By Emily Pruitt Nemec
Buford High School celebrated the 2018 Graduates in the traditional style of the Buford community. On May 25th, more than 300 graduates and their family and friends gathered in the Buford City Arena to enjoy the graduation service. Early in the day, the school system determined the ceremony needed to move from the Buford High School football field to the arena due to the weather. Many families appreciated the early notice about the change in location. Kendall Burnette had family driving from an hour and a half away to see her daughter Meredith graduate. She was especially thankful that she was able to let them know early on of the change.
An inspirational reading by Stephanie Marie Bailey, the third honor graduate, opened the ceremony and was followed by the Buford High School Trio and Quartet singing “The Impossible Dream.” The GHSA 2018 State Champion Quartet and seven-consecutive time GHSA State Champion Trio of Keighly Brown, Hope Fowler, Hanna Hopper, Quinn Conrath, Trevor Dodge, Jesse Hanks, Jonathan Ingram, Kris Meier, and Nick Warren did an excellent job in this performance. The Salutatory address by Ashley Renee Wilson and the Valedictory address by Juliet Eunah Chihaya were remarkable speeches. Each of these young ladies spoke with great enthusiasm and confidence, providing words of encouragement and wisdom for all who listened.
The presentation of awards by Principal Ed Shaddix indeed showed the exceptional talents of these young people. Over 30 minutes of awards, totaling $8.3 million, were announced. The individual recognition of many hardworking young people served as a positive example of the many scholarships that are out there to apply for and to show how many students can and did earn them. Dr. Geye Hamby, Buford City Schools’ superintendent, also spoke about the numerous accomplishments of this graduation class in the areas of academics, athletics, and the arts. His remarks provided compliments and encouragement for the young people in front of him concerning their high school achievements and those to come. Diplomas were presented individually by Dr. Hamby, Chairman of the Board Phillip Beard, Mr. Shaddix and other familiar Central Office personnel. The ceremony soon came to an end, and the graduates were accepted in traditional form.
Buford High School teachers Angela Edwards and Bonnie Davis were both very sentimental about the ceremony. As both a teacher to many of this year’s graduates and a mother to one as well, Angela was quite thankful for the beautiful facility and ceremony, as well as the hard work of all who were involved in planning such a special event. Ms. Davis said that even as our small city continue to grow that “we’re still Buford. Our community still comes out to support our graduates and their families – in person and on social media!” And as always, the graduating seniors just wanted to throw their caps!
A special thanks to Emily Pruitt Nemec, Jasmin King, Stella Alverson, Katelynn Moon, Lisa Archer, and Alicia Couch Payne for their photo contributions.