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Relocation, Lifestyle & Living in Atlanta

October/November 2014

Before You Move Tips to Help Make the Process Easier

p. 10

Henry County Charm, Commerce, Convenience and Culture

p. 14

Ghostly Georgia Take a Tour of the State’s Scariest Spots

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ide to u G r You t Atlanta Grea

, s l o o h Sc s & Trendre! Mo

Atlanta 2014

Education GuidE

October/November CONTENTS FEATURES What to Do Before You Move . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Newcomer’s 2014 Education Guide . . . . . . . . . . 21

Organization experts offer helpful tips to take the stress out of your big move, from organizing to packing.

A half-hour south of Atlanta, this charming community is a hub of history, commerce, culture and stock car racing.

Our annual look at metro Atlanta education, including information on STEM and STEAM schools and some of the area’s more prominent education options.

Henry County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Haunted Georgia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Take a road trip to investigate local spots that are steeped in haunted history and may even host a spirit or two.




In Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Relocation Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

The inside scoop on news, events and happenings around Atlanta.

Neighborhood Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

A comprehensive guide to help you find your way before, during and after your move, including counties, neighborhoods, relocation tips, a map to metro Atlanta and much more.

The young city of Johns Creek offers close proximity to Atlanta while maintaining a suburban, family-friendly environment.

Upcoming Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Special Advertising Section: Atlanta Independent School Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Searching for information on local schools? Consult our select list of some of Atlanta’s most distinguished independent schools.

Hidden Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Piedmont Park is the crown jewel of Atlanta’s green scene, and the place where residents like to spend their weekends. Find Newcomer Newcomer Magazine Magazine on on Facebook Facebook and and Twitter Twitter for for lots lots of of additional additional Find Find Newcomer Magazine information before before and and after after your your move, move, from from news news on on deals deals and and events events to to information on Facebook and Twitter tips on on real real estate, estate, organizing, organizing, events, events, restaurants restaurants and and much much more! more! Facebook: Facebook: tips Follow@NewcomerAtlanta. us for additional information before and after Newcomer Magazine; Magazine; Twitter: Twitter: Newcomer @NewcomerAtlanta.


Get caught up on the best exhibitions, theatrical productions, special events and live music across the metro area.

4 | Newcomer Magazine |

your move, from news on deals and events to tips on real estate, organizing, restaurants and much more! Facebook: Newcomer Magazine Twitter: @NewcomerAtlanta

PHOTOS: (Left): Pro Studio at the Garden Cottage; (Right)

DEPARTMENTS | Newcomer Magazine | 5

We wish to thank all the people who made this publication possible through their valuable time and dedication. We graciously thank our advertisers for their support of Newcomer magazine. ­—PK publisher/president

Patrick Killam editor

Kevin Forest Moreau marketing & promotions

Jeff Thompson administrative assistant

Rebekah Finkel contributing writers

H.M. Cauley, Sheila Cosgrove, Carly Felton, Laura Raines, Carrie Whitney director of sales & marketing

Patrick Killam account director

Lacey James

TO ADVERTISE CALL 770-992-0273 font: mawns handwriting

Scan this code to check out past issues of Newcomer.

Newcomer magazine, October/November 2014 Volume 18, Issue 4. Submissions, photography or ideas may be sent to Killam Publishing, Inc., 200 Market Place, Suite 230, Roswell, GA 30075. Submissions will not be returned unless otherwise requested and accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Newcomer magazine reserves the right to revise any necessary submissions. Reproduction in whole or in part of any elements of this publication are strictly prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. © 2014 Killam Publishing, Inc.

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inFOCUS n e w s b i tes fr om a ro un d AT LANTA

A Flavorful


PHOTO: Taste of Atlanta

A Brand-New Phantom

PHOTO: Alastair Muir

Sample delicious fare from more than 90 of the city’s best restaurants at the 13th annual Taste of Atlanta at Technology Square in Midtown, Oct. 24-26. The metro area’s leading food, beer, wine and cocktail festival features live cooking demonstrations on four stages, hands-on cooking classes, a family food zone and, of course, some of the very best cuisine Atlanta has to offer. For more information, visit

Think you know what to expect from The Phantom of the Opera? Think again. After a 25-year run on Broadway, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh have unveiled a lavish new production that promises to dazzle audiences all over again. This revitalized, critically acclaimed version makes its premiere Atlanta engagement Oct. 22-Nov. 2 at the Fox Theatre, presented by Broadway in Atlanta. For more information, call 800-278-4447 or visit

Amazing Race

Frightfully Fun Parents and kids alike take part in a bountiful harvest of food and fun at Trek or Treat. Suwanee’s free, annual Halloween celebration promises classic cars, food from some of the city’s best restaurants, and more. Children elementary school-aged and younger can enjoy inflatables, games, costumes, and a free hot dog lunch (while supplies last). Trek or Treat takes place 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25 at Suwanee Creek Park. For more information, visit 8 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Wheeltracks Photography

Thousands of spectators descended on Duluth for the Georgia Cup Twilight on Aug. 2. This high-adrenaline event featured 500 cyclists in a spectacular race through the streets of the city’s historic downtown area in pursuit of a $15,000 prize purse. Professional and amateur cyclists from across the Southeast took part in this inaugural criterium race designed to promote and encourage family fitness, health and wellness.

infocus Mt. Bethel Opens Upper School

PHOTO: Yanick Dery, Costumes by Meredith Caron

Parents of high-school students in East Cobb now have a new education option for their children. Mt. Bethel Christian Academy, an independent school in Marietta, has now opened an upper school at 2509 Post Oak Tritt Road. The new school is currently serving its inaugural freshman class, and will add 10th grade next year. For more information, please visit

A Feast for the Senses Cirque du Soleil returns to Atlantic Station for another dazzling spectacle of acrobatics, music and imagination. Amaluna whisks visitors to a mysterious island, where a brave young man falls in love with the daughter of the powerful queen Prospera. The young couple faces a number of dazzling trials in this tale that echoes Shakespeare’s classic The Tempest. The show starts Oct. 3. For tickets and other information, visit | Newcomer Magazine | 9


You Move Tips to Help Make the Process Easier By Laura Raines

Moving is frequently listed as one of the top 10 most stressful events in a person’s life. After all, you have to deal with a seemingly never-ending pile of details, decisions and costs, not to mention the sheer physical exertion of packing up your life and rearranging it in a new place. Fortunately, there are things you can do to significantly reduce your anxiety. Here are some ways to take the hassle out of moving to a new city.

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One of the most important things you can do is to start writing things down. move, and turned on the day before you move in,” says Walden. If you need to buy appliances, shop early and have them delivered the day you move in. Call several weeks ahead to schedule appointments. If possible, Walden adds, “take measurements and make a layout of your new space, so that you can plan where furniture will go ahead of time and have movers put pieces where they belong.”


GET ORGANIZED One of the most important things you can do is to start writing things down. “Even if you don’t live by a planner, this is one time in your life when it pays to be organized,” says professional organizer and time-management expert Leslie Walden, owner of the productivity training company It’s Time to Get Organized. “Buy yourself a notebook that you will enjoy using,” she says, “and begin compiling lists of things you need to do in your old home, and things to set up in your new one. You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration if you have the moving company documents and numbers for Realtors, new schools, utility companies, etc., at your fingertips. And when you think of a detail, write it down. Otherwise, it floats around in your head or gets forgotten.”

Other handy organization tools include sticky notes, new address labels, and change of address forms. Plastic baggies or zipper envelopes can come in handy for small things like keys and mirror screws, receipts and so on. And while you’re in the planning stages, it’s never too soon to start the process of finding a moving company. “The summer, the end of the month and weekends are all prime moving times, so you want to nail down your mover early,” says Kathy Householder, chief executive organizer of On the Move Organizing, which provides relocation services for individuals and corporations. “Always get three quotes, and know exactly what services you are getting. You can save money by packing boxes yourself.” As the big day approaches, “arrange for the utilities to be turned off the day after your

Another way to help minimize the pain, time and labor of moving is to downsize your possessions ahead of time. “Having less to move saves both time and money,” says Walden. “If you haven’t worn it or used it in several years, let it go. If you have time, hold a garage sale, and then arrange for a charity organization to pick up what doesn’t sell afterwards.” “Get your kids involved in de-cluttering,” says Householder. “You may be surprised by what they are willing to donate to others or sell in the garage sale as they begin to plan their new rooms. This is also the time to begin using up frozen food, cleaning supplies and lawn-care chemicals, which movers won’t put on a truck.” This is also a good time to attend to important paperwork—closing out bank accounts, making appropriate changes to insurance policies, emptying your safe deposit box. Put all important documents such as birth certificates, Newcomer Magazine | 11

Pack on a room-by-room basis, labeling the general contents of each box with a permanent marker. stock certificates and tax records in one safe place (you may want to purchase a fireproof lockbox). Refer to your moving notebook for a list of people and publications you need to notify of your address change.

an essentials survival kit. “These are the things you’ll need before everything is unpacked,” says Householder, “such as antibacterial wipes, cleaning supplies, paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates, cups and utensils, a can opener, scissors, a hammer and screwdriver.” Either put this on the truck last or pack it in your car. With a little forethought and preparation, you can take a lot of the drama out of moving, allowing yourself to concentrate on the excitement of your adventure. Happy moving!

PACK WISELY Starting early can also help make the process of packing less daunting, says Walden. “If you pack a few boxes a day, you won’t be so overwhelmed at the end.” Pack on a room-by-room basis, labeling the general contents of each box with a permanent marker. Clearly mark bedding boxes for each bedroom—you’ll need these first. “Try to use real moving company boxes, which are sturdier and aren’t as likely to get crushed,” says Householder. “Color-code your boxes by taping sticky notes to several sides. Before you unload, tape the appropriate color sticky note to the door of each room, so that everyone knows where to put things.” When packing electronics, label the wires and plug-in points with colored stickers, or


take a picture to help you reassemble things later. Make sure to back up your computer files to a hard drive or external service. Pack valuable jewelry and other irreplaceable items yourself, and move them with you in your car. And as you’re packing away your kitchen or bathroom items, be sure to stash some away for

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Moving Scam Screens and endorses moving companies to protect movers from disreputable organizations. National Association of Professional Organizers Group of professionals who can help with moving and relocation, organizing your home, and more.



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Temporary housing that feels like home. For less than the cost of a hotel room, business professionals, home buyers, relocating employees and families can enjoy all the comforts of home in one of our fully furnished and decorated 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartment homes. Full Amenities included: Cable | Wireless high speed internet Fully equipped kitchen Washer and dryer in apartment All utilities included | Pet friendly



Scarlett on the Square Original Gone With the Wind memorabilia on display from the private collection of Dr. Christopher Sullivan. Gift Shop, facility RentalS annual eventS

14-day stay minimum | Serving the entire metropolitan Atlanta area | 800-428-9997 12 | Newcomer Magazine |


Fall Happenings in


Historic Green Street.

