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What Breaks Your Heart – Andy Stanley

I think we all value self-improvement. Each year we challenge ourselves to get slimmer, stronger and smarter, and we are bombarded with programs and products that supposedly help us get out of debt, get in shape, and become better people.  Getting out of debt and getting into shape are good goals, but they don’t...

All About Buford City Schools

Melanie Reed is a lifelong resident of Gwinnett County and superintendent of Buford City Schools. She was expecting her firstborn when she and her husband decided they wanted to raise their family in Buford. A Buford graduate himself, Reed’s husband appreciated the academic edge he’d been afforded at his alma mater district, and he and Reed wanted...

Jamie Garcia Caycho Named Gwinnett County’s Top Teacher

Teachers of the year are recognized for being exceptional, dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled teachers in active teaching status. For this reason, on June 3, 2022, Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) had the unique opportunity to name Jamie Garcia Caycho—a 1st grade teacher at Arcado Elementary School who was selected as the 2022 runner-up during the original evaluation...

Leaders & Legends: Phillip Beard

On an August day in 1984, a man from Memphis, Tennessee came to town. He was doing the business of the federal government, charged with selling an old post office building in the downtown Buford square. City Commission Chairman Phillip Beard greeted him, and they walked across the street together. It was blistering hot...

Heroes Project 2022: Reese Hayhurst

People talk about being present – making the effort not to dwell in the past or spending precious time anticipating the future. It’s a discipline some find difficult to master. In December 2020, the Hayhursts of Buford would be dealt a crushing blow that weaker families couldn’t have endured. The silver lining they’d discover...

Math Teacher Mosaic: Meet Mrs. Whitlow

Written by Jaiden Arada, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Senior at Cherokee Bluff High School Teachers are some of the most important people in some people’s lives. They share and provide their knowledge, but they also make real life connections with their students that other people cannot provide. A...

Meet Mrs. Sweat: Student Research Assistant, Mother, Media Specialist

Written by Micah Xu, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Junior at Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology (GSMST) Meet Mrs. Sweat, a media specialist working at GSMST in the Student Research Center. Mrs. Sweat is not technically a teacher per se, but rather a jack-of-all-trades. She represents the heart and...

Leaders & Legends: Dr. William L. Sheals

There’s a framed illustration on the wall outside the office of Dr. William L. Sheals. It’s a rough pencil sketch of a church building and adjoining architecture on the back cover of a legal pad. Across the roof of one building are the words “ED. BLDG,” and on the other, “ADM. BLDG.”  Across the...