WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Toll Gate High School principal Stephen Chrabaszcz passed away unexpectedly Tuesday night.
Warwick School Superintendent Philip Thornton released a statement Wednesday morning confirming Chrabaszcz’ death, saying:
“Steve was an institution here in Warwick. He was very respected by his colleagues, and beloved by many staff and students. His passion for staying in touch with parents and teachers on a 24/7 basis is unparalleled. He has left a lasting impact on his school. Our deepest condolences to his family. Please respect the privacy of the Chrabaszcz family and the Toll Gate Community during this difficult time.”
Chrabaszcz had been the principal of Tollgate since February 2006. He would have celebrated his 68th birthday next month, the superintendent’s office confirmed.
In an e-mail to the Tollgate community, Thornton said classes would be in session Wednesday, and grief counselors would be available. The mayor’s office said all after-school activities and late buses have been canceled for Wednesday.
The circumstances surrounding the death is unknown as of Wednesday morning.
Mayor Scott Avedisian released the following statement:
“It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of Steven Chrabaszcz. He was a fixture in the Warwick School system, and a man whose passion for his students and their educational aspirations was unparalleled. I knew him to be a man full life and enthusiasm with a remarkable way of putting the needs of his students before all else. During the 10 years that he served as Toll Gate’s principal he built a strong foundation of communication with parents and teachers, making himself available to them around the clock. The impact he leaves behind is immeasurable. On behalf of the entire City of Warwick, we extend our deepest sympathies to Barbara and his family. Additionally, during this time of grief, counselors will be available at Toll Gate for all students, faculty and staff. The outpouring of support from the other schools in the district has been overwhelming, and I thank them for their concern during this time of sadness.”
Eyewitness News will continue to gather information about this story throughout the day on WPRI.com and will have an update on Eyewitness News at Noon.