Retirement: Angela DeRubeis

By Laura Haime
Published: June 2010

In the 33 years that she worked at South, Angela DeRubeis has seen it all. She knows all of the excuses for being late, all types of explanations for lost text books, and every angry parent complaint – there really is no way of getting around her.

When she first started working at South, DeRubeis worked in the cafeteria part time. But in 1987, she was promoted to work full time as the Goodwin secretary, and has been at that job every since.

During her time at Goodwin, DeRubeis has seen four housemasters, and two generations of students.

“I love my job, DeRubeis said, “if I didn’t I wouldn’t have stayed for so long.

DeRubeis remembers that when she first started working at South, Wheeler was only around the corner from the Goodwin house.

“Those were the days when I knew every single faculty member in the school, DeRubeis said. “Now, though, the teachers are even younger than my own children!

In fact, faculty around the school considers her “a mother to [them] all, as guidance counselor Kara Veeley put it.

“Angela is wonderful, caring, responsible, and incredibly organized, Veeley said. “There’s something special about her – everyone loves Angela.

The executive secretary, Betty Lupo, also holds Angela in high regards.

“Angela is one of the most gracious people you’ll ever have the good fortune to meet, Lupo said.

DeRubeis’ colleagues admired her most for her organization.

On the busiest day of the year, when seniors are coming in and out of their house offices for last minute adjustments and errands, one can still find Mrs. DeRubeis at her desk with a smile on her face, and everything set in order.

“Angela is calm in the face of a storm, Lupo said. “The best adjective I can think of to describe her is unflappable.

After decades at the school, nothing surprises DeRubeis. Faculty, students, and parents all agree that DeRubeis is rational in all of her actions, and handles the most stressful situations calmly, one step at a time.

“When people are stressed, she can calm them down, Lupo said.

“I work best when I’m organized, DeRubeis said. “I’m even this organized at home!

Although she sees students and teachers the most, DeRubeis also interacts with parents constantly. Liz Mintz, the mother of three Goodwin children, admires DeRubeis for her work.

“When my daughter is sick, she better have a good excuse – not for me, but for Mrs. DeRubeis, Mintz said.

“Whenever I call to excuse my daughter’s absences, Mrs. DeRubeis’ disappointing tone tells me that she cares about the students in the school. She encourages me to keep my daughters dedicated to their studies, and assures me that my daughters are well taken care of at the school.

Students also love and respect their beloved secretary. Senior Tamar Gaffin-Cahn has only good memories of DeRubeis. “Mrs. DeRubeis is a very sweet woman and always did what was needed right away.

When asked what she would miss the most about her job, DeRubeis didn’t hesitate to answer. “I’m going to miss the interaction with everyone, DeRubeis said. “You get to know the students and you end up close to the parents. I enjoyed getting to know these families.

DeRubeis had the opportunity of taking many other jobs, but she denied every last one of them.

“My mother always told me, “You’ve always loved your job. And she was right. If I love coming in to work every morning, why would I give that up?

Fortunately, DeRubeis said that she will try to visit the school in the future and offer an extra hand whenever it is needed.

Goodwin house, nonetheless, will feel a little empty without DeRubeis next year, and she will certainly leaving big shoes to fill.

“My experience here has been absolutely wonderful, and I’ll miss everyone very much, DeRubeis said.

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