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After graduating college with a B.A. in Communication Arts in 1982, I worked for two newspapers, The Covington News and The Hilton Head Island Packet.  In 1986, I changed careers and earned a certificate to teach from Georgia State University, and in 1987, I began teaching Language Arts at Meadowcreek High School.  After four years at Meadowcreek, I transferred to South Gwinnett High School, which was a mile from my house.  At South Gwinnett, I taught Language Arts for approximately half of my twenty-one years and Theatre for the other half, along with several years of video broadcasting and journalism.  My last five years of teaching, I taught Language Arts at Shiloh High School and earned a Masters degree in Educational Leadership before retiring in 1987.  While completing a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction, I created The Buis Book Foundation (, whose mission is to raise children's literacy by providing ten free books each year to all of the students at Kimberly Elementary School.

I am grateful to everyone who has reached out to me with ideas, suggestions, and encouragement.  

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At the May 2023 Book Giveaway at Kimberly Elementary School.

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Speaking at the Norcross PDC Meeting


Dr. Kirk Buis (Bice)

2070 Dean’s Landing

Lawrenceville, GA 30043

C: 6784723097


Candidate for Gwinnett County School Board District Three


Liberty University      2018 – May, 2020

      Doctor of Education: Curriculum and Instruction: Elementary Education


Liberty University      2017 - 2018

      Masters in Education - Educational Leadership


Georgia State University        1986 - 1987

      Teaching Certificate – 9-12 Language Arts, K-12 Theatre


Grove City College     1978 - 1982

      B.A. - Communication Arts

Work Experience

Founder and CEO – The Buis Book Foundation 2020 - Present

        A non-profit ( that donates books to elementary schools


Substitute Teacher – Gwinnett County Public Schools – 2021 – Present

        Substituted at nearly forty elementary and middle schools in GCPS, including as a long-term substitute at five elementary schools


Tutor – SpiderSmart Center, Suwanee – 2022 – Present

        Tutor K – 12 reading, writing, and SAT preparation


Librarian – Phillips State Prison - 2020

       Worked with prisoners to raise their literacy level


DadaABC Online Teaching – 2018 - 2021

       Online English teacher

       Taught Chinese children age 4-18 English online


Theatre Camps 2019 - 2020

       Taught Theatre at two different schools (a dance school and an afterschool daycare) to children ages 4-15


Drew Charter School – Atlanta Public School System - 2018

      Administrative Internship

      Worked with teachers, students, and staff in multiple functions.  Assisted with state testing, behavior and academic programs, regular
      duties, counselor, and all necessary administrative requirements


Gwinnett County Public Schools - Gwinnett County , GA 1987 - 2017


     Taught at three public high schools: Meadowcreek High School, South Gwinnett High School, and Shiloh High School.  Taught Language          Arts
      (9th, 10th, 11th, 12th Grades – Technical, College Prep, Honors; Writer’s Workshop); Theatre – Introduction to Theatre, Theatre Workshop,
      Acting I, Advanced Acting, Musical Theatre, Stagecraft; Broadcast Journalism; Newspaper


The Island Packet newspaper - Hilton Head Island , SC 1985 - 1986

      Assistant Sports Editor

      Editing, Writing, Layout of daily paper.


The Covington News newspaper - Covington , GA 1982 - 1985

      Sports Editor 1982 - 1984

      Editor 1984 - 1985

      Editing, Writing, Photography, Layout of two weekly newspapers.



