Memories: Victoria Criloux


“In a crowd of a thousand, you stood out.  You lit up every room you walked into.  It didn’t matter that you were more petite than your peers; it was your angelic smile and your incredibly positive energy that commanded the attention of everyone around you.  It was your energy that helped to form the incredibly special bond among  your crew and your classmates.  By October of 6th grade, you had already won my heart.  We spent countless lunch periods together chatting, discussing the world through your eyes, and giggling about our shared interests — Peppa Pig being high on both of our lists!  There isn’t a day that goes by that we won’t be reminded of your love, tenacity, and resilience.  We will cherish our memories forever. “
With much love,
Jessica, Principal

“Vicky – as she was known to the Eagles crew – was such a ball of energy!  She always had something to add, always reached out to others who were struggling, always loved life, and was always positive.  Vicky knew what she wanted and was so happy when things went the way she envisioned.  She had this adorable little scrunched nose when things did not go her way.  She loved her fluffy pink coat and always wore it, no matter the weather!  She would sing in French, meow out of nowhere and make us smile, and draw beautiful pictures endlessly. She was a light who always helped others despite her tiny size.  She was such a hugger who never cared what others thought.  She loved her stuffed bunnies and loved all animals – but especially kittens and cats!  She loved playing crew games and was open and honest about everything she had been through.   She connected with adults as easily as peers her own age.  She is unforgettable and a beautiful soul.  She will forever and always be an Eagle!    -Wendy Cole, crew teacher


Victoria was a girl filled with joy. I remember she would always have an amazing attitude towards school and made sure everyone around her was content. I have memories from one of my first days at WESS and remembering her out of everyone else she stook out to me, she made sure people knew who she was and that I admired. Victoria will be remembered as a girl who loved everyone moment to the fullest.”-Olivia Luer, 7th Grade


I can’t believe you are gone. I remember talking to you at lunch, bowling with you at your party, and even running into you at the Nutcracker. All of these experiences made my day better and you’ve always been a positive influence in my life. Now, when I see fancy bows and headbands I will always think of you and how you were amazing. You really always were a fighter; you never gave up and you still never have.” -Simon Sposito, 7th Grade


“Victoria always had a great spirit that uplifted us all and made us happy. Rest in peace and hope her family is well.”-Aaron Cambell, 7th Grade


She seemed like a really good person. She was always bright even from afar when walking in the hallways.”-Savannah Snell 7th Grade


“She made an effort to befriend me and get to know me. There is something about Victoria’s spirit that I wanted to emulate. She was incredibly mature for her age-she was always kind and friendly to everyone.Something that was increible about Victoria was her strength. Her openness to talk about it was something that I found admirable. Her enthusiasm and positivity is something I want to take away. Her art work was amazing. She would always pop-in during my prep periods. Victoria befriended everyone, which is something that I, even as an adult, struggle to do. Victoria always came into the building with a light and positivity that she spread to the teachers and the students. She knew everyone by their first name. I never taught Victoria, but she took the time to know me, to converse with me during our lunch periods, and to open up. I can’t forget watching Victoria take other students under her wing. She always, always had compassion for others. Victoria was facing her own battles, but also made the battles of her friends and community significant to her. I think we can all look up to and follow Victoria’s strength and ability to love the people around her with sincerity.”-Alexandra Capello, 6th Grade teacher


“One attribute which made Victoria special was her kindness. She always went out of her way to get to know students and teachers on a personal level. To me, that is very admirable”-Daniel Shulman, 7th Grade


“Victoria would always collect flowers during recess, and give them to our teacher. She was always so sweet and funny.”-Sophia Houck, 7th Grade


“I remember how she made a really nice card for one of the after-school teachers when they were leaving and I think this shows how kind and thoughtful she was.”-Jonah Vimont, 7th Grade


“I remember her as a wonderful girl, a careful girl, she was a special girl. She was also a kind girl. She never gave up.”-Noam Velozny, 7th Grade


“She was a fighter. She always found beauty in things. She found beauty in the mundane anything. She didn’t give up.She fought like crazy with a smile on her face. She changed me. She changed me as a person. She wasn’t scared of big kids, she wasn’t scared of anything.”-Marina Podokshik, 7th Grade ELA teacher


“She was so happy, so much of the time. It’s hard to find people that are so happy about things, genuinely. You can’t find a lot of other people like Victoria.”-Macalister Stronger, 7th Grade


“She had this bright book bag and this full jacket, and a unicorn hat. She was really, really about school. The first thing she wanted to do was go back to school. She definitely had a unique personality. She was very, very, very honest and real. That was who she was.”-Carlos Gonzalez, 7th Grade teacher


“She helped me with assignments. One time I was spraying my friend, Victoria takes my bottle from me and starts spraying me!”-Ayla Bicic, 7th Grade


“She was very tough, but she was also very nice and friendly. I remember her smile.-William Cruz, 7th Grade


“I remember talking with Victoria one day after class and then just as she was about to leave she leaned over and gave me a hug. That was the kind of person she was – full of love.” – Marie Milach, Teacher

