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left to right Kay Pippin, Gail Chapman, Andy Welch, June Wood



Is Permanent

Birth Control the Right Decision

for You E

very day, people make choices about their health. One of the most important choices, for both men and women, involves family planning. Nearly half of pregnancies [49%] are unintended and half of those unintended pregnancies occur during a month that some form of birth control was used. Unfortunately, there are still many misconceptions about the different forms of contraception that are available and the health risks involved with each one. “For women who have completed childbearing, there is no need to take a pill every day or continue to worry about unplanned pregnancy,” says Dr. Simpson-Jones of Women’s Health Specialists. “A permanent birth control procedure, called Essure, is a great option for women who have completed their families.” Essure is a permanent birth control procedure that can be performed in the comfort of a physician’s office in about thirteen minutes — without hormones, cutting, burning or any of the risks associated with surgery and general anesthesia. During the procedure, small, flexible micro-inserts are placed in the woman’s fallopian tubes through the vagina and cervix. Within three months, the body forms a natural barrier around the micro-inserts that prevents the sperm from reaching the egg. A woman must continue to use another form of birth control during this time. Three months after the Essure procedure, a doctor will perform an Essure Confirmation Test to confirm that the tubes are fully blocked and that the woman can rely on Essure for permanent birth control. Having confirmation that the procedure is successful relieves the fear of an unplanned pregnancy and the routine of temporary birth control. “Every woman must make the decision about whether or not permanent birth control is the right solution for her and her family. For many women, the ability to take control over their fertility and know that they are permanently protected from

future pregnancies is very empowering and liberating,” continues Dr. Simpson-Jones. “Permanent birth control allows women to be more spontaneous with their partners and allows them to focus more on their families and their relationships.” Developed, manufactured and marketed by Conceptus Inc., the Essure procedure has been FDA-approved since 2002. It is 99.8% percent effective and is the only birth control method with zero pregnancies* Most insurance companies cover the cost of the Essure procedure. However, patients should check with their insurance provider or physician’s office to be certain. Visit www. to learn more about Essure.

* BASED ON 4 YEARS OF CLINICAL DATA.... The Essure procedure may not be suitable for all women and there are risks. The procedure is not reversible, and you must use another form of birth control for at least three months following the procedure. Risks may include cramping/pain, nausea/vomiting, dizziness/lightheadedness, bleeding/spotting. Visit for a complete list of risks and considerations. ©2008. All rights reserved. Conceptus and Essure are registered trademarks and your Family is Complete your Choice is Clear is a service mark of Conceptus Inc.

Let’s talk about whether Essure is right for you. Call our office today 770-474-0064. Sheryl Simpson-Jones, MD Kimberly Mcintosh, MD Temitope Olubuyide, MD Women’s Health Specialists at Eagle’s Landing 115 Eagle Spring Drive Stockbridge, GA 30281

table of




13 29



may/june 2010 •


may/june 2010

features MASTER GARDENER Lifetime Master Gardener, Tom Wise, opens up his heart, his home and his garden to Henry County ........................................................41



Defines the term ‘more than just a pretty face’, on the volleyball court and in the classroom. Chelsea Braddy is making a difference at Woodland High School here in Henry County .................................................... 53


A DAY IN THE LIFE left to right Kay Pippin, Gail Chapman, Andy Welch, June Wood


ON THE COVER (l to r)

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Super Mom, Super business leader and Super community advocate, Elizabeth Fallas makes it look easy....... .................................................... 69

Kay Pippin, Gail Chapman, Andy Welch, June Wood


publisher’s letter.................................................7 contributors.........................................................9 letters to the editor ......................................... 10 top teachers ..................................................... 13 top teacher winner, gail chapman............... 15 all teacher nominees ...................................... 25 strong rock graduates ................................... 27 mock trial .......................................................... 29 mcdonough presbyterian ............................. 32 ylh visits gov. sonny perdue ........................ 33 community bible ............................................. 37 consolidated copiers ....................................... 39 master gardners.............................................. 41 firehouse subs’ hcpd dog grant .................. 43 ringer employment......................................... 45 special olympics ............................................. 49 charities that care ........................................... 51 student spotlight ............................................. 53 physician profile.............................................. 55 elhs coaching team ........................................ 62 operation overseas ......................................... 64 dishes ................................................................ 65 day in the life.................................................... 69 community calendar ...................................... 80

may/june 2010 •



may/june 2010 •

Michael Birchall & Kristina Cancelmi

may/june 2010 •


from the



If your actions inspire others to learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams


hen this issue hits the stands, the school year will be winding down for most students and their families and thoughts of assignments, book reports and term papers will be replaced with thoughts of summer activities, vacation plans and long, warm days. What better time than now to reflect on the tremendous positive impact teachers throughout this county and state have made on our children this past year? Clearly, teachers are a bedrock of any community, providing growth experiences and a firm educational foundation in so many ways. From my own personal experiences with my son’s exceptional teachers; I can attest to the fact there are many qualified and committed teachers in this county, teachers who balance career and family, contribute time and talents, and serve with charitable and civic organizations. I

was, however, a bit surprised, but pleasantly so, at the overwhelming response we received to our call for nominations for top teachers of Henry County. The fact that we received over 200 nominations speaks highly of this caring community and provides encouragement that quality education continues to be a top priority and teachers are worthy recipients of our thanks and recognition. Receiving the plethora of worthy nominations presented quite an interesting but welcomed challenge for our confidential panel of judges who were charged with the task of reviewing the outstanding nominations and selecting the top teachers presented in this issue. At this time and throughout the year, we are indeed proud to salute elementary, middle and high school educators not only for their high standards but also for their desire to teach, their passion, and their tireless commitment to our children. As we highlight some of the finest teachers

in our community, it is my hope you will feel a sense of pride, renewal and genuine satisfaction in knowing our children’s developing minds are indeed in good hands. While you peruse our “Top Teacher” article, no doubt you will sentimentally recall a teacher or several from your past who made a lasting impression on you; one perhaps who motivated and challenged you and ultimately played a significant part in nurturing and developing your character and the person you are today. Please enjoy this issue and feel free to take some time reminiscing about your school days and those unforgettable teachers who made your top teacher list.

Lisa Kinchen Publisher/Editorial Director

Your feedback is extremely important to us, so, in this issue of H Magazine we are posting “Letters to the Editor”. Interested in sharing your thoughts? Please visit our updated website at


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may/june 2009 •



contributors John and Rosa Hitchcock are the owners of Signature Pressworks and Interpret Inc, companies that serve the printing and interpreting needs of Henry County and the Metro area. John and Rosa have 4 beautiful daughters: Danielle, Emma, Isabelle, and Caroline.

Amy Wolf Rollins has been a resident of Henry County since 2001. Amy runs her own consulting firm, Kenan Environmental Limited, is a Henry Soil & Water District Supervisor and is an adjunct biology instructor at Clayton State University. Amy, Mark, and their son Kenan live in McDonough.

Sandi Hutcheson grew up in the South Metro area and moved to Henry Country when the hospital was the only thing on Hudson Bridge Road. She has a degree in creative writing from Georgia State University and spends most of her time either reading or writing.

Jackie Brittain is a sophomore at Georgia State University. She is majoring in Journalism with a concentration in telecommunications. She is the daughter of Mark and Connie Brittain. She enjoys sports and spending time with her family.

Rebecca McClain, President of Life Treasures, LLC, is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, life and business coach. Rebecca McClain inspires people all across the nation and internationally. She balances her life with social and cultural activities, travel and reading.

Beverly Van Gorder has lived in Henry County for 14 years. She and her husband, Jim, have five children, two of which are U.S. Marines. She is Marketing Director for Golden Crest Assisted Living Community at Eagle’s Landing.

Kimberly Scott is a self proclaimed Southern Belle, being raised in the south and living in Henry County most of her life. She is a marketing professional for local businesses and lives with her husband Michael and their four children.

Diane Smith a native of Ohio, has enjoyed living in Henry County for seven years. She is mother to 14-year-old Travis and wife to Pastor George Smith of Solid Rock Church of Jackson, Georgia. Diane works ar Noah’s Ark in Locust Grove.

Stephanie Robinson started working at Consolidated Copier Services in 1998 as the Customer Service Coordinator. I am completely dedicated to Henry County and am very involved in our community. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else except in Henry County!

Denese Rodgers is the Director of Social Services for Connecting Henry, Inc, the local branch of the Georgia Family Connection Partnership. It serves to network social, service, faith, business, and government to improve the welfare of families and children in Henry County.

Jennifer Sconyers lives in McDonough, Georgia with her husband and two sons George and Jeremiah. Jennifer volunteers regularly at Flippen Elementary. She is a children’s author, and goes to schools and local libraries sharing her books and the love of reading!


may/june 2010 •


to the editor “…we’ve enjoyed the exposure received through our association with H Magazine. In these tough economic times we’ve been through, H Magazine has always held to their high standards across the board making it a great value for services received, thank you. We look forward to each issue and are proud to be a part of such a great community magazine.” Mark Galey CR, Magnet Construction & Remodeling, McDonough GA I was first introduced to H Magazine during our inaugural “Grassroots Classic” Golf Tournament last year, Hosted by Nancy Lopez. Our event was put together to raise the awareness to our efforts of bringing the LPGA Tournament back to Henry County. Her passion and creative thought provided us a much needed voice in the community. The story she created for us was first class. Since then, I have been amazed at how H Magazine captures the true essence and singular voice of the Henry County Community. My company TwinBear Management recently met with Lisa to discuss advertising and relationship opportunities. I realized right away where that voice was coming from. Her passion was infectious and I she made me feel like she was on our team. She has great ideas, and provides new media thinking. H Magazine is an outstanding community leader in Henry County. Tony Caporale, CEO/Owner, TwinBear Management, LLC I came across the H MAGAZINE for the first time on April 2008. At the time my eye clinic had just opened the doors, so funds were limited. I made the decision of advertising with the H, and had since then without stopping. Our business has grown beyond our wildest dreams. When we ask our patients where they have heard of us they always say “in H Magazine”. The magazine has helped our office with a tremendous positive, family oriented exposure. It has been a total hit for us, and will continue to be. If your business is in Henry County, advertising with them is a MUST... Dr. Humberto Fallas Fallas Family Vision

may/june 2010 •







We didn’t acquire technology that can see inside a blood vessel just because it was possible. Or diagnostics that can see every detail of the heart in 3D simply because it was a breakthrough in heart care. Nor did we build two cath labs because two are better than one. No, we invested in leading edge cardiovascular care because caring for your health is the most important thing we do.



may/june 2010 •





Dan Rather, former CBS Evening News anchor, said of teachers, “The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes, and leads you onto the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.” Teachers, and the system that backs them, play a crucial role in the development of our children. H Magazine is proud to share some of the best of the best with our readers. There are many different organizations in Henry County playing a role in the education of our children. The Henry County Chamber of Commerce is one of these organizations impacting the direction and future of education in Henry County. . “The more than 750 businesses/members of the Henry County Chamber of Commerce know how important education is to the prosperity of business and the future of Henry County. Education and economic development are intrinsically linked; one simply can’t thrive without the other,” said HCCC President Kay Pippin. The HCCC Education Committee, chaired by June Wood, partners with educational institutions to strengthen educational opportunities and workforce development. The Committee implements an on-going Mentoring Program, sponsors the annual Henry County STAR recognition, hosts an annual luncheon for new teachers, and works with over

