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August/September CONTENTS FEATURES Atlanta Insider’s Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..10 Arts and Entertainment Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Start feeling like a true Atlantan with our guide to the must-see spots, must-try restaurants and must-experience events.

From world-class venues to award-winning museums, Atlanta’s arts and entertainment scene is the best in the Southeast. We highlight our top picks in our Arts and Entertainment Guide.

New School Checklist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Easy Weekend Getaways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Choosing the right school for your child is an important choice—and sometimes a daunting one. Learn what you need to know to make the best decision for your child.

There’s a lot to see in Atlanta—and there’s even more to explore nearby. From mountain getaways to bustling city streets, we’ve rounded up four excellent weekend getaway ideas.




In Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 The inside scoop on news, events and happenings around Atlanta.

Homes and Communities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 On the hunt for a family-friendly neighborhood to call home? Learn more about Atlanta’s neighborhoods, plus what to consider when evaluating your options.

Upcoming Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Get caught up on the best exhibitions, theatrical productions, special events and live music across the metro area.

Hidden Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

close proximity to downtown Atlanta, Duluth is a peaceful alternative to in-town living.

Take your next museum trip outdoors with SculpTour in Suwanee—a collection of eclectic sculptures stretched along the city’s Town Center Park.

School Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

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.

Neighborhood Spotlight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 With its walkable downtown district, family-friendly atmosphere and

With students representing more than 100 nationalities, Norcross’ Victory World Christian School offers children a truly global education exploring the differences and similarities among all students.

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

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

PHOTOS: (Center) Blaze at Ferst Center for the Arts; (Right) Ruby Falls at Lookout Mountain.


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

marketing & promotions

Jeff Thompson contributing writers

Anna Bentley, H.M. Cauley, Susan Flowers, Kevin Forest Moreau, Lindsay Oberst, Cady Schulman 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, August/September 2015 Volume 19, Issue 3. 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. © 2015 Killam Publishing, Inc.

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ne w s b i tes fr om a ro un d AT LANTA

‘TIS THE Atlanta’s Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre is known for introducing new hit productions to the world, and its upcoming 2015-2016 season promises to continue that tradition. The season begins with an adaptation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Sept. 2-20), and includes the Pulitzer Prizewinning drama Disgraced (Jan. 27-Feb. 14) as well as two world premieres: Tiger Style! (Sept. 30-Oct. 18) and the gospel musical Born for This: The BeBe Winans Story (April 13-May 15). For tickets and other information, please visit

Stop! In the Name of Music

The story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more, comes to Atlanta August 18-23. Motown the Musical will wrap up the Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Atlanta 2014-2015 season at the Fox Theatre, featuring classic songs such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. Tickets can be purchased at

Mt. Bethel Academy Expands … Again Parents in East Cobb will have a new option for their pre-kindergarten students in the fall. Mt. Bethel Christian Academy is adding a new prekindergarten program for young fives for the 2015-2016 school year, just one year after adding a second campus for the school’s new high school program. The new Pre-K program will be located at the school’s main campus on Lower Roswell Road. Students must turn 5 by Sept. 1 to be eligible for the program. Applications are being accepted, and space is limited. For more information, call 770-971-0245 or visit

Suwanee Displays Prestigious Artworks Sculptures by Atlanta artist Hans Godo Fräbel, considered one of the founding fathers of modern flame glass art, will be on exhibit at Suwanee City Hall through Sept. 1. This display represents the first time that all 14 sculptures in Fräbel’s The Seven Sins and Virtues collection will be exhibited at once. David Copeland, former gallery owner and Fräbel Glass representative, says The Seven Sins and Virtues sculptures are “whimsical and dark at times.” The artworks are displayed on both the first and second floors of City Hall and are accessible for public viewing Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 8 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Joan Marcus, 2014


infocus A Tasteful Affair


PHOTO: K. Kenney

Bring your appetite to Midtown Atlanta Sept. 2627 for the city’s annual Taste of Atlanta event! The festival will feature food samples from a variety of local chefs and bartenders, all packed into a 10-block radius! New this year will be RadioFrequency Identification technology integrated into the festival wristbands, which will enable the event to be completely cashless. All wristbands will be loaded with 10 Taste Points, the event’s currency. Taste Points can be added on-site via smartphone or “Taste Point Banks.” For more information, go to

A Whim-sical Evening of Dance As a part of the High Museum of Art’s summer/fall installation, Los Trompos, Atlanta Ballet’s dancerdriven troupe Wabi Sabi presents WHIM, a series of works created by some of the most in-demand, emerging choreographers in the industry. The performances will be held on Aug. 21 at the Woodruff Art Center’s Sifli Piazza. Performances begin at 7 p.m., and admission is free to the public. Visit for more information.


