The Buford City Schools Board of Education honored the numerous All-State chorus and band students from Buford Middle School and Buford High School at its monthly meeting on Monday, March 28.

Qualifying for All-State in band or chorus requires students to thoroughly prepare for a multi-step audition process that rigorously tests their sight reading abilities in addition to their individual musical talent.

The middle school All-State band and orchestra members included Elizabeth Jung for violin, Joshua Kim for clarinet, Miley Kim for flute, Brielle Brown for horn, Olivia Duong for horn, Hannah Jung for first chair flute, Victoria Kil for violin, Caleb Lee for violin, Omar Saucedo for trumpet and Marley Vargas for flute.

The middle school All-State chorus students were James Coltrin, Vincenzo Fuoco with a perfect score, Piper Leonard, Cadence Rickards, Sophia Skelton, Liliy Small, Zoe Smith, Ella Wigington, Jacob Williams, Chloe Dale, Grayson Feyko, Ashlyn Henderson, Leah Kim, Amelia Lister, Celia Lowery and Lilly Naderi.

The high school All-State band members were Peter Kwak on clarinet, Clayton Mason on trombone, Gabriel Silva on trombone, Jarden Vo on percussion, Joseph Her on trumpet, Joshua Lee on horn, Rowan Martin on clarinet, Paul Kwak on trumpet, Jimmy Ragazino on baritone and Savanna Wachter on flute.

The high school All-State chorus members included Rachel Brody, Tanner Moon, Iyanu Banks, Maggie Dale, Teresa Moody, Samuel Son, Luke Riza, Dylan Appling, Mauricio Garduno-Rea, Aria Mason and Geo Nam.

“The top students from across the state audition each year, and roughly ten percent of those top students are selected for membership,” said Erik Mason, Buford High School’s band director.

The board then went on to approve financial reports that members had reviewed prior to the meeting. The board also approved a number of purchases, including new and replacement computers for staff members.

Board members also approved a first payment of $12,085.04 to Breaux & Associates, the architecture firm entrusted with the design of the new Buford High School stadium.

Other approved expenditures included a media center refresh and intercom system upgrade at Buford Elementary School, new portable basketball floor ramps for the Buford Arena and school nutrition program kitchen equipment.

The board went on to approve the schools’ various requests for field trips and community service projects.

The principals from all of the Buford City Schools then gave their reports, which included updates on enrollment as well as some of the accomplishments of their students both academically and athletically.

Next, during the superintendent’s report, the board discussed QBE support supplement funding. The state provided supplemental funding designed to grant $2,000 to full-time school faculty and staff, $1,000 for custodial and school nutrition staff and $1,000 for part-time faculty and staff.

The board voted to supplement those numbers to provide $2,000 for all full-time school staff, including custodians and school nutrition staff, while part-time employees would still receive $1,000.

Board members also voted to raise the weekly rate of the Buford City School System’s day care by $20. The school system’s day care system will still operate at cost as an incentive to faculty and staff, and it will still remain less expensive than other day care programs in the area.

The board was also tasked with addressing adjustments in its financial system as a result of a 2019 audit that labeled BCS a high-risk auditee designation.

“For decades, as their needs come about during the year … we just go ahead and fund it … and the state don’t like it,” Chairman Phillip Beard said. “I don’t know what they’re looking for. Once we do this, they’re going to come back and want something else … they’ve never liked us running our department with one or two employees.”

The board agreed to sign the corrective action plan.

Before the meeting ended, the board also heard from Dr. Lacrecia Smith, the BCS curriculum director, who spearheaded International Night held Thursday, March 3, at the high school. This event helped Buford’s diverse student population recognize and celebrate their heritage, and plans are already in the works to build upon this year’s success for next year.

The Buford Board of Education will next meet at 7 p.m. Monday, April 18, with the location to be determined. 

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