High schoolers recall their best memories of late Wickliffe principal Chris Collaros.
by Sammy Bonasso, ’20.
Wickliffe Progressive Elementary School principal Chris Collaros passed away Saturday, April 6 following his September 2018 non-small cell lung cancer diagnosis. Having worked at Wickliffe since 2008, many of his former students currently attend Upper Arlington schools.
Many students, such as freshman Krish Mawalkar, remember Collaros best by his musicality and amiability.
“He was very engaging, I remember that. [He was also] charismatic, he seemed always open and approachable,” Mawalkar said.
Mawalkar said he especially remembers Collaros’ musical interactions with Wickliffe students.
“We used to have town hall meetings [where] he used to [play] the guitar,” Mawalker said. “ I remember when I was younger, a lot of kids would like to sing along when he played.”
Junior Nick Mullins also said he remembers Collaros’ musical talents, specifically his love of Beatles songs and participation in choir events.
“One of the best memories I had of him was when he sang with us at the Golden Star choir performances,” Mullins said.
Even after graduating from Wickliffe, senior Zain Padamsee worked closely with Collaros, who assisted Padamsee’s academic pursuits.
“I conducted many research projects with kids at Wickliffe,” Padamsee said. “He helped me a lot with getting that set up.”
Wickliffe educates students with the ideals of progressive education, emphasizing students’ experience over teaching them specific facts and information. According to junior Clare Baryluk, this structure perfectly fit Collaros.
“He was a pretty amazing principal,” Baryluk said. “Wickliffe, as everyone knows, is different than the other schools, and Mr. C. was just really good at facilitating for that environment and caring for the students. His personality really suited the school … He [even] knew everybody’s name.”