“My memory of Victoria is her teaching me how to play Sudoku during lunch. I first met Victoria when she was sitting outside of the gym while her classmates were inside for recess. Victoria hated the noise of the gym and she would come to my office to teach me how to play Sudoku as a way to have some quiet time during lunch. I never really got the hang of Sudoku, but Victoria always remained patient when teaching me how to play no matter how many times I messed up. Every time I see a Sudoku board, I think of Victoria.” – John Carullo, Staff Member


“I remember how every year at Christmas you would bring in a gingerbread house that your mom made for our class. We all ate it together, and it was one of the strongest bonds that the French-Dual language program have had as a group to this day. Thank you for always bringing us together, whether it be through food or just through you and your amazing self.”- Kiep Leon, 7th Grade


“I’ve known Victoria since we were in elementary school. She was such a sweet heart but one memory that touched my heart was when it was crew secret Santa day and we all gave eachother gifts. Victoria wasn’t in my crew, however later that day at lunch time I saw her with a gift in her hand. I asked “ what did they get you for secret Santa” she said “this isn’t my gift. It’s my gift to you” I was so confused at first so I asked why she was giving it to me. She said it was because I was always there for her and would be with her whenever I saw her by herself. This touched my heart because it shows that little things like this can mean so much to others. She’s in a better place right now. I’ll miss you Victoria.” -Rinnelly Maldonado, 7th Grade


“When 6th Grade did the a dance visit last year to see a performance, I met her. We really just went to get snacks together, and i was still in 5th Grade then. She was really nice to me.” –  Madeline Keiger, 6th Grade


“My favorite memory of Victoria is sadly bittersweet. It began in February 2020. She had brought in knitted gifts for every one in her class. WESS was selling chocolate candies on a stick for $1 so I gave her the one I had purchased for myself. Approximately one year later, I saw her on Zoom and she told me in the chat that she still had it and in fact put it in her hair to show me. Sadly, that was and will be the last time we will ever speak. Victoria was a sweet, lovely, and special girl. I will miss her always. May she Rest In Peace.” – Sean McMahon, WESS Staff


“she was in my step class and she would just these great music ideas. and she made every day better.” – Sophia Randle, 7th Grade


“We were in the INTO THE WOODS PLAY together last year and after i auditioned she gave me a hug! I guess she could tell i was slightly nervous.” – Gemma Graham, 8th Grade


“Always a greeting with warmth and curiosity. “A face of kindness, She wears everyday. A twinkle in her eyes, Brighter than ever. She gives a piece of her heart, Each day to someone. And one of her smiles, To her loved ones.” By Riya25” – Marion Pachman, WESS Staff

“Upon returning to WESS after a maternity leave, I had the opportunity to get to know Victoria as her Social Studies teacher. Victoria always came to class with a big smile on her face and greeted me with a warm welcome every day. She exuded kindness and warmth.” – Keri Gaft, WESS Staff


“Victoria I remember on the day of orientation the day that upcoming six graders would is the first day I met Victoria. We were in the gym all in a circle holding hands, Victoria was touching her hair when I realized that her hair was falling out. At that moment I knew for a fact that she had cancer. From then on I showed as much love as I possibly could towards Victoria. On the first day of school, Victoria was cancer free living her best life drawing, baking making friends and just being Victoria. Supposedly she had caught cancer a couple months ago and recently went into a coma. When I found out she had passed I was speechless, words could even explain how sad the loss was. I was glad that she was not in pain and would be laid to rest. Victoria you will ALWAYS be in my thoughts and prayers. Fly high girl REST IN PEACE VICTORIA you are no longer in pain, you’ll be laid to rest” – Sarah Cisse, 7th Grade


“I remember Victoria from the play that she and I were in in 7th Grade. I remember that she would always make people laugh, even though she could be shy.” – Michael Aissa, 8th Grade


“When I was auditioning for Into the Woods for WESS Players, I was extremely nervous. I was called up to sing with another little girl. She came right up to me and gave me the sweetest hug and a “break a leg”. This action might not seem like much but it was to me. I didn’t realize how much I needed that hug at the time. That sweet girl with the kindest soul, was Victoria. I will never forget Victoria because of that special hug.” – Anna Fidel, 8th Grade


“Seeing her after performing and her making me feel so special that she came to see the show we were both so excited to see one another.” – Olivia Lauer, 7th Grade


“When she was down (which was rare) she always remebered something that she loved which made her feel better and start helping others even more (including me).” – Lilah Arbel, 7th Grade


“She was so kind, smart, and so fun to be around.” – Lola Ducroux, 7th Grade


“Vicky ALLLLWAAAYYYSS left her scarf or jacket in my classroom. It got to a point that her jacket would spend so much time in my classroom that she’d come looking for it midway through the day, and we’d just shrug and laugh like “…just leave it here!”. We wouldn’t even say a word, just smile at each other and giggle.” – Julissa Martinez, WESS Staff


