Skip To Main Content

Mobile Navigation

Remembering Gene Ruth, Former Head of School

Eugene (Gene) D. Ruth Jr., who served as Calhoun's seventh Head of School from 1973–1980, passed away on January 7.

Gene Ruth

Gene Ruth left a lasting impact on the philosophy and pedagogy of Calhoun. In 1970 Gene was hired to pioneer a sixth grade program at Calhoun inspired by his doctoral research on "learner-centered instruction" developed at Teachers College, Columbia University. The program was soon expanded to include fifth, seventh and eighth grades, and became the basis of the curriculum for the entire school in the 1970s.
Under Gene's leadership, Calhoun moved to its innovative, open-floor-plan space on West End Avenue and 81st Street in 1975, and became a fully co-educational institution that same year. The principles of individualized learning and open space that Gene helped introduce guided Calhoun's growth over subsequent decades, and continue to inform the school's approach today. 
Prior to Calhoun, Gene taught at the elementary and college levels in New York and Missouri, wrote articles on education, and co-authored a book, Learning to Teach in Urban Schools. He continued to work in school leadership after leaving Calhoun, including as head of school of The Gordon School, in Providence, Rhode Island and The Wilson School, in Clayton, Missouri.
Gene is survived by his wife, Rebecca; his son, Justin; his daughter-in-law, Andrea; and his grandchildren, Lauren and Megan. Gene's obituary with more details can be found here.
We hope you join us in celebrating Gene's service to Calhoun.