)

kilie Solomon Posted 1 months ago

Coach Corbin is the BEST!! He was my PE teacher for 5 years and he did better that any of my teachers after that. He shows that he cares about kids and puts in a lot of work. It has been 5 years since he was my teacher but his words are till in my head. Right now I'm trying ti change my life and I'm taking what he said and making it real. Not just the physical part but also the mental part. He really did change a lot of lives!!!

Nicolas Williams Posted over a year ago


Laura McGehee Posted over a year ago

I have had the pleasure of knowing Chris Corbin as a peer/ coworker as well as a parent of a child in his classroom. I originally requested him as my child's second grade teacher because I felt like it was important to have the experience of a male classroom teacher, but I soon discovered what a fabulous teacher he was. He taught them so much more than second grade skills. He taught them how to be healthy and he taught them how to be nice people and kind to others. She loved listening to him read out loud because he made that fun too. He allowed them to shave his head if they earned their AR goal all year and their last spelling test was over the word SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEAXPIALIDOCIOUS, which she can still spell correctly by the way! As a coworker, he is the first person to step up and offer to cover a duty or to help in any situation. His students are among the best behaved in the school and he definitely rates as a favorite teacher to all! He is a LIFE CHANGER in all respects and deserves this award!

Lori Wilkinson Posted over a year ago

My daughters are in high school and they still talk about Mr. Corbin! He is such a great example for students!

Mikael Howard Posted over a year ago

Mr. Corbin is an wonderful educator, coach, and motivator. He educates the district as a whole on healthy lifestyles, he coaches every kid he comes into contact with, and he motivates other educators to become champions of students.

Susan Fought Posted over a year ago

Chris is a great champion for our students and encourages each to be the best, healthiest they can be.

Kristin Arnold Posted over a year ago

Mr. Corbin is without a doubt one of the most professional employees I've ever had the opportunity to work with. Mr. Corbin does whatever it takes to make the lives of students better (socially, emotionally and always physically). His energy and attention to detail are next to none. It is simply amazing how many students that generally don't want to attend school change their mindset based on Mr. Corbin's class and his ability to build meaningful relationships with students and families. Sand Springs Public Schools, Angus Valley and the Sand Springs Community are so fortunate to have such a champion for our young youth and I am so excited about letting others know how much he means to us.

Celeste Thompson Posted over a year ago

Mr. Corbin is an amazing co-worker and asset to Angus. My students are always thrilled to know they will be going to his class for specials that day. All three of my own children have loved having Mr. Corbin as their P.E. teacher, but the biggest impact he has made for my family is when my son first came to Sand Springs schools and had Mr. Corbin as his 2nd grade teacher. Mr. Corbin was an amazing male role model for my son when he needed one in his life the most. Our school, town, and my family are all blessed because of Mr. Corbin!

Rebecca Davis Posted over a year ago

Chris Corbin has made a deep impact on my children and anyone else in his class. He has a true addiction to healthy living that comes out in everything he does.

Lindsey Remmert Posted over a year ago

Mr. Corbin is phenomenal. I love that he instills healthy values in our kids

Starr Corbin Posted over a year ago

He is the absolute best! I could not ask for a better husband, father to our boys, friend, teacher and leader. I’m incredibly proud of him!

Trish Blair Posted over a year ago

Chris has taught all 4 of my girls in one way or another. My 2 oldest got the honor of having him as their 2nd grade teacher and my 2 youngest enjoyed him as a Phys Ed teacher. We love the Corbin’s and the values they teach! Thank you Chris for investing in the future of so many!

Robie London Posted over a year ago

I’ve worked with Chris Corbin for many years. I’ve been able to observe him in many roles, as a classroom teacher, PE teacher, track coach, fitness instructor outside of the classroom, and personal friend. You will not find a better example of leadership and life-changing influence! Well done, Mr. Corbin!

Angie Carroll Posted over a year ago

Chris is always so good to go the extra mile and find ways to include our special needs students in a variety of activities both in and out of the classroom! He is one of the many #sanditeheroes we have in our district!

Tara Brown Posted over a year ago

Mr. Corbin has been a huge blessing to our family! My kids love exercise and have learned so much about keeping their bodies healthy and strong! I am so thankful that they have the opportunity to learn from him!

D Webb Posted over a year ago

Never met a more dedicated teacher who is devoted to not only teaching but leading by example. My kids are so fortunate to have such an inspiring individual in there lives.

