New addition to the science department brings passion, wisdom to position


Zorie Wallace

Larry Norris, new science teacher, writes some notes on the board for his class. Norris teaches AP Environmental Science and pre-AP Chemistry.

Zorie Wallace, Reporter

A new addition to the teaching staff at Harding, Larry Norris, has a passion for helping kids. At age 79, he said he has no desire to retire and hopes to continue educating students in science. 

Norris comes from Texas originally where he attended Dallas Baptist University, North Texas State University for three months, and the University of Texas at Arlington as a chemistry major. Before his transition into teaching, he worked as a chemist at Tinker Air Force Base for 10 years. 

A religious man, one of Norris’s top priorities in life is his relationship with God. His love for the Lord led him to attend Southwest Baptist Theology Seminary school to work toward a Master of divinity. He worked off and on as a pastor for over 30 years. After his career in pastoring, he got into substitute teaching because he felt had something to offer. He eventually took a permanent position at Harrah High School, and worked there for 11 years as a chemistry teacher.

Norris said the first time he attended a school assembly, he knew this school was different. 

“I just didn’t feel like there was a strong emphasis on the academic part at Harrah,” he said. ”It was almost strictly athletic.” Norris said he appreciates Harding and how the students and staff are academically-focused. 

Larry Norris is an avid OU Softball fan. (Larry Norris)

Along with all of the joy and success in his life, Norris battled high blood pressure early last year, leading to quadruple bypass surgery. Through this tough time, he said his family and friends stood by him the whole way. Norris is also an avid OU softball fan.

“A lot of my life during that time was OU softball because they were playing and winning the national championship.”