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A House Divided

I always feel that the things that “go wrong” make the most vivid memories, and if they’re not too bad, the best memories.

Loralee Beard, Magic Moment Photography


This year’s Corky Kell August 23 football matches at the Georgia Dome featured the usual high profile teams in the 5 games but what people talked and texted about was the North Gwinnett Football Team and band.  When a time crunch left the NGHS band cut from their schedule half time performance, they were asked to perform AFTER the game.  The NGHS football team, fresh from a decisive 34-14 win over Camden County, paused in their celebrating and knelt in front of the band throughout the band’s performance.

The men and women that dedicate themselves to our schools can be people like Dave Hunter, who is forever tied to Brookwood High School  or Debra Dees, Principal at Brookwood who also started her career as a teacher and coach there. On the other hand, Brent Tisdale has succeeded in a variety of Gwinnett venues.  Starting as a teacher and coach at Grayson High School, he spent time at Mountain View High School before returning to Grayson as Athletic Director.  Now he is an Assistant Principal at North Gwinnett High School, and thrives in a house divided by Ram and Bulldog alliances.  Shown here is Brent, wife  Kim who works at Woodward Mill Elementary and  Emily (9), Ansley (8), and Ethan (5).

Emilee Croteau is the daughter of Dacula High School Coach extraordinaire Kristin Croteau and her husband (and high school sweetheart) Lee Croteau.  Coach Croteau has been the coach of Softball, Swimming and Golf in the past but has settled down to just her true love – softball.  Emilee is clearly the daughter of an athlete, as she zipped around the Braselton Stover house smiling away without missing a beat.

It is rumored that Coach Brian Welsch has become a soft touch since getting married last year.  However, it is obvious that his Brookwood High School Volleyball Seniors still have the cutting edge and supreme fitness to dominate the games. 

Archer Softball Seniors, guided throughout their 4-year softball career by Coach Kris Daniels, began their season with the confidence of a state win in their pocket from 2012.  It was fitting they did their Senior Softball picture with their State Rings in view.

I was concerned when the well-publicized “Come Home to Central” Pep Rally at Central Gwinnett High School was initiated with an out-of-nowhere monsoon.  However, the event moved seamlessly into the gym where Principal Maryanne Grimes, Head Football Coach Todd Wofford and new Athletic Director Matt Champitto (who comes to CGHS with lots of Gwinnett coaching experience on his resume) led an enthusiastic crowd of former, present and future Black Knights.  An honored alumni Judy Jordan Johnson, lifelong resident of Lawrenceville was present.  Mayor Johnson not only graduated from CGHS but taught and coached there for 30 years before using her skills to serve in public office.

Dr. Rob Spencer is known statewide for coaching the renowned Peachtree Ridge High School Competition Cheerleaders.  However, the athletes who won athletic awards had their mind only on their studies in this thoughtful picture taken of the student-athletes.  A lot of people who viewed this image said aloud, “Studying is their passion.”

Les and I decided to pursue our mutual love of movies and outdoor life by attending the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado over Labor Day.  We purposely left the serious cameras at home but Les grabbed an image of fellow attendee we will only refer to as Brad P.