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Gwinnett is the place

Gwinnett is the place
By Loralee Beard, Magic Moment Photography

When we photographed Serenity Douglas, she shone as yet another Gwinnett Country Beauty Queen: 2014 Miss Archer High School of the Junior class.  Then she changed outfits and walked in with an armful of Track and Field medals.

Photo by Loralee Beard, Magic Moment Photography

Serenity has competed in competitions all across the nation in places as varied as Kansas, California, Nebraska, Maryland, and Texas. As a junior, she finished third place at 2015 New Balance Nationals in the 400 with an impressive time of 53.83 and also won as the Junior Olympic National Champion in the 400. Serenity is now a member of the Archer Senior Class of 2016 and is –OF Course– being sought after by several schools to run track.

A younger version of the well rounded athlete is Avery Bedsoe, daughter of Dana and John Michael Bedsoe.  This lovely picture is one of the few she has taken without brother, Luke, a world class photo bomber. Avery is a softball player and 4th grade student at Lovin Elementary School.  She is known throughout the GAA Softball World for her Victory dance.  This is only overshadowed by her signature stomping when she strikes out.  Tense family moments at my granddaughter Hayden Barnett’s house are diffused when the Avery Bedsoe Stomp is imitated. .

Ashton Barnes of Lanier High School strikes me as the kind of child who always came home with smiley faces and gold stars.  Being elected Homecoming King by his peers is one more accomplishment for a charming young man who is looking at a future at the Air Force Academy next fall.  The facts that he is posing with his mother Tamika Barnes who is one of the LHS staff who has helped defined Lanier High School’s successful culture and that Ashton has a dazzling smile are two other reasons that he stands out of an impressive field of Longhorns.
Back in the day, a Homecoming invitation was a pimple faced kid stuttering “Are you doing anything Saturday night?”  leaving me to look like that loser who was not doing anything.   Things are better now because we have innovations like the gas engine, better skin care and cleverness.  Grayson High School Senior Football athlete Payton Shaddix determined to ask Carley Batchelor to Homecoming via picture and we were able to assist.  Those of us who know the role these fine families have in our Gwinnett community will think its an extra cute situation…. 

Touring Discovery High School—don’t miss the upper floor — should be on the bucket list” for serious Gwinnettians.  The new school is also fielding its first softball team coached by Tabitha Broadnax, Brandon Jackson (also head baseball coach) and Lindsey Brouillard. Team members posed for an image which will adorn the “Read” Posters in the library. The zest and good will of team and coaches can hardly be overstated. And yes, if you do tour that legendary upper floor at DHS, Lindsey Brouillard, first Discovery Teacher of the Year and Assistant Softball Coach is located there.

Grayson Mayor Allison Wilkerson mentored with the best – father and former Grayson Mayor Doug Wilkerson. Mayor Wilkerson is spearheading a new town of Grayson campaign—“Faith Family, Grayson Rams in That Order” to confirm that while Grayson citizens enjoy their fine hometown sporting excellence, they have their priorities in check.

When Lindsey McKnight, graduate of Grayson High School and now working as “Corporate Business Continutity Manager for Corus 360”, married   Travis Mulkey, photographers Meghan Schroder, Meredith Chastain and Taryn Barnett were delighted to capture the event because the couple is adorable and because Lindsey, sisters Caroline and Melanie and Mother Khris are all occasional or regular staff at Magic Moment.  (One of my basic principals of business which I extend to myself is “hire Mother and Daughters so they can get along – or not get along — more often”.)  The perfect wedding was only enhanced when the rains came and umbrellas became essential.  This reminds me of a new adage I made up. “Rainy Days make great pictures but ruin Sport Schedules”.

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