Buford High School’s softball team got its start at the request of a 1978 graduate, Allison Wiley Duval, who says she begged the school’s principal to establish a team.  

“He told me if I could get a coach we could have one,” says Allison, who had played softball at the American Legion Fields since sixth grade. “I begged coach Harry Britt (girls basketball coach) and coach Phillips to help us. Our first year, we won Region 8B. There was no state at the time that I remember.” 

While at Buford, Allison also participated in chorus and marching band, spinning flags and rifles. She was involved in home economics, which was taught by her favorite teacher, Mrs. Elizabeth Puckett. 

Allison says her fondest memories of high school include homecoming parades, football games, senior trips and “life lessons all together.”

Following graduation, Allison joined the U.S. Army and served a total of 10 years between active duty and her service in the Georgia National Guard. She worked as a military policeman with a secondary military occupational specialty in nuclear, biological and chemical warfare.

When she came off active duty, Allison went to work for Rockwell Missile Systems Division/Boeing in Duluth, where she spent 17 years beginning as a quality inspector before becoming an auditor and trainer. She then went to work for American Panel Corporation as an auditor. Within five months, she transitioned into operations. 

“There, I was able to bring a lot of coworkers from Rockwell/Boeing, which also went back to our school days,” Allison says. “We formed an incredible team.” 

Allison retired from American Panel Corporation Dec. 1 as vice president of operations. She had worked there for 22 ½ years. 

“As I look back, I believe that my drive and fundamentals that were instilled in me by my parents and the Buford School System helped grow me for the military and later as a leader in the corporate world,” she says.

Allison is the daughter of William “Gene” and Patsy Wiley. Her siblings, Celia Wiley Southerland and William G. Wiley, also graduated from Buford High School. Allison’s daughter, April Duval Osborne, graduated from Buford in 2001. 

Both of Allison’s grandchildren attend Buford City Schools, where her grandson plays football and her granddaughter plays basketball and volleyball. 

The Buford High School alumni spotlights are made possible by the generosity of the City of Buford. 

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Deanna Allen has served as editor of the North Gwinnett Voice since June 2021. Effective communication and creative design are her passions.

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