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Fall pride


I may never know the “rest of the story” but there was a “Magic Moment” at Central Gwinnett Cross Country that still makes me smile.

Photo by Loralee Beard, Magic Moment Photography

I was looking forward to a Cross Country photography session at Central Gwinnett High School this fall, meeting new Coach Andy Dugger, a former Collins Hills High School Cross Country runner. Team member Ricardo Cilas approached me well before the photo start time. He planned to ask teammate Aneta Wysocki to Homecoming with the help of flowers, candy, a sign and cooperative teammates. The staged invitation proceeded with a euphoric audience and with an acceptance nod from the lovely Ms. Wysocki.

Loralee BeardIn other photo moments at CGHS, Lynnette Glover wanted some outdoor photos of her son Braden Glover, right tackle of this year’s Black Knights. Lynnette sent husband Joel to oversee a private sitting on the football field at twilight. I know Lynette from her many hours of volunteering but was pleasantly surprised by good natured Braden and his handler/Dad Joel. Joel could get total focus from Braden simply by saying, “But this is what your Mom wanted.” At the time I did not know that Braden, the middle child of five Glover children, is also an outstanding scholar who is looking at either Cornell or Vanderbilt University for his college plans next year.

The Mill Creek Senior class picture I take twice a year – October and then again in May of the 700-800 Seniors is an enjoyable marker for me of years passing. This fall, I asked the group to end with a picture of everyone holding up their cell phones. Once an exotic item, “cells” are everywhere at every high school we visit. I wonder if any of these students even know about the thrill of “passing notes.”

High school club Days bring on a full range of human interest zones from the members who only are seen on picture day to the ones who embrace their club and its defining paraphernalia. I’m talking about you Peachtree Ridge High School Mu Alpha Theta Math Team.

This year at Lovin Elementary’s Fall Event, the trend was costumes for families with no apparent theme. This was oddly exciting. Would Batman’s family include a princess and two Ninja’s? The family of Terry and Claudia Odom earned the coveted Magic Moment Ooh and Ah award when Spider Guys Terry and Terry Jr. came with your basic adorable Mom, as well as, Jayla, age 5 and Alyssa, who at 4 weeks dressed as a tiny ballerina who is not “on toe” yet. Archer High School crowned Homecoming Queen Micheline Amisi this year. Micheline is successful on many front as Vice President of National Honor Society, President member of AHS Leadership Society with a 3.9 Grade Point Average that allows her to consider Duke, Yale or Cornell University as her next stop after 2014 high School graduation. I just enjoyed spending a few moments with her adorable family including a Dad who actually SMILED for pictures.

Debra Dees, who has had a career at Brookwood High School since 1996, posed with her administrative team at the traditional Homecoming Dance. The Magic Moment Photography staff had just read in the paper that she was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Gwinnett County Schools. The many students, staff and parents (and photographers) who have benefitted from Ms. Dees’ serene, organized leadership, are universally torn between sadness at losing a leader, but pride as her talent continues to shine…

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