Chris Kolovos grew up the son of Greek immigrants who owned and ran a Boston-area dry cleaners. And while his parents didn’t have extensive schooling, the Boston University Academy head of school says, his mother insisted that he and his brother get a good education and his parents sent them to private schools.
Kolovos attended Roxbury Latin School, a well-known private all-boys school, and he credits the experience with changing the course of his life. “My dad was literally a shepherd in Greece,” he says, and Roxbury Latin “helped put me on a path and inspired the life that I now live.”
Being at the school was the first time he was in a culture with other kids who loved to learn like he did. “The expectations for character were paramount,” Kolovos says, “and I decided that I wanted to be a teacher.”
He went on to study history as an undergrad at Harvard, all the while knowing that his parents would urge him to choose a more lucrative career. Later he attended Harvard Law School, where he became coordinating editor of the Harvard Law Review, and he later did a clerkship on the First Circuit Court of Appeals. But during a late-night talk one evening, a good friend told him that if he didn’t switch to teaching, he’d never again take the risk.
Kolovos heeded that advice and landed a job teaching history at Belmont Hill School, a private school just outside of Boston. “I thought I would give it a try for a year, and I was there for nine years and I never really looked back,” he says. “Once I got in the classroom with the kids, I knew that that’s what I was meant to do.” He eventually became the school’s director of global education.
Many of the artifacts Kolovos has in his second floor BUA office harken back to his travels leading student trips around the world. Once it becomes fully safe to do so, he says, he would like to travel with BUA students.
On a personal note, though, he first plans to take a family trip to Greece—he wants to introduce his 15-month-old son, Charlie, to his 94-year-old grandmother, who still lives in Kladas, the family village.
In our series “Office Artifacts,” BU Today highlights interesting artifacts professors and staff display in their office. Have a suggestion about someone we should profile? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.