Community Says Goodbye to Beloved Upper School Teachers

Teachers move on from Blake, reminisce on their time

Anne Rubin came to Blake as a grade dean six years ago after teaching at a variety of all-girls schools in Michigan, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. She will be working at the all-girls Castilleja School in Palo Alto, California. She shares that leaving Blake “was a hard choice, obviously. It was a long process and… here, I have the greatest colleagues ever… [it’s] really like a good family [with a] great curriculum… anybody who leaves Blake is not going to trade that up for any one school.”

     Rubin decided that in her transition from Blake that she wanted to teach at another all-girls school. Rubin explains, “all girls schools… there aren’t a lot of them. When there are openings, especially at a school like Castilleja… you have to take it pretty seriously.” Rubin was also drawn to the warmer weather in Palo Alto, California and family that lives close by in Los Angeles. 



After spending an unexpected 12 years in Minneapolis, Kate Nichols has decided to continue her teaching career at the all-boys Salisbury School in Connecticut. Nichols shares, “Because I’m from New England, I think I’ve always kind of thought [my family] would end up back there at some point… My husband and I moved here just thinking we would be here for a couple of years. I had never been to Minnesota [previously] and now we’re going on our 12th year here.”

While her departure from Blake is sad, it is also an exciting, new change. She says, “I’ll miss the people for sure. I have very, very close friends here on the faculty and my kids have really close friends. I’ll miss my students. I’ll miss teaching girls for sure… overall I’ve loved working here. It has felt good; it’s a good general feeling here.” 


After 25 years of teaching at Blake, David Graham ‘85 is taking a step in a new direction. Since his graduation, Graham has always known that he wanted to return to Blake to continue his teaching career. Graham reminisces on his time at Blake, saying, “I have consistently been inspired and pushed by my colleagues [here] because I think there are just so many great teachers doing things, whether it’s making those connections with students or curriculum design.”      

However, since his youngest son Jasper Graham ‘21 is graduating this year, he and his wife, who recently got a job at the Griffin School in Austin, Texas, decided that it was time to take a turn in a new direction. Graham explains, “[It’s] a great opportunity for her. Now it’s her turn, wherever things take her.” 


Alex Fisher will be departing from Blake after seven years of teaching math. He taught a wide variety of classes ranging from algebra, to calculus, to computer science. 

     Fisher explains that he is “going to take a step back, try something new, maybe come back to teaching in a bit. We’ll see what happens. Was it an easy decision? No.” Fisher shares how the past few years were challenging as a teacher and he is ready to take a step back from that for a while. 

     However, he explains how there are many things that he will miss and that he is sad to leave Blake. Fisher says, “my coworkers in the math program are the best people you could hope for. But I do feel like it’s the right decision.” While he is sad to leave, he knows that the decision will be the best for him.

After 20 years of teaching at Blake, Deborah Weiss is retiring. She explains what she will miss saying, “The kids. I have pretty close relationships with a number of the students…sometimes it’s hard to know what the impact is when it’s right in front of you, but kids that have written when they get into medical school or when they’re doing things… I enjoy the interactions, knowing that it had an impact after.” 

While she is sad to retire from her long teaching career, Weiss is ready for a change in a new direction: “The first thing I did, frankly within the hour of making the decision to retire, I went onto the website for Normandale and looked up intermediate French classes… My husband and I want to rent a place in Léon for a year in about two to three years after [my son] is out of college.”