Meet Danielle Durden Burge, a Buford High School alumna from the class of 2013. Danielle was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to parents Gene and Cherie Durden. She is the only girl out of four children born to Gene and Cherie. Her eldest brother, Devin, is deceased. The middle brother, Christian, 28 is a firefighter in Hall County. Danielle’s twin brother, Coby, 26, is a teacher and assistant basketball coach at Buford City Schools.
Danielle and her brothers were raised in the small town of Trenton, which is in the northwest corner of Georgia, until she was 10 years old. In 2005, when Danielle was going into fifth grade, her family made the move to Buford after her father accepted the head coaching position for the BHS girls basketball team.
During her time at Buford High School, Danielle was involved in sideline and competition cheerleading. She was on the sideline varsity football cheer squad all four years of high school. Danielle was a member of the sideline varsity basketball cheerleading team during her ninth and tenth grade years. All four years of high school, Danielle was also a member of the competition cheerleading team and during her senior year, the competition cheerleading team won its first-ever region championship. Danielle was awarded the coach’s award, as well as the academic award for having the highest GPA for both the sideline and competition squads. She was also named homecoming queen during her senior year.
Despite her busy schedule, Danielle maintained a 3.8 GPA throughout her high school career, and she developed a love for language arts.
“I love reading and loved all of the novels I read while in high school,” Danielle said.
When asked who at Buford had the most significant influence on her, she said her father taught her so many things that she uses on a daily basis.
“I was blessed to have my father, Coach Gene Durden, at school with me each day in high school and he had the biggest influence on me as a teacher and coach,” Danielle said. “My dad is a natural born leader and has worked extremely hard to get to where he is today. I have always looked up to him and am proud of the way he treats others (students and staff). He is one of the best communicators I know and I have learned many things from him that I use daily in my job as an educator.”
Danielle said her time at BHS taught her perseverance and that is the best lesson she learned at Buford that has served her well into adulthood.
“I believe college was not as challenging as high school and that is a true testament to the teachers and leadership at BCSS who teach perseverance to students each and every day,” she said.
After Danielle graduated from BHS, she attended college at the University of North Georgia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and special education in 2017. Danielle made the dean’s list all four years at UNG and earned an excellence award for her performance in her practicum from all of her professors.
After graduating from college, Danielle was hired to teach at Buford Elementary School. After four years at BES, Danielle will transition to teaching at Buford Middle School this fall where she will be teaching seventh grade language arts.
“I chose to become a teacher because I had so many influential teachers in my life and I wanted to be influential in the lives’ of my own students,” Danielle said.
Danielle married her high school sweetheart, Tyler Burge, in 2017. They have two children, a son, Beau, who is 2 years old and a 7-month-old daughter, Genevieve. The Burges currently live in Flowery Branch.
With the solid foundation Danielle gained while attending Buford City Schools, she has returned to pass along some of the wisdom to future generations of students at Buford. Once a Wolf, always a Wolf!
The Buford High School alumni spotlights are made possible by the generosity of the City of Buford.