Know your educator — Principal loves hope and bikes
Rita Robinson, a minister’s wife, loves riding motorcycles with her husband, and is a former band member and an award-winning raiser of chickens.
She wants to be all she can be, and she wants the same for students of Lipsey Middle School. Robinson is in her fourth year as principal of the school, which has 475 students.
In her spare time, she enjoys working crossword puzzles and playing solitaire to challenge her mind.
And she loves riding motorcycles.
“I am eagerly anticipating riding my own Goldwing bike alongside my husband,” Robinson said.
When she was younger, she was a member of 4-H. Her favorite project was raising chickens and entering them in 4-H competitions.
“The highlight was winning the blue ribbon; the reality was they kept your chickens,” Robinson said. “I always wanted to give my ribbons back because my chickens had become pets to me.”
Robinson joined every activity she could in high school. She played in the Crystal Springs High School marching band and concert band. She was co-editor of the yearbook. She was in Beta Club and Mu Alpha Theta, a math club.
She was also in the band throughout her college years at the University of Southern Mississippi.
The Crystal Springs native has lived in Brookhaven for 28 years.
She has been married for 27 years to Rev. Burnell Robinson. They have three children: Dion, Basil II and Cassidy, a BHS sophomore; one grandson, Xavier; and two grand dogs, dachshunds Bella and Twix.
Robinson said she is proud to have worked for the Brookhaven School District for 20 years. Her previous jobs include assistant principal, lead teacher, fifth grade science teacher, kindergarten teacher and teacher’s assistant.
“As we continue to move deeper into our school year, our students and teachers can continue to look for quality instruction and great support from district and school level administration, community and parents,” Robinson said.
The school is at 412 Drury Lane, and teaches fifth and sixth grades. It offers programs such as beginner band, Student Council, a Reading Fair and fundraising for charitable groups.
Robinson is planning a Lipsey graduation in May.
“Our sixth graders will have the privilege of being Lipsey’s first graduating class, which will be held in the spring to mark the milestone of moving forward to junior high,” she said.
Robinson’s hopes for her students are pretty much summed up in what she says at the end of every morning PA announcement:
“When you were born you had a heart that was pure. Nothing but goodness was in it. As you grow you choose the things you allow to take up space in your heart. You also make a choice to allow certain things to leave your mouth.
“Let’s make a conscious effort to allow the good things to take up space in your hearts so good things will leave your mouth when you speak. Be all that you can be. Be that kid that is the epitome of a Lipsey Kid … a kind, helpful, intelligent young man or lady.”
Story by Robin Eyman