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Education

Goodbye, Ms. Tripi! La Jolla Elementary families bid departing principal farewell

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The entire student body and dozens of parents turn out to surprise outgoing La Jolla Elementary School principal Donna Tripi on Dec. 14.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

After 19 years, La Jolla Elementary School principal Donna Tripi, stepped down Dec. 21 to move on to a new job as superintendent in the Rancho Santa Fe School District. And with that much time at the helm of the 1111 Marine St. school, one send-off party just wasn’t enough!

With tissue in hand, Donna Tripi thanks students and parents.
With tissue in hand, Donna Tripi thanks students and parents.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The school hosted a surprise celebration for the outgoing principal following the morning flag ceremony Dec. 14, at which the entire student body sang a song about the school, with supportive parents watching. Then, on Dec. 18, a parent party was held in the auditorium featuring speakers, a video, gifts and more.

“This is the most difficult decision I have ever made, both personally and professionally,” a teary Tripi told those gathered. “It topped moving out here from Chicago, which was a big move!

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A packed auditorium of students and parents gather for one last goodbye, as Tripi moves on to a new job as superintendent in the Rancho Santa Fe School District.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

“I have loved every minute of the journey, being at La Jolla Elementary School from the beginning, when it had so much room to grow. Now I feel like you are in such a good place, because of all of you in this room. It has been a team from the very beginning. It has been so much fun, every day, even with its challenges. It has always been us. We are a family and we work hard together.”

Motioning to the students sitting on the auditorium floor in front of her, Tripi continued: “We have all of them at the center of all we do. This is who we are working for and what we want to give them. It’s been a joy for me, so to give it up was so hard. But I feel like this is a next step for me, and I can help another district get to where you all are. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me to make this a magical place. I appreciate this outpouring and I don’t feel like I deserve it, but it, and you, are incredible. Just incredible.”

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Donna Tripi receives enlarged photos of students, thanking her for her 19 years of leadership as La Jolla Elementary School principal.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

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Retired principal and former area superintendent for La Jolla, Dr. Julie Martel, will serve as interim principal when school resumes Jan. 7.


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