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
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 excited to serve the Grayson community, and I am looking forward to joining the Administrative team.
I have been an educator for 23 years, and in Gwinnett County Public Schools for 22 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 hold 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. I also have an amazing miniature schnauzer named Kobe who brings much joy to my life.
I am impressed with the accomplishments demonstrated by Trip Elementary School, 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. I look forward to being an instrumental part of the continuous greatness that is Trip Elementary School, and I cannot wait to meet you all.
Assistant Principal, Trip Elementary
I am proud to serve as the new Assistant Principal at Trip Elementary for the 2019-2020 school year. I have learned that the students, faculty, and the community share a common vision for high student achievement. I am so blessed to be able to join such a dynamic school! I plan to support staff, students, and parents as we work together to continue creating a strong learning community that encourages every learner to be successful.
Prior to joining the Trip family, I spent 13 years in the classroom supporting students. I taught sixth grade in Belleville, Illinois before relocating to Georgia to be near my family. I taught first grade at Jackson Elementary here in Gwinnett and then transferred to Barrow County to teach fifth and third grade. I returned home to Gwinnett County and have been teaching third grade at Simonton Elementary. Over the years I have developed strong instructional leadership as well as experience mentoring and supporting teachers with the best research-based practices.
I am a recent graduate of the Aspiring Leader Program. I hold an Education Specialist in Teacher Leadership from Piedmont College, a Master of Science in Reading and Mathematics from Walden University, and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Southern Illinois University. I am currently enrolled at the University of West Georgia to further my education.
I look forward to building relationships with faculty, students, and families within the Trip community. It is my goal to stretch teachers and students to their fullest potential and provide each child with new challenges. I cannot wait to meet you all and see teaching and learning in action at Trip Elementary.
Assistant Principal, Trip Elementary
Monya Phillips, Assistant Principal
I feel honored and blessed to be serving my 5th year as an Administrator at Trip Elementary School. In my past four years at Trip, I have witnessed dedicated teachers and staff, students who work hard to meet their academic goals and parents who are not only supportive of their children but also of the teachers and staff at Trip. Trip has accomplished many great things in the past and I cannot wait to see what this new year brings.
My teaching career began with first grade students in Columbus, Georgia in 1985 and followed with first and sixth grade students in Florida. I moved to Gwinnett in November 1992, worked as a substitute for GCPS, and later worked at GCPS county office. I left the county office to return to teaching. I taught Computer Science for all grades at Five Forks Middle School. After 10 years, I transitioned into the role of Local School Technology Coordinator where I remained for the following four years. In 2011, I became an Assistant Principal at Bethesda Elementary School.
I hold a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership (Lincoln Memorial), a Master’s Degree in Health (University of Alabama), and a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education (University of Alabama). When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my husband of 26 years and our three wonderful rescue cats, Bo, Monroe and Madison.
I am excited for what this school year will bring for our students, parents and faculty/staff of Trip. Together we will accomplish great things. I look forward to being on this journey with you and your family. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions, concerns or just want to meet face-to-face.
Thank you for your help in continuing to make Trip ES the positive and productive learning environment that it is today.
Assistant Principal, Trip Elementary