Dear Starling Community,

I am honored to have the opportunity to introduce myself to you as the new principal of

Starling Elementary School.  Your school, under the wonderful leadership of Dr. Donna Ledford, is

considered one of the best schools in Gwinnett County.  Your reputation for having great students,

teachers and community support is well known throughout the area and these are the reasons why

so many families choose the Grayson area as their home.

My parents moved to Grayson in 1984 and I have considered this home ever since.  I attended

Grayson ES, Pharr ES, Snellville MS and graduated from South Gwinnett High School.  I have earned

educational degrees from Georgia State University and Brenau University and obtained my Educational Leadership degree from Lincoln Memorial University in 2008.  During my time with Gwinnett County Public Schools I have served as a teacher at McConnell Middle School as well as an Assistant Principal at Rosebud Elementary School and McConnell Middle School.  To have the opportunity to come to Starling and work with this amazing team is the greatest honor of my professional life.
My husband, Jimmy, and I have two wonderful and very active children.  Our daughter, Lily is a rising 5th grader and has recently fallen in love with lacrosse.  Our son, Clay, will be starting kindergarten in August and he keeps us laughing on a regular basis.

I am so excited to begin a new school year at Starling Elementary.  We will continue to implement programs such as Bring your Own Device (BYOD) and we encourage your student(s) to bring their devices so that we can maximize instruction through technology. Our Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) program will continue to be a part of our culture as we recognize positive behaviors throughout the school day.   We will continue to Reach for excellence, Act responsibly, Model kindness and Seek solutions!  Communication will stay the same as we transition into the new year.  Please make sure we have your email address so that you can continue to receive our newsletters and stay in the know.

As we partner together to make 2017-18 the best school year possible, we will need your help!  Our commitment to you to stay focused on teaching and learning remains a top priority.  You can help us by making sure students arrive to school on time each day.  If students ride the bus, they are all inside the building by 8:00 a.m.  If you choose to drive your child, we would like to request that you get students here at 7:45 a.m. when the doors open each morning. 

I encourage every family to join and volunteer with PTA.  We have a fabulous PTA with so many opportunities to get involved.   Our goal is 100% PTA membership!  We thank PTA for their time and efforts each day to help make our staff, students and community feel welcome and supported while here at Starling.  Plan on stopping by the PTA table at Open House to hear about all they have planned for this school year and how you can get involved.

As we begin the new school year, please make sure to keep the lines of communication open with your child’s teacher.  She/he will always be your first contact for any questions or concerns you may have.  Parents and teachers working together will increase your child’s achievement and serves as a great model for students as to how to work effectively as a team.

I love working with schools, students, teachers and parents and can’t wait to begin this magical journey with all of you!

Rachel N. Ernst
Starling Elementary School