Photo by Loralee Beard, Magic Moment Photography

Gwinnett’s present and future
By Loralee Beard, Magic Moment Photography

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor late uniforms nor overly ambitious parents stays these couriers from the swift completion of their athletic schedule.” This Is an iconic statement referring to the Gwinnett County Athletic Directors. 



They had a scheduled meeting and there was a surprise retirement tribute to Gwinnett County Athletic Director-in-Chief Mike Emery.  The concern over a change in a very successful system was softened when his replacement was named: current  Peachtree Ridge High School Athletic Director Jon Weyher.

The 6th annual Gwinnett County Hall of Fame was elegant and emotional. Honorees, who had gone on from their high school careers to success in College, Professional level sports, and the Olympics, were Amanda Weir, Stephen Harris, Coach Tally Johnson, David Pollack, Dustin Kawa, Christi Thomas and William “Bull” Cooper (represented by his son). However, the star quality of Main Speaker Vince Dooley (seated next to GCPS CEO Alvin Wilbanks) held a ballroom full of people in awe. Vince Dooley who coached University of Georgia football for 25 years has been feted throughout the country but he gets his most enthusiastic responses when he refers to wife Barbara. 

Out of the numerous delightful people, our photography business meets each year, a few stand out. When I first photographed Brian and Chris Tromp, identical twin freshman at Lanier High School in fall 2011, they were athletic, adorable and very young looking; they played the same sports.  As the years passed (quickly for me) the brothers took their successes in different areas. Chris, winner of the prestigious AJC cup is heading for Georgia Tech, while Brian will attend University of Georgia.  Brian, now with the amazing long hair, dedicated himself to football.  Chris continued to run cross country and track.  They are still athletic and handsome but have grown 2 or 3 feet since I met them.

Yash Shirsath is the beloved Salutatorian at Grayson High School.  He has won so many accolades over the years that it would take more than a column to list them.   His most recent and notable accomplishments though, are the fact that he was one of the 141 students nationwide to be name a 2015 Presidential Scholar and entrance to the University of Pennsylvania.   His students and teachers might say that his biggest accomplishment lately was being the winner of the McDonald’s Scholarship – which also netted Yash a gift card.  Meredith Chastain, his longtime neighbor speculated that Yash will treat the President to a Big Mac when he meets him in June.

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