The 2024 BHS State Championship Literary Team was recognized at the Buford Board of Education Meeting on April 22, 2024. Photo by Alicia Payne.

The Buford City Schools Board of Education recognized the Buford High School State Championship Literary Team on Monday, April 22 at their monthly meeting.

Members of this year’s state championship literary team were called to stand before the board and meeting attendees to be honored for their accomplishments. The Buford Literary advisor, Ms. Bethany Phillips said that the members who performed vocal pieces were not present because they were in the middle of Variety Show rehearsals.

Buford captured the state title with a total of 32 points ahead of runner-up Carrollton who had 16 points. Lambert (14 points), Cherokee (13 points) and Denmark (13 points) rounded out the top five schools.

Buford’s top finishers for literary were:

  • Extemporaneous Speaking – Domestic: Jack Leland, Second Place
  • Extemporaneous Speaking – International: Aiden Holland, Third Place
  • Literary Interpretation – Solo Humorous: Emily DiMaggio, Second Place
  • Essay – Personal: Belky Claros Espino, First Place
  • Essay – Literary Analysis: Julia Travis, Third Place
  • Boys Solo: Vincenzo Fuoco, Fourth Place
  • Trio: Rachel Brody, Maggie Dale and Katelyn Sebring; First Place
  • Quartet: James Coltrin, Vincenzo Fuoco, Samuel Jennings and Trevor Puckett; Fourth Place

During the meeting, the Board of Education approved:

  • The purchase of Dell Latitude 5540 laptops for staff members to begin using for the FY25 school year. The school system took advantage of an end-of-the-year sale to save money. The total for the laptops came out to be $36,902.00.
  • The purchase of a new financial and HR software suite YOSS will save the school district approximately $20,000.00 annually.
  • Pay requests for Charles Black Construction totaling $3,184,788.15 for work on the new Buford City Stadium, BHS baseball bleachers and concessions, and repairs to BHS.
  • A pay request for the Buford Senior Academy addition for $392,855.00 to Charles Black Construction.
  • A pay request to Breaux & Associates Architects for $34,087.70 for the new Buford City Stadium.
  • A pay request to H. Lloyd Hill Architects & Associates, Inc. for $4,308.91 for the BSA addition.
  • The low bid for the Buford Elementary School painting project to Custom Coat LLC for $89,170.00.
  • The low bid for the Buford Academy gym floor to Knight Hardwood Flooring for $59,180.00.
  • The low bid to purchase cafeteria tables for Buford Senior Academy to KI Furniture for $27,087.72.
  • The 2024-2025 school board meeting dates and the FY25 school board training plan.
  • A four-day work week during June and July 2024.
  • A system-wide (K-12) end-of-the-year food drive for May 13-17 to benefit the North Gwinnett Co-Op.
  • The donations of pianos from Mrs. Sylia Beard.

Buford Elementary School Principal Mark Graves said the current enrollment for BES is 404 in kindergarten and 117 in the daycare. Ms. Amanda Cochran was voted as BES Teacher of the Year. The Big-Little Dance had 150 students and their families attend the event. The egg hunt and petting zoo were both well-attended school events.

Buford Academy Principal Ms. Elena Hernandez-Vo said the current enrollment for BA is 1,267 students. BA had two Odyssey of the Mind teams do exceptionally well and are headed to compete in the International competition. Second-grade teacher, Ms. Katie Womack was selected as BA Teacher of the Year.

Buford Senior Academy Principal Cameron Hutchins said the current enrollment for BSA is 873 students. BSA celebrated Mrs. Allie Fisher, a fourth-grade ELA teacher as its Teacher of the Year. Fourth-grader Isabella Ruvalcaba received second place at the Metro Resa Young Georgia Authors Writing Competition.

Buford Middle School Principal Keith Johnson said the current enrollment for BMS is 1,420 students. Chorus Director Merideth Drake was recognized as the BMS Teacher of the Year. The staff appreciation week starts May 6, the Savannah Field Trip is on May 3 and the BMS Car Show is on May 11. This Friday is the school’s Screen on the Green Friday Night.

Buford High School Principal Teresa Hagelthorn said the current enrollment for BHS is 1,904 students. Social Studies teacher Dwayne DuBose was voted as BHS Teacher of the Year. Ms. Cherri Edwards was honored as the FBLA Region Adviser of the Year.

In Academics, four students have been selected as finalists for the Governor’s Honors Program. Those students are Ethan Yntema (Computer Science), Ella Kay Wayne (Dance), Adelina Dias-Romero (Theater) and Declan Johnston (Music). AP testing will take place during the first three weeks of May with 1,408 tests being administered to 700 students.

In Athletics, the Buford gymnastics team won their third consecutive state championship title. Girls soccer, boys tennis, boys lacrosse and baseball are playing in the state playoffs this week.

In the Arts, the recent theatre production of “Mama Mia” was a huge success with record-breaking ticket sales for all three shows. Ms. Hagelthorn congratulated Ms. Leila Bowman, BHS theatre director, and the cast and crew. The Variety Show, “In Your Dreams” will be this Thursday and Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The Young Choreographers Showcase will be on Tuesday, April 30 at 6:30 p.m.

Dr. Lacrecia Smith gave an update on the Diversity & Inclusion Program. The Buford City Schools International Night will be on May 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Buford Arena and will feature various vendors and cultures.

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