Gainesville, Ga.


Your Leaf-Watching Adventure Awaits


PHOTO: Gainesville Tourism and Trade


ith the coming of fall, North Georgia undergoes a beautiful transformation. People from across the metro Atlanta area flock to watch as the green leaves of the area’s lush tree canopy turn a dazzling mix of red, yellow, brown and purple. Located at the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains, Gainesville, Ga., is the perfect spot to begin your leaf-watching tour of the area. • Start by walking the Rock Creek Greenway, a 2-mile trail connecting downtown Gainesville to Lake Lanier. • A stroll or drive down historic Green Street offers plenty of opportunities to catch some stunning fall foliage. • You can even make a day of it at River Forks Park, which stretches across 43,000 square feet of green space and lakefront beaches. • You can also use Gainesville as the launching point of a driving tour that takes you down some of the state’s most scenic highways. Take State Route 365, which winds through town and heads all the way to the South Carolina border; State Route 60, toward Daholonega; or State Route 53 toward Dawsonville. • Lastly, one of the best ways to enjoy the fall colors is from a boat on majestic Lake Lanier, which spans some 38,000 acres and surrounds Gainesville on three sides. One of the state’s most popular attractions, it draws more than 7.5 million visitors every year. Whichever path you choose, Gainesville is your destination for an afternoon or weekend of captivating color. For more information, please visit



AT 3 CONVENIENT LOCATIONS Michael C. Carlos Dance Centre West Midtown 404.873.5811 x225 Powers Ferry 678.213.5000

Buckhead 404.303.1501

Photo by Kim Kenney. | Newcomer Magazine | 13

Enjoy fresh-picked strawberries at Southern Belle Farm in McDonough.

HENRY COUNTY Close enough to Atlanta to take advantage of its employment, recreation and cultural centers, Henry County shares a close connectivity with the metro area. Henry’s 211,000 residents enjoy both a low cost of living and a high quality of life. After all, there’s something about strolling on a charming courthouse square or shopping in a historic downtown district that balances the hustle and bustle of everyday big-city living with a peaceful, one-of-a-kind charm. By H.M. Cauley 14 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Pro Studio at the Garden Cottage.

A Charming Place to Call Home

TOP: Atlanta Motor Speedway. CENTER: Noah’s Ark. BOTTOM: The Yellow Pollen Street Festival.

PHOTOS: Pro Studio at the Garden Cottage

HISTORY AND HOUSING Named for Patrick Henry, the founding father best known for his “give me liberty or give me death” speech, Henry County was founded in 1821 and originally claimed a much larger geographic footprint than it does today: Butts, Clayton, DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Spalding counties were all formed from parts of Henry. During the Civil War, the area was considered one of the leading counties in the state. The fast-growing county is home to a young population with a median age of 35, and boasts a median household income of $62,377, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. The housing boom of the 1990s and early 2000s was good for the county, as land was available, affordable and attractive to buyers who liked being able to hop on Interstate 75 for a quick drive to downtown Atlanta. The county’s median home price is $158,900, just above the state median of $156,400. The highest concentration of residents can be found in the county’s four main cities—McDonough, Stockbridge, Locust Grove and Hampton—each with its own attractions and charm. The county’s premier residential community surrounds the Eagle’s Landing Country Club in Stockbridge. Pocket developments nestle up to the 27-hole, Tom Fazio-designed courses where houses often sell above the half-million mark. Club members enjoy golf as well as tennis, swimming and other amenities. More up-

ry County Chamber of Commerce works with hundreds of member organizations, from large corporations to small locally owned businesses, to chart a course for the area’s continued prosperity. Among the county’s major employers is Piedmont Henry Hospital, a 215-bed medical facility in Stockbridge staffed by more than 400 physicians and close to 500 nurses. Part of the Piedmont Healthcare System, the hospital provides 24-hour emergency care and a range of medical, surgical and diagnostic services. The leading employer in Henry County is the county itself: The government and the public school system together employ about 6,400 workers. Henry County Schools serves the region with more than 50 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition, more than a dozen independent schools are scattered across the area.


scale properties ring the edge of Lake Dow on McDonough’s eastern edge.

BUSINESS AND EDUCATION Henry County is home to a bustling business community, with employers including is the Federal Aviation Administration, which staffs the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center in Hampton. Major corporations with a presence in the county include Briggs & Stratton, Home Depot, Goodyear and Ken’s Foods. The Hen-

McDonough, the county seat, leads the way in setting the tone for the county’s laid-back lifestyle. About 30 minutes from Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, this town of 22,834 has worked hard to keep its connections to history intact, starting with the 1920s-style gas station that doubles as the town’s welcome center. The city square, dominated by a red-brick courthouse built in 1897, is home to a variety of events throughout the year, many of which are sponsored by the nonprofit organization McDonough Arts, dedicated to hosting arts Newcomer Magazine | 15

Locust Grove City Hall.

miles from the airport and its proximity to both I-75 and I-675 make it a major draw for newcomers in search of easy commutes to the rest of the metro area. The city maintains four public park complexes, with walking trails and tracks, playgrounds, picnic areas, tennis courts and bike paths. Stockbridge is also a hub of the county’s arts scene, serving as home to the Academy Theatre,

one of the oldest professional companies in the state, as well as the Southern Crescent Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Festival Ballet. The city of Hampton, with about 7,100 residents, is home to Nash Farm Battlefield, a sprawling park on the site of a few Civil War skirmishes that houses a veteran’s museum and event facility. This historic city is also known for its annual Yellow Pollen Street Festival each

PHOTOS: Pro Studio at the Garden Cottage

events throughout the year. It’s also the home of the Henry Players community theater company, which has staged such favorites as Titanic, Les Misérables and Sweeney Todd since its formation in 1991. One of the town’s main attractions is its Heritage Park, a 129-acre site with ball fields, walking trails, playgrounds, picnic pavilions and an event center. The park is also home to Historic Village, which educates visitors about Henry’s history with an old schoolhouse, a 1934 steam locomotive and a veterans museum. Another nearby draw is Southern Belle Farm, a working 330-acre farm that offers a variety of family activities throughout the year. On the county’s south side, the small city of Locust Grove, population 5,648, is home to the Noah’s Ark, a nonprofit animal rehabilitation center that invites visitors to view some of its extraordinary inhabitants, including tigers, bears and baboons. Another destination for residents and visitors alike is the expansive Tanger Outlet mall, featuring such major manufacturers as Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, the Gap, Old Navy and Nike. The city of Stockbridge, in the county’s northeast section, boasts the highest number of residents, with 27,265. Its location just 12

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ESSENTIAL INFO Henry County Government

B.E.S.T. Academy High School

Henry County Chamber of Commerce McDonough Stockbridge Hampton The Veterans Museum at Heritage Park in McDonough.

Locust Grove Henry County Schools

spring. But it’s most famous for Atlanta Motor Speedway, a leading venue for NASCAR events in the Southeast. Whether you’re looking for high-octane racing thrills or small-town charm, Henry County has plenty to offer. The area’s affordable housing, plentiful culture and recreation, and convenient access to Atlanta make it a great place to call home. Atlanta Motor Speedway Eagle’s Landing Country Club Piedmont Henry Hospital

Innovation, Preparation & Life Success!

Through the single-gender structure, The Business, Engineering, Science, and Technology (B.E.S.T.) Academy High School at Benjamin S. Carson shapes its students into well-rounded young men who are prepared to meet the inevitable demands of an ever-changing global society.

For more information call: 404-802-4950 1890 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy. Atlanta, Georgia 30318 | Newcomer Magazine | 17



e Park Arts Festiva

Johns Creek

PHOTOS: Courtesy of the Johns Creek Convention and Visitors Bureau.

By Sheila Cosgrove and Carrie Whitney


hile some cities count centuries of history among their assets, Johns Creek in northeast Fulton County revels in the fact that it is less than 10 years old, having incorporated in December 2006. With an estimated 82,000 residents, it has plenty to offer those who like being close to Atlanta but prefer a suburban, family-friendly environment.

Twisted Taco


Arts and Entertainment

This affluent city (average income: $109,553) boasts homes ranging from the high $100,000s to $1.2 million, with a median home value of $336,000, according to the U.S. Census. Jones Bridge Estates (678-252-2500) is a gated community offering single-family homes in a variety of floor plans in the high $300s. The Oaks at Johns Creek (678-615-7730) offers affordable luxury apartments from $1,150 to $1,750, with amenities including 9-foot ceilings, granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. The mixed-use Johns Creek Walk development (678-475-3550) offers luxury three- and four-bedroom townhomes starting at $259,900.

Johns Creek is home to its own dance company, the North Atlanta Dance Theatre, and dance school, North Atlanta Dance Academy (770-772-8000). The Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra (678-748-5802) performs classical music concerts, while Performing Arts North (770-772-0762) hosts plays and productions from Shakespeare to cutting-edge fare. The annual Johns Creek Arts Festival (www.johns features more than 100 artists working in painting, pottery, jewelry and more; this year’s festival runs Oct. 25-26. And the Johns Creek Arts Center (770-623-8448) offers classes for kids and adults, as well as a summer camp for teens.

Local Treasures

Johns Creek Walk

The Country Club of the South (770-9980752) is a 900-acre residential community boasting a championship golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. The Atlanta Athletic Club (770-448-2166), which hosted the 2011 PGA Championship, also offers tennis facilities, a fitness center and an Olympic-sized pool. The Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center (678-366-3511) boasts 46 acres of forest with more than a mile of walking trails. The city is bordered by more than 13 miles of the Chattahoochee River, offering opportunities for fishing, boating and more.

Culinary Treats Abbott’s Bar and Grill (770-495-7110) serves up a casual take on fine dining with steaks, seafood, sandwiches, pasta and more, plus cocktails and live entertainment. 1001 Nights Persian Cuisine (678-353-6329) offers authentic Persian fare. Marc Sublette, former chef at such popular Atlanta restaurants as Pricci and Pano’s & Paul’s, helms Trattoria One41 (770-4970021), which serves upscale Italian in an intimate setting. Twisted Taco (678-822-5900) offers appetizing Mexican-American favorites and a rooftop patio. N The Chattahoochee River

North Atlanta Dance Academy

The Inside Track Money magazine named Johns Creek the 13th highest-earning city in the country in 2012.

