Fondest memories

When I took over the principalship at Rio Rancho High School after two years of the school’s opening, I was determined to foster a strong faculty community. I had left the Moriarty Public Schools after 17 years as a coach, teacher, and administrator, and in Moriarty, we were just that. With the great dedication of a new staff, RRHS was quickly deemed a school of excellence. Today, those colleagues are my closest friends.  

Beyond the highly skilled teachers and support staff, were exceptional students, and they in turn, made up exceptional programs. I loved attending the Performing Arts Center for plays and musicals, Ram Stadium for soccer and football games, and watching the RRHS Marching Band.

I especially enjoyed each graduation to see the graduating class eager and prepared for the next chapter of their lives. My time as principal of Rio Rancho High School is one of my fondest life experiences.

This week I happy to share an endorsement from one of my former students. I catch up with so many of them to this day, and their support excites and encourages me, just like it did when they were Rams.


“I still remember sitting in my third block class when it was announced to the Rio Rancho High School students that our Principal, Gary Tripp would be leaving at the end of the year. I’d venture to guess many people are unable to recall the name of their high school principal, much less recall specific memories like this one. But when you have a principal like Gary Tripp, you remember many memories because he was engaged, present and genuinely desired the success of his students. Gary made each student feel valued and like there was a place for them at RRHS. I have no doubt he will bring the same spirit of accessibility, optimism and investment to his role as a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives. Just as every student felt valued at RRHS, I am confident Gary will serve every one of his constituents well. Voters of district 44 can rest assured Gary will listen, work to find common ground, and bring the community together, I know because that’s exactly what he did as our principal.” 

Amanda Aragon
Rio Rancho High School, Class of 2005 Student Body President
University of Tulsa, Class of 2009