10 Questions with...Ruth Grube: Director of Student Services
What most interested you in coming to Concord/Concord-Carlisle? "Concord's reputation is outstanding and the challenge of working in a high performing district was very motivating for me."
What have you found different and what have you found similar to your experiences in Peabody? "There are more similarities than differences and that was not what I had expected. Similarly, parents are amazing advocates for their children and want to work in conjunction with their school district to provide each child individualized supports in order to help him/her succeed in school. Both districts are similar in the amount of talented, qualified staff who support our students daily. The passion that the staff and family have towards ensuring that students succeed is also a similarity."
"The differences I see are the number of resources available in Concord/Concord-Carlisle Regional vs. my other district. My other district was larger and not quite considered an Urban district so we did not qualify for that kind of funding and at times that hindered the supports we could offer a student."
From your perspective, what is strongest about special education in our districts and what is the biggest challenge facing the districts right now? "I would say that some of the strongest are the number of caring, passionate, qualified staff and that is huge. Staff can look at a situation and draw from the vast experience they have had and make some "in the moment" shifts for student success. Parents are another huge strength also because of the passion, knowledge and true advocacy they bring for their children. Leadership is also key in the mix. To have a path or an explicit plan to follow from administrative leadership means consistency in language, expectations, and feedback and that in turn makes our students successful."
"I see the challenges as keeping up with training that supports the presentation of some of our students. Students presenting with both trauma and anxiety is prevalent throughout some districts and having the ability to recognize that, understand how to assist students by giving our staff more resources to draw from in a timely manner is critical. We are fortunate because, in this district, the Leadership team prior to me coming has recognized this as a priority but continuing with the understanding that no disability is the same and each student is an individual is a necessity that we cannot lose sight of. Arming our staff and communities with as much information as soon as possible is a task that this district is up for."
What's the most valuable thing you have learned to date working in special education? "... I have learned that once I have met a student with a disability, I have met a student with a disability. By this, I mean that although a student may fall within a category of a disability, that does not mean that all students under that given category will present the exact same way. Our students are absolutely amazing but treating them as the individual they are is not only respectful but necessary."
What is your favorite saying or one that you feel best sums up your philosophy or outlook? "Always treat people how you would like to be treated."
What is the best piece of advice you've received? "Regardless of how intelligent you are, you will never know everything. Know your resources, do your needs assessment, listen to staff and students, and always do well by children."
What is your greatest wish for the Concord and Concord-Carlisle School Districts? "My greatest wish for Concord and Concord-Carlisle Regional District is that we continue our open dialogues about special education as a more inclusionary model with students as it warrants and to secure a seamless vertical alignment between the transition years (pre k -k, grades 5-6, grades 8-9, and high school-post-secondary)"
If you could visit any place in the world where would you go? If I could go to any place in the world, I would go to Ireland to meet my mother's family.
What's your favorite way to spend a weekend? My favorite way to spend the weekend is to be outside with my dogs and husband. In the late winter, my daughter is expecting our first grandchild so my weekend plans may change.😊
What’s your favorite food? "My favorite food is Spaghetti and Meatballs."
What is a fun fact about you? "I wrote my college notes backward from the right side of my notebook to the left-hand side. I can also write forward and backward at the same time.