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Johns Creek Montessori sChool of GeorGia

Sowing the seeds of organic learning Multi-age, vibrant learning communities with uninterrupted blocks of work time Montessori certified teacher in every classroom Hands-on, multi-sensory learning materials Nutritious lunch, organic milk, and healthy snacks offered daily 6450 East Johns Crossing • Johns Creek, GA 30097 770-814-8001 • | Newcomer Magazine | 19

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Education Guide Your Resource for Making Informed Decisions About Your Children’s Education STEM and STEAM Education .............................................................................22 Atlanta’s Education Options..............................................................................25 Atlanta Independent School Directory.......................................................28 | Newcomer Magazine | 21



Full STEAM Ahead STEM and STEAM Prepare Students for the Careers of Tomorrow As the technology industry continues to evolve and expand, STEM education—special instruction in science, technology, engineering and mathematics—has grown to help meet the increased demand for workers in those fields. That’s especially true in Georgia, which will see the addition of more than 22,000 new STEM jobs between 2010 and 2020, according to the Georgia Department of Labor. by Laura Raines


ur business and industry partners tell us that they can’t find enough people to fill the positions available, and that much of their workforce is older and nearing retirement,” says Gilda Lyon, program specialist and STEM coordinator for the Georgia Depart-

ment of Education. “STEM jobs are among the highest-paid jobs in Georgia, and at present too many of them go to candidates from China or India. We want to see them filled with Georgia candidates. We are in the business of preparing students for the 21st-century workplace.”

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Toward that end, more and more Georgia schools are integrating STEM subjects into their classrooms. And many of them are following a STEAM model, which complements the traditional STEM subjects with courses in the fields of art and design.

Eastside Christian School’s sixth grade STEM class pilots a drone.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Eastside Christian School

STEM on the Rise “In Georgia,” Lyon says, “STEM education is defined as an integrated curriculum that is driven by problem-solving, exploratory project-based learning and student-centered development of ideas and solutions.” Eastside Christian School, an independent school in Marietta, offers an elective STEM course for grades six through eight, which allows students to take part in fun activities like building robots out of LEGO blocks and programming them to perform certain tasks. There’s also a STEM-focused after-school enrichment hour for students in third grade and above. Principal Rusty Hill says the STEM program, now in its second full year, gives students a much-needed grounding in critical thinking skills. “It’s not just learning facts,” he says. “It’s being able to figure out what you can do with the knowledge you have. That’s what we see in the STEM program. They really have to think things through.” James Toner, STEAM coordinator for Holy Spirit Preparatory School, says that in addition to introducing scientific concepts, these programs help students build problem-solving teamwork skills. “Part of our program focuses on taking apart a problem, thinking through solutions, evaluating them, making something and testing it,” he says. “Things that develop this ability to work in teams and work on complex tasks.” STEM programs are already producing results. The Kennesaw Mountain High School Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology, a magnet school in nearby Kennesaw, recently accepted its largest freshman class of

152 students from among 770 applicants. The school has had 685 graduates, of which 100 percent went to college, and 81 percent are still working in STEM-related fields. Students hone their experience by participating in internships with the school’s 160 business partners, and completing original research projects that are presented and judged. Academy students graduate with twice as many math and science courses as other students, Dyer says, and may also earn a minor in the fine arts. “Many get hired back to the businesses where they interned after graduation,” she says. “It’s thrilling to see people in the community come to understand what high school students can do. We know we’re providing a needed pipeline of graduates with the skills, passion and heart to work in STEM fields.”

Gaining STEAM In recent years, more and more schools are adding an arts component to STEM instruction, combining the creativity of right-brain thinking with the left brain’s facility for numbers and logic. For the last six years, Drew Charter School in the East Lake community has been developing a STEAM-infused curriculum to teach design process principles from engineering and architecture. The idea is to prepare students with the individual and collaborative problemsolving skills they will need to succeed in the 21st-century workplace, says Boon Boonyapat, director of teaching and learning. “One of our classes took on helping a man confined to a wheelchair who wanted a remotecontrolled lawnmower,” he says. “They took lawnmowers apart, learned about circuit boards | Newcomer Magazine | 23

and built two prototypes. The project wasn’t just something to learn, it was something that was meaningful and needed in their community.” Boonyapat says that the school’s students are doing better in all subjects, and are poised to exceed rather than simply meet state levels. “I feel good that we have done a lot with STEAM, but we have only scratched the surface. We want to be a leading school in this important movement,” he says. STEAM skills are woven into the curriculum at the Atlanta Girls School (AGS) beginning with its SMART Girls summer camps for rising third- to sixth-graders. “They do a lot of building things and computer programming in camp,” says Joan King, the school’s associate head and academic dean. “Too many times, students learn a piece of a problem,” she says. “STEAM encourages and allows students to design, build, test and refine projects from start to finish, so that they learn to think like a designer.”

Making Education Exciting STEM and STEAM programs are skyrocketing throughout the state, increasing academic test scores and raising student awareness of these

What’s more, these programs are getting students excited about learning. “Some of the students haven’t seen this kind of stuff or been able to play with it before, so there’s sort of a ‘wow’ factor,” says Toner. “But there’s also a level of interest, a focus I don’t see as often in other spaces. They’ll be really, really focused on trying to figure something out. And when something doesn’t work, their reaction isn’t to quit, but to dive back in.” These project-based models show students how the subjects they’re learning apply to real life, says Collins. “Kids need to know that school has a larger purpose than just teaching them to read and write,” she says. “It’s about preparing them for their future lives and careers.” new career fields, says Lyon with the Georgia Department of Education. Debbie Collins, principal of Hampton Elementary Charter School in Hampton, Ga., backs up that claim. In its first year of offering STEAM instruction, she says, “We saw CCRT test scores go up, and substantial growth among our special education students.” The next year, Hampton Elementary’s reading scores increased, from the third-lowest to the fifth-highest in Henry County.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION STEM Education Information on STEM schools, organizations and resources in the state of Georgia. TAG Education Collaborative Nonprofit formed by the Technology Association of Georgia to raise awareness of the importance of STEM education.



Atlanta's Education Options

Choosing the Right Situation for Your Child by Carrie Whitney and Sheila Cosgrove

While Atlanta abounds with top-notch public and private schools, finding the right fit for your child usually involves a little legwork. With research, you’ll quickly realize that your decision extends beyond choosing between public and private.


ndeed, there are numerous ways in which schools differ from one another—educational philosophy, curriculum and teaching methods, to name just a few. To successfully navigate Atlanta’s educational landscape, it helps to understand some of the distinctions between the options available. Here are some of the more prominent choices the metro Atlanta area has to offer.

Charter A charter school is a public school that operates according to the terms of a charter, or contract, that has been approved by the local and/or state boards of education. Students, parents and the school enjoy more decision-making freedom, but the school is still held accountable by the state for meeting performance-based objectives and curriculum standards. The only require-

ment for attending a charter school is to live within the designated area—a charter school cannot have admission criteria or charge tuition.

Experiential Learning Experiential learning emphasizes the application of knowledge gained by observation and interaction—in short, learning by experience. | Newcomer Magazine | 25

Many Atlanta-area schools incorporate aspects of this approach into their lessons. A number of schools, such as Chrysalis Experiential Academy and The Museum School, build their entire curricula around the experiential model.

International Baccalaureate As the world becomes increasingly globalized, many parents hope to prepare their children with an international education. Schools that offer the International Baccalaureate program encourage students not only to be engaged learners, but to be interested and involved “world citizens.� Such schools stress critical thinking skills and teach children to develop a strong sense of their cultural identity and communicate with people from other cultures.

Magnet A magnet school is a public school that focuses on a particular instructional strategy that may not be suited to all students. For example, some feature a curriculum with a heavy focus on one particular discipline, such as performing arts or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) schools. Visit the Georgia Department of Education Web site

26 | Newcomer Magazine |

( to search for particular magnet programs in Georgia.

Montessori Many children, particularly young ones, learn best through experience. Following the ideas of Dr. Maria Montessori, Montessori schools stress strong academics but are also concerned with the development of the whole child. The curriculum often includes practical and communitybased components. Montessori schools provide multi-age classes, and include preschool through middle-school education. Some also have infant and toddler rooms, and a few extend the Montessori philosophy through high school.

Religious Schools with a religious affiliation typically operate according to the belief that a faith-based foundation of moral values and principles prepares students to be productive citizens in society. These values are generally considered to be just as important as the subjects that are studied. There are a variety of religious schools in the Atlanta area, including Lutheran, Catholic, Methodist, Jewish and Baptist. There are also non-denominational Christian schools, as well as those with a general Christian affiliation.

Single-Gender Research has shown that single-gender schools can improve academic achievement for some students. There has been much debate about whether boys and girls learn differently, and many advocate that single-gender schools break down gender stereotypes. The Atlanta Girls’ School strives to develop girls in grades 6 through 12 into well-educated, self-reliant and successful young women. The all-girl environment encourages them to develop intellectual, leadership and service skills free from some of the social concerns many students face in their formative middle and high school years.

ematics, to help students prepare for the hightech jobs of the future. Some charter or magnet schools offer a full STEM curriculum, such as the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology. Other schools may offer programs that incorporate some aspect of STEM into their existing curricula, such as elective courses or after-school STEM sessions. Other schools may offer a STEM school within an existing school. STEM education also promotes teamwork and problem-solving skills. STEAM education is a variation of STEM that also incorporates a focus on the arts. (For more on STEM education, see page 22.)

Special Needs


If your child has problems with concentration, learning, language or behavior, he or she may benefit from a school for students with learning difficulties. Most of these schools have fewer students in each class and a student-to-teacher ratio that allows for more one-on-one instruction. At the Bedford School in Fairburn, there are 12 or fewer students in each class.

Many school systems and independent schools offer online, or virtual, programs as an option for students who travel a great deal, are student athletes or home-schooled, or simply looking to supplement or speed up their current coursework. Examples of virtual schools include Georgia Connections Academy, a charter school with a statewide attendance zone; the Georgia Virtual School, run by the Georgia Department of Education; and the DeKalb Online Learning Academy, a branch of the DeKalb County school system.

