- Uxbridge Public Schools
UHS Principal Michael Rubin is Massachusetts 2020 Principal of the Year
Uxbridge High School’s Rubin is Massachusetts 2020 Principal of the Year
May 8, 2020 - What has been known in town for some time has now been made official; the top high school principal in Massachusetts works at Uxbridge High School. Earlier this week a representative from the Massachusetts School Administrators Association (MSAA) notified Uxbridge High Principal Michael Rubin that he had been named High School Principal of the Year. The honor recognizes one middle school and one high school principal “who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession.” As Principal of the Year, Mr. Rubin’s name will be submitted for consideration for National Principal of the Year.
“It is both humbling and overwhelming to have been selected for this most prestigious award,” Mr. Rubin said. “I am grateful for the support of many people along the way, including many great colleagues and mentors, who have contributed to our successes at UHS, be it as part of our community or from afar. I am also quite blessed to have an incredibly patient, understanding, and supportive family who understands the many sacrifices that come with school leadership.”
In his fifth year at the helm of Uxbridge High, Mr. Rubin has shepherded in changes that have not only garnered local, state, and national recognition, but have also provided opportunities for students not typically available to students in a small high school. Under his leadership, Uxbridge High School was named one of only four schools in the Commonwealth in 2018 to earn initial distinction as an Innovation Pathway school. In the time since, UHS has earned membership to the National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools and the CAPS Network, both affiliated with merging expanded and authentic outcomes for students in terms of career and post-secondary success. The school has earned more than $1 million in grant funding and has been named a Project Lead the Way commended school and one of the top 25% of all high schools in the nation, according to US News and World Report.
In addition, the school’s guidance and engineering programs have been recognized at the state level for its accomplishments as well, and the school has hosted more than 50 schools over the past two years on various professional development tours and panels that intend to share learning experiences across the Commonwealth. The UHS administration has presented at the national level on building strategic community partnerships to enhance curricular outcomes for students, and, in the past year, has shared its post-secondary programs as part of pilot consortiums with other schools in the region, as well as partnering with the Blackstone Valley Ed Hub to build technical programs. Mr. Rubin also supports the Gateway to College program at Quinsigamond Community College, for which Uxbridge is the diploma-granting institution.
In addition to his work for UHS, Mr. Rubin serves on various committees across the state, including the Project Lead the Way Conference Committee, the Central Massachusetts STEM Ecosystem, the National Honor Society state committee, and the MIAA Softball committee.
For Mr. Rubin, it’s not about the accolades, it’s about creating a school culture in which students and staff can work collaboratively to explore curriculum opportunities that lead to personal learning and growth that have real world application. “We want everyone who sets foot at UHS to leave feeling inspired, to move beyond complacency, and to truly value the balance between essential content and skills,” said Mr. Rubin. “We commit to everyone: all students, all families, all staff, and we focus every day on empowering that spirit of community and collegiality.
“There is a quote I have used as the signature of my email that comes from Mark Herzlich, who played football at Boston College and for the New York Giants: ‘Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible.’ There is an element of courage and passion that we try to bring to Uxbridge every day, and, as a result, it’s led us to some truly tremendous accomplishments and opportunities for the students of Uxbridge.”
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Frank Tiano was delighted but not surprised by the news when he received the call from MSAA. “Once Mike was named a finalist, I knew the award was his. I knew the others under consideration were talented educational leaders, but I cannot imagine another principal doing what Mike is doing in Uxbridge.” Tiano described how Rubin, “uses his intelligence and passion to push the thinking of his staff on what is possible for our students and his experience and drive to make it happen. While uncompromising in his expectations for himself and others, he is skilled at empowering diverse members of the school, district, and business community to contribute to student learning.”
“I have a magnet on my office board that states, ‘without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible,’” said Mr. Rubin. “I look at it every day and realize that we have to continue to look at new ways to inspire, to educate, and to collaborate. It’s why I love what we are doing at UHS.”
To be considered for this award a principal must first be nominated. Mr. William Burkhead, Principal of Monomoy Regional High School and Superintendent of Scituate Public Schools in July, nominated Mr. Rubin. After touring Uxbridge High School and seeing the impact of its programming on student learning, the 2018 Principal of the Year felt compelled to nominate his fellow principal. “Mike Rubin is a colleague and a friend. I have the highest regard for him as an educational leader and father. Mike is a true visionary leader who is able to bring people together to accomplish amazing things on behalf of students. My heartfelt congratulations to Mike and the Uxbridge community on this prestigious and deserving award ,” said Burkhead.
The son of two educators, including a 39-year veteran of the Malden Public Schools, Mr. Rubin graduated from Brown University with a double concentration in English and Judaic Studies and earned his masters degree in Educational Leadership from Bridgewater State University. Before beginning his career in Uxbridge, he taught English and served as an assistant principal at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School before spending three years as the Dean of Academics and Student Activities at Medway High School.