News Archive

Passion, Purpose, and Fun!
Posted 04/13/2017 04:11PM

An Evening with Sara Rubinstein

Ryan Kelly, Sara Rubinstein, and Adam RifenberickWith the school year quickly coming to a close, Carrollwood Day School parents, faculty, and administrators came together Wednesday evening to extend a warm welcome to Sara Rubinstein, our incoming high school head.  For many parents it was the first time they met Sara, who was accompanied by her husband Adam Rifenberick. The evening opened with mingling and casual conversations before Ryan Kelly introduced Sara and she formally addressed those gathered. Her passion for education, and for high school students in particular, permeated her talk as she shared her perspectives on a healthy educational “ecosystem” and explained what drew her to Carrollwood Day School. 

Sara believes that fostering relationships and working organically are critical to creating a healthy school.  She loves working in the background with teachers to make sure school is meeting the needs of our students. Throughout the evening, she referenced books and educators like Tony Wagner and Grant Lichtman, change leaders in the drive to prepare students for the innovation era.  Parents and faculty can expect to join Sara on her journey of lifelong learning as she enjoys inviting them to read and discuss great education books with her!

Sara went on to answer questions that had been submitted by parents prior to the evening. Some of the topics covered included:

  • Traditions.  Sara loves traditions. Some of the things she loves to celebrate are homecoming, commencement, recognizing leadership, and diversity. She believes that traditions need to evolve from the community and after she becomes familiar with current CDS traditions looks forward to helping build new traditions.
  • 8th grade retention.  Sara feels very competitive about retaining our 8th grade students. She plans to reach out to the 8th grade early and often throughout the school year. She is eager to work with the middle school and admissions department to plan programs to better familiarize parents and students with everything high school at CDS has to offer.
  • Discipline.  Sara believes that there are not bad kids; however, high school students can be children that make mistakes. Expectations and limits need to be clear, explicit, and consistent.  The purpose of a school discipline policy should be to help students reflect on their mistake/poor choice, learn from it, and change.
  • Engaging working parents. A parent herself, Sara is sensitive to the time constraints for working parents. When possible, she would like to plan parent programs at various times to accommodate different schedules.

During her school search, Sara was looking for a school where students approach their work with passion, purpose, and fun.  She found that at Carrollwood Day School. And, to everyone who heard her speak, it seems clear that this is exactly how Sara Rubinstein approaches her own work as a high school head, colleague, and parent.  Oh, and her purpose? To prepare students for their lives as autonomous, fulfilled, balanced, good citizens. 

We look forward to Sara Rubinstein and her family’s relocation to Tampa this summer. Sara will officially begin her responsibilities as head of the high school in early June.

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