Head of School Robert S. Goldberg passed away on Sunday, March 10 at the age of 67. Goldberg served as the Head of School at Benjamin for 11 years. During his tenure, he brought a 15-year sequence in French, Mandarin and Spanish, an award-winning TV studio and video-production program, a 15-year sequential instrumental curriculum, raised lead gift dollars for an 850-seat performing arts theater and a cutting-edge STEM building, supported the Upper School conversion from a library to Learning Commons, and oversaw unique success in athletics, arts, academics and college admissions.
Mr. Goldberg was a "school man" since 1973, when he began his career in education at 21 years-old. He taught Spanish at Haddonfield Memorial High School in southern New Jersey for the first seven years beyond his Bachelor's degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, the city where he and his wife Rona spent their childhood.
Mr. Goldberg filled many roles during his tenure in education including: Head of a foreign language department, Academic Dean, Upper School Head, and Head of School at prestigious independent schools across the country.
But Mr. Goldberg will be remembered most, not for the curricular advancements he pioneered, but for the immeasurable impact he had on those around him.
Chairman of the Board Ari Zur said Mr. Goldberg truly possessed the spirit of what the Benjamin family envisioned in a leader of the School.
"Bob was seemingly everywhere on campus and at all times – from before the ringing of the school bell to long after the day ended; until the last point in the evening sports event was scored or the final act of one of the School’s art programs was watched. He considered Benjamin and all of us as part of his family and we were honored to think of him as part of ours," said Zur.
Alumni Association President and Board Member Matt Brannon '03 said the Association is eternally grateful for Mr. Goldberg's impact on current and former students.
"His legacy lives on in all of us, as we pursue our passions beyond our time at The Benjamin School," said Brannon.
Head of Upper School Fletcher Carr echoed these sentiments, saying Mr. Goldberg always put the School ahead of himself.
"In speaking with families, students and parents said nearly the same thing as they described what was so special about Bob. Each described a trait that is unique to the very best people we know in any walk of life. In short, the students and parents said that they loved Bob because, when you are with him, he makes you feel like you are - at that moment - the most important and best-loved person in the world - and his magic was that he did this with, literally, every person with whom he ever came in contact. Truly, how much light could one man shine," said Mr. Carr.
At the family's request, there will be a small, private service for close family and friends. The School community will be honoring Mr. Goldberg at a Memorial Service in Benjamin Hall on March 31 at 2:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the Goldberg family suggests donations to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network or The Benjamin School's newly created "Goldberg Faculty Professional Development Fund."