Mr. Corona began his teaching career in 1979 here in the Riverside Unified School District and is the man behind the concept of ” King High School Remembers.” He has been at Martin Luther King High School since 2001 after spending 21 years at Arlington High . He has served as chairman for the King Social Studies department and is the head Track and Field coach.
Mr. Corona came up with the idea of “King High Remembers” in 2001, almost by accident. That year he asked his students to interview a veteran of a past conflict. In this first year, 28 local military veterans were interviewed by 78 junior students. The program has grown and flourished and some have said it is the largest high school project of it’s kind in the United States. “Without question,” says Mr. Corona, ” it is the best thing I have ever done in education.”
The project has brought great recognition to Mr. Corona and to King High School. In 2002, he was named the King High Teacher of the Year and was also named the Inland Empire Council for the Social Studies Outstanding Educator. In 2004, the project received the Golden Bell Award as an exemplary educational program in the state of California. Mr. Corona was named the 2005 California Council for the Social Studies State High School Teacher of the Year. In 2007, King High Remembers was honored by the Consortium of Oral History Educators with the Betty Key Award for the outstanding oral history program in the country. He has also been a nominee for the National Council of the Social Studies National Teacher of the Year and for the Riverside County Office of Education Hall of Fame.
Much of the motivation for the implementation of the project, according to Mr. Corona, comes from the opportunity to recognize his father, James Corona. A veteran of World War II, James Corona served in the Pacific Theater with the 8th Engineers of the 1st Cavalry Division and saw action in New Guinea, the Admiralties and the Philippines. He received the Bronze Star as he cleared land mines and booby traps, spotted for artillery and naval bombardment and gathered intelligence as a scout.He was with the “Flying Column” that moved 100 miles in 66 hours to get into Manila and free the civilian prisoners at Santo Tomas in February, 1945. ” As I help to honor these men and women” says Corona, ” I honor my dad.” James Corona attended every year to witness his son’s project until his passing in June of 2011.
Mr. Corona has been married to his wife Nanette were married in 1988 and have three sons, Michael, David and Andrew; all of which are King High School graduates.