Cathi Tompkins Posted over a year ago

Chris Corbin is so deserving of this award. He is an inspiration not only to children but to adults as well. He is a wonderful father to two young boys and husband of nearly 20 years. He takes his family hiking, running, walking and other adventures. Chris is amazing with his students at Angus Valley Elementary School. He has taught them about how important it is to live healthy lives and he shows this by being an example himself of staying fit. Chris makes exercise fun and makes up games sometimes that the children enjoy. They have learned how important it is to watch what they eat and limit their sugar intake. He has been a coach to many students throughout the years leading them, teaching them and being a friend not just a coach to all whom he's taught. He has a sense of humor which helps him relate to the students. They have fun in gym class. Sand Springs has been his home for 17 years and he has been a teacher at Angus for as long. Chris was Cheyenne Walden's coach who won many medals for running and went on to OSU. His dedication, his devotion and his love for what he does really resonates in every area of his teaching. I can't speak highly enough about Chris Corbin or how much he has contributed to so many kids through the years. He is a true inspiration to us all!

Jennifer Freese Posted over a year ago

My two younger boys go to Angus and have some developmental and behavioral delays. Mr. Corbin connected with them and got them involved in Cross Country. The first year Kaizen barely made it to the finish line (in fact my dad walked with him the last bit). Coach Corbin built Kaizen’s self esteem so much by focusing on the fact that he had completed the task. Over the next 2 years, Kaizen’s confidence grew and his younger brother Kenton started joining in. Coach never lowered his expectations for them but constantly challenged them to challenge themselves. A great lesson for all of us!

Cathi Tompkins Posted over a year ago

Chris is such an inspiration to everyone he comes in contact with. His energy and love for teaching kids about healthy lifestyles has made such a huge difference in MANY children's lives. I've seen him in the gym working with the kids and they are having such a great time playing physical games (Chris makes up some very cool games sometimes) and staying active. He teaches them about what foods are healthy and what foods aren't good for you. The kids are having a blast while learning to make healthier choices. Chris is also an amazing father to his own two boys and husband to his wife of nearly 20 years. They all go on hikes, walks or runs. He is a wonderful coach, mentor and inspiration and he deserves this recognition. Too many good things to say about Chris Corbin on here, not enough time. He has touched the lives of so many young ones over the past 15 years.

Tara Schroeder Posted over a year ago

Coach Corbin is a great inspiration! I have one child who is very athletic, another who could care less about about sports. My oldest who is very active comes home to tell me,(many times throughout the school year) Coach Corbin did this/that/the other and she wants to to challenge him. My youngest, who does not like actual sports, now loves to run and even completed his first 5k at the age of 4. He was inspired by Coach Corbin and all the fun he has with the kids.

Ashley Loader Posted over a year ago

Coach Corbin has made all 3 of my kids feel included in every PE activity. In the past at other schools, PE was a challenge and often my children felt excluded. Thank you Coach Corbin for fostering a positive learning environment for ALL children.

Sara Matherly Posted over a year ago

Not only does Mr. Corbin put his hours in at Angus Valley Elementary School, he also puts his whole heart into the students! My children come home quite often teaching me new things they’ve learned from Mr. Corbin. He has a gift in his teaching ways that make a lasting impression not only on my children, but also the other students. Many times my children have changed the way they eat, exercise and show how much they’ve learned expressing “Mr. Corbin taught us...” He is a great person inside and out and works very hard to continually teach something new. We are so blessed to have him at Angus Valley!

Katie Burton Posted over a year ago

Coach Corbin has taught the kids how to eat healthy and how to read nutrition labels. This has helped my son chose healthier drink options vs those full of sugar. My son did not ever love to run. Thanks to coach Corbin, he now enjoys it and even joined the running recess club. The boys in his grade enjoy playing football at recess & coach Corbin supplied them with flags to use for flag football. I appreciate all he does for the kids in our community!

Angelia Noel Posted over a year ago

Life-changing teachers like Mr. Corbin challenge us to be better humans and contribute to the world around us. He leads by example with grit and perseverance. “Life-changer” is the perfect term to describe Mr. Corbin!

Ginessa Posted over a year ago

Coach Corbin is AMAZING. He is patient and kind, he is so good with children. My children look forward to seeing him all the time.

Missy Wilson Posted over a year ago

This is a much deserved honor for Coach Corbin! He challenges his students everyday to pursue a healthy and active lifestyle. He inspires adults and kids alike. Way to go, Coach!

