Meet Katie Ramey Strickland, a 2003 graduate of Buford High School. Katie is the middle daughter of Kenneth and Kathy Ramey. She has two sisters; Kristy, a 1998 BHS graduate and Kendra, a 2006 BHS graduate. Katie is a Buford lifetimer who attended Buford City Schools her entire K-12 career.
Katie was an extremely busy student during her time at Buford. Athletically, Katie was a member of the football sideline cheer squad, basketball sideline cheer squad, competition cheer squad, and JV tennis. She was also highly active in the fine arts at Buford participating in the National Art Honor Society, Bel Canto, Chamber Choir, and Musical theatre where she played Roxy Hart in the production “CHICAGO” for One Act Play. She was involved in pageants such as the Miss Buford Scholarship Pageant, several Miss America preliminaries pageants, and was even the second-runner up in the Miss Gwinnett pageant when she was 17.
Even with all of her commitments, Katie was able to maintain a 3.5 GPA during high school. Her favorite class was art with Dr. Ameson but it was Dr. Fowler’s Musical theatre/Bel Canto class that she says taught her lessons that still to this day help her in life. “Dr. Chris Fowler helped me find my voice and forced me to get over stage fright,” says Katie. “One of the many ways I’m able to do my job today is because of my experience on stage at the variety show.”
After graduating BHS in 2003, Katie attended Gainesville College for two years and then transferred to Brenau University in Gainesville. She landed an internship in her junior year at Jacobs Media in Gainesville where she discovered she had a love for broadcasting. Katie graduated from Brenau in 2008 with a B.A. in Mass Communications with a focus in Public Relations.
She worked in banking and advertising before landing a job in radio with WDUN 550AM in Gainesville where she worked her way up from the front desk to on-air talent. Katie loved being a reporter for WDUN, “I would get assigned to attend the Buford City Commission meetings to report on and always thought ‘man, I’ve made it!’ ”
It was while she was working at the radio station in 2012 that she met the love of her life, Bren. They would marry in 2013. Katie left WDUN for having hours unconducive to having the family life she wanted. She wound up writing letters for a financial institution. It was in 2015 that Bren and Katie welcomed their first son, Axl Brody. Katie is pregnant now with their second son due in March.
Katie landed her big break in 2016 when she interviewed for the job at the Georgia Department of Transportation that long-time powerhouse spokeswoman Terri Pope left vacant when she retired. She was honored to have been selected as the second-ever GDOT spokeswoman for the 21 counties in the Northeast Region.
Along with her job at GDOT, Katie opened her own social media marketing business last November called Remarkable Media. “I aim to teach small business owners how to use Facebook and produce videos for their pages.” Katie adds, “I also serve as voice over and on-screen talent for them in the commercials.”
Katie continues to sing, act, and dance as a part of the Gypsy Theatre Company that she joined in her 20s. Her most notable role there was playing Major Hot Lips Hoolihan in their production of “MASH”. She actively volunteers at her church in Buford called Fusion Church.
With such an active life, Katie reflects, “My days are sometimes filled with stress, tears, joy, and challenges. But I know I am blessed by Christ in all that I put my hand to.” Once a Wolf, always a Wolf!
– By Alicia Couch Payne