Academy Coordinator and Computer Teacher Chris Rubin ‘97 Shares His Journey Back To M-A 

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This is the 49th article in Bears Doing Big Things, a weekly column celebrating the stories of notable M-A alumni.

Chris Rubin ‘97 went from student to staff,  coming back to M-A as the Academy Coordinator and Academy Computer teacher seven years after he graduated. During his 20 years of teaching here, he coached the girls water polo team. During his time at M-A, he started coaching for Ladera Recreation District, where he used to swim when he was five. “In the scheme of things it was full circle, because I always wind up circling back to try and give back to the community.”

Rubin’s senior portrait

During his time at M-A as a student, Rubin said, “I felt like academically, I was well-prepared for college. I played water polo at M-A for all four years under Coach Ted Minnis, which is one of the ways I got close with biology teacher Rick Longyear because he was my swim coach. I also played club water polo at the Stanford club.”

Rubin went on to play for  UC San Diego’s water polo team. After receiving an undergraduate degree in psychology and philosophy, Rubin returned to the Bay Area, “I continued to coach in the summers. With my philosophy interest, I was leaning towards going to law school, so I took the LSAT. I got into a few schools, but they weren’t my top choices, so I waited to retake it in the Fall. At the end of July I was thinking about possibly teaching, even though I had no teaching credentials. I wound up getting a job in the Redwood City School District in August, where I taught U.S. History and a couple elective classes.”

While he was teaching middle schoolers, he found his way back to M-A. “I wound up talking to Rick Longyear and wanted to start coaching water polo at M-A in 2002. I was also teaching at Stanford club and really enjoyed the cycle of teaching during the day. Soon, I got offered a job teaching at M-A, so I wound up back here.”

Rubin with the M-A girls varsity water polo team

“I really had no intention of coming back to be a teacher. To be honest, when I was at M-A I didn’t think a lot about what my career was going to be, but I thought a lot about college. Now coming back here as a teacher, I’m really excited about students feeling like there is an emphasis on topics of interest and potential careers.”

Rubin coaching the girls M-A team water polo team

Rubin coached the M-A girls water polo team for 10 years, and only stopped because he had his first child. He still teaches as the Academy program’s coordinator and runs the Computer Academy program, where he has been working for since 2004. “I actually had no idea it was Academy, I just knew I was hired to teach a computer class. Academy was here even when I was a student, but since then the program has been revamped. I took over as a coordinator, and now this is my 20th year at M-A. The goal of our program is to support a small group of students to be college eligible, have success in their classes, and get exposure to different careers in the area.”

Rubin’s advice for current M-A students: “M-A is an amazing place. Even though it is a huge school, there’s so many sports, different classes, and electives, so take advantage of your time here and what M-A has to offer.”

Rubin’s advice for students trying to figure out their career path: “When you’re looking into your post-high school options, expose yourself to topics and careers that might spark your interest. Don’t only look at what everyone else is doing, find your personal path. Networking with all the people in our community and learning about different careers can be really fascinating and inspire you.”

Tessa is a junior in her second year of journalism. She enjoys co-writing for the Bears Doing Big Things column and the social trends happening at M-A. Tessa also enjoys playing tennis and is on the varsity team.

Celeste is a junior in her second year of journalism. She is the co-writer of the weekly column Bears Doing Big Things, featuring alumni. She enjoys covering issues affecting the M-A community through features and writing about student culture. Her story on La Biscotteria was recognized as a top-10 NSPA Blog Post of 2023.

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