Angela Evans Posted over a year ago

I’m a colleague of Mr. Corbin’s. In fact, our classes are just across the hall from one another. I always hear him singing as the kiddos are “working” and hear his made up songs and chants to get the kiddos moving. Even if they’re in despise of the moment, their love for him speaks volumes. When kiddos tell him ailments as they’re walking through the door, he encourages them by telling them all he wants is their best. Mr.Corbin is widely loved by the entire school, and by former students who often come back to say “hey”. In the words of Mr. Corbin, “Let’s give him two claps and a Ric Flair”, and the kudos he well deserves.

Todd Stewart Posted over a year ago

This man is a teacher inside and outside the classroom. What he instills in every interaction he has with anyone is remarkable

Carrie Schlehuber Posted over a year ago

My daughter Emily had the fortune to be in Mr. Corbin’s 2nd grade class several years ago. Mr. Corbin’s commitment and enthusiasm for teaching “stuck” for her and ever since that year she has committed to follow in his footsteps. She is graduating high school in May and headed to Oklahoma State to pursue a degree in education and has plans to be a 2nd grade teacher. He has truly been a life changer for her! Congratulations Chris!

Jennie Snow Posted over a year ago

My oldest joined Coach Corbin's Elementary Cross Country team this year. He made sure to cheer each team member along course and find them afterwards to praise their efforts. He does the same for students at school whether they are in PE, in the hallway or out on the playground. When I see him at school (in the building ornout on duty), he always has a smile on his face and a positive comment to make about both of my kids. Coach Corbin is definitely a life changer in my kid's life!

Tammy Doss Posted over a year ago

Coach Corbin is faithful to his teaching and walks the walk every day of his life! He cares for every child he has ever encountered! Such a blessing to have him inspire and mold my grandchildren!

Lindsey Bolding Posted over a year ago

I have had the opportunity to see Chris in many different roles over the 10+ years I have worked with him. From classroom teacher, PE teacher, soccer and track coach, he excels in every single one. He takes the time to make sure every student he comes in contact with feels heard and knows that he believes in them. Our school is a better place because of him! Congratulations!!

Kalee Posted over a year ago

Mr. Corbin is the absolute best. The school and these children wouldn't be the same without him. Beyond blessed with him in my childrens lives, to live better and be better!

Morgan Douglas Posted over a year ago

Mr. Corbin is an asset to Angus Valley. Not only is he passionate about physical education, but also our students with special needs. As a special education teacher, I can’t count the times that Mr. Corbin has reached out to me with a new idea or suggestion for better including my students. One of the highlights for the year at our school is our annual daddy daughter dance benefitting our Special Olympics team. Mr. Corbin shows up each year in case we have a student who might not have a dad to be with. This is the kind of person he is. He is selfless, kind, and passionate.

Jenkyns Skalnik Posted over a year ago

I’ve only been at the same school as Chris for 5 months, but it only takes about a day to recognize his passion for our school and kiddos! He is an inspiration to look up to as a first year teacher. Go chris!

Lea Hayduk Posted over a year ago

I can not think of a more deserving person! Mr. Corbin has had all three of my children. They all have shared with me their love for him. He is so kind, dedicated and compassionate. Mr. Corbin has a way of making every student feel like they are his favorite! Definitely a life changer!!!!

April Posted over a year ago

This is Blake’s last year at Angus and it is teachers like you that will make us miss this school immensely!!!! Thank you for pouring so much into the kids even if that means I have to be constantly reminded by Blake how much sugar is in something according to Mr Corbin ????

Teresa Schuler Posted over a year ago

My daughters absolutely adore Mr. Corbin’s classes. He doesn’t just teach exercise and fun. He teaches them about heath and safety habits. First thing my pre-K daughter told me this year after Mr. Corbin’s class was that your heart is a muscle. He is able to get his students of all ages to remember virtual information on different age levels that will stick with them to became life long health conscious citizens. Mr. Corbin makes it fun and encourages all his students to find ways to move and stay healthy by finding their style of exercise. He leads by example and positive attitude. I am privileged to work with him at Angus and honored my girls get to experience Mr. Corbin’s classroom.

Wendy Paden Posted over a year ago

Mr. Corbin doesn’t just teach lessons, he lives them every minute of every day! I’ve been lucky enough to work with Chris for almost ten years and I’ve never been upset or disappointed for a second with him in all that time! I love standing outside the doors of the gym and listening to him go over what he’s taught the kids that day, I think I learn as much as they do! Chris motivates me to be a better teacher every day!