400 businesses serving as Partners in Education with Henry County Schools. “2010 is the year of education at the Chamber,” stated Mrs. Wood noting an even greater emphasis on education initiatives this year. “The focus of the 2010 Intergovernmental Retreat, hosted by the Chamber and partner sponsors in August, will be “Education and Workforce Strategy,” said Andy Welch, 2010 Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors. “We will spend quality time with Henry County’s elected, appointed and business leaders identifying ways we can all support initiatives that will help raise academic standards, improve high school graduation rates and increase the number of dual enrollment students in high school and post secondary education.” “We must ensure our students graduate with the skills they need to compete in a rapidly changing global marketplace,” continued Welch. “Our public education system is critical as we strive to make our community the best place to live, work and play in Metro-Atlanta,” said Pippin, “it’s really quite simple when you think about it…A Strong Henry County Needs Strong Public Schools!” To volunteer with these education programs, contact the Chamber at

may/june 2010 •


Top Teachers

winner: gail chapman




may/june 2010 • hmagazine

by Sandi Hutcheson

Gail Chapman


By John Hitchcock

IN EACH OF OUR LIVES THERE IS THAT PERSON, OR THOSE PERSONS, THAT HAVE HAD A TREMENDOUS INFLUENCE ON THE PATHS WE HAVE TAKEN AND INTERESTS WE PURSUE. MANY OF US CAN NAME A TEACHER, OR TWO, THAT HAVE PLAYED THIS ROLE IN OUR LIVES. GAIL CHAPMAN IS A HENRY COUNTY TEACHER THAT HAS PLAYED THIS ROLE IN THE LIVES OF OUR CHILDREN FOR OVER 15 YEARS AND IS H MAGAZINE’S 2010 TERRIFIC TEACHER OF THE YEAR. hapman was nominated for Terrific Teacher by Melissa Roberts and Richard Hudnut. Hudnut’s nomination stated Gail Chapman “has built the computing program here at Luella High School. While this may not seem incredible, she is an incredible person. She has built the program from the ground up without a book, and without a set curriculum. She is the department chair, advisor for FBLA, and has started the Robotics program with fundraising efforts totaling over $10000! She is almost always cheerful, and willing to help. I admire her greatly, and would like to see her recognized for her efforts and tireless dedication to her classes and clubs.”


Gail Chapman began her teaching career at Eagles Landing Christian Academy teaching Business Education courses. She left ELCA to teach 7th graders at Henry County Middle School and then transferred to Mount Caramel Elementary. With a degree in business education, Chapman began looking for an oppor-

tunity to teach high school students the subject she has been passionate about for years. After several years she was offered the opportunity to teach 10th, 11th and 12th graders at Luella High School and has been teaching there for the past five years. When asked what drives her passion for teaching the Computing Pathway for Programming courses at Luella High, Chapman stated, “I love the challenge of problem solving, I like puzzles. You have to be very patient, you’re creating something while problem solving at the same time.” Chapman has been attending classes offered at Georgia Tech geared for teachers on how to teach programming in ways that make programming interesting for the students. “I want to teach my students in a fun way. We use 3D programs that allow the students to create movies and graphics. It got me hooked when I first used it and I thought the students would love it.”

In starting the programming and robotics departments, Chapman has dedicated herself to summer and weekend courses and seminars over a 3 year period. Along with starting and teaching these two departments she serves as the Career and Technology department head at Luella High School. Her work on this new curriculum is allowing Luella High to offer, for the first time, an AP Computer Science Class starting in the 2010 – 2011 school year. In recognition of being selected H Magazine’s 2010 Terrific Teacher, Eagle’s Landing Country Club is pleased to present a one year honorary membership to Gail Chapman for her tireless work and dedication the children of Henry County. When asked about Gail Chapman’s legacy, Dr. Ingrid Forbes, assistant principal at Luella High School stated, “Ms. Chapman is leaving a program and an opportunity for children that will be here for many years to come.”

may/june 2010 •


Top Teachers



Amanda Malette

PATE’S CREEK ELEMENTARY Nominated by Shannon Hammonds, Amanda Malette is a “first grade teacher at Pate’s Creek Elementary School. My child is in her class and I know that he is challenged each day to work to his full potential. He, along with four or five other students, is in the SAGE program and working above their grade level; however, Mrs. Malette provides material for these students at their level and expands their knowledge of the standards. Mrs. Malette also has four or five special needs students in her classroom. As a fellow colleague, I have witnessed Mrs. Malette embracing the diversity and learning differences in her classroom. She goes above and beyond to meet the needs of all her students. It is such a blessing to have a peace of mind when entrusting the educational growth of my child in Mrs. Malette’s hands.” Mrs. Malette has been the Relay for Life chairperson at Pate’s Creek for a number of years. She is responsible for coordinating all of the activities for this worthwhile cause. With an infant and toddler at home, Mrs. Malette still gives of her time with after school and weekend activities. In the classroom, Mrs. Malette provides a variety of strategies and teaching methods for her students. She works with others to design lessons that are friendly and meaningful to students.

Angie Dorsey

EAGLES LANDING CHRISTIAN ACADEMY Nominated by Angela Jones Daniel, Angie Dorsey is a “shining star among teachers. She has taught at ELCA for many years, and I have been honored and blessed that she has been the Kindergarten teacher for all three of my children. Academics is a strong focus in her classroom but it is not just learned sitting at the table writing on a worksheet. Academics, manners, teamwork, focusing on a task, and learning to be a good citizen of our world are all topics Mrs. Dorsey stresses. How does she do this so differently? She sneaks it in on them! Through classroom productions that stress the importance of each event. In these productions, each student is in costume and sings, recites lines learned and said at the appropriate moments, performs dances and hand/arm movements to get the story across in their own each special way. My children have been a gymnast, Eli in Weimickville, a bus driver for the pilgrims and Angels for Mother’s Day. Four or five times each year, parents are welcomed to the classroom to be awed by their little one performing, learning and showing his/her love for those around them and their love of Jesus. I have clapped, cheered and cried during these productions, all the while wondering how one teacher and her para pro (Mrs. Karen) can so deftly move these young minds through the path of Kindergarten and be ready for first grade. She is an awesome teacher and amazing person!”


may/june 2010 •

Christian Davis

DUTCHTOWN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Nominated by Kai Dean, Christian Davis “is a wonderful teacher that is devoted to making sure that all her students are receiving an education, no matter the level or child’s learning ability. Ms. Davis gives her personal time to work with students that may have learning gaps or disabilities. As most teachers, she contributes a lot of her own personal funds to support her classroom and students needs. She is truly a terrific teacher that loves and enjoys all of her students. Ms. Davis not only volunteers her time in tutoring students, she also volunteers at the local high school, assisting in the band program. Even among her peers, she is highly respected for her years of experience and knowledge that she shares so willingly with her counterparts. Ms Davis has a teaching gift that not only keeps the students engaged but she is able to move them to achieve. She exhibits the passion that it takes to work with our children of today who will be our leaders of tomorrow. Ms. Christian Davis is more than a terrific teacher she is a blessing to all students that come within her pathway.” Eagle’s Landing Middle School aims to create a “family of learners”. With her passion for math and a strong belief in giving children a firm foundation, Ms. Davis strives to incorporate this mission into her classroom in every way.

Darrell Woodall

FLIPPEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Nominated by Scott Coggeshall, Darrell Woodall is “a terrific teacher because he really and truly cares about his students. He has been my daughter’s teacher for both the 4th and 5th grade. We were so happy when we found out he was teaching the 5th grade this year. Mr. Woodall has the ability to balance the studying with fun and makes learning interesting for the kids. He has come to birthday parties, swim parties and soccer games. I have family members who have not done all that. Mr. Woodall is THE TERIFFIC TEACHER.” Mr. Woodall has been at Flippen Elementary School since it first opened 7 years ago. He currently serves on the Leadership Team and plays an important role with decision making that affects students and teachers alike. As a veteran in the armed forces his military background shows daily by coming in early and leaving late once the job is done. He takes his years of experience and applies them in the classroom with real life examples.

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The All New 2010 Honda





Henry County Rodeo

($10,000.00 towards the Awards Banquet and Fire Chief’s award)

($10,000.00 BeneďŹ ting A Helping Hand For Children and A Friend’s House)

Henry County Shades of Gray Fashion Show ($2,500.00 BeneďŹ ting Art In History Charitable Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research & Shining Light Ministry)

Henry County Police Department

Sounds of the Sixties Concert at Heritage Park ($3,500.00 BeneďŹ ting Henry County Sheriff’s OfďŹ ce Honor Guard OfďŹ cers and Family Fund)

Clayton County Fire Department

($10,000.00 to purchase in-car cameras & tasers for their ofďŹ cers)

($5,000.00 Sponsor of National Fireman’s Challenge)

Atlanta Bow Tie Society

Southern Crescent Very Special Arts Festival

($25,000.00 BeneďŹ ting Metro Atlanta Indigent Teenagers)

($1,200.00 BeneďŹ ting Clayton County Students with Disabilities)

The Jeff Foxworthy Show

Henry County Teacher of the Year Award

( $1,000.00 BeneďŹ ting the Henry County Fellowship of Christian Athletes)


($18,300.00 car donated to the teacher of the year)


Top Teachers



James Young EAGLE’S LANDING MIDDLE SCHOOL Nominated by Kent Booth, James Young “is our EAR math teacher, which means he works with students who are not on grade level in math. Over the past four years, Mr. Young has helped students at Eagle’s Landing Middle School raise their math scores to grade level and, more importantly, instilled a confidence in students that is unmatched. He is a mentor to the young men in this building – inspiring them to achieve great heights in academics and LIFE. Mr. Young also coaches track at ELMS where some of his former athletes have went on to the high school and accomplished great feats. He won Teacher of the Year last year at ELMS and is deserving of being mentioned as a Terrific Teacher in Henry County.” James Young was named Eagle’s Landing Middle School teacher of the year in 2008 – 2009. He works tirelessly to help develop his students math abilities. He uses inventive ways to make the math problem “real” and to show that math applies to every day situations in life. As track coach He demands the best from his athletes – both on the track and in the classroom.

Jennifer McCrary COTTON INDIAN ELEMENTARY Nominated by Natalie Metcalf, Jennifer McCrary is “the media specialist at Cotton Indian Elementary. She works with every child in the school as well as works to support teachers with instructional resources. She sponsors the school’s Chapter Book Club, Reading Bowl team, and she works as representative to our PTO, helping them organize events like our school carnival, fall festival, father/daughter and mother/son dances. In addition to her regular duties, she is constantly looking for ways to generate money for the school by writing grants. Over the past two years, Ms. McCrary has earned the school around $25,000 in external grant funds! We have used these funds to purchase technology carts to classroom use, starting classroom libraries, developing listening centers for our young students and those with disabilities, getting touch screen monitors in our computer lab to make the lab more accessible for our special needs population and enhancing the school’s book collection for teachers to use to differentiate instruction for students. She is an outstanding teacher who goes above and beyond every day!” Known for doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, Jennifer McCrary puts the education of her students first. She serves on the PTO board and is a member of the Cotton Indian Leadership team, the School Council, the Technology Team and chairs the Media/AR Committee.


