• Support Staff

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Mrs. Colleen Allen

I have taught Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade and Reading Recovery. I am originally from New York and my husband is from England. We love to go and visit our families as often as we can. Of course, I love the visits to England! I have two little girls who keep me busy. Both girls love to play soccer. Their names are Madelyn and Stella. I enjoy spending time on the weekends with my family and friends. I love teaching and I enjoy watching my little girls "playing teacher" at home. It just reminds me of how wonderful it is to be a teacher!

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Mrs. Robin Brainard

This year, I will be supporting the fifth grade Advance Content Cohort teaching Science and Social Studies as well as second grade Thinking Skills. I will continue to serve as the Gifted Coordinator for Trip Elementary.

I have my B.A. and M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Kean University in NJ, my Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lincoln Memorial University in TN and my Gifted Certification through Gwinnett County Public Schools. I have been teaching a variety of subjects as well as grade levels since 1987.

I married to my husband Bob in 1988. We have two children, Daniel and Caitlin. We have two boxers we rescued, Buddy and Murphy, who add to the excitement in our busy house.

We are originally from New Jersey where I taught second, third and fifth grade for eight years. My family moved to Georgia in August of 1998. Prior to coming to Trip, ten years were spent teaching third, fourth and fifth grade at J. C. Magill Elementary in Loganville. I have looped up with a third /fourth group as well as with a fourth/ fifth loop. What a great experience! I enjoy reading, going to the beach, cooking, gardening and spending time with my family. We belong to St. Oliver’s Church in Snellville, where I am a Eucharistic minister and lector.

I have had the privilege and honor to be an integral part of opening up Trip Elementary. I have never participated in such an experience before. Working with such an awesome group of professionals has been the pinnacle of my career!

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Mrs. Marcy Brown

Hey! My name is Marcy Brown and I love teaching! I love kids so much I went back to school to become a teacher. I used to be an accountant but I couldn’t have as much fun as teachers do so I stopped. I have a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education along with my Gifted Endorsement and a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting.
My totally awesome husband, Paul, and I have 2 beautiful children: Aspen and Maverick. We love hanging out together as a family.

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Mrs. Deena Evans

I have been working as a speech-language therapist for 19 years. I have been working in Gwinnett County for the past 16 years and this is my fourth year at Trip Elementary. I live in the community and my children attend school near the Grayson Cluster. I received my bachelor's and master's degrees from Valdosta State University and my specialist's degree from Nova Southeastern University. I also hold the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. I have been married for 19 years and have a 17 year old son and an 12 year old daughter. I enjoy helping children improve their communication skills so that they may experience greater academic success and self-confidence.

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Mrs. Kathy Jones

I am delighted to begin my fourth year at Trip Elementary as the ESOL Teacher (English to Speakers of Other Languages). This year will mark my 39th year in education! During this time I have served as a teacher, Assistant Principal, and a Principal. I retired in 2014 from my principalship at Camp Creek ES, but then decided I could not stay away from the position I love the most...teaching! This year I will be working with K-2 ESOL students on a part-time basis. My husband and I have been married for 38 years and I have three children; Max, Patrick, and Allyson. My husband and I enjoy traveling, especially to the beach!!

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Mrs. Deb Mercier

My name is Deb Mercier, and I LOVE teaching!! I have taught Kindergarten as well as 2nd grade, and am now a Reading Recovery/ Literacy Lessons Reading Teacher, which is essentially a reading specialist who instructs 1-5 grades. I attended the University of Georgia to obtain my Early Childhood Education degree, and received my Master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University. I am also ESOL certified, Gifted certified, and have my Special Education certification as well. I have been married for over 30 years, and have three beautiful children all of whom I am so very proud!! I am thrilled to claim Trip ES as my home school since it opened in 2008, and can not imagine teaching anywhere else! 😊

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Mrs. Tina Oberholtzer

I am one of the speech-language therapists here at Trip ES. I am transplanted from Ohio and still enjoy cheering on the Buckeyes. However, we have lived in either Georgia or South Carolina for over 30 years. In our home, the kids come and go since both are in college now. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in English/Education from Taylor University and Master’s degree in Speech Pathology from the University of South Carolina. I taught in elementary grades and middle school language arts before going back to school to become a speech therapist…one of the most rewarding jobs in the world!

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Mrs. Nancy Powell

My name is Nancy Powell and I am very excited to be a part of the Trip Elementary family! I am originally from Lexington, VA and I graduated from the College of William and Mary. I first came to Atlanta to work as an actor! (I still do participate in Community Theater and I love it!)  But, my first love is teaching! I have served for a few years as the instructional coach for Trip Elementary, and I really enjoy that role of being a source of support for our incredible staff. Currently, I am teaching all subjects to fourth grade students who are learning from home. Teaching digital learners has been both a challenge and a source of inspiration for me, and I continue to learn alongside of my students every day.

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Ms. Tomi Waldrop

Trip is an exciting place to work, learn and grow. I am thrilled to continue to work at Trip. This year, I will enjoy and continue to be excited about my role as a Reading Recovery teacher in addition to providing support to other students.

I am a Georgia native who grew up a short distance from here in Monroe, GA. My undergraduate college years were spent at Georgia College in Milledgeville where I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. I taught in Walton County before taking off 14 years to spend raising my two delightful daughters. In 2006, I returned to public school teaching after home schooling my children through elementary school. In 2012, I completed my Master's Degree online through Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL and then immediately began my Specialist Degree at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee which I completed in 2013.

I recently completed work through Georgia State University to receive my Reading Endorsement as well as Reading Recovery training. I love to learn new things!

I enjoy spending my free time at home working in my yard or playing games with my family. Otherwise, you may find me out and about with friends at festivals or just having fun enjoying a nearby park walking or hiking. Church and community service activities help keep me busy too. I am happy to be at Trip Elementary School again this year; the teachers, students, parents and administrators are AWESOME!