The future awaits
By Meredith Chastain & Meghan Schroder
May is our month of ceremonies. It marks the close of school, end of spring sports seasons, prom and graduations. It is also the month of one of our favorite events, The Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame.
We have been the official photographers for this event since its 2010 inception. It is a night to look at the amazing success that has been achieved in our county. One of my favorites that night was Kyle Maynard, former Collins Hill wrestler. He was born without arms or legs and has managed to be a mixed martial arts fighter, gym owner, author, mountain climber and ESPN Espy Award Winner. In his speech, he detailed the opportunities he believes he only had by virtue of moving to Gwinnett County when he was elementary school age. In a tribute to Coach Cliff Ramos (2016 GCSHOF inductee), he said that the coach would stay with him after practice and Coach Ramos would tuck his arms in his sleeves and work out wrestling moves.
Another moving reunion for us was that of inductee Coach Jack Britt, Mike Phillips and T. McFerrin. These three men represent the time that Gwinnett started to be a force on the national level. They were instrumental in creating the nationally lauded athletic culture our county now has. As a former South Gwinnett graduate myself, I am one of many people who have always admired them and were thrilled to see them all together.
Moving from the sports milieu to a more personal experience is the Saint Oliver Plunkett’s Catholic Church First Communion Ceremony. We are always dazzled by adorable candidates in their fancy white dresses and suits. Ulysses and Benito Juarez stood out to us this year. They are brothers at Norton Elementary and went through the sacrament together. The candle and Bible were a special touch.
Mill Creek High School annually celebrates their prom the Saturday before school gets out, right at the end of the year. The prom queen and king this year were Middle School Sweethearts Cortney Anderson and Carlos Benitez. Carlos knew he wanted to go out with Cortney beginning in sixth grade, where she rejected his girlfriend request in the cafeteria. By seventh grade, she had a change of heart, and the rest is history!
As a company that photographs thousands of seniors a summer, it is hard to find original props that we have never photographed before. However, Halle Kate Wheeler was able to achieve this with her color smoke bomb. Halle Kate’s grandmother searched far and wide for color smoke bombs and as you can find pretty much everything in this world – found them on Amazon! Halle graduated from Lanier High School this week. She is a dual enrollment student at Kennesaw State University and already has 55 credit hours for college! This fall she will enter school as a junior.
Magic Moment had to say goodbye to Central Gwinnett High School’s beloved principal Maryanne Grimes. Anyone that has spent time at Central Gwinnett can see the impact that her leadership has had on the school. We adored her and felt lucky she let us be part of the Central Gwinnett family. Our attachment to this particular faculty, made us delighted to hear that the new principal will be none other than, Shane Orr. He has been an associate principal at CGHS since 2014 and his appointment was welcome.
We have the privilege of attending many graduations in May to say goodbye to our beloved seniors. This year we said goodbye to the Class of 2017. Loganville Christian Academy had us take a unique memento for their graduates- a panoramic of their senior class in cap and gowns.
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