STEM and STEAM A form of education that focuses on the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-

THE PIEDMONT SCHOOL OF ATLANTA Serving children K-6 with autism


Academics, Friendships & Life Skills The curriculum integrates academic, social-emotional, and life skills using Individualized goals and Georgia Standards 1330 N. Druid Hills Rd. Atlanta, GA 30319 404-382-8200 | Newcomer Magazine | 27



Atlanta Independent School


It’s no secret that Atlanta is home to many excellent schools and learning resources. The following profiles represent a selection of independent schools in the metro Atlanta area. For additional information about the schools listed below, including location, class size and open house dates, turn to “Beyond the Basics” on page 33. ALEXSANDER ACADEMY

ARBOR MONTESSORI Do you want your child to develop a relationship with his teacher that is collaborative, strong and long-term? Do you want your child’s innate curiosity, imagination and naturally inventive and exploratory instincts to bloom and flourish at her own pace? Do you want an environment that acknowledges the differences in your child’s personality and rate of learning? Do you want your child in a nurturing environment based on mutual respect, empowerment and self-reliance? This is what your child will experience at Arbor Montessori School, the flagship of Montessori education in the Southeast, located in Decatur. Founded in 1970, Arbor is one of the largest and oldest Montessori schools in the Southeast, serving 305 students from 18 months to 14 years old. Arbor is one of only two Montessori schools in Georgia accredited by Association Montessori Internationale, SACS and SAIS. In addition to an outstanding academic curriculum, Arbor offers art, music, Spanish, a before- and after-school program, clubs and teams, and a close-knit community of families. For more information, call 404-321-9304 or visit 28 | Newcomer Magazine


Alexsander Academy, located in Alpharetta, serves students who need a small, academically focused but flexible learning environment to be successful. The school focuses on academics, independence skills, and classroom and social skills. Alexsander Academy believes all children are capable when taught the way they need to learn. The school builds students’ self-esteem by fostering an environment where they are successful, but also challenged, where expectations are high but realistic, and where they are able to form true friendships with their peers. For more information, contact Stefanie Smith at 404839-5910 or at smith@alexsanderacademy. org, or visit


Atlanta Girls’ School offers girls in grades 6 through 12 a college-preparatory curriculum of the highest standards. Graduates attend Ivy League schools, prestigious liberal arts colleges, leading Southeastern universities and respected research institutes. Atlanta Girls’ School was custom-built for one purpose: girls’ achievement and success. Girls attending AGS learn to take appropriate risks, be courageous leaders, give back to their communities and project personal confidence and competence in all they do. For more information, call 404-845-0900 or visit


The Bedford School offers a fresh start to students who have been frustrated in a traditional setting due to learning differences. The school serves children who have been professionally diagnosed as having specific learning disabilities and related disorders. Bedford is located on a 45-acre campus in Fairburn, Ga., 15 minutes south of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Its mission is to maximize the potential of children with learning differences and develop foundations for success; this is accomplished through small classes, a structured, multisensory approach and a dedicated staff. The school’s Squirrel Hollow Camp summer program offers academic tutoring in a recreational environment. Call Betsy Box, director, at 770-774-8001 or visit for more information.

EASTSIDE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL Eastside Christian School provides quality academics from a Biblical perspective in a loving environment, equipping students to be strong in spirit and pure in character as they impact the world for Christ. Since 1983, the goal at ECS has been to offer students the best educational experience possible and help them develop high expectations for themselves, as well as support and enjoy the accomplishments of fellow students. ECS provides grades K-5 through 8, including a pre-first option and an extended day. Providing education to a second generation, which includes children of several former ECS students, Eastside has earned a trusted reputation for offering outstanding academics enriched by STEM, fine arts, foreign language, athletic programs and community service projects. ECS prepares students for excellent placement in private and public secondary schools—including Magnet and IB programs—with continued success in colleges all over the world. ECS is duly accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association of Christian Schools International. For further information, call 770-971-2332 or visit



The Children’s School, founded in 1970, is a diverse, progressive elementary school serving students from age 3 through sixth grade in midtown Atlanta. Grounded in principles of excellence, innovation, and play, the school offers a rich and challenging curriculum, centered on experiential learning and building critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students at TCS benefit from a formal character education program, Building Character & Community, and a unique outdoor education curriculum. The Children’s School offers an extensive after-school program that serves day-school students and elementaryaged children in the greater community. Its 10-building Midtown campus across from Piedmont Park allows for freedom within boundaries—a hallmark of its educational philosophy. Graduates go on to attend and excel at a number of schools throughout Atlanta. For more information, call 404-8736985 or visit

The success of Faith Lutheran School is built on challenging academics offered in a Christ-centered environment. The curriculum promotes individual achievement, fosters self-esteem, encourages creativity and social skills, and is bolstered by arts and sports programs, including Spanish, band, choir, track, basketball and more. Students benefit from small classes, experienced, innovative educators and a safe, nurturing environment. Programs are offered for kindergarten through eighth grade, along with preschool for children ages 18 months to 4 years old. Founded in 1958, Faith Lutheran School is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. For more information, call 770-9738921, email or visit


Newcomer Magazine | 29



High Meadows School is a private, non-profit, co-educational, independent and non-sectarian day school for students in preschool through eighth grade. Established in 1973 and located on more than 40 wooded acres in Roswell, Ga., High Meadows School’s innovative, inquiry-based, integrated curriculum emphasizes love of learning, creativity, meaningful connections, environmental responsibility and excellence. Education at High Meadows extends far beyond the classroom by allowing students to learn through authentic experience. High Meadows students come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Likewise, its diverse community and International Baccalaureate curriculum help prepare students for the global community, in which so much is interrelated and the ability to consider multiple perspectives is essential. As a direct result, High Meadows kids are easily recognized as confident, creative problem solvers, accomplished speakers, experienced team players, critical thinkers, and self-advocates who connect with their teachers and peers. High Meadows School is highly respected and consistently recognized for best practices, innovation and excellence by major educational organizations, including the International Baccalaureate Organization, SAIS-SACS and AAAIS. In short, High Meadows is what school should be. For more information, please call 770-993-2940 or visit www.


The Friends School of Atlanta (FSA) provides challenging academics in a diverse environment, drawing on the Quaker values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship to empower students to go out into the world with conscience, conviction and compassion. Founded as a model of diversity in 1991, FSA strives to address the development of the whole child and seeks to nurture that of goodness within each student. Offering classes from pre-K through eighth grade, FSA’s program is designed to prepare students for a successful high school future and a lifetime of engagement as thoughtful citizens. For more information, call 404-373-8746 or visit


Johns Creek Montessori School of Georgia offers authentic Montessori education in the heart of Johns Creek. Observe the “Montessori Magic” happening in the school’s vibrant classroom communities, where children are free to choose from a wide variety of activities and lessons best suited to their development. Specially trained teachers act as “guides” to the extensive curriculum, planting a seed of wonder that grows into a desire for greater knowledge. Multi-age classrooms allow younger children to learn from older ones, and for older children to reinforce and “test” their learning when helping younger ones. This dynamic, structured environment nurtures a strong work ethic, love of learning, and a passion for discovery not found in other schools. Dr. Maria Montessori wrote: “Education should no longer be mostly imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities.” Help your child to reach their full potential. Call 770-814-8001 to schedule a tour or visit 30 | Newcomer Magazine


Hebron Christian Academy (HCA) is the school of choice for families in Gwinnett and surrounding counties. Recently awarded “Best Private School” by Gwinnett Daily Post readers, HCA offers a full educational experience preparing students spiritually, academically, physically, and socially for life. For its 900 students, HCA provides an academically challenging program, including AP and honors classes, with students scoring far above national averages. The school also offers an award-winning fine arts program, as well as leadership development. In addition, HCA is a strong competitor in a broad range of sports. Students of Hebron participate athletically in Georgia High School Association Region 8A, and HCA is the proud winner of many area, division, and state championships. For more information, please call 770963-9250 or visit and discover why so many students are proud to say “We Are Hebron!”


As one of the Atlanta area’s leading private schools, Killian Hill provides a 21st-century, progressive, relevant, and personally dynamic education experience for your child. This results in exceptional preparation for the student’s college career and life experiences. Killian Hill’s priorities include the pursuit of individual and corporate spiritual vitality consistent with sound Biblical instruction, along with academic rigor, scholarship, and achievement in an environment that promotes cognition, communication, imagination and valuation. This life preparedness is balanced with national award-winning fine arts and athletic programs in a small school environment. In addition, unique discipleship mentoring opportunities and strong relationships are fostered between teachers and students to successfully prepare graduates to be leaders. Visit Killian Hill Christian School and see how your child can become part of the school’s continued success story. Killian Hill Christian School: Training Scholars, Making Disciples, Graduating Leaders—Educating with Purpose. For more information, please call 770-921-3224 or visit

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Atlanta independent school directory! CAll 770-992-0273

MT. BETHEL CHRISTIAN ACADEMY Mt. Bethel Christian Academy, established in 1998, opened doors to its founding freshman class this past August 2014. Now with two campuses, Mt. Bethel Christian Academy is the only faithbased K-12 program in East Cobb County. The college-preparatory high school, located at 2509 Post Oak Tritt Road, serves as an extension of the K-8 program, located at 4385 Lower Roswell Road, both in Marietta. Classes are small by design, with servant leadership development beginning in kindergarten. Spanish begins in kindergarten, Latin begins in third grade, and the 1:1 laptop program begins in fifth grade. Course offerings include, but are not limited to, Advanced, Honors and AP Math; Honors and AP Literature; U.S., World and AP History and Geography; Bible; Apologetics; Logic; Public Speaking; Debate; Honors and AP Latin and Spanish; Chorus; Band; Art; and P.E. The championship athletic program includes volleyball, soccer, cross-country, basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, and cheerleading. For further information, contact Jackie Grasty, director of admission, at 770-971-0245, or visit Tours are conducted at both campuses every Wednesday at 10 a.m.

PERIMETER SCHOOL Perimeter School has been uniquely educating children since 1983 and currently serves more than 560 children from K-8. Perimeter is a covenant school where parents embrace their biblical responsibility to the next generation by nurturing their own children as well as the children of fellow believers. Together, home and school empower students to use their gifts to refresh and redeem the world. Though the daily instruction is primarily the task of teachers, parents are extremely vibrant in the life of a covenant school. Perimeter School embraces the importance of free play, community service, creativity and childhood preservation. Class ratios are very small to maximize authentic relationships where children are expected to share their ideas, think critically, communicate honestly and be motivated intrinsically, without reliance on rewards. The curriculum is a feast of rich sources of literature, science, art, math and physical activities. Please call 678-405-2307 to schedule a tour, or visit for more information. Special advertiSing Section

Newcomer Magazine | 31



Pinecrest Academy is a private, pre-K3 through 12, college-preparatory Catholic school. Pinecrest provides an atmosphere of academic rigor and critical thinking, while offering personalized attention in a Christ-centered environment of faith and reason. Pinecrest Academy prepares students to become committed Christian leaders, eager to transform a global society. It accomplishes this in a gender-separate environment on a coed campus. Following the educational philosophy of the Legionaries of Christ, Pinecrest implements the Integral Formation education method to develop the spiritual, intellectual, human and apostolic dimensions of the whole person. The school challenges its students to identify and use their gifts in service to others. Pinecrest Academy provides a safe, moral and spiritual environment that leads to positive peer groups and joyful, caring, confident students. The school serves the Archdiocese of Atlanta, local parishes, regional Christian and civic communities, and others who embrace its educational philosophy. For more information, call 770-888-4477 or visit

Celebrating more than 60 years of Catholic education as a K-8 school within the Archdiocese of Atlanta, St. Joseph Catholic School is a 2003 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and continues to meet that standard. Accredited by AdvancED, St. Joseph embraces the Catholic faith while offering an academically challenging curriculum that is enhanced with weekly school mass, art, music, computer lab and Spanish. Extracurricular opportunities include drama, LEGO robotics, basketball, volleyball and more. Before- and after-school care are available. The school is located at 81 Lacy Street in Marietta, Georgia. Call 770-428-3328 or visit for more information about this remarkable school.



