Buford schools reach out to Hispanic parents

BUFORD - Buford school system leaders recently reached out to the Hispanic parents of their students.

The Hispanic Parents' Night at the system's Fine Art Center was a groundbreaking event that met Spanish-speaking parents on familiar turf using their own language.

Superintendent Geye Hamby, assistant superintendent Allison Miller, Board of Education member Bruce Fricks and each school principal addressed more than 100 parents of Hispanic students in Spanish. According to Fricks, the event was an attempt to reach out to Spanish-speaking parents who might otherwise feel excluded from English-speaking forums.

"We all spoke Spanish (during Hispanic Parents' Night), and I know that just for one night, we were all a little intimidated," Fricks said. "These people feel that way all the time."

School system leaders spoke to parents about the city schools as well as college opportunities for their children. Fricks credited the idea to Anna Misley, a school system teacher who has a passion for the Latin community and the children who attend Buford City Schools.

"These parents were so grateful to be addressed in their own language. They sent us letters and even baked us cookies and cakes," Hamby said. "It was a lot of fun."

Groundbreaking for administration building

Buford school system leaders participated in a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for the system's new central administration building. The facility, with an estimated construction cost of just more than $3.5 million, will bring together under one roof the administrative staff for the entire school system.

Grading on the property has already begun, and four stakes have been set to mark the corners of the building.

"This is the first building ever designed to be a central administrative office for Buford school system," Hamby said.

Teacher retiring

after 37 years

Deborah Holley, a career teacher of 37 years with the Buford School system, was honored at Friday's Board of Education meeting after announcing her retirement. Hamby applauded Holley's dedication and love of each of her students. A 37-year teaching career "is a feat that not many people accomplish," Hamby said.