CONCRETE — Christine Tripp has been to a lot of places and seen a lot of schools, but none in the way she is now seeing Concrete High School.
“I think what I’m really excited about is working in a small community,” she said.
After years in education, during which she has done everything “except drive a bus,” Tripp has begun her first full school year as Concrete principal after working in the position on an interim basis since January.
“She has developed a positive climate with staff,” Concrete School District Superintendent Wayne Barrett said. “She has excellent content knowledge as well.”
A La Conner High School graduate, Tripp attended college on the East Coast and moved throughout the country with her husband, who spent 24 years in the Coast Guard, she said.
At first she was drawn to biology and marine fisheries studies, but quickly found her way into education, she said.
“I saw a need and enjoyed working with kids,” she said.
About six years ago, she and her family settled in La Conner, where Tripp worked most recently as a math teacher and Associated Student Body adviser.
She received her principal accreditation from Western Washington University, she said.
With her accreditation in hand, Tripp wasn’t sure if she wanted to work in a primary or secondary environment, she said, but when the opportunity arose at Concrete, she knew she couldn’t turn it down.
“I love the secondary environment,” she said. “In secondary, you’re creating people who are going to go out and do great things.”
Coming from small districts such as La Conner and others in Alaska, Tripp said she has learned to be resourceful. That’s why she said she hopes to continue to build on local connections that make a community.
“The unlimited potential that’s in a small town is so great,” Tripp said.
She said she plans on using those bonds in the community to figure out creative ways to serve students, including by utilizing the area’s vast outdoors.
“Our backyard is a classroom,” she said. “Let’s use this environment and the expertise of our teachers.”