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Nominated by the Moriles family – 12th grader Kevin, 10th grader Kimberly, and 9th grader Kathlyn – Kristina Rackstraw “truly deserves to be recognized as one of Henry County’s best teachers. She is passionate about teaching and truly cares about her students. As an English teacher, she does not tolerate cheating - especially plagiarism. She is very spiritual and lives by her Christian faith. She uses love and logic as her guide in disciplining her students. She provides days on which her students can come in to be tutored. If we have a problem with our essays, she will take it upon herself to help us - even if it means staying over from school. She will do everything to help her students succeed. She encourages us to do our best. She is also the FCA adviser and she will cook brownies and bring snacks for all her students. Ms. Rackshaw truly touches our lives and hearts. She prepares us for college work and inspires us to be the best that we can be.” Kristina Rackshaw has been teaching for 15 years and has taught AP English Lit for the last 4 years. She has received the Teacher of the Month award twice, has been nominated for the Teacher of the Year, and has twice been chosen as a STAR teacher by STAR students (Senior students with the highest SAT average).

Merry Watkins

HAMPTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Merry Watkins was nominated by Debbie Collins. “Ms. Watkins is the PE teacher at Hampton Elementary School. She is fantastic! Not only does she teach the students the importance of physical activity and exercise, she also teaches them about getting along with others. In her classes, students learn the importance of caring for themselves, each other and their community! She sponsors the Jump Rope for Heart event at the school where, under her supervision, the students have been recognized for raising the highest donations in Henry County for the American Heart Association for two years in a row. Merry genuinely cares for her students and it shows every day!” Merry Watkins has worked as a Physical Education teacher at Hampton Elementary school for over 12 years. She is a dedicated educator who truly cares about her students and the community in which they live. She constantly stresses the need for good health and making choices that make positive impacts on people’s lives. “As principal of Hampton Elementary School, it is my privilege to work with Merry Watkins each day. She is truly a one of a kind educator with a heart for children and a passion for their well being!” states Debbie Collins. may/june 2010 •


Tameka Silvers

WOODLAND HIGH SCHOOL Nominated by Debra Lynn Amerson, Tameka Silvers is “an outstanding teacher because she has a genuine talent for teaching, along with a love and concern for her special needs students. Her reputation as a teacher is impeccable and her teaching style and methods unsurpassed. She is an encourager and motivator and goes beyond the call of duty for her students and their parents. She is wonderful at what she does, which sets her apart from the rest. Her students excel and flourish under her care which is why she is loved by both students and parents alike. She is a credit to her profession.” Innovative and creative, Ms. Silvers has the ability to tailor educational plans to fit the needs of each of her special needs students. She leads and influences her students to enjoy learning and put forth their best ability to further their education potential. With a talent for educating special needs students, she allows her students room for independence by staying close enough to help when needed but far enough away to allow the student the opportunity to accomplish a project on their own. Teaching is not just a job to Ms. Silvers, it’s an opportunity to serve.

Tony Lotti

WOODLAND HIGH SCHOOL Nominated by Jessica Curtis, Tony Lotti is “a teriffic teacher for many reasons. He truly cards about his special education students. Mr. Lotti started a flag football league in 2006 for special education students at Union Grove, Woodland and Dutchtown High Schools. Every fall they have four games and the kids have such a blast playing flag football and cheerleading. Mr. Lotti is truly one of the most caring teachers and individuals I have ever met!” Lotti was also nominated by his Mom, Fran Lotti who stated “I know first hand the time, effort and dedication that Tony devotes to his students, both in the class room and out. As founder of the Faith Hope and Love Flag Football Team for special education students, he has proven that he wants every opportunity for his, and other, students to have the well rounded school experience that they now have. As you can see by my last name I’m related to Tony but the fact that I’ve seen the pride and love on these children’s faces for Tony, from the classroom to the football field, makes me the proudest Mom on earth!”

may/june 2010 •


Top Teachers






Amanda Malette Andrea Shomaker Angie Dorsey April Johnson Ben Salba Bill Johnson Brenda Chapman Brenda Warner Carl Rieke Carlos Fernandez Carol Ann Blaich Carri Halcome Chaouki Tabet

Pate's Creek Elementary Luella High School Eagle's Landing Christian Academy Luella Middle School Luella High School Luella High School Luella High School Community Christian School Ola Middle School Luella High School Pleasant Grove Elementary East Lake Elementary Luella High School

Cheryl Winsor Chris Shumick Christi Cope Christian Davis Christy Cope D'Anna Entrekin Darrell Woodall Deborah Ball Denise Roach Diana Jones Dianne Jeffres Gail Chapman Gayle Gordon Gerald Petty Greg Shook Jacqueline Hennings James Young Jami Covone Jason Windsor Jeffrey B. Daughtry Jennifer Faircloth Jennifer McCrary John Renfroe Julie Harrison Kathy Ross Kelly Teague Kent Booth Kimberly Thacker Kristina Rackstraw Lance Carter Laura Thorn Lisa Cannon Lisa Henriquez Lori Sanders Mallory Kirkland Martha Fairley Mary J. Calhoun Melanie Paramore Merry Watkins Nick Gillies Nick Vasilchek Paula Harper Rebecca Fowls Richard Bell Ruth Welborn Shannon Hammonds Sherita Harkness Tameka Silvers Tammy Felintin Corley Theodosia Strange Todd Payne Tony Lotti Tysene Hayes Vicki Howington Zirka Franko

Rock Spring Elementary School Woodland High School Locust Grove Middle School Dutchtown Elementary School Locust Grove Middle School Community Christian School Flippen Elementary School Community Christian School Flippen Elementary School Dutchtown Elementary School Community Christian School Luella High School Eagle's Landing Christian Academy Luella High School Locust Grove High School Woodland High School Eagle's Landing Middle School Eagle's Landing Christian Academy Community Christian School Union Grove High School Community Christian School Cotton Indian Elementary Austin Road Middle School Eagle's Landing High School Unity Grove Elementary Ola Middle School Eagle's Landing Middle School Woodland Middle School Dutchtown High School Woodland High School Community Christian School Eagle's Landing Christian Academy Flippen Elementary School Ola Elementary School Woodland High School Eagle's Landing Christian Academy Luella Elementary School Luella High School Hampton Elementary School Luella High School Luella High School Luella High School Strong Rock Christian School Union Grove Schools Woodland High School Pate's Creek Elementary Woodland High School Woodland High School Ola Elementary School Eagle's Landing Middle School Luella High School Woodland High School Luella High School Ola Elementary School Bethlehem Elementary School

Shannon Hammonds, Jennifer McCrary Kaity Loper Angela Jones Daniel Anita Stokes Bethany Burgess George Eckerle Kumynie Lee Dawn Brookshire Jerrie Harris George Eckerle Michele Ramsey Tracy Mauriello Jasmine Joes, Shannon Herring, Kayla Moss, Tynesha Banks, Andrew Roberts, Andres Cuervo, Heather Goins, Kaitlyn Trayah, Carla Slater, Bryson Alexander, Gabriela Castillo, Noah Kirby, Emily Echols, Dylan Pledger, Duclos Nakencia, Allen Phillips, Sharron Thompson Karen Herzler Rebekah Steiner Stacy Wallace Kai Dean Elizabeth Shannon Holly Phillips Scott Coggeshall Heather Blevins Elizabeth Shannon Bryant Nicole Burroughs Krishna Memmler Richard Hudnut Maddox's Mom Lanette Montgomery Teresa Hollowell Alex Adams Kent Booth Dan Bishop Darlene Patterson Jennifer Richardson Cindy Schroeder Natalie Metcalf Brandi Bennett Gabe Crerie, Jo Middlebrooks Shelley Adams Louann Jones James Young Virginie Durr Kevin, Kimberly, & Kathlyn Moriles Khushboo Pandya Regina Larvie Wendy King Sheree Wolfenden Laurie Watkins Alexus Johnson Eric Johnson Tiffany J. Berrien Griffie Knoop Debbie Collins George Eckerle Tremaine Genias Sharon Dunn Kim Groves Cindy Mott Sarah Day Gregory Peterson Chelsae Knight Debra Lynn Amerson Jennifer Richardson Zalea Temple Javonte Brooks, Alex Vanpelt Fran Lotti, Jessica Curtis Justin Burns Jill Dillingham Michael Ratti

may/june 2010 •

march/april 2010 •


Strong Rock

our stories

Standing Rock Solid in Henry County A SMALL JAUNT OFF OF BILL GARDNER PARKWAY, IN LOCUST GROVE, STANDS STRONG ROCK CHRISTIAN SCHOOL (SRCS). PULL UP IN THE PARKING LOT, TAKE A WALK THROUGH THE HALLWAYS—AND WHAT YOU SEE IS PRETTY TYPICAL OF MOST EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES. THE FIRST STOP IS THE OFFICE TO SIGN IN AS A VISITOR, AND STUDENT ART BRINGS LIFE TO THE BULLETIN BOARDS IN THE HALLWAYS, WHICH ARE SEPARATED BY GRADES. Delve a little deeper, and Strong Rock starts to impress—quickly. Each classroom is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment like smart boards and computers. There is a piano lab equipped with pianos complete with earphones, so that multiple students can learn and practice at once. “We have a waiting list for the piano lab,” Strong Rock CEO Pat Stuart said with a smile.


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Current enrollment is over 650 students— not bad for a new school founded in 2007. At that time, grades went from pre-kindergarten through tenth grade. The 2008-2009 school year expanded to include 11th grade, and this year Strong Rock will have its first graduating senior class of about 30 students. These students, to date, have been granted more than $768,000 in scholarships, based on high academic and extracurricular achievements. They have been accepted into such colleges as William and Mary, Oglethorpe University, Georgia Tech, the University of Georgia, New York University, Emory Oxford College, Young Harris College, and the Citadel, to name a few. “A typical accreditation process take three years,” Stuart said. “Strong Rock was accredited in its first year, under the guidance of our Elementary Principal Judy Johnston.” According to Stuart, Ms. Johnston has been asked to assist other schools in expediting their accreditations.