Eagle Scout, 1976

General Manager, WSAJ Radio, Grove City College, 1980 – 1981

Founder and Executive Director of Community Theatre – The New London Theatre, Snellville, Ga., 1999-2009

Chairman, Snellville Arts Commission, 2014 - 2016

10th Grade Curriculum Lead, 2017

Shiloh High School Literacy Lead, 2016 – 2017

Member, Pi Lambda Theta, Education Honor Society, 2018

Member, Kappa Delta Pi, Educational Honor Society, 2020

Member, SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), 2020

Founder and CEO of The Buis Book Foundation, 2021 - present

Community Service

Youth Basketball Coach, Covington, Georgia 1983 - 1984

Cubmaster, Pack 65, Snellville, Georgia 1997 - 1998

Youth Soccer Coach, Briscoe Park, Snellville, Georgia 1995 - 2004

Volunteer, The World is Our Stage, 2011 - 2013

Snellville Arts Commission, 2014-2016

Literacy Volunteer at Centerville Library, 2016 – 2017

Parkwood Farms Therapy Riding Volunteer, 2017

High School Clubs Sponsored: National Honor Society, Chess Club, International Thespian Society, Drama Club, Newspaper

Playwright: Pioneer Drama Service:

Volunteer Reader at Britt Elementary School, Gwinnett County, 2019 - 2020

Volunteer Reader at Sheltering Arms Daycare Center, 2019 - 2020

Book 1

Books I've been reading to understand the job as well as I can.

My substituting experiences have allowed
me to see these Classroom Ideas

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School Ideas
Schools don't often have the opportunity to learn from each other.  Here are some ideas that schools are doing that others could benefit from.

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At Jackson and Taylor Elementary, each grade has a trophy for the best behavior in the halls.  It rotates as each class earns the trophy for a week, and students proudly display the trophy as they walk anywhere in the halls..


At right: A great way to keep everyone's markers with their lid.  Use duct tape to keep all the lids together - it's easy to tell if one is missing! (Or replace one that is dry.)


Taylor Elementary is the only school I know of with an indoor fountain!


Students create their own t-shirt with various subjects they have studied or books they have read throughout the semester or year.


These businesses recognize long-term customers (below) with a plaque and employees (left) with their own portrait. Could schools do the same?

Substitute Reports are a mishmash of ideas at every school and every individual teacher.  A standardized form from the county would be a great help to both teachers and substitutes.


If you use Class Dojo to help with behavior, create an anonymous student who you can add points to or deduct points from.  When the class hears the noise, it is a great reminder for them to stay on-task or that they are doing great.

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Which of these book displays are more likely to get an eight-year-old (or thirty-eight-year-old, for that matter) to pick up a book? Why aren't more displays like the left built into classrooms?

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Bus call (left) is often a chaotic time due to a lack of drivers.  This school projects not only the buses currently ready to load but also keeps a list on the right showing which buses have already left, so there's no one asking, "Did they call bus 3 yet?  Bus 3?"


Car rider lines are usually similar (though some schools send ALL of the car riders to a central location and dismiss from there, while others dismiss directly from the classroom).  However, this school (left) has double-sided signs to direct drivers to either stop or pull further up.

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In addition to Dojo points, Parsons has a schoolwide online rewards system where teachers can give any student "Lion Bucks" to use at the school store.

Elementary schools throughout the county generally have morning work for the students as they arrive.  Usually, each individual teacher has to copy and prepare it every day.  A few schools, however, prepare a folder or binder for the entire semester (right).  This takes a little off each teacher throughout the semester.


Many schools have pictures of their Teacher of the Year on a wall.  This school added a picture of each actually 'in action', a nice touch.

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Recognizing teachers is a great way to create loyalty.  B.B. Harris has all of the teachers' names in the cafeteria.  They are indeed a team.

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Right, this school supports its substitutes by giving them tokens to give to students who are especially helpful.

Notes from the books about being a School Board member

Book 1
Book Two
Book Three

From How Not to Be a Terrible School Board Member by Richard E. Mayer
"The main goal of a school board is to make decisions in the best interests of all the children in the district." pg. xii
"Never humiliate a district employee in public." pg. 6
"You were not elected to administer the district. You were elected to oversee the administration of the district." pg. 21
"...avoid lobbying fellow board members for their votes outside of scheduled board meetings." pg. 53
"...the public deserves to know what board members think and to see the board's decision-making process in action." pg. 53
"Be a decider. Study the issue at hand, ask all the questions you need to fully understand the issue, listen carefully to what everyone else has to say, express your thinking on the issue, think hard, and come to a decision." pg. 57

