Playground art honors kindergarten teacher who died of cancer last year


There’s a new splash of color on a Bakersfield playground honoring a longtime teacher who died of cancer last year.

The new sensory path was painted at Bill Williams Elementary School, led by art teacher Julie Fleming.

Fleming is also a cancer patient but it didn’t stop her from volunteering for the project.

A bumble bee painted into the blacktop is in honor of Charlene Cornejo who died last year of pancreatic cancer. She called her students “super bees.”

Her husband David says she worked with kindergarteners her entire career.

“She just knew that, she started with kindergarten, she always enjoyed it,” Cornejo said. “She liked the kids and starting them off in the right direction.”

Cornejo taught kindergarten students for over 30 years in the district. 

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