Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter
September/October 2020
Volume 2 Issue 1
Guiding Principle of Diversity and Inclusion
The Buford City School System believes in creating and maintaining a safe, caring, and mutually respectful and inclusive environment where all students, staff, and families are valued for their diverse cultural heritages.
BCS teachers participate in Culturally Responsive Teaching Professional Learning
Teachers and administrators began the year with culturally responsive teaching professional learning sessions. Discussion topics included identifying potential barriers that interfere with student learning. For every barrier identified, teachers also identified ways to decrease or eliminate the barrier. A second round of professional learning focused on how to intentionally incorporate diverse books into the daily instructional plan.
Did you know?
Students and families in our district speak 35 different languages.
The top 5 languages are:
  1. English
  2. Spanish
  3. Korean
  4. Vietnamese
  5. Arabic
BCSS District Diversity and Inclusion Advisory and Service Council Members share
their family's stories
The Castillos (Rocio)
The Castillo family has been a part of the school district for almost a year. 

They enjoy celebrating as a Catholic family, Semana Santa, which translates as Holy Week and Peru’s Independence Day on the 28th of July. 

They place a strong value on family, which includes extended family. Grandparents play an important role in their grandchildren’s upbringing. 

The Castillos enjoy outdoor activities like going to farms, hiking, and exploring new places.
The Smiths (Latoya)
Our family moved to Buford in 2017 and have been a part of the district for nearly three years. 

One of our newest family traditions is "Friendsgiving." We won't be having it this year, but it has become our new favorite for sure!

We empower our children with knowledge so that they value themselves and the significant contributions of Black people in this country. Sometimes that means having some very hard conversations but beyond that it’s about helping them to have a strong sense of empathy and self-worth. Navigating the world as a mixed-race family helps us to be open-minded because we know what it's like to experience prejudice. We value inclusion and seek to create it when we don't see it because of our experiences.

We love to do so many things together. We are very active and you can find us outdoors or at a festival if the weather is nice. We enjoy trying new restaurants and will gladly travel to do so! We also enjoy watching movies together. We are major "Star Wars” fans, so that is always on repeat!
Buford Elementary School
Hispanic Heritage Month and
Multicultural Activities
BES students loved learning a new song
"Hello to All the
Children of the World!"
BES students enjoyed sharing their Family Culture Projects in
ESOL classes.
In art classes, students completed projects featuring Pablo Picasso style sombreros and guitars.
Buford Academy
Multicultural Day Parade
What does friendship mean to students from Mrs. Smith's class?
-We help each other.
-We care about our friends.
-We play together.
In a world where you can be anything you want to be, always be KIND!
Mrs. Wade's students have been showing kindness this year!
3rd grade students in Mrs. Roberts' and Mrs. Smith's classes completed research projects on famous Hispanics.
Buford Senior Academy
BSA students and faculty members enjoyed representing their families' native countries by dressing up and sharing information with their classmates.
Buford Middle School
International snacks, research projects and
fancy artwork
ESOL students completed slideshow presentations representing their family's heritage.
In 8th grade GA Studies, students created a large map of the world to hang in the hallway. Students had the opportunity to share what they knew about their family's heritage and were given a star(s) to place on the map to indicate their family's countries of origin.
BMS students
and their
fancy artwork!
Buford High School
BHS students proudly represent many cultures
My name is Anthony and I didn't know what my name meant until recently. It means priceless in ancient Greece. I was low key hype after I looked it up. One thing I know is why I was named Anthony. It’s because my dad’s son, that is no longer here, was named Anthony. When I was born my mom and dad decided to call me Anthony. I feel like not a lot of people have my name. So I find that cool.
I’m Elvin and I am originally from Mexico, but I came to the United States to have a fun life. I have made a lot of friends since I first got here when I was 10. It’s been nice to live here in Buford. I was scared. It hasn't been bad at all. The school has been so nice and fun. They have some good food here and nice people.
I'm Elisei Cucos and I am from the country of Moldova. My family celebrates Martisor every spring on March 1st. We hang red and white ropes with loops and tassels on our door. My favorite traditional food is Mamaliga. It is like polenta. However, the best thing about Moldova is my Grandma!
Tobi, Tomi, and Timi Olawole
The Olawole Brothers
We are originally from Nigeria. Nigeria's colors are green and white. The languages that are spoken in our household are Yoruba and English. Our mother and father are fluent in Yoruba, while we have picked up a little bit. We moved to Buford in November 2006. We have all grown up through the Buford City School system. Some traditions that we love from Nigeria is the clothing which we wear often. A BIG staple in our diet is Nigerian food, including jollof rice, iyan (pounded yam), egusi (vegetable stew).