Imagine a school where students are individually challenged to reach the pinnacle of their capabilities, and where innovation and ingenuity are employed in every aspect of the school to keep costs low, productivity high, and learning always at priority number one. The SAE School is an independent, nonprofit school in southern Cobb County providing a truly unique and individualized educational experience based upon common-sense principles. The school’s project-based learning approach is the cornerstone of a rigorous academic program that will propel its students across the finish line at twelfth grade as leaders and problem solvers. The SAE School is different because it was created, and is managed, governed and led by South Cobb educators, parents and residents. For the health and welfare of its students, the school will always retain and never relinquish these responsibilities to any outside organization. As a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization, The SAE School is solely focused on the education and development of its children. With powerful advantages such as Academic Families, which preserve teacher-student alliances across multiple years; martial arts integrated into the curriculum; and a year-round, 200day learning calendar, you’ve never seen a school quite like this. Parents are invited to come and explore the many unique aspects that fulfill The SAE School’s mission to be the most exceptionally safe, innovative and rigorous school in Georgia. Currently serving preschool through ninth grade and expanding to twelfth grade by 2017, the school’s rolling admissions process means that spots are still available in some grades for the 2014-15 school year. For more information, call 678-2393200 or

To prepare for success in a world not yet envisioned, today’s students need the tools and skills to adapt. At Springmont, students thrive by gaining confidence and a sense of self along with problem-solving skills, creativity and compassion. Springmont families hail from countries on six continents, and more than a dozen languages are spoken. All major religions are represented, as well. This rich cultural and ethnic diversity is celebrated in the school community and woven into classroom studies, as well as special events that celebrate Springmont’s mission and core values. Accredited by SAIS and SACS and recognized by AMI, Springmont has 31 full-time teachers and assistants, 52 percent of whom hold advanced degrees, and the average teacher has 16 years teaching experience. Students’ intellectual abilities grow alongside their character in a warm and safe school community. As a result, graduates matriculate to their choice of Atlanta’s private and public schools. For more information, call 404-2523910 or visit

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Beyond The Basics School




Annual Tuition Range

Avg. Class Size

Religious Affiliation

Accreditations or Affiliations

Open House Dates

Alexsander Academy








Contact School

Arbor Montessori School



Decatur/ Oak Grove






Atlanta Girls’ School









The Bedford School








2/8, 3/1, 3/18

The Children’s School









Eastside Christian School



East Cobb





10/22, 11/19, 1/7, 2/25

Faith Lutheran School



East Cobb




AdvancEd, NLSA

11/16, 1/25, 2/11, 3/15

The Friends School of Atlanta








12/6, 1/10, 2/7

Hebron Christian Academy








Contact School

High Meadows School



Roswell/ East Cobb





11/9, 1/25 and by appointment

Johns Creek Montessori School of Georgia



Johns Creek

Contact School




Contact School

Killian Hill Christian School








1/25, 2/22




Main Campus: 11/13, 1/11, 1/28 North Campus: 10/26, 11/15, 1/15

Mt. Bethel Christian Academy



East Cobb


Perimeter School



Johns Creek




ChildLight Schools Association

11/7, 1/23, 2/6

Pinecrest Academy






Roman Catholic



The SAE School








11/15, 1/10, 2/7




Sandy Springs





11/7, 1/11, 1/29

St. Joseph Catholic School






Roman Catholic




Newcomer Magazine | 33




GEORGIA Take a Tour of the State’s Scariest Spots The pleasant chill of an autumn breeze isn’t the only thing causing goose bumps this time of year. As temperatures grow cooler, the thoughts of Georgia residents begin to turn to ghosts, ghouls, and other unearthly visitors. By H.M. Cauley

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PHOTOS: (Top Left) Barnsley Gardens Resort; (Bottom Left) Macon-Bibb County Convention & Visitors Bureau; (Bottom Right) Cobb Convention & Visitors Bureau.

TOP: (Left) Barnsley Gardens; (Right) the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. BOTTOM: (Left) The 1842 Inn in Macon; (Right) Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield National Park.


hile we can’t promise an otherworldly sighting or a blast of cold, spectral air, there are a few spots around the state that are steeped in haunted history, and even claim to host a spirit or two. For a fun afternoon or weekend of spooky sightseeing, hop in the car for a short drive to Atlanta’s suburbs, or take a road trip farther out to investigate some of these spine-tingling locales. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, located roughly half an hour north of Atlanta in Kennesaw, is the site of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, part of Gen. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign during the Civil War. It’s alleged that the spirits of soldiers still stalk the grounds, and that gunshots and cannon fire can sometimes be heard. Who knows? On a particularly eerie night, you might even smell a whiff of ghostly gunpowder on the breeze. 770-427-4686, Another popular historic haunt is the Marietta Museum of History. Located in the historic Kennesaw House in downtown Marietta, it enjoys a reputation as the most haunted location in the city. During the Civil War, the building, a former cotton warehouse turned hotel, was pressed into service as a hospital and morgue. It’s said that the ghosts of soldiers and caregivers sometimes linger. 770-794-5710, In Roswell, the building that serves as home of the Public House restaurant is also known as a haunted haven. It’s said that disembodied voices, strange noises and shadowy figures have been seen in the upstairs

area. The restaurant is currently closed for renovations. 770-640-5548,

Haunted Hotels and Resorts At Barnsley Gardens, about an hour northwest of Atlanta, the ghost stories are linked to a classic tale of lost love and war. The grounds of this elegant resort include the ruins of a mansion believed to be visited with some regularity by its past residents. In the 1840s, Godfrey Barnsley began building a home for his bride, Julia, in the lush countryside. Though the main section was complete, work stopped on the rest of the project when Julia died in 1845. The Civil War took its toll on the property, and in 1906 a tornado tore the roof off of the main house. Today, all that remains are crumbling brick walls surrounded by lushly restored gardens. The site is the centerpiece of the Barnsley Gardens resort, complete with guest cottages, a golf course, a spa and three restaurants. Catered events from lunch meetings to romantic, candle-lit dinners are often held among the ruins. 770-773-7480, During its heyday, Jekyll Island was a playground for some of the country’s leading millionaires, who escaped the heat of their hometowns to enjoy cooler, more relaxing days by the sea. Those carefree and comfortable days may have left such an impression that some of those visitors are still returning from the beyond. The Jekyll Island Club Hotel | Newcomer Magazine | 35

is a resort that incorporates many of the Victorian structures built for the wealthy visitors. And while most visitors go for the golf, the beaches, the fine dining and the luxurious surroundings, some show up just for the ghosts—a fact the hotel capitalizes on with its Ghost Hunt Weekend, Oct. 24-26. The two-night package includes elegant accommodations, breakfasts, tours, and investigations led by paranormal researcher and author Chad Morin. 855-535-9547, The 1842 Inn in Macon, about an hour and a half southeast of Atlanta, is a beautiful bed and breakfast with huge white columns and a spacious porch. This impressive Greek revival home was built by former mayor John Gresham, whom many claim to have seen still roaming the halls of his stately abode. Others have reported seeing a little girl and a tall blonde woman who appear to be out of the past. But most vFeature Before You Move PROOF 4merely enjoy the luxurious surroundings and the relaxing environment without any surprises. 877-452-6599,

Spooky Savannah


In Savannah, however, the supernatural can keep a ghost-lover busy. This coastal city can be spooky at any time of the year, when the Spanish moss

is unmoving in the humidity of summer, or a crisp winter wind is blowing in from the beaches. Many of the city’s old old houses and buildings are said to be frequented by those no longer living. The Mercer Williams House, the site of a famous murder that figured prominently in the novel and movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, is alleged to be the center of several ghostly appearances. 912-236-6352, Bonaventure Cemetery, a former plantation site known for its gothic beauty and Victorian sculpture, is another popular spot. 912-651-6843. Fort Jackson, a restored military fort manned during the War of 1812 and the Civil War, is reputed to host several ghostly visitors. 912-2323945, The Pirate’s House restaurant, tucked into one of the city’s oldest structures, claims to have a ghostly occupant who appears on moonless nights. 912-233-5757, In addition, residents and visitors claim to have encountered spirits in the town’s historic squares and along its famed River Street. Little wonder, then, that USA Today recognized Georgia’s first capital as one of the 10 most haunted cities in the country, and the television series “Scariest Places on Earth” called it America’s most haunted city.

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Vehicle Emission Inspection Vehicles dating from 1985 through 2006 model year must be checked each year for emission standard compliance. Visit a statedesignated inspection station for the service. Call 800-449-2471 or visit

Mass Transit

One way to avoid long commutes is to take advantage of the city’s local transit system, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). Offering both train and bus service, MARTA is a convenient way to travel to downtown or the airport. The fee for traveling one way is $2.00 including transfers, and payment is even easier now with the Breeze limited-use and extendeduse cards. Weekly and monthly passes can be obtained at discounted rates. For fares, schedule and route information call 404848-5000 or visit

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Driving Tips

MARTA Rail Service

The Georgia DOT provides daily updates of road work, road closings and traffic delays, which are helpful when commuting. Updates can be obtained by calling (toll free) 1-877-694-2511, by dialing 511, or by visiting | Newcomer Magazine | 39

COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION pUBLIC schools Bartow County Schools Board of Education: 770-606-5800 Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Career Academy Per-pupil expenditures: School & bus information

Bartow County

12 4 3 1 $8,311 770-606-5873

Tellus Science Museum ADAIRSVILLE

Avg. SAT Scores Bartow Co. 1440 Georgia 1452 National 1498 pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity City of Cartersville 770-387-5631 Georgia Power Company 888-660-5890 Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit

Telephone AT&T Residential 770-382-9743 Water Bartow County Water Department 770-387-5170 Cable TV AT&T 866-271-9724 Comcast 800-266-2278 Hospitals Cartersville Medical Center 770-382-1530 Emory Heart & Vascular Center 404-778-8400

the county seat after nearby Cassville was largely destroyed by Union General William Sherman. Located within the hills of North Georgia, Cartersville boasts several museums, including the Tellus Science Museum, the Booth Western Art Museum, the Rose Lawn Museum and the Bartow History Center. It is also home to the Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site, featuring prehistoric mounds dating back more than 1,000 years. Natural attractions including Lake Allatoona, Red Top Mountain State Park and the Pine Mountain Trail provide residents with outdoor recreation options and other familyfriendly activities. Today, Cartersville boasts a population of more than 19,000 residents, and has its own school district made up of five schools, from pre-K to high school.