INSIDER’S GUIDE Navigate Your New City Like a Local By Rachael Mason

PHOTO: Courtesy of the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

No doubt about it, Atlanta can be an intimidating place. There’s so much to take in that it’s easy to feel like an outsider. To help you navigate like a true local, we’ve broken down what makes our city special: its essential dining experiences, sites that add a little history to your new home, and the five things every true Atlantan has to do. Follow these helpful suggestions, and you’ll be feeling like an Atlanta insider in no time.

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LEFT PAGE: The Atlanta Botanical Garden. CURRENT PAGE (Clockwise from top left): The view from the Sun Dial; Turner Field; Stone Mountain; the Decatur Square.

Five Things You Must Do

Learn Some Southern History

Enjoy the View at the Sun Dial

Standing at the top of Stone Mountain offers an unparalleled view of not just the Atlanta skyline but the entire surrounding area. If you can’t handle hiking the incline, ride to the top in a cable car, but keep in mind that you won’t get “I climbed Stone Mountain” bragging rights.

The metro Atlanta area is rich with history. Learn more about one of the city’s most famous residents at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. ( At the Atlanta History Center, check out exhibits highlighting life in the South and explore some historic homes (www. And take in a panoramic painting of a key Civil War battle at the Atlanta Cyclorama (

Catch a Braves Game at Turner Field

Explore the Outdoors

Located at the top of the Westin Peachtree Plaza, the Sun Dial is a rotating tri-level restaurant that allows for a breathtaking, 360-degree view of downtown Atlanta and beyond. It’s consistently voted one of the most romantic spots in town, making it perfect for date night or special occasions; the restaurant says that on average, one marriage proposal takes place every night. Live jazz adds to the luxurious atmosphere, and the contemporary American cuisine is pretty good, too.

There’s nothing quite like the experience of attending an Atlanta Braves home game. You don’t even have to be a baseball fan to join in the fun: From the Chop House restaurant to the familyfriendly children’s area, there’s something for everyone. The Braves are slated to move to a new ballpark in 2017, so visit this classic spot while you still can.

Take a stroll along the pedestrian-friendly streets of downtown Decatur, known for its beautiful town square and independent boutiques (www. Admire the remarkable displays of plant life at the Atlanta Botanical Garden ( and spend an afternoon enjoying the city’s favorite green space, Piedmont Park (

PHOTOS: (Top Right and Bottom Right) : © 2014 Kevin C. Rose/AtlantaPhotos. com; (Bottom Left) Provided by Decatur Downtown Development Authority.

Walk Up Stone Mountain

Five Definitive Dining Experiences Enjoy a Frosted Orange at the Varsity The Varsity is Atlanta’s iconic fast-food joint. The flagship location on North Avenue is billed as the world’s largest drive-in restaurant, sitting| www.newcomeratlanta.comNewcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 11

on more than two acres and able to accommodate more than 800 customers at a time. Plus, servers and savvy customers speak their own special lingo. Try the Frosted Orange, a frozen treat that tastes like a Creamsicle, only better.

The Margaret Mitchell House

Grab a Burger at the Vortex This attitude-heavy restaurant and bar (patrons must be 18 or older) serves up some of the best burgers in town, including the Coronary Bypass, a half-pound sirloin patty topped with a fried egg, three slices of American cheese and four slices of bacon, served with mayo on the side. Two locations.

Dine at Bacchanalia

Hit Watershed for Fried Chicken Night When Decatur’s Watershed closed in 2011, metro residents everywhere mourned the loss of its legendary Fried Chicken Night. But the tradition continues each Wednesday at the restaurant’s new home, Watershed on Peachtree. Make sure to get there early, as this popular item can sell out in a hurry.

Explore Buford Highway

Omni Hotel and Philips Arena, home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.

Ebenezer Baptist Church The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached nonviolence at this historic church, which has been operating for 121 years. Today, you can still visit the church on Auburn Avenue and take part in its services.

The Gold Dome The Georgia State Capitol shines brightly in the Atlanta skyline due to the gold paneling on

You don’t have to travel around the world to enjoy a wealth of international cuisine. Buford Highway offers a diverse cornucopia of authentic ethnic fare, from Korean barbecue and Vietnamese noodle bowls to Chinese kabobs and Cajun crawfish.

At this historic landmark, you can see the apartment where author Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind. The space has been preserved with period furnishings and original architectural features. The remainder of the building and an addition next door serve as a museum dedicated to Mitchell’s work.

The Connector (or Downtown Connector): The stretch of highway where Interstates 85 and 75 overlap. The two highways join south of the city and split off just above the 17th Street exit.

The Perimeter: I-285, which circles the city of Atlanta and is meant to be used as a bypass. This 64-mile loop is the busiest Interstate highway in the metro Atlanta area.

The Big Chicken

ITP: Inside the Perimeter—meaning inside

This giant bird, which adorns a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in neighboring Marietta, won’t teach you anything new about Atlanta, but it’s one of those things you have to see to believe, and is more than worth the drive to the suburbs.

the I-285 loop, where the more urban areas are located.