“I’ve heard that the pandemic has been hard on huggers and I am sure this was the case for Victoria. After class, Victoria would often come up to me to talk and give me a hug. She would show this warmth to everyone who she connected with. I was talking with a friend recently who visited my class in the fall of 2019 as an expert scientist. My friend vividly remembered the hug of appreciation that Victoria gave her after her presentation on the carbon cycle. Victoria never wasted a moment to show her love. The same is true for her schoolwork. She took every opportunity to fully understand the task and its purpose so that she could do her most thoughtful and creative work. During remote learning last spring, my students designed inventions that mimicked something in nature. Inspired by the water strider, Victoria designed “water skating boots.” Because her invention aligned so closely with her observations of this insect, I used it as an example in all of my classes. Victoria went above and beyond in approaching her projects with creativity. When I sent students off on a Friday to make puppets for their Lyme disease puppet shows, I expected to see the usual eclectic array of puppets emerge out of their backpacks on Monday. However, I was absolutely stunned when Victoria walked in on Monday with her own homemade, light-up puppet show box. The whole class was in awe! Of course, everyone wanted to use Victoria’s puppet show box to perform their show. Victoria made rules for how her peers could use it to prevent it from being damaged. Victoria had foresight and conviction, two unique and very special traits to see in a 6th Grade girl. I asked Victoria if I could keep the box for students to use for many years to come and, of course, Victoria graciously said yes. Victoria’s legacy of warmth, creativity and conviction will live on in our school community for many many years to come! “ – Emily Hollyday, WESS Staf


“We had ballroom dance together and she was always so happy and smiling. Though I did not know her well she made ballroom more fun.” – Sophia Winston, 9th Grade


“In December of 2019, Zoe Miller and I organized a holiday fundraiser for the organization Make A Wish. We stopped by Victoria’s crew to inform them about the fundraiser and I instantly noticed how excited she was about it. She ran up to Zoe and I to give us gingerbread that she made for her crew and she gave the biggest donation to the fundraiser. We had such a nice conversation with her and her mother and she genuinely had one of the most purest hearts, although I only met her once. I saw her a couple times in the hallway since then and she always had the biggest smile on her face. I could tell she truly touched so many people’s lives and was a huge inspiration to the ones around her. Looking back on that one memory I had with her, I remember that one act of kindness made my day, and I’ll definitely remember that moment for a lifetime.” – Riley Komarow, 11th Grade


“When my parents first told me a little girl in the 7th Grade passed away, I was so heartbroken, and I knew the name Victoria sounded so familiar. Once I had seen a picture of her, I immediately recognized how I knew her. When I was a freshman at WESS, I gave and led various tours and open houses for new middle school and high school students. I went to a very small elementary school and never saw many kids from PS84 come to WESS until one morning when I first met Victoria. I remember her being so small and thinking how adorable she was. We didn’t have much conversation or interaction, but she was still so kind and well-spoken. When she first came to WESS, I distinctly remember a little girl wondering where a certain room was, we chatted a bit, but for a new student, she was not shy or reserved; she was incredibly social and already was surrounded by so many friends. My last memory of Victoria was just a few months ago. As a member of the student council, I always want to help and aid the WESS community. I helped establish the WESS town halls and was a bit disappointed when not many people were there. However, I was greatly uplifted when a young middle schooler was sharing all her ideas. Almost all of what we accomplished was brought to us by Victoria. She inspired so many of mine and student councils ideas and truly brought so much progress towards our committee. Although I didn’t know Victoria, she was such a memorable person. She will be so dearly missed by everyone at WESS.” – Casey Furey, 11th Grade


‘Victoria loved music class. She was always singing inside and outside of the classroom. I hadn’t realized how beautiful her voice was until she caught me fiddling with one of the ukuleles in-between classes. I was in the middle of creating a lesson around the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and was privately (or so I thought) singing and playing on the ukulele. When I turned around while practicing I saw Victoria standing behind me. I had no idea she had been there the whole time. She told me that she overheard her favorite song coming from my room as she was making her way to her next class. So she decided to sneak in and take a listen. She gave me a big hug and thanked me for making our class learn her favorite song. She then helped perform the rest of the song with me before I wrote her a late pass to her next class. It reminded me why I do what I do and I thank Victoria for sharing such a special moment in time with me.” – Sarah Peskanov, WESS Staff


“She would always light up and run to me so I could hug her, She’s like my little sister” – Alessandra Rivera, 10th Grade


“Victoria was a very special young lady. I always looked forward to speaking with her at lunch and at recess. She was tiny in stature but strong in mind, spirit, and had a big lovable personality. Whenever I saw Victoria whether in the main office, hallway or cafeteria, I couldn’t help but smile or laugh. I will remember our conversations about her love of pizza, and all the funny things we spoke about during recess. If having a hectic day, just speaking with her always made me feel so much better. I feel honored to have met her and to have known her. She will be sorely missed. WESS and I will not be the same without her.” – Candice Thomas, WESS Staff


“Victoria was one of the sweetest students I’ve had in all my years of teaching. She was always eager to sit right in the front of the room, and often shared music suggestions and project ideas in dance. After class, she would hang back for a few minutes once the other students had left, just to chat, which was always a special moment in my week.” – Christina Stampolis, WESS Staff


Victoria on her sixth Grade Camping Expedition
Victoria and her crew