WHITE Originally named Cass County, BARTOW Bartow County was renamed after CARTERSVILLE Colonel Francis S. Bartow in 1861. EMERSON Rich in Native American history, the county was created from part of Cherokee County in 1832. The county saw great devastation during the Civil County The first Georgia War, which was especially Neighborhoods town to be registered in tragic after the prosperous the National Register of antebellum period the area had Historic Places, Adairsville enjoyed. Union General William Schools Sherman burned nearby Cassville, was named after Chief John Median household income: $49,060 the original county seat, to the Adair, a Scottish settler who Median age of residents: 35.6 ground in 1864; the county married a Cherokee Indian Population: 100,661 seat was moved in 1867 to girl. The Western and Sales tax: 7% Cartersville, where it remains. Atlantic Railroad played Chamber of Commerce Though Cassville never a central part in the city’s 770-382-1466, recovered from the war, the growth in the mid-1800s, as Property Taxes county and Cartersville benefited local businesses flourished Per $1,000 of assessed value is: from the area’s natural resources around the depot. SixtyUnincorporated Bartow County, $27.73 and transportation. Mining and five miles from both Atlanta Cartersville, $30.73 agriculture became important and Chattanooga, the city Adairsville, $32.66 parts of the local economy along is perfect for an overnight Tax Commissioner: 770-387-5111 with textiles, corn and cotton. stay, especially at the . Today, the county offers a Currently, the county employs a nearby Barnsley Gardens tight-knit community, with a great sole commissioner form of government, Resort, which offers spa treatments, school system and affordable housing. and is the largest county to have such a gardens, restaurants, golf and In addition to Cartersville, the county government in the state. Georgia is the beautiful English cottages sure to is also home to the cities of Adairsville, only remaining state to allow for sole take your breath away. Kingston, Euharlee and Emerson. commissioner governments. Adairsville is also an antiques Attractions include the Euharlee lover’s dream, with the Georgia Covered Bridge and History Museum, North Antique Mall and the 1902 the Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Stock Exchange shop both in the Center, the Civil War Museum in small downtown area. N Kingston, the world’s first Coca Cola outdoor advertisement and abundant For more counties and neighborhood Incorporated in 1850, Cartersville nature trails in such spots as Pine Top information, visit our Web site at is full of history. The city became Mountain and Red Top Mountain.

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pUBLIC schools Cobb County Schools Board of Education 770-426-3300 Elementary Schools 71 25 Middle Schools High Schools 16 Magnet 6 Charter 6 Special 4 Per-pupil expenditures $8,816

Cobb County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

White Water



One of Family Circle magaCobb County came into zine’s “Ten Best Towns for Famibeing in 1832 when the state lies,” Kennesaw takes pride in its County redistributed land once part small-town atmosphere and boasts Neighborhoods of the Cherokee Nation. abundant parks and green space, Named after Thomas exceptional recreational programs Welch Cobb, the county and top-notch schools, includ experienced a devastating ing Kennesaw State University. Kennesaw’s Historic Downtown setback during the Civil War when most of it was features shopping, dining and atSchools destroyed during the Battle tractions such as the Smithsonian at Kennesaw Mountain. affiliated Southern Museum of Median household income: $65,123 Today, Cobb County, Civil War and Locomotive History, Median age of residents: 35 located north of Fulton the Smith-Gilbert Arboretum and Population: 698,158 County, is one of the fastnearby Kennesaw Mountain NaSales tax: 6% est-growing counties in the tional Battlefield Park. Chamber of Commerce nation. With a diverse ecoCobb County nomic base that includes 770-980-2000, Rapidly defining what’s new jobs in the service, retail, Property Taxes and progressive in quality of life aerospace and technology The property tax is $28.75 per $1,000 of assessed and citizen services, Smyrna sectors, Cobb County ofvalue. Tax Commissioner: 770-980-2000 delivers an amazing sense of style fers a quality of life unsurand love of life. The new Market passed in the Southeast. More than $770 million has been spent luxury apartments and condos near Village, home to fabulous restaurants, on transportation improvements in Cumberland Mall, secluded sub- bars and upscale shops and services, recent years, allowing residents easy divisions in East Cobb and horse is the final piece of a master plan for access to Atlanta and the commer- ranches in the northwest corner success. Call it “Main Street USA” or cial districts of Vinings Overlook, of the county. The small towns of “Disneyland,” but don’t overlook its Cumberland Parkway and the pres- Marietta, Vinings, Smyrna and Aus- charm and ability to offer the best in tigious “Platinum Triangle” in the tell still retain their Southern charm fresh, trendy lifestyle options. N Galleria area. amidst urban settings. According to For more counties and neighborhood A variety of housing options the Census Bureau, the median valinformation, visit our Web site at exist in Cobb County, including ue of homes in 2006 was $205,200.



Marietta City Schools Board of Education


Elementary Schools 7 Middle Schools 1 1 High Schools Sixth-Grade 1 Magnet 1 Per-pupil expenditures $9,061 School and bus information 678-594-8000 Avg. SAT Scores

Cobb Co. 1534 Marietta City 1514 Georgia 1460 National 1509 pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS HOME SERVICES Cobb Energy (Electricity, Security, Telephone and Satellite TV) 770-429-2222 ELECTRICITY Acworth Power 770-974-5233 770-429-2100 Cobb EMC Georgia Power 888-660-5890 770-942-6576 GreyStone Power Corp. Marietta Power/ Columbia Energy 770-794-5100 GAS Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit TELEPHONE 888-436-8638 AT&T Comcast 404-266-2278 770-541-7235 MCI Worldcom Outside Georgia 800-356-3094 WATER Austell Water Cobb County Water Systems Marietta Water Powder Springs Water Smyrna Water

770-944-4300 770-423-1000 770-794-5100 770-943-8000 770-319-5338

CABLE TV Bellsouth Multimedia 770-360-5000 Charter Communications 888-438-2427 Comcast 404-266-2278 HOSPITALS Emory Adventist Hospital 770-434-0710 WellStar Cobb Hospital 770-732-4000 WellStar Kennestone Hospital 770-793-5000 WellStar Windy Hill Hospital 770-644-1000 | Newcomer Magazine | 41

COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION public schools Cherokee County Schools Board of Education 770-479-1871

Cherokee County QUICK INFO

Elementary Schools 22 Middle Schools 7 Intermediate Schools 1 High Schools 6 Alternative 1 Evening 1 Per-pupil expenditures $8,578 School & bus information: 770-720-2112

County Neighborhoods Schools

pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS HOME SERVICES Cobb Energy (Electricity, Security, Telephone and Satellite TV) 770-429-2222 Electricity 706-276-2362 Amicalola EMC Cobb EMC 770-429-2100 Georgia Power 888-660-5890 770-887-2363

Sawnee EMC

Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit Telephone AT&T 888-436-8638 ETC Communications 678-454-1212 TDS Telecom-Nelson 770-735-2000 Ball Ground Windstream 800-501-1754 Water Cherokee County Water Authority City of Ball Ground City of Canton City of Waleska

770-479-1813 770-735-2123 770-704-1500 770-479-2912

City of Woodstock


Cable TV Charter Communications 888-438-2427 Comcast 404-266-2278 ETC Communications


Hospitals Northside Hospital-Cherokee 770-720-5100 Wellstar Kennestone Hospital 770-793-5000

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Avg. SAT Scores Cherokee Co. 1560 Georgia 1460 National 1509

Median household income: $63,518 Median age of residents: 34 Population: 210,529 Sales tax: 6% Chamber of Commerce Cherokee County 770-345-0400, Property Taxes Per $1,000 of assessed value is: Unincorporated Cherokee County, $26.80; Incorporated Cherokee County, $24.06. Tax Commissioner: 678-493-6400

Cagle Dairy Farm, Canton

Located northwest of Atlanta, Cherokee County gets its name from the original inhabitants of the area, the Cherokee Indians. The county seat, then called Etowah, was established in 1833 and renamed Canton in 1834. Today, the city is enjoying its greatest economic boom in its history since more than $60 million was invested in residential and commercial development in 1998. Despite developing its own industrial base, Cherokee County remains idyllic and serene. Farming, especially poultry processing, remains a leading industry. Canton and the neighboring community of Woodstock have seen tremendous growth as subdivisions crop up to accommodate newcomers. In fact, nearly 60 percent of the county’s population are commuters. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median value of homes in 2006 was $194,900. Homes for well over $1 million can be purchased in such neighborhoods as Bradshaw Farms, Bridge Mill and Town Lake Hills. Interstate 575 and Ga. Highway 92 traverse the county, affording residents easy access to Atlanta and the nearby attractions of Town Center Mall, Lake Allatoona and the North Georgia Mountains. Other great places to live,

42 | Newcomer Magazine |

Ridge Mountains and along the banks of the Etowah River, Canton is prime location for development.


work and play in Cherokee County include the cities of Ball Ground, Holly Springs and Waleska.


Canton Canton was incorporated in 1833 and renamed in 1834 at the request of two founding fathers who had visions that the town might become a silk center similar to what existed in Canton, China. Canton did become famous for its “Canton Denim,” known worldwide for the high-quality denim produced by Canton Cotton Mills. Today, Canton is attracting new industry and residents. As a result, the city is re-investing in its downtown. As part of its “Streetscapes” program, downtown Canton will be restored to its historic look and features a newly designed theater on Main Street. Located at the foothills of the Blue

Twelve miles south of Canton, Woodstock is the fastest-growing city in Cherokee County. With a growth rate of 70 percent over the past 10 years, the city has doubled in size. Residents enjoy easy access to Interstate 575 and Ga. Highway 92, allowing short commutes to Cobb and Fulton counties. While affording convenience to big-city attractions, Woodstock still maintains its small-town appeal. Buildings dating back to 1879 characterize the downtown, where antique and other specialty shops are located. Various golf courses are located in Woodstock, including Arnold Palmer’s Eagle Watch, a course with wooded countryside views that is considered to be one of the top places to play in Atlanta. The 11,860-acre Lake Allatoona provides additional recreation. Woodstock is also convenient to more than 13 state parks. N For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our Web site at | Newcomer Magazine | 43

COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION pUBLIC schools DeKalb County Schools Board of Education 678-676-1200

DeKalb County Located east of Fulton County, DeKalb County is the second largest county in the state with a population of about 705,000. DeKalb County contributes to Atlanta’s status as an “ international city” with its businesses and residences representing more than 30 different countries and 120 languages.