Outside of school, we do many sports and activities. Timi and Tobi both run track and play football. Timi is very serious about his academics. He is a part of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America). Tomi is on the track team as shotput and discus thrower. Tomi is also a member of TSA (Technology Student Association) and the recently formed Debate Club at BMS. All of us are involved with FCA.
Employee Highlights
Mrs. Gloria Whidby
Central Office Staff
My husband is originally from Buford and I moved here in 1970. I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My heritage is Italian and Spanish, but I grew up in the wonderful Mexican and Southwestern cultures. I was hired by BCS in 1987, and retired after 30 years at Buford Elementary.

During those wonderful years, I worked for the Piedmont Migrant Education Agency located in Gainesville. I facilitated the home-based program for Buford City School's ESOL/Migrant students. There were only 25 non-English speakers when I was hired. In addition, I started the district's Saturday School program in 1997 and directed the English, Yes, I Can program for ESL parents.

I LOVE Buford and the wonderfully diverse community that my 3 children, 6 grandchildren and great grandchild are flourishing in.
I humbly served as LIFE Teen youth ministry director for 24 years at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, formerly located in Buford and now in Flowery Branch. My husband, Donald and I were some of the original founders of our church established in 1975 in Buford.

Today, I serve in the Greeters Ministry at church and am very involved as a Connect group leader. I also volunteer for a non-profit organization, Amigos for Christ, which I helped to found 21 years ago. We serve 20+ plus poor communities in Nicaragua.
Mr. Dale Tyson
BHS Teacher
Science Department
I was born on the twin island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago. I came to America on a college scholarship (Claflin University) when I was 23. Now that I am 47, I have spent more than half of my life in America!

The thing I love the most about my culture is how close we are to our extended family. You can be equally close to aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and parents. My family loves our visits to Trinidad every couple of years. 

Maintaining my culture means passing down what I love about my culture to my four children.  To do this I cook Caribbean meals, play Caribbean music, use Caribbean sayings around the house and lastly, preach and practice the importance of family. 

Diversity is so precious and beautiful. I love traveling to new countries and/or meeting people from different walks of life. At Buford I have learned so much from students from different countries and cultures. I look forward to many more of these lessons.  
BCS Resource Officer
Humberto Garcia
The kitchen was such a big part of my childhood memories. It was a place where my mom, grandma and I connected. They played a big role in cultivating the love I have for food to this day and inspired my 12-year culinary career. Two years after finishing high school, the prestigious Johnson & Wales University inaugurated a campus in North Miami and I enrolled. My two-year culinary training provided me valuable knowledge & tremendous opportunities. While going to school, I accepted a job as a dishwasher at the Historic Mayfair House Hotel located in the heart of Coconut Grove, Florida. After only a week, the executive chef (Rolando Cruz Taura) assigned me to be the baker’s assistant. The Mayfair served as my first real-life training ground before heading off to my six-month internship at Johnson & Wales’ Rhode Island campus.

Despite my love for the kitchen, it required long hours which meant less time with my family. One evening while fishing off a bridge in Key Biscayne, Florida, I witnessed a horrific fiery crash involving some teenagers leaving a homecoming party. Sadly, all the four teens perished, but I was able to save two passengers from the other vehicle before it caught on fire. This incident fueled a childhood desire of becoming a police officer. I applied for several police departments and in September 2004 I got the call from The City of Miami Police Department where I worked as a patrol officer for 3 years. In 2007, I decided to relocate to Georgia in search of a better life for me and my wife Kathy. After doing some research I accepted a transfer to Gwinnett County Police Department where I served as both an officer and a corporal for 13 years. In June 2019, I accepted a position as an SRO with Buford City Schools.
Final Thoughts
Famous Hispanics~Books~Movies
When a little girl’s far-away grandmother comes to stay, love and patience transcend language in a tender story written by acclaimed author Meg Medina.
Lionel Messi is one of the best soccer players the world has ever witnessed. Currently, he is the only soccer player who has won five FIFA Ballons d'Or and three European Golden Shoes. 
Messi has broken many soccer world records. He currently holds the record as the player who has scored the most goals in La Liga.
Sonia Sotomayor was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents. She is a graduate of both Princeton University and Yale Law School. She became the first Hispanic and Latina Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history in 2009 after her nomination by former President Barack Obama.
Coco is a wonderful film full of music and themes about the importance of family history.
A coming of age story about a young girl that doesn't like her name but ends up finding her place in the world with the help of a mysterious black envelope.