“One of the keys to our success is found in our mission statement,” Clay Osburne, principal of the academy and high school, said. “We partner with students’ families in all that we do here.” For instance, students and their families get involved in a mission project called the Extreme Home Build. Materials are delivered to Strong Rock, and students and their families frame walls onsite that are then moved to a building site for someone in need. “The last time we did this we had four generations of people out working in cold, rainy weather,” he remembered. “They were all out there wearing parkas, working together to complete a mission.” Mission is the key to Strong Rock Christian School. “Our foundation is built on four pillars,” CEO Stuart explained. “The first three are true of most schools. They are academics, fine arts and athletics,” he continued, “It’s the fourth pillar that starts separating us from the public schools—the pillar of mission.” Strong

by Diane Smith

STRONG ROCK CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 4200 Strong Rock Pkwy, Locust Grove, GA 678.833.1200

2010 Rock’s curriculum is unique—it’s a nondenominational Christian curriculum with components pulled from multiple sources, all taught with a Biblical perspective. Students attend weekly chapel, and are taught prayer, a love for God and a love for country. Strong Rock also scores well in the other three categories. A full athletic program is available for students. (Ten out of 11 athletic teams at SRCS went to state playoffs last year.) Next year the school will be a new member of Georgia High School Association (GHSA), allowing for competition with area public schools in the single A division. Fine arts programs include band, chorus, drama, and art. Advanced placement classes are offered. Class ratios average 1:13, with some classes as small as 1:6. Students score higher than the state average across the board. They can participate in the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Outdoors Club, Future Business Leaders of

America, and other organizations. Class schedules rotate daily, keeping students’ interest high. “The kids know that they won’t be stuck in math class every day at 2:15 p.m.,” Osburne explained. “The schedule varies.” Tuition assistance is available in the form of scholarships, based on need. “We were able to help 136 families last year,” he said. In addition, Strong Rock is part of the Georgia “GOAL” Scholarship Program. This program allows taxpayers to apply to re-direct Georgia income taxes to provide children with scholarship funds for Strong Rock (for more information, see the Admissions


section of the Strong Rock website “At Strong Rock you’ll find a real sense of family,” Pat Stuart concluded. “We have good days here at Strong Rock—and we have tough days. But we always ask ourselves, what can we do to best help the family? We’re in a partnership.” may/june 2010 •


pictured (l to r) Katie Sagan, Brian Strickland, Barbara Rosolino, Pandora Palmer, Mike Martin


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Mock Trial

our stories

objection! your honor...





We strode into the Henry County Courthouse, armed with our yellow legal pads and black ties, ready to destroy the cases of our opponents.

Essentially, in Mock Trial, your team is given a case, with a charge and a crime, and a slew of statements from several, usually quite quirky, witnesses. The team is then split into individual prosecution and defense teams, with several lawyers and a few actors to play witnesses, and your goal is to prove your side’s argument from the facts in the case; to show the jury whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty, beyond all reasonable doubt. While this may sound like a glorified debate team on paper, and indeed my own dad frequently asked me what days I had debate team practice, the idea here is that everything we say and do is based off actual court room procedure, and makes use of actual federal law. It is arguably much more intensive. While learning the case, we even worked side by side with honest-to-goodness, real-life lawyers from Smith, Welch & Brittain Law Firm, Pandora Palmer, Katie Fagan, Brian Strickland, and Andrew Gebhardt who attempted to impart their assuredly vast knowledge and experience upon us as we pored over the innumerable documents relevant to the case. We also had Judge Mike Martin help us prepare for the South Region Metro Competition. We worked for countless hours, with late night practices and early Saturday morning rehearsals, perfecting our examinations and

devising increasingly tricky cross questions to trip up our opponents. We were memorizing opening and closing statements to perfection, practicing a series of interrogations to flawlessness, and spouting technicalities and law left and right, to the point we were beginning to cite hearsay objections in casual conversations. We were so lucky to have a total commitment from the adults, which definitely inspired us to give our best efforts. Finally, come competition day, we were prepared. We strode into the Henry County Courthouse, armed with our yellow legal pads and black ties, ready to destroy the cases of our opponents. After looking back at all the time, effort, knowledge, and sweat that we had poured into solidifying our case, even the first thrill of standing and shouting “Objection!” to a packed courtroom, all heads turning and the judge patiently waiting for you to recall the reason you just stood up, made it all worth it. We performed admirably, and while we ended up not winning our county’s title, we did finish in a respectable second place after a particularly intense championship round. I’m sure our returning members are already planning their sweet revenge for next year’s competition. All in all, participating in Mock Trial was certainly a fantastic experience, and I learned so much more about law, argument, and the pressures and demands of being a lawyer in the process. Once again, my only regret is not getting involved earlier, and thus I would, with immeasurable enthusiasm, encourage any high school student interested in law, or interested in being interested in law, to see if their school’s mock trial team has an open spot for another budding attorney or convincing witness. Justis Blasco is a senior at Eagle’s Landing High School. In addition to serving as the lead prosecution attorney for the 2009-2010 ELHS Mock Trial team, he is also low brass section leader of the ELHS Marching Band and a co-captain of the ELHS Academic Team. He will be attending Georgia Tech this fall to pursue a degree in Computer Science.

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Southern Heart Specialists, P.C. 1050 Eagle’s Landing Parkway; Suite 101 Stockbridge, Georgia 30281 770.474.4248



MCDONOUGH PRESBYTERIAN CHILDREN’S ACADEMY 427 McGarity Road/PO Box 652 McDonough, GA 30253 770.957.9890

AS I PULLED INTO THE PARKING LOT OF MCDONOUGH PRESBYTERIAN CHILDREN’S ACADEMY, I TOOK A MOMENT TO GATHER MY THOUGHTS. “WHAT,” I WONDERED, “DID THEY HAVE TO OFFER THAT MADE THIS SCHOOL A CUT ABOVE?” hen I walked in the door I was warmly welcomed by Melissa Mobley, the director. “Our school offers classes for one-year-old students through kindergarten, with student/teacher ratios extremely low,” Melissa explained. “The more connections we are able to make in a classroom, the more learning stays with them!” Melissa used an example of a recent event with the four-year-old kindergarten class. The class was learning about volcanoes and were excited about causing it to erupt. The weather was not permitting. In the past it had never made much of a mess, so the decision was made to do the experiment inside the classroom. It went everywhere … which the children loved! When learning about a theme, like volcanoes, they read, see, make, and then

write about, or draw a picture of what they have experienced. The Children’s Academy meets the children at their individual level, moving on from that point. Much of the student’s learning is done through centers and playing. “Children’s work is play, and just as we do our jobs each day, they need to actively participate in their jobs,” Melissa said, explaining the school’s philosophy. A wide variety of activities is introduced for learning, numbers, letters, science, colors, and reading, each involving them as they cooperate with each other while accomplishing their goals. The children are individual learners, and while one child may be ready to progress in an area, such as reading, another may not. Caring teachers meet each child at their individual level of comfort and understanding.

CHILDREN’S WORK IS PLAY, AND JUST AS WE DO OUR JOBS EACH DAY, THEY NEED TO ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN THEIR JOBS. The Academy also offers music, Bible, Spanish, PE, and a library. Children are capable of learning so much at an early age, and exposure to a variety of subjects expands their horizons and encourages new interests.” This is one secret that should not be kept!

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Youth Leadership Henry

By John Hitchcock



t h e

youth... y l h

] I RECENTLY HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WITH DENESE RODGERS, DIRECTOR OF CONNECTING HENRY AND CURRENT YOUTH LEADER SHIP HENRY CHAIRPERSON, ABOUT YOUTH LEADERSHIP HENRY, A PROGRAM OF THE HENRY COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. As stated at “Youth Leadership Henry (YLH) is a countywide leadership program for high school sophomores’ that is designed to develop leadership potential and to acquaint participants with community needs, problems and resources through interaction with local leaders and decision makers. YLH was designed to parallel the adult Leadership Henry program with the intention of developing and cultivating future leaders. The program allows participants to interact with community leaders in examining a variety of issues that affect Henry County.

With its focus on high school sophomores, YLH reaches out to all public, private and home schooled students. With a focus on excellence, each student applicant should be able to: • Demonstrate leadership in school and/or community activities • Express an interest in furthering their knowledge of Henry County • Commit to full participation in the program • Receive two recommendations and approval from their principal and parents to participate • Have at least a 78 numeric grade average

Participants gain insight into the complex decision making process that is essential in addressing community issues and also learn about the cultural and economic opportunities and resources available within this area.” “Each year we select between 35 and 40 students to participate in the program.” explains Rodgers. “The selection process is extremely difficult. All the applicants are so qualified. This year there is not a student participating with a grade average less than 95. The diversity is also encouraging to see.” The first step in a sophomore’s journey with Youth Leadership Henry is to fill out an application. Students, or their parents, can get applications from school counselors, online at www., by contacting the Henry County Chamber of Commerce at 770.957.5786 or by contacting Connecting Henry at 770.288.6230. Applications for the upcoming 2010 – 2011 year will be available in August with a deadline for submittal in

September. Once the selection process has been completed, the new 2010 Youth Leadership Henry class will begin in October 2010. The majority of the expenses for each class are paid for with fund raising efforts managed by the Youth Leadership Henry Board of Directors. “Ron Smith, a legacy board member, along with Don Ash, Susan Howington, Aggie Combs, and Sheriff McBrayer, have been there since its inception in the mid nineties, and have managed to raise money from no where,” stated Rodgers. These fund raising efforts keep the tuition costs low for the participating students. Each sophomore accepted into the program will pay $50.00. This fee covers all transportation needs, supplies and lunches on the program day. More information is available at under the Youth Leadership tab or by contacting the Henry County Chamber of Commerce at 770.957.5786.


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Remembering the Day I Almost Lost My Son Dear Folks, The following story was published in the December 5, 2007 edition of The Henry County Times. It tells the story of how my son Noah’s life was saved by man who came out of the crowd at the McDonough Christmas parade and administered the infant Heimlich maneuver successfully after my wife and I both had tried and failed. After the story was published, the identity of the “angel” was revealed and our families became close friends! My family and I will be eternally grateful for the knowledge and training that our friend had and used on that day.

The importance of first aid training was brought painfully home to us. Every year in the Christmas edition I will place this same ad to raise awareness. You may tell yourself that you’ll never need it, but trust me, you could. I’m bringing this to your attention in the hope that you will sign up for a CPR class and learn what may turn out to be the best gift of all. Sincerely, Dr. H.C. Fallas

Angel of the Square Saves Young Boy By Jimmy Cochran The evening began with great anticipation for the Fallas family of McDonough as they prepared to attend the Christmas parade around the McDonough Square. Dr. Humberto Fallas is in the process of opening a new Vision Center on Highway 20/81 and the family was taking part in the parade by carrying a banner and having a float filled with children and adults behind. Somewhere toward the end of the parade route, a tragedy almost took the life of their three-year-old son, Noah. Noah began to choke on a piece of candy; however, in all the noise and confusion of the parade, no one noticed a small boy having difficulty and he could not call for help. Finally a lady on an adjacent float noticed his distress and got the attention of his parents and

friends. Humberto and Elizabeth Fallas rushed to try to help their son, but were both unsuccessful in performing the Heimlich maneuver on such a small boy. Fallas said, “unable to help and frozen from the shock, I yelled for help and the parade came to a stop. My son was truly dying in front of me. Right before he totally lost consciousness, a man rushed in from the crowd, jumped on the wagon and tried the infant Heimlich maneuver more aggressively and the piece of candy finally came out and Noah started to cry.” Fallas and his family firmly believe this man from the crowd was truly a guardian angel, someone who was there at just the right moment to save his son’s life. In the frantic rush of the moment, Fallas was unable to thank the

man or to even get his name. Fallas continues, “He brought light to a day bound to be the worst of my life. Just when we forget what is important in life, something like this happens to remind me nothing in life is more important than life itself. Those three minutes or less almost caused the loss of the most precious thing I have ever been given.” The Fallas family would like to be able to personally thank this man, this angel of the Square, who helped to save Noah. If you are aware of the identity of this man, please email We will put the Fallas family in touch with you. In this season where miracles do happen, our angel of the Square may be anonymous forever. After all, that’s what angels do.