Debbie bowles Posted over a year ago

Chris Corbin always takes time to answer all needs and questions about fitness. As a teacher he is always interested in how fitness helps our children be better learners. We depend on him to lead the way in fitness and safety and he always leads us forward. He lives with integrity what he teaches others. Children respect that and love being a part of his world. We would be a poorer school without Chris Corbin.

Nicole Wisel (Corbin) Posted over a year ago

I'm not sure where to begin, I have always been a fan of Mr. Corbin, not because I am his sister but because he inspires so many young kids to adults. He deserves this award. He will always be a hero in my eyes. You have accomplished so much from cross country in high school, Marine Boot camp, to running your insane endurance races. The kids lives that you have changed is just amazing. Congratulations on this nomination and mom and dad and I will be cheering you on.

Audrey Posted over a year ago

I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this nomination and award than Mr. Corbin. His impact on the community reaches far beyond our city zip code and he has positively changed countless lives throughout his tenure here. Always encouraging to anyone he coaches, regardless of their skill set or perceived ability, he’s one of a kind in how he approaches health and fitness with kids. Our future is brighter with Mr. Corbin teaching our children. We are so lucky to have him!

Mary Bechtold Posted over a year ago

Mr. Corbin has such a vast impact on the youth in our community. I am the Unit Director for The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club in Sand Springs. Our mowers were down and Mr. Corbin donated his time mowing our flag football field for us. His heart and love for his community is immeasurable. He is a treasure!

Halee Wood Posted over a year ago

Mr. Corbin had an evening program for a few years where parents and kids could attend/participate in games and activities that got everyone moving! For a parent like me whose child does not like sports, it was so awesome to participate in this program with my son (with out complaint!) and other families in the community! His commitment to the kids goes far beyond the hour he spends with them in PE. The elementary school where he serves got the highest “grade” in the district (including good test scores). Most wouldn’t consider the PE teacher having much impact on the kids’ tests scores, but I believe his influence/encouragement for more physical activity and recess has made the way for the kids to be able to learn and retain what the other incredible teachers are teaching. For 7 years I’ve watched him (and his wife) consistently serving our kids and the community with incredible heart and integrity. I am incredibly grateful for the legacy he has created. Keep up the good work, Mr. Corbin, and thanks for encouraging and inspiring our boys to greater things!

Rachel Nolen Posted over a year ago

This year my daughters joined the youth cross country team. Every single race Coach Corbin came by to praise and encourage them. Practices were fun and something my kids looked forward to! They both shaved over a minute off of their PR over the course of the race season. Coach Corbin is one of a kind. We are blessed to have him at Angus Valley Elementary!

Janie Young Posted over a year ago

Chris has never been a teacher to one of my kids but he had been a coach to me at our gym. Chris shows up to our gym at around 4:30 several days a week to lead two classes in the days workout. That is before he ever gets his boys ready for school or even teaches a single child at his own full time job. Even at 5 am when his class arrives they are greeted with a smile and enthusiasm for the workout and for each person participating. Our classes my have up to 10 or more members in the mornings. Some every skilled and for some it may be their first day through the doors. Chris takes his time and leads the class efficiently and safely thought the workout. He is always talking about keeping a positive mindset while we work and achieving our personal best that day. Chris is a teacher at home, at school, at our gym and I'm pretty sure where ever he is. We are so glad he is recognized for his efforts. We are thankful to him for who he is and what he means to all of us. - Janie Young member Crossfit Sandsprings

Chrystal Posted over a year ago

This is fantastic and well deserved honor!!! Great job Coach Corbin!! Your reputation goes before you!!

Melissa Posted over a year ago

Coach Corbin is an inspiration to all who know him!

Shauna Slattery Posted over a year ago

We love coach Corbin. Congrats on your nomination. Best of luck.

Ashley Cox Posted over a year ago

Coach Corbin is amazing!! He is so genuine and his love for physical education is evident. He has coached my son in both soccer and cross country, in addition to being his PE teacher for the past 5 years. As a parent, I cannot imagine a better teacher and coach for him to have. We are truly blessed to have Mr. Corbin at our school and in the lives of our children.

Jennifer Reeves Posted over a year ago

Great job Mr. Corbin! You are one of a kind and truly the best!