Updated: Aug 1
Memories of Mr. Charles Criniere from a Former Student
When I found out about what happened I was in complete shock and denial. Even now, I still haven’t fully accepted the fact that he’s gone. Criniere was my freshman Geometry teacher at Grandview High School. I am graduating this year. I was looking forward to seeing him at graduation and taking pictures with him. I have always heard that he enjoyed going to students' graduations and I really wanted to see him at mine.
When I had his class, I hated and loathed Geometry. I'm pretty sure he knew that though. He always tried to help during class, but no matter what it always seemed too hard or too fast for me. I also never had the chance to get any photos or videos of him on my own because I struggled in his class. Most of the time I stayed after school with him to get extra help. These were the best moments from him in my opinion. You get one on one help with your assignments and he was always super patient with you. You also get those little one on one conversations with him. Most of the time they were random conversations but sometimes they could have been deep conversations. One day I stayed after school with him and I remember me and my sister were making jokes with him. I eventually said something to him like, "We should shine your head like you would shine shoes," and he laughed. He responded and said something along the lines like, "Noo don’t say that!" He knew we were joking and it was a good time.
I am now realizing that he took the time to stay after school to help his students for 30 minutes to an hour before he had to leave and get home to his family. I am forever grateful for those days that I got to spend with him. He was devoted to his students and he was devoted to his family. He always talked about his wife and kids. Every time he spoke about them he would say, “I have to get home, it’s date night with my wife!” Or he always talked about his kids in such a nice way it was sweet to hear about. Every Thursday he would remind us what day it was and eventually our class would start reminding or asking him about date night. He was a big family man and I admire him because of it.
Mr. Worldwide or Mr. Clean are some of the nicknames us students would call him. I think he liked those nicknames. I am going to miss his fun and chaotic energy. I am going to miss his smile that always seemed to never fade. I am going to miss the times he spoke about God and his faith in class. I am going to miss the personal conversations he and I had about God and what he would share with me. I look up to him because of how strong his faith was and how good of a human being he was. Lately I have been trying to follow his footsteps and work on my relationship with God. I wish he were here to help guide me. I would have loved for him to be my youth leader outside of school! I even invited him and his family to my church but he never ended up being able to go. I learned recently that my youth leaders at my church said they had met him 20 years ago at IHOPKC. I am glad they were able to have met someone so great.
I wish I kept better contact with him when he moved to the middle school. I remember emailing him the first school year that he was not at the high school and told him that I missed him. He emailed me back within 4 minutes and said, “Hey Autumn! I miss you as well and the high school. I hope your first week went well. The middle school is a different entity...the kids are hyper, busy, talkative, and giggly. Its strange! Anyways, I am beginning to enjoy it. Well, I have a meeting to go to. We'll talk soon. Happy Friday!” These few short sentences made my day and they continue to keep me smiling now.
There have been countless nights and days where I have cried because I miss him so much. The first couple weeks were the hardest. I had a couple times where I would end up crying in class but I am grateful to have a couple other teachers there at my side grieving with me.
Another faint memory I can recall is him telling me about his graffiti art he did in Chicago. When he would bring it up I always asked him to show me some of his work and he always asked me to show him some of my art skills because he knew I liked art. I never ended up seeing his work! I wish he got to show me himself but I hope to see his work eventually.
My most recent interaction with him was last year through a zoom call. I was in a graphic design program and we had to explain our program to the middle school and his class was one of the classes we got to speak with. When I saw him on call we waved and said hi to each other. He then had to leave the frame because of technical difficulties that he had to attend to. At the end of our explanation of the program I think he came on screen one last time and we said bye to each other. I wish I had more time with him at that last moment. I wish I had seen him in person.
I have read and heard multiple stories from his family, friends, teachers, and other students about how he has touched their lives. He made a huge impact on this community. He has never left my mind since I've heard the news. Every night I have been praying for his family. I pray that they find comfort and peace and happiness. I know he is watching over his family and I know he will be cheering me on as I walk across the stage in May at graduation. I am so grateful to have known him. I love you and I miss you Criniere. We all miss you. Thank you for everything.
- Autumn Arthur, Grandview High School Graduating class of 2022
My name is Autumn Arthur. I am a senior at Grandview High School. I have been apart of the Grandview community for all my life. I am passionate about playing softball, watching movies, being outdoors, being with my family, and spending time with my youth group at my church.