School superlatives typically fade with the memories of high school. Who knows where Central’s 2018 “Most Likely to Succeed” student will end up. However, in Benjamin Collins’s case, his classmates votes paved the way to his future.
Voted “Most Likely to Become a High School History Teacher,” Benjamin Collins did
just that! For 11 years he stayed true to the predicted path made for him. Mr. Collins isn’t only Central High School’s newest history teacher, he is also the girls basketball coach, not to mention a husband and father.
Central High School’s head principal, Michael Reynolds, describes Collins as a quality person who brings pride to the school’s staffing family. “He’s soft-spoken. It’s that kind of humility too, that he has, but he brings that steady confidence. It’s the care and passion which he has for what he teaches, but also for the community and our kids. That’s really what we want here at Central,” he says with a prideful smile on his face.
Collins originally coached both boys and girls basketball at former workplace, Gresham Middle School, but switched to Central to coach girls only. “One of the things that really attracted me to come to Central was the sense of community and how much I love living in Fountain City,” he said.
Sophomore basketball player, Ella Wilds, says Collins inspires her to “push myself on and off the court, to do well in school, and to push my limits physically.” She then went on to say she does not think she’d be where she is now if it wasn’t for Mr. Collins.
Outside of coaching and teaching, Mr. Collins is a husband and father. Wife, LaRae, and daughter, Fallon, are not strangers to the Central community either. Three year old daughter, Fallon, was seen dancing in the rain during the Central vs. Tennessee High football opener. Collins says “probably most girls on the basketball team think she’s [wife LaRae] is part of the team too”. He goes on to call his daughter “the best thing we’ve done together” with great affection.
Collins may not yet know how cherished he is at Central High School. However, he does realize how he impacts individuals. Mr. Collins said he
has received many invites to weddings from students he taught way back at his first school in Virginia. He then goes on to say how he loves the fact that he is being thought of during these momentous moments in his students lives.“You may not remember what exactly we learned in the classroom but you will remember how it made you feel”.
Benjamin Collins has been described as inspirational, confident, amazing, and awesome. Central welcomes you.
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