Dr. Rukina Walker, Principal
Dear Trip Elementary School Students, Parents and Community Members:
It is an honor and privilege to serve as principal of Trip Elementary School. My commitment is to provide a safe and intellectually challenging environment that will empower students to become innovative thinkers, creative problem solvers and inspired learners prepared to thrive in the twenty-first century. I have three core beliefs about elementary education:
1. Student Development and Achievement is our primary purpose and we must be accountable for all students’ learning and growth at high levels.
2. Parent Engagement supports and maintains the educational process while setting a personal and character development standard for students.
3. The Teaching and Learning Environment is the pathway to establish positive school experiences and to motivate students to dream big and work hard.
These beliefs guide my educational decisions and help me set a foundation on which to develop school improvement goals. Combined with good communication, I have found these beliefs to be of value in supporting a child-centered learning environment. I welcome all ideas, suggestions, and opportunities to enhance the educational environment and culture in our school.
As an educator for 21 years, I began my career as a high school science teacher in DeKalb County, where I taught for 10 years. After moving to Gwinnett County, I became an assistant principal at J.E. Richards Middle School and continued my educational experience as an assistant principal at Trickum Middle School and Craig Elementary School in Gwinnett County. I hold a Doctorate Degree in Education, a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education, and a Bachelors Degree in Biology. I served in the 2012 Quality Plus Leadership Academy. Becoming the principal of Trip Elementary is still the biggest honor in my professional life. In my personal life, my biggest honor is being a mom of two wonderful boys, Dallas and Dylan, which has afforded me the greatest opportunities for learning and growth than anything else I have ever done in my life. “To whom much is given, much is required.”
For those of us that serve as educators, it is that very special time of year. Soon the school doors will swing wide open as our true purpose enters the hallways…our children. We know that a school building is merely a building, but a school culture is established by the people who have a vested interest in what occurs in the building on a daily basis. It is our desire to implement teaching strategies that will stretch the minds of our students and challenge them to think critically.
Each family will be greeted with great respect and appreciation for your role as a critical part of who we are. It is our hope that you will take every opportunity to visit with us often and accept our personal invitation to partner with us as we strive to educate our children with professional excellence.
A dynamic staff has been assembled to lead the way toward academic and social success at Trip Elementary. Each year has and will continue to provide the opportunity to forge new relationships while working to strengthen the ones that have been a part of this school. We certainly plan to be inspired by our past, proud of our present and focused on our future as we embrace the new school year.
Every student, parent and community member will receive the deepest level of appreciation and support from the Trip staff as we step forward as partners in education. One of the hallmarks of distinction for this school has been the collegial collaboration. Each staff member will continue to strive to enable quality relationships to thrive. Let me personally request your support for the initiatives of our PTA and the school as a whole. The result will be unparalled success for the children that we share.
If at any time throughout the year if you have questions, concerns or ideas to share, please allow us the opportunity to listen, reflect and respond appropriately to your needs. Remember, we are here to serve our community in a professional way.
Looking forward to serving you and your children.
Dr. Rukina Walker
Principal, Trip Elementary
Jason Bishop, Assistant Principal
I am elated to be joining the Trip Elementary family as an Assistant Principal. Trip Elementary School has an outstanding reputation throughout Gwinnett County Public Schools. I will work tirelessly with all of you to help continue Trip’s tradition of excellence. Grayson is a wonderful community, and I am proud to become a part of it. Go Rams!
For the past 15 years I have worked at Alcova Elementary School in the Dacula Cluster. During that time, I served as a fifth grade classroom teacher, gifted math teacher, STEM specialist and as a local school technology coordinator. Additionally, and most importantly, I consider my most important job was that of a student advocate. Our students deserve the best from each one of us. I am passionate about meeting each students’ learning ability and interest level through an educationally challenging environment.
I firmly believe in building lasting relationships with students, staff and parents in order to help our students reach their highest potential. With a common goal of ensuring student success, if we work together, we will succeed. I look forward to getting to know each one of you and discovering what we have in common and what brings joy to your lives.
I obtained my undergraduate degree in early childhood development and education from Western Michigan University. I also earned a Master’s Degree from Lesley University and most recently a Leadership degree from West Georgia University. Personally, I have a wonderful wife named Jennifer who is an outstanding second grade teacher. We both moved to Georgia in 2005 from Michigan where we are originally from. We have two children, a thirteen-year-old son named Daine and a ten-year-old daughter named Lauren.
