Photo by Loralee Beard, Magic Moment Photography

Gwinnett’s beauties
By Loralee Beard, Magic Moment Photography

Beauty is only skin deep unless you’re talking about the six Grayson High School Senior athletes who served as escorts for the 2015 Miss Grayson pageant: Evan Floyd - Lacrosse athlete; Matt McHugh - Lacrosse; Josh Phillips -Soccer athlete; Drew Buschman - baseball; Bryant Chandler - baseball; David Stinson - baseball.  They are shown surrounding 2014 Miss Georgia Maggie Bridges, Georgia Tech student who won her title last June. 

When Jaime Conner was attending Grayson High School, she remembers noticing Armand Poole.  Armand got lots of attention because he was not only handsome and well spoken, but an outstanding athlete. Jaime, elected Miss Freshman, was also a standout. However in Jaime’s words, “Honestly, it was timing for us! We always kept in touch since we met in 2005. We would randomly have dinner dates whenever he would come home and visit from New York. He attended Hofstra University. And, then one dinner date we just felt "it is now or never". The couple attended the 2015 Miss Grayson pageant where Jaime was honored as a former Queen.  Jaime now teaches 8th grade at Teach for America - South Carolina and Armand lives and works in Atlanta.  They have been dating for 3 years and as Jaime says it is  “ A true Grayson lifetime and it all started in the Commons Area at GHS! “

At Central Gwinnett High School, Superlative winners for the Class of 2015 Christopher Shelling and Kennedy Washington personify the title they earned “Best All Around”. Both were nominated for other multiple categories of Senior Superlatives.  Chris is a standout on the Black Knight Football team and is planning to continue Playing football at West Point Military Academy.  Kennedy Washington arrived for pictures with a great set of props.  This organizational ability is typical of Best All Aroundees throughout the country.  Kennedy is in multiple AP classes, an active member of the Student Council, and a leader on the CGHS Cheerleading Squad.


Grayson Athletic Association Coach Andy Burton is not only intense when coaching All Star Softball but brings that intensity to his basketball and softball teams during regular season play. His current basketball team of 7 and 8 year old girls has been tearing up the court and during one game I watched, I saw some radical moves such as “Dribbling while still on your stomach”

The yearly group picture for Gwinnett Senior Leadership Team, (the group of 70 outstanding Gwinnett High School Seniors headed by Nancy Ward), welcomed Dr. Tim Elmore, best-selling author, international speaker, and president of Growing Leaders, a nonprofit organization, that helps develop emerging leaders under the philosophy that each child is born with leadership qualities.

Dr. Elmore always leads a four part leadership segment for GSLT but it was good timing that this year, he was present during the official group picture. The 70, all leaders in their own realm, when given a chance to pose with Dr. Elmore they had trouble taking their eyes off this accomplished and yet humble educator.

Dacula High School Baseball had many strong seasons under the leadership of John Poitevint, Varsity Baseball Coach since 2005.  The head Coaching position is now filled by Coach Scott Gaffney who is in his first year at Dacula. Coming to Dacula form Flowery Branch, Coach Gaffney and wife Regina have two sons, Noah age 3 and Lucas is 8 months.   He came from Flowery Branch to take the Head Coaching job for Varsity Baseball and likes the concept of being part of a close knit, smaller community which still offers the “bigger competition”.

I have followed Jason Johnson’s baseball teams at Mountain View High School since the school’s opening and have been delighted with the positive energy of this strong program.  Besides the Coaches, Athletes, Parents, credit must go to the Diamond Girls who help keep the focus of everyone. And contrary to popular myth, they are NOT paid in Diamonds but are simply worth their weight in such.

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