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Making a Difference Through Music

Ed McQuade, Buford City Schools Teacher of the Year, just finished his 28th year in the classroom – or choral room, in his case. McQuade has taught middle school (grades 6 – 8) choral students his entire career and is committed to the role of arts education in elevating students’ academic experience.

“Arts education develops the emotional side of the human being,” says McQuade. “From my experience, students truly love making music together and working towards the common goal of a successful performance. As a result, students fondly remember their experiences in chorus years after they leave school.”

McQuade has taught at Buford Middle School for almost 20 years and values Buford City School’s approach. “Buford City Schools values the arts equally with academics and athletics.”

Students, of course, provide the ultimate reward.” Since students elect to take my class, I am fortunate to work with students who have a passion for the subject I teach. Now that I’ve been doing this for so long, I have had many students reach out to me as an adult to let me know how much their time in my choral program meant to them. It is very rewarding to see so many of them pursuing a career in the arts and to know that you made a difference in the lives of many former students.”

Buford City Schools Fast Facts

Buford Elementary School

  • 2016 Department of Education winner of the Family Friendly Partnership Award
  • System-wide Vertical Teaming in Academic Courses
  • Partnership with community businesses to offer services such as eye and dental care, book bags, supplies, and shoes.
  • Continued partnership with Buford High School by havinghigh school interns/tutors come to BES each day to work directly with students

Buford Academy

  • 2016-17 GADOE Title I Highest Performing Reward School
  • Buford Academy named a top 10 Georgia Elementary School
  • Recipient Governor’s Shape Honor Roll
  • Kiwanis Club partnership for BUGS (Bring up Grades)
  • Buford Academy hosted Atlanta Falcon’s NFL Play 60 Junior Training Camp
  • Principal Kaleen Pulley named 2017 Georgia Distinguished Principal

Buford Middle School

  • The current Buford Middle School CCRPI score is 90.5, which is among the top scores in the state. The state of Georgia average for middle schools is 72.1. Additionally, Buford Middle School’s current School Climate Rating is 5 stars, the highest rating possible.
  • The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement recognized Buford Middle School as a Platinum Award winner in the 2016 Single Statewide Accountability System. This award is in the area of greatest gains for exhibiting high growth in student achievement and was accomplished by being in the top 1% of schools in the state over the last 3 years.
  • Buford Middle School has been recognized as a 2017 Highest Performing Title I Reward School by the Georgia Department of Education.
  • The 2017 Niche Report has ranked Buford Middle School #2 on the “Best Public Middle Schools in Georgia” report among 472 schools. Additionally, it ranked Buford Middle School #2 on the “Middle Schools with the Best Teachers in Georgia” report among 471 schools. The current overall Niche Grade for Buford Middle School is an A+.

Buford High School

  • CCRPI 101
  • 9 State Championships including Softball, Volleyball, Girl’s Basketball, Boy’s Basketball, Wrestling Duals, Wrestling Traditional, Girl’s Track, One Act Play, and Literary
  • 3 State Runner-Up Championships including Football, Gymnastics, and Girl’s Soccer
  • 2016 Platinum Award for Greatest Gains – Governor’s Office of Student Achievement
  • 2016 Gold Award for Highest Performing – Governor’s Office of Student Achievement
  • College Board’s 7th Annual District AP Honor Roll
  • GA Doe AP Stem School Award, AP Stem School Achievement Award, AP Humanities Award, and AP Merit School


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