Dr. Stephen Edward Rubin, 83


Dr. Steve Rubin at the "Center School Day" gathering, on June 8, 2019. Credit: Michael Dinan

Dr. Stephen Edward Rubin, 83, longtime resident of Westport,  Connecticut passed away on April  5, 2022. 

Steve was a husband,  father and educational innovator. After graduating from Brooklyn College and New York University where he earned his first PhD in Systems Theory, Dr. Rubin, became the principal of Center School in New Canaan, Connecticut. There, he made an indelible mark on education, student success and the hearts and minds of multiple generations of kids, faculty and other staff.

Dr. Stephen Rubin in a 1976 New York Times newspaper clipping. Courtesy of the New Canaan Historical Society.

Center School, under his direction and with the multi-talented staff, became a social-educational experiment unlike any other. It was featured in Newsweek and The New York Times for its extraordinary atmosphere and remarkable outcomes. After closing Center School in 1983, Dr. Rubin was appointed Assistant Superintendent of Schools in New Canaan until his retirement in 2003.

As Founder and President of the Institute for General Systems Management, Steve brought his vision for elementary education to a nationalaudience. He was a frequent speaker at The Aspen Institute. Dr. Rubin also authored a book, Public Schools Should Learn to Ski: A Systems Based Approach to Education. In 1994, Dr. Rubin joined the administrative faculty at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield where he was Founder and Director of Educational Leadership and Management. He retired in 2014.

He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Adrienne, two adult children – Jason and Victoria – their spouses and seven grandchildren.

2 thoughts on “Dr. Stephen Edward Rubin, 83

  1. Steve was an incredibly gifted friend, mentor and boss. He was an extraordinary principal at Center School, leading the faculty, students and parents to reach to their fullest potential! He made us a family~ all doing what we could to help and support each other. The result was amazing! Those of us who were privileged to be a part of the community that he built will be forever grateful for how he enhanced our lives through education and love!
    A few years ago, over 200 of us gathered at the New Canaan Historical Society for A Center School Celebration. A website about the history of Center School, including hundreds of class photos, the original Center Swingers albums, the movie Center In On Kids, produced by Hazel Hobbs, and the speech that Steve Rubin gave on that occasion and much more are all at acenterschoolcelebration.com

  2. Center School in New Canaan was not just a school, it was a family. The enthusiasm of Steve Rubin, the teachers and the families was amazing. There was joy in the hallways and an expected grumbling was inevitable!! But mostly there was a wonderful atmosphere of curiosity and learning.

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