CPR Courses at Henry Medical Center Henry Medical Center hosts Heartsaver First Aid courses taught by a certified American Heart association instructor and includes CPR and first aid for adult and pediatric victims. The first aid portion includes medical, injury and environmental emergencies. To register, please call the Henry Medical Center Community Education Department at 678.604.1040 or visit the Classes & Events page at to register online. 2010 Class Dates Are: April 16, 9am - 4pm September 17, 9am - 4pm

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Community Bible

By Kimberly Scott

our stories

BEFORE THE LAST BELL RINGS AT SCHOOL, KIDS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY ARE PLOTTING TOGETHER TO MAKE THEIR OWN SUMMER CAMP PLANS! HERE IN HENRY COUNTY, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TRAVEL FAR TO FIND THE BEST OF THE BEST OF CAMPS, RIGHT IN OUR OWN BACK YARD! Community Christian School (CCS) and Community Bible Church (CBC) combine forces each year to bring Camp Joy (ages 3-4) and The Adventure Zone (ages 5-14) to the smallest citizens of our county. These camps provide a safe atmosphere to give our children a positive summer experience that includes everything from learning new music to exploring reptiles! You may find the older children on their way to Six Flags or rehearsing for the infamous Talent Show! It may seem that running two completely different camps at the same time on the same campus may be difficult and create experiences for each age group that have nothing in common. Nothing could be further from the truth. These camps strive to create and foster unique and positive experiences that teach children how to reach out from their own world and make a positive impact on others around them. They do this in ways that have a lifelong influence on each child. Whether the children are in the middle of total fun or working on a community project, the message is simple. They are laser focused on keeping kids safe and filling their summer with entertaining and life fulfilling projects that keep them running back to CCS for camp for years to come! Community Christian School’s mission is to introduce students to Christ and develop Christian character through dynamic and academically challenging programs, preparing them to go out to be Godly leaders who will make a difference for Christ. The camp is also an extension of Community Christian School, that strives to become an extension of your home. Our commitment is to provide a safe and nurturing environment with a premium Biblically-based education that incorporates proven methods and materials to promote success in school and in life. This writer can personally attest to the fact that their mission is made personal to each and every child that attends the camp and that your child will end the camp a different person with a completely new set of tools to make a positive difference in their life. Camp runs from June 1st-July 23rd. Registration forms are available at www. Open House will take place on May 21st at 8:30-10:00am and 7:00-8:30pm. Parents can find out about the school and summer camp at that time. Early registration has already begun for camp this year. For additional information on how to be involved in this valuable and most needed venue in our community, please contact Alison Pervis at 678-432-0191 - ext 109.


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By Kimiberly (Skinner) Scott



FUN! June 1st- July 23rd

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Consolidated Copiers

By Stephanie Robinson

our stories


Consolidated Copier Services, of Henry County, has received the Elite Dealer Award by OfficeDealer Magazine for Metro Atlanta. The award is presented annually by the magazine to the top office equipment, office products and office furniture dealers in the U.S. According to the OfficeDealer publisher Rich Kunkel, the 110 dealers presented with the prestigious Elite Dealer awards were selected from a record number of entries. Consolidated Copier Services is among only 3 dealers in the state of Georgia to receive the award and is the only dealer located in the Metro Atlanta area. “Among Elite Dealers, success is not about surviving; it’s about thriving-even in tough economic times.”, states Kunkel. A profile of Consolidated Copier Services is included in the Fall 2009 issue of OfficeDealer magazine. Consolidated Copier Services was founded in 1987 by Patrick Nunnally. As the area’s leading provider of state-of-the-art office equipment, the company has enjoyed tremendous growth in its 22 year history. The dealership provides a wide range of Konica Minolta Bizhub copiers, product print systems, printers, folders and related supplies. Their service technicians are all factory certified and have been awarded the prestigious 2010 Pro-Tech Service Award. Consolidated’s newest division, Consolidated Office Solutions, has a highly trained staff able to provide complete document solutions for every size office. Pat Nunnally said, “This prestigious award from the industry’s leading publication underlines the importance that we place on serving our customers and being an important part of the community. This recognition is a real honor and a tribute to the many dedicated employees of Consolidated and we are proud to be a part of this elite group of dealers.” The company would also like to recognize Stephanie Robinson, Senior Solutions Advisor, for her outstanding leadership and contributions to Henry County. Stephanie’s solid business relationship with the community helped in receiving this National award and is a testament to her excellent product knowledge and commitment to customer service . OfficeDealer magazine is a national publication that serves more than 13,000 subscribers involved in the reselling of office supplies, office furniture and office equipment, The Elite Dealer award is based on a company’s superior sales and marketing, dedication to customer service, community involvement and the ability to provide customers with unique an innovative solutions.


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CONSOLIDATED COPIER SERVICES 1303 Parker Road; Suite G Conyers, GA 30094 770.760.0887




Master Gardner, Tom Wise




By John Hitchcock he Master Gardeners program in Henry County is managed by the Henry County Extension office, under the care of extension agents Susan Howington and Frank Hancock, and has about 35 members. I had a chance to speak with Lifetime Master Gardener Tom Wise and learn more about the program. JOHN: What would someone need to do to become a Master Gardener? TOM: It begins with a class once a week for three months beginning in January. Once the class is complete the class members can start digging in the dirt and planting. The new class members must also complete 50 hours of community service. This community service must be completed by the end of the same year. For the next 9 years the Master Gardeners must complete 25 hours of community service per year. At the end of the 10th year they become Lifetime Master Gardeners. JOHN: How do the Master Gardeners fulfill their community service requirements? TOM: There are many different ways. One way is by working in the Extension Office answering phones and helping Henry County residents with gardening questions. Another way is to work in our plant sale fund raising effort or any of the clinics we hold at local


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nurseries and garden stores or by working in any of the community gardens around the county.

TOM’S GARDEN WAS JOHN: Are there regular Master Gardener meetings that the public can attend?


TOM: We have monthly meetings, either during the day or in the evening, depending on schedule. We bring in guest speakers to the evening meetings and the public is invited to attend.


JOHN: Any special events coming up in the near future.



SUNNY SECTION TOM: Yes, our annual garden tour will be held on June 5th from 9 AM until 3 PM. We are featuring 5 gardens around the county. Tickets are $ 10.00 and are available at the Extension office, Eagle’s Landing Pharmacy, Wilson Brothers Nursery, and all Moyes Pharmacies.


JOHN: How can Henry County residents get more information about the upcoming garden tour or the Master Gardeners?


TOM: For information on the garden tour or for help with gardening questions residents can call the Extension Office at 770.288.8421. They can also call if they are interested in becoming a Master Gardener. Applications will be available this fall for the next class beginning Jan. 2011.


Tom & Dottie Wise in their home garden at 101 Ben Horton Drive in McDonough.

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HCPD Dog Grant

our stories


by Sandi Hutcheson

the blaze craze! HCPD Dog Grant The Henry County Police Department has a new officer on patrol—a fouryear-old Belgian Malinois (pronounced mal-uh-wah) named Blaze. Blaze was purchased through a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and is the first gift to a police force from the foundation, which historically has only given to fire departments. Mike Criswell, who owns four firehouse stores (one on Hudson Bridge Road, one on Highway 20 West, one in Lovejoy, and one in Griffin), was a police officer in Griffin for 22 years. Several months ago, he struck up a conversation with a customer, Major Stoney Mathis of the Henry County Police Department, and asked how the foundation could donate to the community. Mathis mentioned that one of the county’s dogs was getting older and would be retiring soon. Criswell encouraged him to apply for the grant from the foundation, which is funded by customer donations. The foundation awarded the Henry County Police Department $23,800 to purchase the dog, train him and his handler, and equip the K-9 car for the dog. Henry County boasts some of the best K-9 officers in the country. The dogs are all purchased from a company in Louisiana called K-9 Concepts, which deals primarily with the Belgian Malinois, Dutch Shepherds, and a limited number of German Shepherds. John Robicheaux, owner of K-9 Concepts, carefully selects his dogs from the Royal Dutch Police Dog Association in the Netherlands and trains the dogs for every type of police work. Mathis explained, is SeatedThe on Belgian the left: Malinois, Beth Barlow related theright: German Shepherd Seated onto the Bridget Dunken but is quicker, Standing Left: and Johnnot Wadsworth more agile, as prone to hip dysplasia. Standing Middle: Sue In addition, he said,Harden the Malinois bites just as Standing Right: Charles Woodroof hard and its nose is just as good. Blaze is trained as a full-service dog, which means his duties include clearing


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buildings for human officers; tracking, apprehending and holding suspects; searches; narcotics detection; and protecting his partner. Lieutenant Mark Amerman, head of the Special Operations Division, which includes the K-9 units, had four dogs in his seven years as a canine handler. The officers trust their dogs completely, sometimes even more than they would trust a human partner. “These dogs are family,” he said. Because Henry’s canine officers live with their partners, the two are together almost all the time. The county constructs a kennel at the officer’s home, and the dogs live outside so that they are acclimated to all weather conditions. “You don’t want a dog hanging out in 65-degree air conditioning and then having to chase a suspect in 100-degree weather,” Mathis explained. When they are on patrol, the dog rides in the back of a K-9 car, which has been converted by removing the back seat and adding a kennel. To protect the dog, the car has sensors that control a thermostat. If the handler is away from the car and the temperature inside the vehicle becomes too hot, the windows roll down, the car’s horn begins to blow, and the handler will receive a call. In addition, the handler has a button on his belt and one inside the car that opens a back door to release the dog if the handler needs his assistance. Officer Steve Torbush, a canine handler whose partner is a Belgian Malinois named Abbas, proudly said that his dog has aided in the apprehension of a man who was later convicted of murder and another who was accused of child molestation. The full-service dogs like Blaze, who work harder than the single-service dogs, typically last 12-14 years before retiring. Because it is already a beloved member of the handler’s family, a retiring dog is given to the handler and becomes a pampered family pet.

Henry County Police Department and H Magazine would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the family of Officer James “Jimmy” Carter. Officer Carter was involved in a fatal car accident April , . He was an -year veteran of the HCPD and worked in a variety of capacities in his career including; Uniformed Patrol Division where he was a Field Training Officer, Detective in the Criminal Investigations Division, School Resource Officer and as a K- Officer.

