Class of 2023’s Benjamin “Ben” Irwin has made the most of his time at Buford City Schools. Ben is a “lifetimer” having attended Buford City Schools since Kindergarten. He is a fierce competitor excelling both academically and athletically.
Ben is leaving behind a legacy at BHS in a similar fashion as his older sister, Caroline did. The Irwin siblings are gifted swimmers. Ben competes on Buford’s swim team, as well as competes year-round for Swim Atlanta. The Buford swim team is a program that is in the process of building up to be a top tier program and the Irwins have made big contributions to the program. Ben holds several school swimming records including his time from winning the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard backstroke at the GHSA Class AAAAAAA State Championships.
Ben’s styles that he primarily competes in are the backstroke, butterfly and sprint freestyle. The list of Ben’s accomplishments are numerous with a few of the most notable being ranked No. 17 in the Class of 2023 by SwimSwam news, earning Scholastic All-American honors in swimming, is a state record holder and two-time state champion in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly, as well as placing third in the 200 backstroke at Winter Junior Nationals East 2022.
Academically, Ben performs at a high level having earned a 3.96 GPA. Ben has taken several Advanced Placement classes and done well on his AP exams. He is a National Merit Commended Scholar, an AP Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction, as well as a member of the National Honor Society.
When asked what subject is his favorite to study, Ben says Physics is his favorite subject.
“I find it fascinating to model the world we live in with math and be able to predict how things will behave around us,” says Ben. “Understanding why things happen the way they do is very intriguing.”
Out of all the teachers Ben has had over the years, he says that Ms. Lisa Cole (AP Chemistry) is the teacher who has made the biggest impact on him.
“She (Ms. Cole) is extremely dedicated to her teaching, and I believe is one of the best teachers I have ever had,” Ben says. “It is extremely beneficial to have a teacher that cares about what they are teaching as much as Ms. Cole does. I learned a great deal about Chemistry, and her teaching strengthened my desire to learn more in the STEM field.”
Ben has learned many things during his time at BHS but one thing that he says will stick with him is “the importance of balance.” Having such a busy schedule with swimming, school and other activities he claims it was crucial that he find the right balance. BHS taught him time management and how to prioritize.
To the underclassmen at Buford, Ben’s one piece of advice he would like to pass along is “Get involved. Take pride in your education. The more you find value and passion in school, the less boring and more interesting it becomes.”
Jason and Dana Irwin raised Ben along with his two siblings, Caroline and Mack in Buford. Caroline graduated from BHS in 2021 and is currently enrolled at the United States Naval Academy while Mack attends Buford Senior Academy. The Irwin family has two cats, Simon, a Siamese cat and a tabby cat named Bea.
In his free time, Ben enjoys playing golf with his friends, fishing and spending time at Lake Lanier. He recently started learning how to play the guitar.
Ben’s level of swimming talent, as well as his academic achievements have gained him several college scholarship offers. In April 2022, Ben verbally committed to swim for Georgia Tech but he is now committed to swim for the United States Naval Academy’s D1 swim team in Annapolis, Maryland. Ben plans to continue to pursue his love of science and STEM-related careers by studying mechanical engineering while at the Naval Academy.