Elementary Schools 83 Middle Schools 20 High Schools 20 Per-pupil expenditures $9,896 School & bus information 678-676-1300 City Schools of Decatur Board of Education


Early Learning 1 Elementary Schools 4 Middle Schools 1 High Schools 1 Per-pupil expenditures $13,444 School & bus information 404-370-8737


Decatur The county seat of DeKalb, Decatur is a charming historic city known for its recreation and pedestrian-friendly streets. Its beating heart

pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity Georgia Power


Snapping Shoals EMC


Walton EMC


Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit Telephone AT&T



404-780-2355 Water

DeKalb County Water System 770-621-7200 Cable TV Charter Communication


Comcast Cablevision


Hospitals Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston


DeKalb Medical Center


Emory University Hospital


Piedmont Hospital and Medical Care Center


Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Avg. SAT Scores DeKalb Co. 1334 City of Decatur 1577 Georgia 1460 National 1509

The square is also home to some beautiful public art, and hosts numerous festivals, town celebrations and neighborhood events. Decatur is home to a diverse population, attracting young professionals, families, retirees and bright young college students—the city is home to the prestigious women’s university Agnes Scott College, and world-renowned Emory University is just outside the city limits. Older brick homes, smaller bungalows and cottage homes distinguish the community and the surrounding neighborhoods of Avondale Estates, Oakhurst and Candler Park.


Emory University


DeKalb County prosCounty pers in part due to its exNeighborhoods cellent transportation sys- tem. Five major road ar- teries traverse the county: Interstates 20, 85, 285, 675 and US Highway 78. Schools Hartsfield-Jackson Inter national Airport is only six miles from DeKalb’s Median household income: $51,753 southern border and the Median age of residents: 35 Population: 739,956 DeKalb Peachtree AirSales tax: 7% port, a general aviation field, is reported to be Chamber of Commerce DeKalb County the second busiest air404-378-8000, port in Georgia. DeKalb County is also a leader in Property Taxes the biomedical commu- The property tax rate is $41.50 per $1,000 for unincorporated DeKalb County. Tax Commissioner: nity with The Center for 404-298-4000 Disease Control headis the Courthouse Square, which quartered there. The median value of homes in features an eclectic mix of store2006, according to the Census Bu- front boutiques and shops, restaurants and entertainment options. reau, was $190,100.

44 | Newcomer Magazine |

In the northern corner of the county is Dunwoody, a popular neighborhood among established professionals and young, upwardly mobile professionals raising families. It is often referred to as the “tennis set” neighborhood because of its numerous recreational outlets that include Lynwood Park and Recreation Center, as well as Blackburn Park and Tennis Center. Cultural attractions include the Dunwoody Nature Center and the Spruill Gallery. A variety of housing is available in Dunwoody, including apartments, townhomes, ranch-style homes, bungalows and mini-mansions with manicured lawns. Nearby Perimeter Mall provides shopping, dining and family entertainment. With its proximity to all major expressways and North Fulton’s booming business opportunities, Dunwoody is a hotspot for families. N For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our Web site at


Fulton County

filled with high-rises, upscale restaurants, the Governor’s Mansion, the historic Swan House and the Atlanta History Center. Buckhead is also an entertainment and dining hotspot. With more than 200 restaurants, bars shops and luxury hotels, the Buckhead area is a magnet for young professionals.

pUBLIC schools Fulton County Schools Board of Education 404-768-3600 Elementary Schools 58 Middle Schools 19 High Schools 17 Charter 8 Centers 4 Per-pupil expenditures $9,561


Buckhead is “where old money lives and new money parties,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. With its mixture of mansions and uniquely styled homes, Buckhead is a favorite among architecture and history buffs. Convenient to Georgia 400, Interstate 85 and MARTA, it’s


One of metro Atlanta’s most vibrant and affluent cities, Alpharetta is home to approximately 62,000 residents, according to 2012 U.S. Census Bureau estimates. They're drawn to its mix of big-city vitality and small-town charm, as well as its many amenities and affordable housing options. Homes range Median household income: $57,664 from large apartment comMedian age of residents: 34 munities to elegant subPopulation: 977,773 Sales tax: 7%, Atlanta City: 8% divisions, with a median value of $324,300. Chamber of Commerce Alpharetta offers a vaGreater North Fulton 770-993-8806, riety of parks and outdoor Metro Atlanta attractions, including the 404-880-9000, Big Creek Greenway trail. South Fulton Shoppers flock to North 770-964-1984, Point Mall for a multiProperty Taxes tude of retail options. The The property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value is: city’s historic downtown $44.12 for the City of Atlanta; $29.13 for incorporated area boasts an appealing Fulton County; $41.60 for unincorporated Fulton town square surrounded County; $33.75 for Johns Creek; $33.86 for Sandy by restaurants and shops. Springs. Tax Commissioner: 404-613-6100 The Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre hosts big-name The neighborhood also offers numerconcerts each summer. N ous antique stores, art galleries and For more counties and neighborhood mall shopping at Lenox Square and information, visit our Web site at Phipps Plaza..

County Neighborhoods Schools


Elementary Schools 52 14 Middle Schools High Schools 20 Charter 15 Alternative 6 Per-pupil expenditures: $13,069 School & bus information: 404-802-5500

Downtown Atlanta skyline



Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development.

Fulton County serves as the center of the metro Atlanta area. With 90 percent of the city of Atlanta, including the state’s capital building, located within its borders, it sits at the hub of the area’s financial, transportation, retail, communications and cultural services. A number of Fortune 500 companies, including the Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines and UPS, are headquartered here. More than 970,000 people live in Fulton County, drawn by its convenience to Interstates 75, 85 and 285 and Georgia State Route 400. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median value of homes in the county is $246,200. Fulton is home to many of Atlanta’s signature neighborhoods, including its bustling downtown district. Older neighborhoods like Inman Park, Grant Park, Candler Park and Virginia-Highland offer affordable housing, pedestrianfriendly layouts and plentiful parks and recreational options. Midtown Atlanta is the heart of Atlanta’s cultural scene, with the Woodruff Arts Center (home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art) and the historic Fox Theatre, as well as a host of art galleries. Midtown’s Piedmont Park, the city’s most popular green space, hosts many outdoor festivals and concerts.


Avg. SAT Scores Fulton Co. 1567 Georgia 1452 National 1498 pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity City of College Park 404-669-3759 City of East Point 404-270-7010 City of Fairburn 770-964-3481 City of Palmetto 770-463-3322 Georgia Power 888-660-5890 Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit Telephone AT&T 866-271-9724 Comcast 404-266-2278

Fulton County



Cable TV Charter Communications 887-906-9121 Comcast 404-266-2278 Hospitals Atlanta Medical Center 404-265-4000 Atlanta VA Medical Center 404-321-6111 Center for the Visually Impaired 404-875-9011 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding 404-785-9500 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite 404-785-5252 Emory University Hospital Midtown 404-778-2000 Grady Memorial Hospital 404-606-1000 North Fulton Regional Hospital 770-751-2500 Northside Hospital 404-851-8000 Piedmont Hospital 404-605-5000 Shepherd Center 404-352-2020 St. Joseph’s Hospital 678-843-7001 | Newcomer Magazine | 45

COUNTY INFORMATION pUBLIC schools Gwinnett County Schools Board of Education: 678-301-6000 Elementary Schools 72 Middle Schools 24 High Schools 20 Alternative 6 Open Campus 1 Per-pupil expenditures: $8,338 City Schools of Buford Board of Education:


Elementary Schools 1 Middle Schools 1 High Schools 1 Academy 1 Per-pupil expenditures $10,198 Avg. SAT Scores Gwinnett Co. 1526 City of Buford 1455 Georgia 1460 National 1509 pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity 770-945-6761 City of Buford City of Lawrenceville 770-963-2414 770-448-2122 City of Norcross Georgia Power 404-395-7611 Jackson EMC 770-963-6166 770-887-2363 Sawnee EMC 770-972-2917 Walton EMC Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit


Telephone 888-436-8638

Water Buford 770-889-4600 Dacula 770-963-7451 678-376-6800 Gwinnett City Water Lawrenceville 770-963-2414 770-448-2122 Norcross Cable TV Bellsouth Multimedia 770-360-5000 Charter Communications


Comcast 404-266-2278 Hospitals Emory Eastside Medical Center


Joan Glancy Memorial Hospital 678-584-6800 Gwinnett Medical Center


Gwinnett Women’s Pavilion 678-312-4770 Summit Ridge Center for Behavorial Health 770-822-2200

Gwinnett County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development


Some of Duluth’s neighborhoods include Edgewater Estates, Sweet Bottom Plantation, and Riverbrooke. Affluent estates with antebellum architecture can be found as well as apartment communities, older brick, ranch-style homes and subdivisions. Duluth still retains some of its original small-town businesses, along with chain businesses, many accessible by Ga. 400 and I-85.


Suwanee is named after the Shawnee Indians who settled here Mall of Georgia in the latter part of the 18th century. Following the official founding of Originally part of Georgia’s the city in 1837, Suwanee became Native American territory, Gwinnett a railroad stop along the Southern County was created by the State Railroad route. It remained a small Legislature in 1818 and named after country town well into the ’70s when Button Gwinnett, the third signer of construction of I-85 and U.S. 23 the Declaration of Independence and brought easy access to the region. a former state governor. Since then, Suwanee has exWhile the county was perienced tremendous once largely rural with small growth, from 2,000 resiCounty towns, country stores, farms dents in 1990 to more Neighborhoods and forests, today it is home to than 10,000 today. To more than 245 international help manage growth, companies and 450 high-tech the city has developed firms. With an average of 260 a comprehensive developSchools new professional and industrial ment plan that promotes companies relocating to the pedestrian-oriented deMedian household income: $64,005 county each year, attracting more velopment and mixedMedian age of residents: 33 than 6,000 new jobs, Gwinnett use zoning. Designated Population: 789,499 County remains in the top 10 a Tree City USA for more Sales tax: 6% ranking for growth nationwide. than 10 years, the city Chamber of Commerce The county supports many is committed to preserving Gwinnett County cultural events, restaurants 27 percent of its land as 770-232-3000, and shopping opportunities, green space. Property Taxes including the Mall of Georgia. Such foresight has The property tax in unincorporated Gwinnett Gwinnett County remains allowed Suwanee to retain County is $31.77 per $1,000 of assessed value. affordable for renters and first-time its old-fashioned charm Tax Commissioner: 770-822-8800. home buyers, many of whom find while providing contemhomes in the communities of Doraville, in Metro Atlanta and is home to porary convenience. Only 35 miles Lawrenceville and Snellville. The median some of the best golf courses and from downtown Atlanta, Suwanee is value of homes in 2006, according to private tennis clubs. There are close to big-city attractions, business numerous parks for recreation and districts and shopping. Many anthe Census Bureau, was $193,100. participatory sports, including tique shops and historic structures, Bunten Road Park and “Shorty” including several Victorian and reHowell Park. Two major malls, gional farm-style homes, are located Gwinnett Place and Northpoint, near downtown Suwanee. N are located near Duluth. The Southeastern Railway Museum, Amidst the pristine setting of which preserves and operates old For more counties and neighborhood Gwinnett County, Duluth has some railroad equipment, is a must-see information, visit our Web site at of the most exclusive neighborhoods for any railroad aficionado.




