Buford Board of Education

*To replace Pat Pirkle, who is retiring

Lien Diaz

Candidate:  Lien Diaz

Occupation: Director of Educational Innovation and Leadership for the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing, Georgia Tech 

Education: M.Ed. in mathematics education 

Political experience: None

Contact information: diazforbuford.com

Why are you seeking election to the Buford of Education?  

“Serving students has always been my calling because they are the most important part of our community. I understand what it takes to support the academic success of all our students, from cradle to career. And I recognize the importance of promoting collaborative participation with all sectors of our community to propel student achievement, prepare them for college and secure a prosperous future.”

 What do you think you bring to the table as a candidate? 

“I believe in equitable and quality education for all. I want to ensure every student reaches their full potential. Every child should feel love and a sense of belonging where no one is left out. As our community grows, all our students deserve the best opportunities to succeed. I am an advocate for multiple perspectives to be represented when making critical decisions that impact our students. I will ensure different voices are represented and promote transparent, collaborative participation with the Buford community. I want our students to prosper and education is a big part of sustaining the economy of our community. I will work to ensure the budget for our school system reflects the values that boost opportunities for every single child in our schools.” 

 What do you see for the future of Buford City Schools? 

“I see BCS becoming a vibrant academic environment where it must prepare all our children to thrive in a technological future across multiple disciplines.” 

Buford Board of Education

*To replace Pat Pirkle, who is retiring

Kathleen Perkins Welch

Candidate: Kathleen Perkins Welch

Occupation: Insurance agent at Findley Insurance Agency in downtown Buford

Education: Graduated from Buford High School, Class of 2011; Graduated with degree in early childhood education from University of Georgia, Class of 2014

Political experience: None

Contact Information: 560 S. Hill St., Buford, GA 30518

Why are you seeking election to the Buford Board of Education?

“I was born into loving this school system and this town. I’m not unique in that; I think many people from here would tell you the same. But the older I’ve gotten, the more I realize how unique that is for us. Buford and the Buford City School System is a special place, and I would be honored to serve the school well as a member of the board. That said, I am seeking election to the board, first and foremost, because I dearly love it. Our school system is the number one system in the state of Georgia, and that is a result of the dedication and work of the staff, teachers, custodians, principals, superintendent and school board members over the course of many years. It is my goal to join the school board and be a part of keeping our schools at number one. I hope to continue the work that has been done and set before us and to serve our school and our community well.” 

What do you think you bring to the table as a candidate? 

“I spent my time at the University of Georgia studying education; my degree is in Early Childhood Education, and I come from a family of educators. My mom retired from the Buford school system after serving for 30 years as a teacher and librarian, and my dad spent the first part of his career in education, serving as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal at Buford. Not only do I bring a background of education, but I also know this place well and want to see it continue to succeed for our children in the here and now and for generations to come. I believe that I bring a fresh perspective and hope to work alongside the other school board members to ensure we are championing every one of our students and equipping them as best as possible to become influential and effective members of both our community and others when they graduate.”

What do you see for the future of Buford City Schools? 

“At the risk of being redundant, my hope for the board and for Buford City Schools is that we continue to be a board and school system that pursues excellence in all we do — academically, artistically, and athletically. We must ensure we continue to have teachers, staff, coaches, and leaders that are well equipped and prepared to serve our students well, whether that is my little girl at the daycare of the elementary school or a senior at the high school. We must continue to ensure that we are providing students with the best opportunities to grow, succeed, and learn, be it in the technology we provide, the AP classes we offer, the extracurricular activities we offer, opportunities to serve our community, and beyond. And truthfully, my hope is that our students look back on their time at Buford knowing they’ve been taught and trained well while also knowing that they came from a place whose teachers and leadership genuinely cared and invested in their whole being. That’s what I feel as I look back on my time at Buford, and it would be my greatest honor to play a small part in facilitating that for each and every student that walks through our doors.” 


Buford City Commission 

Chris Burge (incumbent) — Running unopposed 

Brad Weeks (incumbent) — Running unopposed 

Buford Board of Education

Bruce Fricks (incumbent) — Running unopposed

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