I am excited to see the wonderful things we will accomplish together this year. If you would like to meet with me face to face or in a social distancing format, please do not hesitate to email or call. Let’s make this upcoming school year the best year yet!
Assistant Principal, Trip Elementary
Kim Lee, Assistant Principal
I am honored to serve as an Assistant Principal at Trip Elementary School. The faculty, staff, students, and parents are simply wonderful. I am always excited to serve the Grayson community, and I look forward to each school year.
I have been an educator for 28 years and in Gwinnett County Public Schools for 27 years. I started my career at Suwanee Elementary School. I have also served at Rockbridge Elementary School, J.C. Magill Elementary School, and I have taught Kindergarten, second grade, third grade, and fifth grade. I started my administrative career at Centerville Elementary School and opened Baldwin Elementary School before transferring to Trip Elementary School.
I earned a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership (University of West Georgia), a Master’s Degree in Reading and Literacy (Walden University), and a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education (Governors State University). Working takes up an enormous part of my life, but in my spare time, I enjoy traveling, cooking, and going to concerts.
Each year I am impressed with the accomplishments demonstrated by our Trip Elementary School family, and I commend you on these achievements. It is clear to me that you all take the mission statement of our school and district very seriously because it drives both the focus of collective work and the manner in which that work is done each day. It is a joy being an instrumental part of the continuous greatness that is Trip Elementary School, and I am looking forward to beginning a new year!
Kimberly A. Lee
Assistant Principal, Trip Elementary
LaTasha Boynton, Assistant Principal
It is with immense gratitude and joy that I write this letter of introduction as your Assistant Principal for Trip Elementary. My name is Latasha Boynton, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Grayson Cluster and Trip Elementary. I look forward to working in partnership with Dr. Walker and the staff to continue the work of advocating for and providing all students and families with an educational experience where high expectations, service, and diversity are celebrated.
I have been serving students, teachers, and families in Gwinnett County Public Schools for 9 years. I began my career as an elementary school teacher supporting students in the areas of Language Arts and Social Studies
I earned my Leadership Certificate from West Georgia University, Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Piedmont College, and a Bachelor in Science in Speech from Georgia State University. Prior to coming to Trip, I taught at Sycamore Elementary School and Kanoheda Elementary School in Gwinnett County. I also taught in St. Tammy Parish Schools at Pontchartrain Elementary in Louisiana. Personally, I am a native from Columbus, Ohio. I am married and have three lovely children, Asa, Aidan, and Layla.
When I began my journey as an educator, I knew I wanted to make a
difference in the lives of those I served, and this continues to be the vital component of what drives me every day to support teaching and learning and thrive on building positive relationships with others.
In closing, I am continually reminded that our greatest resource in our schools and communities is each other. Together we can create a school we all love. Trip Elementary motto is “Where Learning is a Lifelong Journey,” so I will seek to lead our community, teachers, and students. We will all grow and learn together.
Assistant Principal, Trip Elementary
Heather Lewis, Assistant Principal
It is my great honor to introduce myself as Trip Elementary’s assistant principal. My name is Heather Lewis and I am a proud Ram through and through! I am thrilled to work alongside you to continue the outstanding success Trip Elementary is known for.
I have been in education for 11 years. Four of those years were spent in DeKalb County Public Schools teaching Pre-K and kindergarten, but I always knew I wanted to be back home in G.C.P.S. and was fortunate enough to land a teaching position in 3rd and later 1st grade at our fellow cluster school, Starling Elementary. I realized very quickly in my career that leading, serving, and celebrating our students, families, colleagues, and community brings me immense joy and is a top priority for me.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from University of North Georgia and my master’s degree from University of West Georgia. I also have my E.S.O.L., reading, gifted, and coaching endorsements. I live in the community with my amazing husband and two beautiful girls, Mia and Harper.
I am a firm believer in relationships first. I’ll work tirelessly to ensure our school is a continued safe place where each and every student comes to learn, grow to their highest potential, and become lifelong learners.
Heather LewisAssistant Principal, Trip ElementaryEmail: Heather.C.Lewis@gcpsk12.org