Dear Grayson, High School Students, Parents and Community Members,
My name is Rukina Walker. It is an honor to introduce myself as the new principal of Grayson High School. I hope that this letter finds you enjoying the rejuvenating days of summer, and that you and your children are looking forward to beginning a wonderful school year together in August. I can assure you that I share in this school community’s commitment to caring for your children each and every day while providing a world-class learning environment. I have been a part of the Grayson community for ten years as the proud principal of Trip Elementary, and I am so excited to remain in this community that I love so much.
I enter this next journey at Grayson High School as a seasoned teacher, assistant principal, and principal with over 28 years of experience. I began my career as a high school science teacher in DeKalb County, where I taught for 10 years. After moving to Gwinnett, I became an assistant principal at J.E. Richards Middle School. I continued my educational experience as an assistant principal at Trickum Middle School and Craig Elementary School in Gwinnett County. For the past ten years, I have had the privilege to serve as the principal of the nationally recognized and awarded Trip Elementary School in the Grayson Cluster. I hold a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership, a master’s degree in Secondary Education, and a bachelor's degree in biology. I served at the 2012 Quality Plus Leadership Academy. Becoming a principal in the Grayson Community is still one of the biggest honors in my professional life. In my personal life, my biggest honor is being the mom of two wonderful boys, Dallas (15) and Dylan (12), which has afforded me the greatest opportunities for learning and growth in my life. They are thriving student athletes in the Gwinnett County Public School System.
Having served a decade in high school, I knew that one day I would return to my roots. When the opportunity presented itself in a cluster and community that I love, I could not pass up the opportunity to serve. This is a position that aligns deeply with my beliefs and commitments as an educator and a great step forward in a career that is built on a love for learning and seeing students grow into productive citizens.
My commitment is to provide a safe and intellectually challenging environment that will empower each and every student to become an innovative thinker, a creative problem solver, an inspired learner, and an influential leader of tomorrow. I have three core beliefs about education:
- Student Development and Achievement is our primary purpose, and we must be accountable for each student’s learning and growth at high levels.
- Parent and Community Engagement is instrumental for every child to excel. The partnership between home and school builds confidence in students, enabling them to shape their individual future and the future of our community and our nation.
- The Teaching and Learning Environment is the pathway to establish positive school experiences, and to motivate students to dream big and work hard continuing their journey of lifelong learning.
These beliefs guide my educational decisions and foster a foundation that empowers students to reach their full potential. In addition to promoting academic success, these beliefs set the tone for providing an equitable learning environment in which students can thrive and feel a sense of belonging. It is very important to me that all who enter our building are treated with dignity and respect. These beliefs combined with good communication, create a highly engaging, successful, thriving learning environment. With my goal of continuing the tradition of excellence at Grayson High School, I am committed to always exploring new ways to meet the needs of all students and to communicate with parents and community members more effectively. I welcome all ideas, suggestions, and opportunities to enhance the educational environment and culture in our school.
Teachers are very dear to me, as I know how hard they work and how vital they are to student success. I believe that what we do in the school building is more than a job; it is a very rewarding, fulfilling, and important assignment. For this reason, I always prioritize our core business of teaching, learning and protect the instructional time of our teachers. Additionally, I find it equally important to protect the personal time of our teachers. Allowing them to practice self-care and disconnect from the job at the end of the day to connect with their own families is extremely important.
Students, some of you will recognize my familiar face. Others, I cannot wait to meet you! I hope that you are excited for this coming school year and that you are spending the summer exploring new adventures, traveling, and reading tons of books with your family and friends. It is going to be a fun year learning together. If you are near the school this summer, please stop by and say hello!
When parents walk through our doors, as a mom, I can relate to their mixed emotions of excitement, nervousness, and pride. I have always found that parents and I have two essential things in common; we expect students to be treated with kindness, and we expect them to excel to their highest potential. I will be meeting with parents, students, and staff throughout the year to identify specific goals in the areas of student achievement, school climate, and parent communication. The first Meet and Greet opportunity will take place on June 29th, from 10-11 a.m. at Grayson High School. We will serve light refreshments, juice, and coffee.
Grayson has been great, Grayson is great, and Grayson will continue to be great. I look forward to a fantastic and successful school year!
The Most Excited Principal Ever!
Dr. Rukina Walker