Rhonda Cunningham is an alumna from Buford High School’s Class of 1986. She is the daughter of Betty Sherman and Harry Radford. Rhonda was born and raised in Buford, along with her brother Orenthal Bishop, 44, and sisters Ashley Williams, 38, Shonda Sherman, 37, and Laquita Radford, 36. Rhonda began attending Buford City Schools in kindergarten and is considered a Buford “lifetimer” as she attended BCS all the way through to graduation.
During Rhonda’s time at Buford High School, she was heavily involved in extracurricular activities. She participated in three sports: cheerleading, softball and track. Rhonda earned the spirit award in cheerleading and she was given an award to acknowledge that she had one of the highest batting averages in softball. Rhonda also was involved in Future Business Leaders of America at BHS.
Even with her extracurricular activities, Rhonda maintained excellent grades and was an honor roll student. Her favorite subject was math, so it comes as no surprise that one of the teachers who had the most significant influence on her during her school years was Mrs. Bonita Burel.
“Mrs. Burel taught me to have a love for math. I was awarded the math award from her class,” Rhonda remembers.
Rhonda also said Mrs. Willie Mae Brookins had a significant influence on her because she “was dedicated to every student in her class and wanted the best for them.”
After not being able to go to college, Rhonda entered the workforce knowing she had gained valuable skills while at Buford High School. She took the skills she learned and took an office job with the city of Buford.
“I learned in high school how important it is for you to stay on task and not fall behind. My job at the city requires me to stay focused and stay on task,” Rhonda said. “I have a lot of deadlines that I have to meet and it’s important that I work hard and stay focused to meet those deadlines, and do my work with dignity and satisfaction.”
For the past 27 years, Rhonda has served the residents of Buford daily in her role as the deputy clerk and planning assistant. Rhonda said she loves her job because she learns something new daily, works with a wonderful group of people who are like a second family to her and she gets to serve the residents of the city she loves so much.
Rhonda married another Buford alumni, Maxwell Cunningham. Maxwell was in the Class of 1984 and played football for BHS. He earned a scholarship to West Georgia. Rhonda and Maxwell have been married for 24 years and have one son together, Malik.
Malik is Rhonda’s pride and joy. He graduated from Buford High School this year and spent his time at Buford following in his father’s footsteps and playing football. Malik earned a football scholarship to Reinhardt University.
Being a football mom was a place where Rhonda shined. She served as a team mom from the time that Malik was 6 years old to his senior year.
“Being with the football players, preparing meals and gathering gifts for end of the season parties, and senior week made me feel like I was a second mom to all of the players,” Rhonda said. “I love each and every one of them like my own son.”
Rhonda is known throughout the city for her cheerful and sweet personality. She gives so much back to the community that has given her such a firm foundation. Rhonda is a Wolf through and through and will always be a Buford Wolf!
The Buford High School alumni spotlights are made possible by the generosity of the City of Buford.