Long Talk – Mr. Rutherford


It’s coming to the end of another school year, and as always we have to say goodbye to some of our teachers here at ISB. As part of on ongoing series, PantherNation sits down with departing staff to get their thoughts on their time on ISB, and where they are going next.

Mr. Rutherford is the HS Librarian and Technology Coordinator here at ISB. He has been at ISB for 6 years, and he previously was the Elementary athletic coordinator, director of MS activities, worked on the HS yearbook, taught 6th grade Humanities, 6th grade English and 6th grade Social Studies. He has also coached water polo, U13 and U15 boys volleyball, U15 boys basketball, U13 girls basketball, and boys and girls Varsity basketball.

What is your favorite part about being a teacher at ISB?

Kids. Working with students. Seeing students learn skills to solve problems, come up with great ideas, make connections in their heads, get excited or passionate about many different things; whether it’s medicine, helping people, solving a really challenging math problem, or being completely stoked that they accomplished something that they set out to do. It’s great to see kids grow, and it’s great to see them challenge themselves, and it’s great to see them not give up once they fail. They realize failure is an option, and it’s what you do after you fail that’s most important. It’s great to see that in kids.

Where are you going and what are you doing after ISB?

I’m headed to the Bay Area: San Francisco, California. My wife got a job at the Nueva school, an innovative school in the Peninsula area. I will be returning to the private sector, and probably going back to sales and marketing, mainly in the EdTech industry.

What is your favorite memory of ISB?

I’d have to say watching Will and Kelly grow up and thrive, and be challenged and have great experiences here. There are many memories, but I probably say that’s been my favorite. Either that or being there and watching my wife defend her PhD and becoming Dr. Rossini. Those are my favorite moments.

What is your most memorable accomplishment at ISB?

I’d hope to say that I have a lot. Getting students to believe in themselves, and believe that they are writers and readers, that they can do what they set their mind to. I hope to say that each year there are 40, 80, or 110 kids that I instilled that belief in; where I would see a student who truly believes that they can do what they want to do, that if they go out and want to be a lawyer or start a business, they can do so. I hope I gave kids confidence that they can take on the challenges they have in life; that the can thrive, survive, and really succeed.

What advice would you give students?

Follow your passion. One of my mantras in life is when you wake up in the morning, make sure you’re going off to do something you want to do. Don’t settle because you have a high paying job, and you get a lot of money, and that’s the only reward you get. Be passionate about what you do, and if you’re going to be a doctor, a nurse, a dentist, a teacher, a businessman, just make sure you’re passionate about it, that you want to do it, that it fires you up. Don’t be an engineer that builds bridges just because people said you were good at math. If you want to be a rocket scientist and work for the European Space Administration, do it. You want to be an artist, do it. You want to be a musician, or make EDM, do it! Don’t settle for what other people’s expectations are of you. Follow what you want to do.

Be excellent to each other.

We are sad to see Mr. Rutherford go, and we wish him luck in his future plans. In his 6 years at ISB, he has played many roles, from teaching and coaching to directing and organizing. Mr. Rutherford has made a great impact on ISB and its students, and we are sure that he will carry that same positive influence to wherever he goes next.