Kelly green and Vegas gold — the official colors of Buford High School — have been woven through Sarah Rice’s family tree.

Sarah Rice, left, poses for a photo with her best friend, Sydney Gordon, on their graduation day in 2009.

Sarah is a third-generation Buford Wolf — her maternal grandfather, Arthur Boggs, graduated from Buford in 1949, followed by her maternal grandmother, Jane Veal, in 1954. Her father’s parents, Tom Ed Robinson and Betty Jean Wages, both graduated in 1950, and Sarah’s father, Eddy Robinson, graduated in 1969. Her mother, Laura, graduated from nearby North Gwinnett High School. Sarah herself attended Buford City Schools from kindergarten through her graduation in 2009, and her siblings, Taylor Robinson and Jonas Robinson, graduated from Buford in 2013 and 1991, respectively. 

“There were so many teachers and students that I knew that were also born and raised in Buford that it was like growing up surrounded by family,” Sarah says of her experience as a Buford “lifetimer,” a student who attended Buford City Schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. “It was a small town feel where everyone knew everyone, and I loved growing up in that atmosphere.” 

During her four years at Buford High School, Sarah was a well-rounded student in the areas of Triple A Excellence — excellence in academics, athletics and the arts. 

“I was in AP classes, I helped out with the drama department, and I cheered,” Sarah says. “I tried to keep a good balance between them all.” 

In the area of arts, Sarah remembers enrolling in an intro to drama course. 

“… in our play I had one line, which I forgot,” she recalls. “I discovered quickly that the stage was not where I was meant to be. I started to work with the Tech team backstage for plays and variety shows, and I loved the behind the scenes side of things.” 

When asked about her favorite teacher, Sarah couldn’t name just one. 

“There were so many teachers I remember fondly for different reasons,” she says. “Coach Cutt’s AP psych class was definitely a favorite. Mrs. Day and Mrs. Maltbie both pushed me to excel and do my best. I loved any time Mrs. Sula Gower was a substitute!” 

Sarah’s fondest memories from high school include fellow Buford graduate Sydney Gordon, her best friend since sixth grade. 

Buford High School graduates Sarah Rice, right, and Sydney Gordon attend a Taylor Swift concert on Friday, April 28, 2023, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The two have been best friends since they met in sixth grade while attending Buford City Schools.

“Whether we were just driving around town listening to music, catching up in the halls, going to the mall, or sleepovers, she and I were inseparable in school,” Sarah says, “even though we didn’t have any classes together.” 

During senior night, a prediction was made that Sarah and Sydney would still be going to Panama City Beach together long after graduation.

“Although we don’t go to PCB anymore, we still try to do a beach trip every year,” Sarah says. 

Sarah and Sydney recently attended a Taylor Swift concert in Atlanta, which brought back memories of their high school days. 

“We were talking about how cool it was getting to sing along to songs we jammed out to back when we were driving around in our first cars in high school,” Sarah says. 

After graduating from Buford, Sarah attended Gainesville State, where she planned to major in communications. While working part time as a receptionist at a hair salon, Sarah found a different calling — she discovered her passion for cosmetology and changed her career path. She has now worked as a self-employed hair stylist for five years and currently works at Locks & Lashes in Hoschton. 

“I love getting to spend time with my clients while making them feel their best,” Sarah says. “So many of my clients have been with me for years and feel more like family to me. I’m all about keeping hair healthy and I enjoy educating clients on hair care.” 

Sarah resides in Hoschton with her husband, Mitch Rice, formerly of Flowery Branch, and their children, 2-year-old Noah, 1-year-old Vivienne and baby Madelyn, who was born May 10. 

Sarah continues to remain connected to the Buford community — she has clients from the area and her younger cousins attend Buford City Schools. She recently took her son, Noah, to see a play at Buford Middle School. 

Sarah Rice poses for a photo with her husband, Mitch Rice, and their two children, Noah and Vivienne.

Looking back on her own time as a BHS student, Sarah says, “At the time it was easy to be in the mindset of ‘wanting to be out of high school and out of the small town.’ I think everyone goes through that at some point. But I genuinely loved the small town feeling and everyone knowing everyone.

“I had great teachers and made a lot of lifelong friends,” she continues. “I have great memories looking back on my time in high school.”

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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