Photo by Loralee Beard, Magic Moment Photography

Gwinnett is so photogenic
By Loralee Beard, Magic Moment Photography

You can think the world of someone but it’s nice when the World tells you you’re right. Jennifer Ortman, yearbook advisor at Mountain View High School, had the 2014-2015 “book” win First in State of Georgia Overall with numerous category firsts such as Layout, Cover, Sports, Portrait and Photo Illustration. 

The real test is to find readers who can distinguish the winning yearbook with the celebratory edible yearbook. 

In a tale of two teams, we see Coach Jason Cleghorne surrounded by his brutish selection of 9 and under football players.  This group of up and comers from Grayson Athletic Association won the Gwinnett County Championship playing the final game at the Buford Home Stadium. The 12 and under GAA team, coached by Larry Whitten came off back to back County Championships only to lose to the Dacula Falcons in the last 20 seconds.  What do these outstanding teams have in common: Ram Dedication, Great Head Coaches and Assistants from one of Grayson’s favorite sons -- Mickey Conn.  A further footnote is that each team has a Conn son on the roster. 

Magic Moment has known Mallory Flynn from when she was a young cheerleader, then a Varsity Grayson High School cheerleader, a Trip Elementary teacher and when summer time permits, one of our favorite summer staff.  Space does not permit me mentioning other talented Flynn family members except Aunt Brenda who got her first drivers license ever, a couple months back.  Photographers Meghan Schroder and Meredith Chastain were thrilled to do the first “on the scene” engagement pictures of Mallory with newly minted fiancée Adam Smith.  The couple share a dedication to learning and have a joint commitment to Gwinnett County careers: Mallory in Education and Adam as a Nurse Practitioner. 

When Sierra Smith graduates from Grayson High School this coming Spring to continue her education and softball career at Jackson State University, she will be missed as one of those students who makes her community shine. She has been a Lady Ram Softball starter for 4 years and is also a 4 year member of GHS Chorus and serves in Beta Club, Freshman Mentor and Childrens Church leader. Parents Rudy and Denise support the passion for sport and indeed Rudy has continually coached Sierra and her brother both in youth sports and at the high school level. 


In the category of easiest people to photograph, we can count year after year on the Brookwood High School Basketball Seniors. The dress up photo is a tradition of many years but this year’s group is 2nd to none in great color coordination and amazing smiles. 

At Mountain View High School, Coach Jackie Lindquist and yet another MVHS Mascot bear shared a moment with her 3 Senior athletes, Jordan Stallworth, Alisia Hahn and Madison Maggert. Coach Lindquist and I call New Jersey our country of origin although we emigrated to Georgia decades ago. However, when we are together, we lapse into our native tongue. 

The students, who comprise the Mill Creek Science Olympiad compete statewide (and conceivably nationally) in tournaments.  They share an interest in science and working as a team with other dedicated students in hopes of showing that “American students can perform at levels that surpass expectations of even practicing scientists and engineers.” I don’t know if Scotty Mitch, Advisor of Mill Creek Science Olympiad, would give his students the shirt off his back but I do know they put his picture on the back of their shirts.

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