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m.o.v.e.? Ringer Employment



By John Hitchcock

Motivated TO Obtain Valuable Employment

Nattlie J. Ringer

EMPLOYMENT EXPERT PREPARES GEORGIA’S TEENS FOR THE WORKFORCE! SINCE 2003, NATTLIE J. RINGER, EMPLOYMENT EXPERT AND CEO OF RINGER EMPLOYMENT SOLU TIONS AND RINGER CENTER OF EXCELLENCE, INC. A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION HAS BEEN EMPOW ERING AND TRAINING ADULTS AND YOUTH WITH THE TOOLS NEEDED TO BECOME GAINFULLY EMPLOYED. The Ringer companies are committed to assisting individuals with finding jobs and careers by equipping them with principles that allow them to work smart and not hard when it comes to job searching, interviewing and most importantly, maintaining employment. In 2009, RES was approached by the State of Georgia Independent Living Program (Foster Care) and asked to work with Georgia TeenWork, a program that provides youth with employment opportunities for eight weeks during the summer. Nattlie stated, “I was used to working with the youth in my church, it’s easy to work with kids you are familiar with but I wasn’t quite sure how I would handle kids that I didn’t know and wasn’t sure of their backgrounds. I taught them everything they needed to know about how to seek, gain and maintain a job. Some topics we discussed were resume writing, how to use and sell their transferrable skills, dressing for success, interviewing techniques, what to do your first day on the job, budgeting and much more. The experience was WONDERFUL and the teens were receptive!” Out of the 706 teens that RES successfully placed, 96% of the youth maintained


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employment for the entire 8 weeks. Nattlie explained, “We taught them the benefits of working. Not only were the teens trained in doing a particular job they were also trained in HOW to work. It gave me a big sense of accomplishment.” Nattlie’s most recent accomplishment has been the release of her book “Youth on the M.O.V.E.” (Motivated to Obtain Valuable Employment), a job readiness guide and online course for youth. The YOTM curriculum is an A-Z guide that helps youth that are preparing for work. It covers everything from overcoming barriers, completing applications, dressing for success, answering interview questions and much more. The State of Georgia ILP program has opted to use the YOTM job readiness curriculum to prepare 5000 youth that will participate in the 2010 TeenWork project. Ultimately, Nattlie would like to see the YOTM curriculum used in schools, youth associations, churches and summer programs across the nation. Attending seminars, conferences and conducting workshops is an important aspect of the Ringer companies. By doing so, they are able to learn more about the challenges both teens and adults alike are facing with regard to becoming employed. Recently, Nattlie attended the Georgia Alternative School Association Conference in Columbus, GA., as well as the Leadership Conference hosted by Lincoln Technical College in Connecticut. She and her staff have also had the opportunity to do workshops at ITT Tech, Everest Institute and were presenters at the “Empowering Women

to Success” conference held in Rex, GA. “I attended a National Youth at Risk conference in Savannah, GA with about 1500 others from across the nation. The majority of the attendees agreed that, while teens are taught to stay in school and work on their grades, there is very little focus on work ethics. The teens need to know that, while they ARE our future, they matter today.” stated Ringer. “Education is critical but the young people must have a strong work ethic. It really does matter. Today’s teens are facing a competitive market and must be prepared.” Nattlie was asked to be on the board for Usher’s New Look Foundation. She will help with the implementation of the Summer Camp. While Ringer Employment Solutions is hard at work with the youth of Georgia, they continue to work diligently with the adults as well. RES was just awarded an ARRA (American Reinvestment Recovery Act) contract to assist unemployed individuals in Henry, Clayton, Fayette, Cobb, Douglas, Cherokee, and DeKalb counties to become employed. This project is one of many efforts the government has put in place to stimulate the economy using federal stimulus dollars. Nattlie and her family have resided in Henry County for 22 years. She is married to Boris Ringer and has two sons Stefan and Desmond. For more information about Nattlie J. Ringer and Ringer Employment Solutions please visit or


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may/june 2010 •

november/december 2009 •


By John Hitchcock

Special Olympics




In 1986, Henry County teacher Deborah Brown was given the opportunity to start a branch of Special Olympics here in Henry County. By September of that same year Brown had contacted Bonnie Powell, a representative from the state Special Olympics oďŹƒce, and, in conjunction with Henry County Parks and Recreation, the Henry County Special Olympics program was born. With the exception of one year, Brown has managed the program in some capacity from its beginning. Over the years, the Henry County Special Olympics program grew to serve over 500 participants. In 2000, its board of directors elected to split the organization into two parts creating the Henry County Schools Special


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Olympics (HCSSO), with its focus on school age athletes, and the Henry County Parks and Recreation Special Olympics, which focuses on athletes beyond school age. The HCSSO offers its athletes a wide variety of sports to choose from. Volleyball, basketball, bowling, tennis, roller skating, gymnastics, softball, soccer, alpine skiing, and equestrian are some of the many options available. Kathy Simpson, a special education teacher in Henry County, heads up the equestrian program at Honey Creek Youth Ranch for both Henry County branches of Special Olympics. For the past 20 years the Senior Class at Stockbridge High School has hosted the Henry County Special Olympics track and field

competitions. Each event is sanctioned by the Special Olympics state office and begins, much in the same tradition as the Olympics, with an opening ceremony that includes the singing of the national anthem, a torch run and the Oath of Athletes. After that, the games begin. At the end of the ceremony ribbons are awarded to the winners at the local events and medals are awarded to the winners at the State and regional levels. Georgia Special Olympics teams are broken up into different areas. Henry County Special Olympics is part of Area 4 and is grouped with teams from Butts county, Clayton county, Atlanta Public Schools and Fulton County. After the local competitions the area teams work to schedule area competitions in

YMPICS preparation for the regional and state meets. Henry County Schools Special Olympics is a non profit (501c3) organization and depends on donations and fundraising to support its programs. “Our main fund raiser is our ‘Kids Helping Kids’ event. We hold this fundraiser in the county schools the first week of March during Exceptional Kids week.” explained Brown and Simpson. “Each school determines their own fundraiser. Some schools collect change and others sell candy. The money raised during this week funds our entire program for the year. This past year Union Grove Middle School raised over $2500.00, the most of any school.” As with so many other non profit organizations, the funds raising efforts fell short this year. Brown

and Simpson work to find ways to make up for the short fall. “We would love to have uniforms that have ‘Henry County Schools Special Olympics’ on the jerseys but with the shortage of money we just can’t. We make up for this by borrowing school uniforms to use during the competitions.” explained Brown. Kathy Simpson and Deborah Brown are full time teachers with the Henry County Board of Education. The work they do with the Special Olympics is totally volunteer. If you would like to learn more about Special Olympics in Henry county or about donation and volunteer opportunities please contact Simpson at Brown at dsbrown@henry.k12,ga,us.


OLYMPICS’ Oath of Athletes: Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.

may/june 2010 •


local charities that

care for our community



Cinderella moments... by Denese Rodgers

Ana Blackburn performs a unique service in Henry County—she loans out glamour. Ana, a local real estate agent with Assist 2 Sell, collects and maintains dressy formals for those who may not be able to have such extravagances for themselves. The appropriately named, “Cinderella Moment,” is Ana’s passion, and so far it has been successful totally by word of mouth. Ana gives credit to Connie Dodgen and Joyce Hixon-Jacks from Peoples First of Henry County for getting her idea out to the community. She has loaned her gowns to Peoples First for the Mr. & Ms. Special Henry County pageant, and Heritage High School’s First Special Education Prom. This all started a few years back when her daughter, Tristin, was competing in pageants and attending social events. Ana noticed that some young ladies did not participate because they couldn’t afford (or did not have access to) the elegant dresses. “It is a matter of bringing about their self-esteem,” she explained. “You don’t have to have a lot of money to look decent.” So she took matters into her own hands and began collecting prom and formal dresses. She now has a collection of about 25 dresses, which she alters, cleans, and maintains. She allows young ladies to “check out” the dresses at no cost to the young lady, but with a written commitment to clean and return the dress after the special event. She currently has a need for larger sized dresses so that everyone regardless of size and shape can feel that they have opportunities. By the way—the dresses and formals are donated. “I would like a lot of people to take advantage of this,” she smiled, “and I would like to have as many as 200 dresses. And I would hope to get men to donate tuxedoes so we could offer this program to young men, as well.” She could also use a hand with alterations and cleaning to keep up the gowns. Ana’s future plans include creating a social network for the gowns, and collecting many more dresses. She currently houses the collection in her office at 1123 McDonough Place at the corner of Jonesboro Road and McDonough Parkway. Call 404.925.2639 for more information or to donate formal wear.


may/june 2010 •


Henry County has been hit pretty hard. It has been quite disheartening, but I know better days are ahead. january/february 2010 •


By John Hitchcock

ch My JV coach, Angela Craft, has been my mentor and has helped me take my game to a new level.


may/june 2010 •


elsea BRADDY

Chelsea Braddy

student spotlight

CHELSEA BRADDY, A JUNIOR MIDDLE HITTER ON THE WOODLAND HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL TEAM, MAY LOOK PRETTY AND FRILLY, BUT SHE IS A BEAST WITH COMPETITIVENESS ON THE VOLLEYBALL COURT! EXPECT GOOD THINGS TO COME FROM HER! READ ON... For some of us the term “middle hitter” has little to no meaning. For others of us it’s a thing to respect and for a few of us, it’s a thing to fear. defines a middle hitter as “the completely rockin’ tall chick/bro who plays at position 3 on the volleyball court. This stellar human being is responsible for delivering some awesomely amazing hits, spikes, or tips onto the opponent’s court floor. Middle hitters can also block like there’s no tomorrow. Middle hitters are obviously God’s gift to volleyball.” Chelsea Braddy is a middle hitter. Chelsea is a junior at Woodland High School. Her interest in volleyball began in the summer of her ninth grade year when an older friend encouraged her to play. She tried out for a position on the ninth grade team while at Eagle’s Landing High School. After playing for Eagle’s Landing her freshman year she transferred to Woodland High School and began playing on the Junior Varsity team in her sophomore year. She now plays on the Varsity

team and has recently shared the success of a winning season with her teammates, having made it to the second round of state playoffs. “The position of middle hitter comes naturally to me.” stated Chelsea. “It’s where I really enjoy playing. My JV coach, Angela Craft, has been my mentor and has helped me take my game to a new level.” Chelsea Braddy is not only a powerhouse on the volleyball court, she excels academically also. As stated by someone very close to her, “She may look pretty and frilly on the outside but that doesn’t tell the complete story of what’s on the inside. She’s a beast with competitiveness on the volleyball court; fierce when it comes to doing the right thing; raging with enthusiasm about school and the road to college.” With training that begins in June and a season that begins in October one might think that Chelsea has little time for anything else. Not so. Her regular class load includes AP Language Arts, AP Psychology, Spanish, Chemistry, Algebra II and US History, along with an elective health care class. She brings

her fierce competitiveness from the volleyball court to the classroom. “I want to major in neurobiology with a focus on studying to become a neurologist or neurosurgeon – I haven’t decided yet.” stated Chelsea. “I’m looking at several different colleges but my main choices are the University of Tennessee, the University of Georgia or Valdosta State University.” Chelsea, a lifelong Henry County resident, lives in McDonough and is the daughter of Scott and Donna Braddy. She’s a member of Bethany Baptist Church and also a big sister to Chase Braddy. One thing is for certain – the competitive spirit that makes her fierce on the volleyball court doesn’t stay on the court. It is a part of her and everything she does.