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Rocktoberfest, Rock City This annual event celebrates Rock City’s German heritage with German music and food, polka lessons, specialty beer and more. Oct. 4-26, 800-854-0675,

Blowing Screams Farm, Flintstone, Ga. This outdoor haunted attraction in Flintstone, Ga., takes guests through menacing woods and dark swamps teeming with monsters.

Halloween on the Green, Downtown Duluth

Theater & Concerts

Exhibits & Events

Disney on Ice Presents Frozen, Philips Arena

RAYunion, Downtown Duluth

This family-friendly production features an inspiring soundtrack (including “Let It Go”), ice skating, and Elsa, Anna, Olaf and all your favorite characters from the hit movie. Oct. 8-12, 800-745-3000,

Native Guard, Alliance Theatre This world premiere on the Alliance’s Hertz Stage adapts former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work for the stage. Through Oct. 19, 404-733-5000,

Steel Magnolias, Alliance Theatre Judith Ivey directs this classic Southern tale of the strong and beautiful women who congregate at a beauty parlor in a small Louisiana parish. Oct. 22-Nov. 9, 404-733-5000,

Madama Butterfly, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre The Atlanta Opera kicks off its 2014-2015 season with a production of Giacomo Puccini’s haunting story of passion, honor and sacrifice. Nov. 8,

PHOTO: Hoopix by Michael Lombardi

Oct. 4-Nov. 1,

Taste of Suwanee, Town Center Park Sample wares from more than 30 local restaurants, view live college football games courtesy of Dish Network, enjoy live music and let the young ones frolic in the Kids Zone at this free event. Oct. 11,

Halloween on the Green, Downtown Duluth Enjoy family-friendly activities including inflatables, music and trick-or-treating at the businesses in Duluth’s downtown area. Oct. 31, 770-476-3434,

Doors to Home and Hope, Gwinnett County

This event commemorates the 10th anniversary of the death of Ray Charles with an outdoor block party at the Duluth Festival Center on the Town Green, a special concert at Red Clay Theatre, and a VIP after party with celebrity guests.

View 150 doors painted by local artists to help bring awareness to the issue of homelessness and the universal need for affordable housing. Doors will be on display at City Hall and Sims Lake Park in Suwanee, Duluth Town Green, Snellville City Hall, and several locations in Norcross. Through

Oct. 3, 404-478-2749,

Suwanee Wine Fest, Town Center Park


Sample more than 100 premium wines from around the world, visit the craft beer garden spotlighting several Georgia breweries, and enjoy great food, live entertainment and more.

Scarecrows in the Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden

Art Festival at Thornebrook, Gainesville, Fla.

View more than 100 custom scarecrows handcrafted by businesses, organizations and individuals, while enjoying the final weeks of the Garden’s exhibit Imaginary Worlds: A New Kingdom of Giant Plants. Through October,

Peruse the works of more than 100 arts and crafts vendors at this juried festival in the Thornebrook Village shopping center in Gainesville, Fla.

Enchanted Maize, Rock City

Oct. 4,


Wind your way through the twists and turns of the famous cornfield maze at Rock City near Lookout Mountain. Through Nov. 2, 800-854-0675,

Oct. 4-5, Dirty Dancing, Fox Theatre

Mi Casa, Your Casa, High Museum of Art

11, 14 and 16, 404-881-8885,

You’ll have the time of your life at this stage adaptation of the 1987 film about the romance between a girl and a dance instructor at a summer resort in the Catskills. Nov. 25-30, 800-278-4447,

48 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: David Schelnmann

Dirty Dancing, Fox Theatre

Make yourself at home in this interactive outdoor installation, located in the center of the Woodruff Arts Center campus on the Sifly Piazza. Play, create, and be a part of the art in this welcoming place, where you can watch amazing performances, have a picnic or just lie in a hammock. Through Nov. 2, 404-733-5000,

Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern, Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls Lantern Tours, Ruby Falls

This popular haunted attraction takes place both above and below ground inside Lookout Mountain—where no one can hear you scream! Through

This intimate experience offers a rarely seen view of Lookout Mountain—from deep inside!

Downtown Festival & Art Show, Gainesville, Fla. Enjoy live music and entertainment, food from local restaurants, and the works of artists from across the country at this event in downtown Gainesville, Fla. Nov. 8-9,

Suwanee Classic Car Show, Suwanee Town Center View beautiful cars and take in a special presentation honoring military veterans, hosted by Clark Howard. Nov. 9,

Smoky Mountain Winterfest, Sevierville, Tenn. View millions of twinkling lights arranged in festive displays, and enjoy shopping, shows and attractions like Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland. Nov. 10-Feb. 28, 888-738-4378,

Elegant Elf Marketplace, Lake Forest Elementary

Friday nights in November, 423-821-2544,

ZIPStream Aerial Adventures, Ruby Falls Move through a series of challenging, self-directed tree-to-tree courses of suspended obstacles built in trees that include ladders, nets, walkways, zip lines, bridges and more. Through Nov. 30,

Bedford Dasher, The Bedford School This sixth annual 5K run/walk and Elf Run begins and ends at the Bedford School in Fairburn. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Dec. 13, 770-774-8001,

Suwanee SculpTour, Suwanee Downtown Suwanee’s walkable, outdoor public art experience returns with 15 new sculptures created by artists from across the country. Through March 2015,

Bodies the Exhibition, Atlantic Station

Browse among unique products and gifts from more than 70 artists and vendors in a winter wonderland of festive fun. Nov. 15-16,

This exhibit offers an unmatched view of the human body and how it works, with more than 200 actual bodies and specimens providing a look at our skeletal structure, musculature, nervous and reproductive systems, and more. Ongoing,



Where Romans Rest Tours, Myrtle Hill Cemetery This 18th annual tour of the resting place of many of Rome’s greatest citizens focuses on the late Ellen Axson Wilson. Visitors will learn about Mrs. Wilson through her own words and those of her husband, President Woodrow Wilson. Tickets are available at the Rome-Floyd Visitor Center. Oct. 18, 800-444-1834,

Wings Over North Georgia, Richard B. Russell Regional Airport This thrilling air show returns with headlining act the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, the military jet team known for its precision flying demonstrations. The event also features the GEICO Skytypers, the Smoke-n-Thunder BBQ Classic, the General Aviation Fly-In, numerous family-friendly activities and more. Oct. 18-19,

50th Annual Chiaha Harvest Fair, Ridge Ferry Park Bring the entire family to this 50th annual arts festival in the foothills of the

PHOTO: Children’s Museum of Atlanta

Nov. 1,

Appalachian Mountains! Browse handmade arts and crafts by more than 120 artists from around the region, enjoy an eclectic mix of music and entertainment, and feast on some of the best food around. This weekend-long event also features plenty of activities for children. Oct. 25-26,

Ellen Axson Wilson Homecoming, Various Locations This ongoing celebration of the life and art of Wilson, a Rome native and the wife of former U.S. president Woodrow Wilson, includes an exhibition of her painting at the Martha Berry Museum, exhibits of her photos and memorabilia at the Rome Area History Museum, and more. Through October, Wings Over North Georgia, Richard B. Russell Regional Airport

Outside the Box

Imaginative Exhibit Features New Themes Each Month Outside the Box, the newest feature exhibit at The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, is letting imaginations run wild with good, old-fashioned fun! Plain boxes are transformed into extravagant bridges and everyday cylinders are made into high-tech rockets. The possibilities are endless as children think “outside the box” to discover the building blocks of math, engineering and technology. The exhibit features three learning zones for imaginative fun. Children use giant and small cardboard boxes, tubes and cylinders to explore creative play and building in the Box Zone; experience hands-on games and activities in the Imagination Playground, which features various blocks, balls and other items; and experiment at the rotating Maker’s Space. Using onsite computers featuring simple computer-aided design programs, they’re able to turn their dream inventions into design realities! Families can return to the Outside the Box exhibit each month for a new learning experience, as feature activities and programming change monthly. October’s Outside the Box programming is all about costumes, puppets, pumpkins, lights and changing colors for the spooky season. Families can enjoy frightful fun with mask-making activities, lantern crafts and more. Then, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, November’s Outside the Box programming focuses on giving thanks and spending time with family and friends. Outside the Box runs at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta through Dec. 31. For more information, call 404-659-5437 or visit | Newcomer Magazine | 49


TOP: A view of Atlanta’s skyline. INSET: Lake Clara Meer.


The Crown Jewel of Atlanta’s Green Scene

50 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTOS: Piedmont Park Conservancy.

Piedmont Park

n major cities, people often need a respite from the hustle and bustle—someplace green where residents and visitors alike can relax in the open air and feel at one with nature. In New York City, that place is Central Park; in Chicago, it’s Lake Michigan; in Atlanta, it’s Piedmont Park. Located in Midtown and bordered by Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street, Piedmont Park By Carly Felton and Sheila Cosgrove is the place where Atlantans go on weekends. In fact, this 189-acre oasis is one of the mostvisited locations in metro Atlanta, with more than 3.5 million visitors each year. Piedmont Park offers a number of green, wide-open spaces for picnicking, sunbathing and relaxing. A paved jogging trail leads visitors around the park through rolling hills, past Lake Clara Meer, tennis courts, an off-leash dog park and more. The park also boasts soccer and softball fields, a gazebo, a children’s playground and an aquatic center, among other amenities. As if those features and facilities weren’t enough, the park also hosts a number of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Dogwood Festival, the Atlanta Pride Festival, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the Atlanta Arts Festival, the Music Midtown music festival, and Georgia Shakespeare’s annual “Shakespeare in the Park.” Another Piedmont Park staple is the Green Market, which hosts local farmers, bakers and other vendors, as well as classes and workshops. The Green Market takes place on Saturday mornings at the park’s 12th Street entrance, and runs through Dec. 13. Piedmont Park’s status as the jewel of Atlanta’s green crown is enhanced by its proximity to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, which is adjacent to the park, and the Atlanta Beltline, a 22-mile former railway corridor that circles much of the city, forming a system of trails, parks, green spaces and other developments. The park is maintained by the Piedmont Park Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing and preserving the park. The Conservancy has overseen a number of renovation projects that have upgraded the park’s facilities and expanded its footprint, opening new sections in 2011 and 2013. Larger and more popular than ever, Piedmont Park continues to serve as one of Atlanta’s leading attractions. Piedmont Park is located at 1320 Monroe Drive. For more information, visit

Newcomer Magazine | October/November 2014  

Atlanta’s new resident relocation guide for businesses and families moving to Metro Atlanta.

Newcomer Magazine | October/November 2014  

Atlanta’s new resident relocation guide for businesses and families moving to Metro Atlanta.