"...never minimize public input if you want to avoid being a terrible school board member." pg. 82
"Your most important asset as a school board member is your reputation for integrity." pg. 107

From 10 Questions Every School Board Member Should Ask by Ken Odom, Jr.
" the end, a school board's guiding principal must be whether the data drives decisions that are good for kids." pg. 44
"Sadly, many boards find themselves spending time on things that are, at best, only marginally related to student achievement." pg. 48

From The Art of School Boarding: What Every School Board Member Needs to Know by Jim Burgett
"The three basic goals of effective school board governance are to be accountable, fair, and transparent." pg. 21
"Always ask the most important question of all, 'What is best for students within our financial and professional ability?'" pg. 45
"...a short but critical question, 'Who comes first?' The answer is always 'the kids.'" pg. 59
"...ask the key question, 'How does this relate to our primary objective of providing the best educational opportunities within our financial ability for our students?'" pg. 59
"Top Twelve Steps Toward Excellent School Boarding: 1. Be Patient; 2. Be Professional; 3. Policy vs. Administration; 4. It's Okay Not to Know; 5. Communicate Without Committing; 6. Confidentiality; 7. Respect for Staff; 8. Trust Your Experts; 9. Understand the Difference Between Revenue and Expense Problems; 10. Chain of Command; 11. Agree How to Handle Conflicts of Interest; 12. Build Trust." pg. 99-100
"Never vote for something without considering the impact it has on kids." pg. 117

From The School Board Member's Guidebook: Becoming a Difference Maker for Your District by Ryan Donlan and Todd Whitaker
"Your special role in governance involves more a marathon of policy-making obligation than a sprint of issues management." pg. 22
"The best board members see the good and bad in constituencies for what they are yet promote the positive energy over and above their bad energy." pg. 29
"Our best boards leave to their superintendents the job of leading and managing operationally." pg. 37
"The board's only employee is the superintendent, to whom board member concerns should be addressed." pg. 40
"When we're given the opportunity to serve, children are depending on us, so we must do what is right." pg. 102

From What Schools Boards Can Do: Reform Governance for Urban Schools by Donald R. McAdams
"Policies crafted to advance a theory of action and make possible the achievement of performance goals should be the primary work product of a board." pg. 3
"Boards govern. Superintendents manage. Governance always trumps management. ... The board has the responsibility to establish core beliefs, create the vision, set goals, formulate a theory of action for change, direct and participate in the development of policies, approve policies, allocate resources, oversee policy implementation and the effectiveness of management systems, mediate between the district and the public, and look far into the future." pg. 9

"To be effective change agents, board members must...believe that 95% or so of children who do not have severe learning disabilities...can perform at grade level and graduate from high school with an academic diploma.  They must believe that the school effect is significant and that school districts can become high-performing organizations.  And they must commit themselves to grade-level performance and achievement to potential for all children and the elimination of the achievement gap." pg. 15
"When a school district fails to improve, it is not the district's workforce that fails; it is the board that fails." pg. 23
"Throughout history, leaders have believed they could do great things that had not been done before, and have done them." pg. 28
"Among the school factors that researchers say matter, teachers and school climate are central." pg. 28
"...children who are assigned to three highly effective teachers in a row scored at the 83rd percentile in math at the end of fifth grade, while children assigned to three ineffective teachers in a row scored at the 29th percentile." pg. 28
"No capable (principal) can proceed without gaining the acceptance of her teachers, parents, and staff." pg. 53
"Boards should demand that data be presented so that it can be easily understood...In order to govern, boards need comparative, longitudinal, and relevant data that is accurate, timely, and formatted visually for easy comprehension." pg. 81

"Policy development is a shared responsibility between the board and superintendent, but the board has the final say." pg. 104
" shared decision-making committees...establish elected school committees with the authority to hire and fire principals." pg. 117

Book Four
Book 5
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