may/june 2010 •


Dr. Stephanie Gordon

physicians profile

Asked what advice she would give to women, Dr. Gordon stressed that women should learn to make themselves a priority.







tephanie Gordon didn’t grow up with aspirations of becoming a doctor, although she was introduced to the medical profession at an early age. She was born at Georgia Baptist Hospital, in Atlanta, where her mother attended nursing and anesthesia school, and worked as a nurse. As a youngster Stephanie would often tag along to work with her mother—busying herself in the doctor’s lounge while mom performed her duties in the hospital and operating room (OR). Young Stephanie would become comfortable in this environment. Upon graduating from high school, she enrolled at Georgia Tech on an engineering scholarship. “I don’t know what I was thinking, but I hated that,” she said, referring to her choice in majors. By her fourth year, she knew she needed to figure out what course she wanted to take. The choice would become clearer when her scholarship work landed her at Swift Mills, which made denim for Levi’s jeans. After a stint in the mill—tie-dying, stretching, washing and pulling denim all day, and going home covered in lint from head to toe—Dr. Gordon knew that line of work was not her calling. She decided to go to medical school. Her penchant for women’s health and wellness became apparent during her volunteer work in the delivery area at Grady Hospital. She was assigned to women who arrived in labor without an accompanying partner or family member. “That was so neat to me. I


may/june 2010 •

think that’s when I probably thought, ‘I can do this’—to have people need you like that when you don’t have any knowledge; just to be there when they have their baby,” she said. Dr. Gordon would go on to attend medical school at Mercer University, get married and move to St. Louis, Missouri, to do her residency at Washington University. After completing her residency, she and her husband, David, moved back to her familiar surroundings in Henry County. She opened The Women’s Center in 2003, with three employees, and has now grown to a staff of13, including Dr. Holly Imlach and two nurse practitioners. The Women’s Center is not nearly as narrow in scope as most people would ascribe to an OB/GYN practice. In fact, it is the first line of medical services for many women. In addition to performing surgical procedures, the wellness aspect includes maintaining and screening health. This covers breast health, depression, and other menopausal related mental health issues, as well as marital and relationship issues. Dr. Gordon and her staff also do a lot of health promotion, such as early detection of other diseases, such as ovarian, colon and cervical cancer. Additional treatment and screening are provided for incontinence, fertility, and pelvic support. Surgical procedures include pelvic surgery, hysterectomies, and ablations. “I like the aspect of wellness and health promotion, instead of chronic diseases, and I love the surgery aspect of it. Taking care of

well people and helping them stay well (is our focus), but when they have a problem, I like to be able to fix it surgically and see a quick response and a happy patient. It’s one of the few specialties where you do a lot of medicine, but you also do a lot of surgeries,” she said. Dr. Gordon balances her busy work schedule by spending quality time with her family and frequent travel. She and David have three daughters—Ella is 7, Annie is 6, and Molly is 3. With the help of David’s mother nearby in McDonough, and Dr. Gordon’s mother, who visits most weekends from Columbus, they are able to juggle guitar and ballet lessons, sleepovers, skating and playing on ALTA tennis teams. Their travel schedule coincides with the children’s balanced calendar year, which allows them to travel every seven weeks. The girls love to travel. Some of their favorite destinations include Germany, Amsterdam, the Bahamas, Jamaica and St. John. Asked what advice she would give to women, Dr. Gordon stressed that women should learn to make themselves a priority. She has seen the results of women who have their own health go for months and years to take care of family and work. Small problems often balloon into huge problems when women put themselves last. “If we could make women a little bit more selfish and put themselves at least closer to the top of the list, I think a lot of their health problems would be minimized,” she said.

By Rebecca McClain

may/june 2010 •


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may/june 2010 •


Back row; Left to Right: Vikram Mandadi, M.D.; Abiodun Olatidoye, M.D.; Duminda Wickramasekera, M D.; Minnette Williams, M. D.; Devendra Koganti, M. D.; M.N. Inba-Vazhvu, M D.; and Siva Mohan, M D.


Front row; Left to Right: Kenneth Gimbel, M.D.; Ronald Freireich, M.D.; Kuchela Reddy, M.D.; Barry Dix, M.D.; Kandathil Mathew, M.D.; and B. Krishna Mohan, M.D. may/june 2010 •

By Jackie Brittain


Joe & Jennifer Teknipp

coaches profile

go eagles! Coaches Joe and Jennifer Teknipp are coaching together at the same school for the first time in 15 years. After teaching at Henry County High, they arrived at Eagles’ Landing High School (ELHS) in 2008, putting 15 years of school rivalry to rest. Now both are on the winning team— she’s head cheerleading coach; he’s head football coach. Together they’re cheering on the same team, and motivating the same community. A fresh start infused the hidden inspirations of ELHS students. What’s the secret? For starters, Teknipp had a great foundation to build from, yet, a new perspective needed to emerge. As husband and wife, they keep their coaching methods as consistent as possible. But a new focus has erupted through the halls of ELHS: building character. Each potential football player must interview with Coach Teknipp before trying out. And each must answer questions about their own character. Teachers are now required to fill out character evaluation forms, too, covering such topics as the student’s ability to get along with others, their attentiveness in class, and other categories that force the student to consider his or her actions in and out

of the classroom setting. For Coach Jen, it’s rewarding to see an expansion in numbers for those coming out to cheerlead. There’s a lot of parental support and a lot more enthusiasm for cheerleading now … leading us to the next question, “What about summer camps?” The Teknipp’s are taking things into their own hands this summer. Instead of going away to summer camp, Team Teknipp is bringing cheerleading camp to the middle school—and opening it up to anyone in the county. Who needs to go out-of-state and spend a fortune, anyway? Another change is the football game after-party. Football games don’t stop at 4th quarter any more. Now there’s a 5th, but don’t wear your helmet or bring pom-poms—because it’s a sock-hop! The Teknipps have no clue that they are fantastic people, and that’s the most humbling thing about this pair. This is a new chapter in both their lives and a new chapter at ELHS. Go Eagle’s! may/june 2010 •



may/june 2010 •




Called to Serve... Article & Photographs By: Beverly Van Gorder

IT WAS LATE ONE EVENING LAST SUMMER, SHORTLY BEFORE THE JULY 4TH HOLIDAY. I WAS READING THE LATEST POSTS OF FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK WHEN A “CHAT” MESSAGE POPPED UP ON MY SCREEN. “HEY MRS. BEVERLY, I SEE YOU ARE ON FACEBOOK NOW,” WAS THE COMMENT FROM MY SON SETH’S BUDDY WADE. “YES, I AM TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH MY TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED CHILDREN,” I RESPONDED. His next words caused me to take pause, “Mrs. Beverly, will you pray for me about something?” My motherly protective sense kicked in, “yikes, wonder what’s up?!” You see Wade has been Seth’s closest friend for the past fourteen years and I claim him as one of my own. “Sure, what’s going on?” The moments I spent awaiting his response intensified my anticipation. “I’m thinking about joining the Marines.” Hmm…now Wade is one of the most physically fit young men I know and has always possessed a very competitive spirit. As a matter of fact, having excelled as #47 on the Union Grove High School Football Team before graduating in ’08, his competitive spirit sent him to LaGrange College to continue playing the sport. Football was Wade’s passion and everyone assumed it would be his “end all.” Even his text messaging signature has always been his football number—47.

As I re-read, “I’m thinking about joining the Marines,” a grin took residence across my face and a thousand butterflies invaded my stomach. “Yes!, Yes!, Yes!,” my thoughts exploded. Before verbally responding, I took a moment to compose myself. I didn’t want to convey too much excitement over the possibility---after all, he simply seemed to be exploring the option. Having too profound an opinion could sway his judgment, and this most life-changing decision certainly needed to be made by Wade alone. “What brought this on?” I queried. “I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Just want to make sure it is the right thing. Feeling like I need to be doing something different with my life.” So, I prayed with him then and there through chat messaging, reminding him to let me know what he decided. In the coming days, I continued to pray, asking God to give Wade tangible evidence that he chose the right path once he was on the other side of decision making. Some of you will remember I have two sons currently serving in the Marine Corps. Seth, the younger one, met Wade when they were in first grade at Pleasant Grove Elementary. Growing up together, they have provided each for the other iron upon which to sharpen themselves. Most parents only dream of such a friendship existing for their children, but Jim and I along with Warren and Lisa Oglesby have been privileged to watch the development and growth of a very special bond between our boys in real living color.

Wade chose the pursuit of football and Seth chose the route of a military career. Each thriving with said choices, the friendship continued though on opposite ends of many miles. So it was, with a selfish giddiness, I embraced the thought of Wade becoming one of “The Few and The Proud.” “What if,” I pondered, “Seth and Wade could actually serve together somewhere?” It was a long shot, but a nice consideration. Obviously, Wade made his decision to enlist, finding himself at Parris Island only eight weeks after our facebook chat. And God’s first tangible sign confirming his choice awaited him in the form of his “laundry number.” This number, marking every piece of gear issued to him while on this new playing field, was 47. Following graduation on 25 November, 2009, Wade underwent MCT (Marine Combat Training) at Camp Geiger in North Carolina. Because of his aviation related MOS (Military Occupational Skill), he fully expected to be sent to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida after the MCT segment. He was surprised to be left to train at New River Air Station in North Carolina and later assigned to duty at Cherry Point, one hour north. Amazingly, this first duty station would be on the very base to which Seth had been assigned following his own training in Pensacola. A long shot realized. But the icing on the cake was found during the distribution of head gear. In Wade’s “cranium” he found this number…you guessed it, #47. Yes indeed Wade Oglesby…I would say you are called to serve. may/june 2010 •


Ease Ausband




ssecret sec cret r re Recipe i lemon icebox le ce x pie

y favorite Mother’s Day is when all my children and grandchildren are here at one time,” Ease Ausband said. One might wonder how often that happens with a family that includes four grown children—Eddie, Andy, Brad, and daughter Angela Stewart—and eleven grandchildren. After all, holidays are just about the only time families that size get together these days. But not for the Ausbands. On most Sunday afternoons, they all gather at her house to share a Sunday dinner followed by go-cart and golf cart rides around the 25 acres she owns in McDonough. Sarah Louise Carmichael (as a child, her name was shortened to “Ease” by her younger sister) and her late husband, Eddie Ausband, Sr., both grew up in McDonough. They started dating as seniors at Henry County High School and then went to the University of Georgia together. They married the summer after both graduated from college, and except for a five-year period when they lived in Birmingham for his job, the family has been in McDonough ever since. “My husband was the regional manager for a pharmaceutical company, and he was over the southern half of the United States,” she said. “He was offered a job as vice president of the company, but we would have had to move to New York. After a weekend of consideration, we decided we didn’t want to raise our children in New York.” “My roots go deep here,” Ease said, referring to McDonough. “My grandchildren are sixth-generation members of First Baptist Church of McDonough. My great-grandaddy’s name is on the cor-


may/june 2010 •

nerstone because he was on the building committee when that church was built in 1903.” The proud mother also said, “None of my children has ever given me a major problem,” an accomplishment she attributes to keeping them in church. “We never regretted it, not one minute,” she said of the decision to pass up the job in New York, adding that it’s possible that keeping the family in McDonough was what kept them such a close-knit family. “I always told my children they couldn’t date foreigners. And by foreigners, I meant anyone outside of the 404 area code, which was the only area code here at the time,” she said, smiling. A typical Sunday dinner—and a favorite —is roast beef with potatoes and carrots, peas, macaroni and cheese or a potato casserole, slaw, and lemon icebox pie. Mrs. Ausband said she does most of the cooking. “They offer to help, but they all work so hard that I don’t want them to.” Eddie, the oldest son, owns the local Nationwide Insurance Agency. Andy is an attorney in Stockbridge and Atlanta. Brad owns Best Insurance Agency at Eagle’s Landing. Angela is a stay-at-home mom, and her husband owns and operates a SERVPRO franchise in Lilburn. When she’s not spending time with her children and grandchildren, Mrs. Ausband, who is retired from teaching high school English at Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy, attends Bible studies, leads a knitting group, and teaches Sunday School. This Mother’s Day, of course, will be special for Ease Ausband as she celebrates with her family. But then again, it will also be a typical Sunday afternoon.

