Meet Gemma Holland, a senior at Buford High School. Gemma was born to Deborah Thomas and Jim Holland in Snellville, however, she was raised in Buford her entire life. Gemma has attended Buford City Schools since kindergarten, making her a “lifetimer” or “Buford baby.” Gemma has two older siblings — Tiffany Thomas, 35, and Brandon Glenn, 27. Gemma’s older sister Tiffany graduated from BHS in 2003 and is now a first-grade teacher at Buford Academy. 

Gemma Holland

Throughout her time at Buford High School, Gemma has never failed to impress her fellow teachers and peers with her outstanding academic performances.  Gemma has taken a total of eight AP classes and was even awarded the AP scholar award — an award given to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams. Currently, Gemma holds an unweighted 3.9 GPA and is ranked within the top 6 percent of her class. To say the least, Gemma is most definitely an intelligent, academically driven student who knows how to achieve success.

Gemma’s favorite subject is world history.

“I find it interesting that everything we have today can be traced back to the simplistic, genius instruments that civilizations prior to us developed,” she said.     

Alongside her academics, Gemma is highly involved in the student body of Buford High School. Gemma has been a part of the Chamber Chorus for four years, Key Club for four years, Student Council for three years, Spanish Club for two years, National Honor Society for two years and she has been a manager for the women’s basketball and volleyball teams for two years. Not only is Gemma involved in many extracurriculars, but she also partakes in leading them. Gemma is the vice president of meetings for Key Club, the grade level representative for the National Honor Society and she was also the vice president of the Junior Council. Without a doubt, Gemma is an undeniable leader to her fellow classmates and peers.  

Out of all the extracurriculars Gemma is involved in, her favorites happen to be Key Club and the National Honor Society. She said that through these clubs, she has been given the opportunities to help out within the school system and the community. She loves being able to help make a difference within the community through various service opportunities.  

In her free time, Gemma enjoys hanging out with her closest friends. Most Fridays, they find a new restaurant to try because they love trying various types of foods from a multitude of cultures. Also, Gemma enjoys taking photos on her disposable camera to highlight special events. 

After her graduation from Buford in May, Gemma plans to attend Duke University, where she will be able to earn a degree in international comparative studies and global health. Following her graduation at Duke, Gemma plans to attend medical school and become a dermatologist. She wants to work with a nonprofit health care organization. 

Gemma is an outstanding student and a well-rounded person who will without a doubt become a successful leader. We can only imagine what she will do with her life when she leaves Buford High School and encounters the world. Congratulations, Gemma!

— Emily Hammond

The Buford City Schools Student of the Week spotlight is made possible by the generosity of the City of Buford.

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