Going into her senior year at Buford High School, Taylor Aycock had several goals — maintain a 4.0 GPA and play well for the varsity tennis team. A third goal, though, took precedence. 

“My goal above all else was simply to enjoy my final year in Buford,” said Taylor, who graduated alongside her fellow seniors May 24. “I can honestly say I have done that. From attending fun senior events like Grad Bash, to taking the trip of a lifetime to Spain for spring break, or even soaking in the late-night ice cream runs with my friends, I truly feel that I lived life to the fullest and could not have asked for a better senior year.” 

Taylor’s final year at BHS could also be described as full of academics and other activities — she was dedicated to academic achievement, reaching her goal of maintaining a 4.0 cumulative, unweighted GPA, and she is graduating sixth in her class of 435 seniors. She played varsity tennis for the Wolves and received the Tennis Captain’s Award for 2023, was selected for the Gwinnett Daily Post’s “Super Six” her senior year and lettered her final season playing tennis (she also lettered her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons). Taylor was also FBLA co-president, a National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Student, a recipient of the Scholar Athlete Award for 2023 and a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and Beta Club. She worked in the school’s writing center and was manager for the gymnastics team. 

In the area of FBLA competitive events, Taylor was the region winner in event planning not only her senior year, but her junior and sophomore years, as well. She said the most influential activity for her has been serving as co-president of FBLA. 

“It has forced me to become more comfortable in all areas of being a leader; it has allowed me to be better at public speaking, delegating, managing, and resolving conflict in a way that is both professional and satisfactory to all parties involved,” she said. “I aim to pursue a career in the business field, so this experience will serve me well for years to come.” 

Taylor said she has consistently earned high grades in history courses throughout her four years at BHS. 

“I have taken a total of five AP social-studies classes in high school,” she said. “I love learning about the different events and conflicts that have shaped our world and brought each country to the point where it is today. I like observing the outcomes of certain movements and events, and following the story of how they ended in that way.

“History is simply a lesson written by our ancestors. And it is our responsibility to learn from it and do better in the future.” 

Courtesy of Taylor Aycock

Taylor has also been committed to learning the Spanish language during her time as a student at BHS. She’s heading to college with four courses on her high school transcripts — Spanish 1 and 2, Honors Spanish 3 and Honors Spanish 4 — and she is a member of the Spanish National Honor Society. 

“If I could stay in one class with one teacher all day, it would be Spanish Four with Mr. Varini,” Taylor said. “I love learning about the cultures of all the different Spanish-speaking countries through fun projects, documentaries, and cooking. The environment in his classroom is unmatched; it is so comfortable and upbeat, which makes me feel comfortable to practice my Spanish in a classroom setting.” 

Over spring break, Taylor traveled to Spain with fellow classmates who had also taken Spanish classes for at least three years at BHS.  

“It was so amazing to immerse myself in the Spanish culture,” she said. “It was my first time out of the country, so I was really excited to witness other cultures firsthand.” 

Taylor said she spent time in her Spanish 4 course learning about the culture in Spain. 

“I knew what to expect; however, seeing it in person was truly special,” she said. “Speaking Spanish with the locals was an invaluable experience — every time my friends and I would speak in Spanish to a local and they responded in Spanish, it was a big win.” 

The trip sparked not only an interest in studying abroad in college, Taylor is considering minoring in Spanish. 

“I feel like going to Spain truly allowed me to fall in love with the language and the culture,” she said, “and is something I am so grateful for.” 

Outside of school and school-related activities, Taylor participated in an internship with Keller Williams Realty. 

“Jerry Guhl mentored my interest in real estate and allowed me to experience what a career in real estate would look like,” Taylor said. “Real estate has always been an interest of mine, as I plan on investing in real estate at some point in my life, so having that experience was invaluable.” 

Taylor has also worked with Bike Friendly Atl, a nonprofit organization that seeks to keep streets safe for everyone — including bicyclists. Taylor said she was introduced to the organization by her tennis coach, David Mathews, who is an avid cyclist who survived a head-on collision with a vehicle in 2011 and went on to start the charity to advocate for road safety.  

“He works tirelessly to create and place ghost bikes to honor those who were killed on their bikes and to advocate against distracted driving,” Taylor said. “I have had the honor of going with him to place a ghost bike, and it was a truly heartbreaking yet eye-opening moment that has had a major impact on my life.” 

Taylor was also part of the USTA Georgia Southern Junior Team Tennis League that took a state championship title for 2023. 

After graduation, Taylor plans to attend Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business to obtain a BS, or possibly an MBS, in business administration. 

As she concluded her four years at Buford High School, Taylor has some practical advice to share with her younger peers: 

“I would tell underclassmen to apply themselves in their classes and to join as many extracurriculars as they can,” she said. “‘Senioritis’ is a real thing, so work hard in class while there is still some motivation. Also, extracurriculars expose you to so many different people and activities that you would otherwise never have encountered. You make so many friends, and they look amazing on college applications!” 

Taylor is a “Buford Lifetimer,” having attended Buford City Schools from kindergarten through graduation. 

“I want to be remembered as a generous and caring person who gave as much to her community as she received from it,” she said. 

Taylor is the daughter of Sherry and Matthew Aycock of Suwanee.

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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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