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You are here: Home Section Table People Art Rublin Completes Three Years of Service on the Scarsdale School Board
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Art Rublin Completes Three Years of Service on the Scarsdale School Board

rublinsArt and Erika RublinJune 11 marked Art Rublin’s last meeting on the Scarsdale Board of Education. He was elected in 2015 to serve his first term on the Board, and was an active and articulate member of the Board at a very controversial time.

He urged the Board to put the needs of the students first, to refrain from budgeting to the tax cap and often looked back at the history of the Scarsdale Schools to guide current policy. Though in recent years Board members have reluctant to speak out as individuals and depart from the prevailing view, Art was courageous and often spoke up for what he believed was right, even in the face of considerable opposition.

Due to the demands of a new job, Art decided not to run for a second three-year term on the board. He indicated that it was difficult to get to 6:00 pm meetings and opted to give us his seat to someone who had the time to serve.

His voice will be missed by the community.

Here are excerpts from comments from Art and about Art made at the prior Board meetings:

At the June 11 meeting, Art thanked the SBNC for nominating him, the voters of Scarsdale for electing him, his board colleagues and former board member Suzanne Seiden who served as his mentor. He thanked the teachers, saying they were “the heart of the Scarsdale System, and thanked Dr. Hagerman, the administration and the principals of the seven schools as well as the League of Women Voters and the PT Council.

He said, “I regret that I couldn’t put my hat in the ring for a second term. The demands of the position at the law firm where I began work in December were too great for me to be able to be counted on consistently for the Monday board meetings, let alone the board work.”

He continued, “One thing that is making it easier for me to leave my seat is that Alison Singer is taking my place. I was impressed by what Alison had to say when she was nominated, especially her comments on the Board’s approach to community input.”

Board President William Natbony called Rublin, “An outstanding board member, (who) at every meeting and on every issue he brought to the board table thoughtful insight, careful analysis, and wonderful historical perspective and a desire to do what is right for our students and our community.” About Art he said, “When he speaks, he speaks from the heart.” He called Rublin “the Board historian” who “weighed decisions on each issue not only with modern thought and implications, but with respect for and analysis of historical precedence and the possible impact on moving away from precedent.”.

He said, Rublin “always asks deep and meaningful questions that test not only the soundness of our decision but the process by which they are reached.’ He said, “I suspect it has not been an easy year or two for Mr. Rublin. A change in jobs made it more difficult than it already was to attend all of our early evening and late evening meetings and in some cases, some basic frustration on some issues that sometime might not have been shared by the majority of the Board.”

He said, “Art and I had many conversations over the years and in particular over the past year in which we debated, and with mutual respect discussed an abundance of issues and desires in which ways to make our school systems, our processes, and our decisions better. Significantly when things went right, you were always the first to call or email to say thank you or congratulations and appropriately when things did not go perfectly, you were also the first, calling or emailing for a remedy or holding feet to the fire or suggesting creative alternatives. In that regard you kept me as president, the Board, and others, on their toes.” He continued, “While we may not have agreed on every issue that came before the board or every process that the board engaged in I came to respect our dialogue, with the understanding that we were both coming from good places in our ultimate goals. While I will miss our regular and candid dialogues as fellow board members, I suspect that our dialogues will not end and we will likely hear from you and see you at the podium often doing what you do best and what you have done as a board member which is advocating for what is best for our children and this great school system that I know you cherish greatly.”

Diane Greenwald offered the following thanks to Art Rublin at the May 21 meeting of the Board of Education:

I am here today to thank Art Rublin for his three years of service to Scarsdale as a dedicated member of the Board of Education.

I first met Art right here in this room in our common pursuit to support the 2013 school budget that was under attack for a mixture of reasons, and we quickly found common ground on many topics in support of quality public education. I actually had met Art first by email and admit I expected a 75 year old! I joined his grassroots organization, Coalition for Scarsdale Schools, where he gathered many together working to highlight positive school investment, student-focused best practices and support for local control of district decisions. Art and his wife Erika have become good family friends.

As a good friend, I think I can say, I don't always agree with him. Art has his own mind. But I always respect him. And I greatly appreciate his consistent focus on student achievement, children's development and the positive climate we create here for teaching and learning. His is a model that should continue. He never forgets to find clear student driven rationales that support his thinking. He never forgets to do his research -- and it’s thorough. He seeks guidance from past practices. He asks a lot of questions. He is creative with solutions and open minded to reflect on real versus perceived conflicts. He calls out assumptions, preferring more nuanced dialogue. He both holds the administration accountable and freely thanks our fine professionals for their good works. He tries to engage with and represent his community, seeking middle ground. Art is filled with good will and integrity. And he has a lot to say.

I think we will miss Art as an active, questioning presence on the Board, one who offers insight into a segment of our community committed to positive investment, continuous reflection and modern innovation without losing sight of prudent management.

Art - you are a true steward of Scarsdale's 100 year-long dedication to public education and you model for your children and for Scarsdale's children how to live a non sibi life.

Thank you, Art for all you do as a service leader in Scarsdale and hope to hear from you as part of future community dialogues involving our schools.

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