1 can sweetened condensed milk Juice of 3 lemons 3 eggs, separated Pinch of cream of tartar 6 tablespoons sugar Graham cracker crust Add the lemon juice to the milk gradually while beating with an electric mixer. Add the egg yolks one at a time while still beating. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. Add the cream of tartar and the sugar gradually to the eggs whites while beating, and beat until the whites can stand alone. Spoon onto the pie in six peaks— five around the edges and one in the center. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Store in the icebox until serving.

by Sandi Hutcheson

My roots go deep here,” Ease said, referring to McDonough. “My grandchildren are sixth generation members of First Baptist Church of McDonough.

may/june 2010 •


JUNKIN’ FOR A CAUSE “Junkin for a Cause” is a fund raiser to benefit Henry County Cancer Services (HCCS). HCCS has helped over 100 Henry Residents over the past 12 month, has provided over 5,400 meals and has made it possible for three patients to receive chemo that otherwise would not have. HCCS operates on donations only. With virtually no overhead, the majority of all donations are directed to patient care. HCCS aids Henry County residents who are battling cancer by providing financial assistance to offset the cost of chemo, office visits, drug cost, wigs, prosthesis, transportation, and food supplements. It’s a pretty simple concept but the reach is huge. Cancer can be financially devastating even with adequate health insurance.

MAY 22ND • STARTS AT 8 AM Mike Warren, a member of the Henry County Rotary Club, said “I saw a post on facebook that Taylor Rice posted about patients coming into his pharmacy and not being able to afford cancer medications and that didn’t sit well with me so I started thinking about something different we could do to help raise money for HCCS and “Junkin for a Cause” was born.” Volunteers are welcome to help the day of the event. Arrangements can be made pick up items for people who can’t be present the day of the event with the understanding that all left over items will be dontated to a local charity(ies).



Dr. Fallas and I would work together to prepare the clinic for its grand opening while the baby slept in a playpen in the corner.

(R to L) Dr. Jim Wayne Latimer & his mother Hattie Caroline Moseley Latimer, Photo in hand is Dr. Latimer’s great great grandfather John Shirley Elliott, Left-Hand Wall Photos are Dr. Latimer’s great great great grandparents, William M. Gunter and Rebecca Peel Gunter, Right-Hand Wall Photo is Dr. Latimer’s great great grandfather, Dr. Ira Lawson Gunter


may/june 2010 •


A Day in the Life of

elizabeth fallas

a day in the life


By John Hitchcock






John: Tell me a bit about your history and what brought you to Fallas Family Vision. Liz: I met my husband in 1996 while working at a retail optical center during my college years. I was studying to be an optician and working when not at school. It was his dream to have his own practice and it was my dream to manage my own office. After marrying we eventually moved to Henry County and 12 years later opened Fallas Family Vision. John: As a small business owner I’m sure your daily schedule is quite full. How do you make it all work? Liz: I’ve been fully involved with the clinic since before it opened. I can say that the months leading up to the opening of the clinic were challenging. As parents of a two year old and a new born we had to find ways to take care of the boys and get the work done. Dr. Fallas and I would work together to prepare the clinic for its grand opening while the baby slept in a playpen in the corner. Painting, designing, what ever needed to be done we would do together. For the first year after the clinic opened it was just the two of us and after the first month we had a full schedule of patients. We both wore all the hats back then. Since that time we have expanded to 3 full time employees and 1 part time. John: How has your role changed over the years? Liz: Well, I’m not wearing all the hats anymore. I take care of everything administrative from payroll to selling eyewear to billing insurance. One thing that hasn’t changed is that I still do my work at the front desk and greet each patient as they come in. We believe in customer service and our high level of customer service begins with me and Dr Fallas. John: Beyond work, what are some of your hobbies and interests? Liz: I love to read. My opportunity to read usually happens at night after the boys are in bed. It’s not unusual for me to fall asleep while reading. I also love to travel and visit new places. I would love to go back to Europe sometime soon. But I must say my husband and boys bring me the most joy. Noah is 5 and Max is 2 1/2, and we are expecting our third son this July 28th. All of my free time is dedicated to the family with Sunday being the day each week that we dedicate entirely to family. may/june 2010 •



may/june 2010 •

IN HONOR AND MEMORY OF: Sergeant First Class John C. Beale February 11, 1970—June 4, 2009

United States Army Killed in action while serving in Afghanistan “My family and I are so grateful and blessed by the outpouring of love, prayers, and patriotism from our beloved community with the loss of my husband. God bless you for all the kindness extended to my family. Don’t forget to hug a soldier knowing now what they and their families may face. And, pray for them that they will have peace with their Maker as my John did.” – Crystal Beale

page sponsored in appreciation by

september/october 2009 •



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Ages 3 - 14 years old Visit our website for complete registration information. may/june 2010 •



november/december 2009 •

march/april 2010 •


Pictured: Mrs. Rebecca Davis’ 4th grade class...The Sharon School

P.O. Box 1390 McDonough, GA 30253 or visit


may/june 2010 •



community calendar S


Geranium Fun Run presented by Atlanta Heart Benefiting Speedway Children’s Charities 5K begins at 7:30 1 Mile Fun Run at 8:15 Sunshine League Dash at 8:30 Shaun Birindelli 770-946-3980 Spring Scout Day at the Farm Southern Belle Farm-10am 770.898.0999

U-Pick Strawberry Season Southern Belle Farm Each day May 1 - 31st 770.898.0999 City of Hampton Community Yard Sale Hampton McBrayer Prk 770-946-4306



Sacred Journey Hospice Volunteer Training May 3rd 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm May 4th 9:00 am - 12:30 pm “Groovin in The Grove” 6:30 – 10:30pm Locust Grove Better Hometown Locust Grove Conference Center Linda Hutchison ( 770) 692-2320 The Ferst Foundation of Henry County Fundraising Luncheon Special guest: Monica Pearson, WSBTV2 news anchor 11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Merle Manders Conference Center in Stockbridge Contact Doris Griffin, 404-4214911 / Atlanta Motor Speedway May 13-16 Richard Petty Driving Experience 1-800-BE-PETTY


Atlanta Motor Speedway Friday Night Drags and Show-N-Shine 770-946-4211








10 11 12 13 14 15






16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

May 15 and 16 4th annual The Geranium Festival wheelchair tennis tournament Richard Craig Park Hosted by Henry County Parks and Recreation (770)288-7293


Atlanta Motor Speedway Friday Night Drags and Show-N-Shine 770-946-4211





City of McDonough Art Attack around the Square Noon—5:00pm Sponsor: McDonough Arts



33rd Annual Geranium Festival Sponsored by the McDonough Lions Club 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Henry County Cancer Services 8am Nash Bash Riffs and Ribs Festival at Nash Farms 10:00am—5:00pm Sponsor: Henry Co. Parks and Rec


May 22-23 Atlanta Motor Speedway Speed Tech Auto Racing School 1-877-80-SPEED


City of Hampton Dixie Highway Classic Car Cruise Downtown Hampton, 6-9 pm 770-946-4306


4th Annual Peach Stand Road Race May 29 8:00am Locust Grove Better Hometown Gardner Peach Stand – Hwy 42 Tara Brown (404) 867-7954

Events & Listings: Henry County Parks and Recreation Event and Program registration for complete listings. Noah’s Ark Volunteer Opportunities Any Tues.-Sat. 10a-3p; 770.957.0888

may/june 2010 •



community calendar


community calendar


June 2/4/12/18/22/25/28 South Atlanta Phillies Baseball Games Strong Rock Christian Academy


June 3 / 10 / 17 / 24 Atlanta Motor Speedway Thursday Thunder Racing Series www.atlantamotorspeedway 770-946-4211






June 4-5 Atlanta Motor Speedway Buck Baker Racing School 1-800-529-BUCK



Downtown Farmer’s Market City of Locust Grove Every Saturday in June 9:00am-12noon Pat Singley (770) 855-3786












10 11 12

13 14 15 16 17 18 119 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

24 June 4 / 11 / 18 / 25 Atlanta Motor Speedway Friday Night Drags and Show-N-Shine Regular Season 770-946-4211

City of Hampton Dixie Highway Classic Car Cruise 6-9 pm Downtown Hampton 770-946-4306


June 25/26 Noah’s Ark Camping Event Call for reservations 770-957-0888.


Stepping Stones Great American Duck Derby The Rock Ranch Ducks launch @ 6:30 770-229-5511

Sacred Journey Hospice - Volunteer Training June 7th 5:30 pm- 9:00 pm June 8th 9:00 am - 12:30 pm June 12/13 Atlanta Motor Speedway Dale Jarrett Racing School 1-888-GO-RACE-1

27 Midnight 5K Run for Missions FBC Locust Grove Friday, June 18, 2010 770.957.9715



Music In The Park City of Locust Grove 2nd and 4th Friday Nights in June Downtown Mayors’ Walk Park 7:00pm-9:00pm Linda Hutchison 770-692-2320

City of McDonough Art Attack around the Square Noon—5:00pm Sponsor: McDonough Arts

City of McDonough Dancing Under the Stars Fundraiser on the Square 6:30pm Sponsor: McDonough Arts


Atlanta Motor Speedway Sports Car Club of America Time Trials 1-800-770-2055 or visit

Events & Listings: Henry County Parks and Recreation Event and Program registration Go to for complete listings.


may/june 2010 •

Noah’s Ark Volunteer Opportunities Any Tues.-Sat. 10a-3p; 770.957.0888


september/october 2009 •

H Mag  

1st try of my Magzine

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