OTP: Outside the Perimeter—or outside the city.

CNN Center

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Margaret Mitchell House


Five Eye-Opening Landmarks

Distinguished by a giant outdoor CNN logo, the cable empire’s world headquarters offers behind-the-scenes tours of several of its newsrooms. The space also includes a number of shops and restaurants and is connected to the

its dome. The Capitol also houses a museum where flags, artwork and other historic artifacts are displayed.

The Big Chicken, one of the metro area’s more unique landmarks.

Spaghetti Junction: On the north side of the city, I-85 intersects with I-285 and a handful of smaller roads northeast of Atlanta in DeKalb County. Officially known as the Tom Moreland Interchange, Spaghetti Junction gets it snickname from a tangle of exit ramps and bridges that resembles a plate of pasta.

PHOTOS: (Top) Courtesy of the Atlanta History Center; (Bottom): © 2014 Kevin C. Rose/

This upscale establishment is the city’s premier fine-dining restaurant. Each night, chefs Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison create a different seasonal menu. The five-course meal, which costs $85 per person, includes two small appetizers, an entree, a cheese course and dessert. | Newcomer Magazine | 13


Neighborhoods Finding the Right Fit for Your Children By Susan Flowers

Relocating to a new city is always challenging. For families with children, that’s even more true. The process involves much more than finding a new home close to your new place of employment. Schools, the makeup of the neighborhood, leisure activities and many other factors need to be taken into account when choosing a place to call home.

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TOP: Alpharetta hosts a number of family-friendly festivals and events. CENTER: Kids enjoy a fun ride in Suwanee. BOTTOM: Pedestrian-friendly East Point.

PHOTOS: (Top) Courtesy of the Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau; (Center) Courtesy City of Suwanee


ou really have to have a game plan,” says real estate agent Rhonda Duffy, who runs Duffy Realty of Atlanta and has been hailed as one of the top agents in the country by That plan begins with identifying specific areas of interest to families with children. If you already know you want to live within the Atlanta city limits, you’ve narrowed your search considerably. Atlanta neighborhoods have much to offer, like Virginia-Highland’s leafy, tree-lined streets, Midtown’s Piedmont Park and Woodruff Arts Center (which includes the High Museum of Art), and Grant Park’s historic homes, park and Zoo Atlanta.

Suburbs and Mixed-Use Communities If you’re not tied to a particular section of town, your options increase dramatically. Many of Atlanta’s suburbs boast features of interest to families with children. Cities like Alpharetta, Marietta, Decatur, Duluth and Lawrenceville abound with green space, walkable downtown centers and other amenities. Alpharetta, located in north Fulton County, is home to a historic downtown district, several parks, a weekly farmer’s market and Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, which

hosts outdoor summer concerts by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. In addition to a beautiful city square, Marietta’s attractions include the Gone With the Wind Museum and Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, a Civil War site with 16 miles of hiking trails. Decatur likewise radiates a cozy, small-town charm, especially around its historic courthouse and town square. Public transportation is easily accessible, and recreational activities are plentiful in its many parks and playing fields.

Just north of Atlanta in Gwinnett County, Lawrenceville features such attractions as the Aurora Theatre, the Gwinnett Braves minorleague baseball team and Medieval Times, while Duluth boasts the 35acre Southeastern Railway Museum and the Arena at Gwinnett Center, home of the Gwinnett Gladiators hockey team. Both cities are served by Gwinnett County Public Schools, recognized as one of the best school systems in the state. Other family-friendly suburbs worth considering include East Point, home to the Georgia Soccer Park and the Dick Lane Velodrome, one of the leading bicycle racing facilities in the country; Roswell, which features the Roswell Cultural Arts Center and the Chattahoochee Nature Center; and Sandy Springs, which boasts Heritage Green, a 4-acre park that hosts free concerts and events. There are many, many more suburbs worth a look, as well. Visit Newcomer’s website (www. and search for our annual list of Atlanta’s top 100 neighborhoods for more information on suitable locations and communities for your family. Mixed-use neighborhoods, which allow residents to live, work and play within the same | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 15 | Newcomer

area, are also worth considering, especially for families used to living in larger metropolitan areas. “A lot of mixed-use developments are attractive to younger families,” says Robin Lemon, a sales agent with Keller Williams Realty Consultants. “They want their children to experience more of a neighborhood feeling.” Suwanee’s Town Center development features single-family homes, townhomes and condos, as well as retail and office space and the 10-acre Town Center Park. With abundant green space, an interactive fountain and a 1,000-seat amphitheater, Town Center Park is referred to as Suwanee’s front yard. Smyrna’s pedestrian-friendly Market Village sports an airy, open feel, with plentiful green space, a public square and fountain, charming townhomes, restaurants, and retail and office space. Atlantic Station, in Atlanta’s Midtown area, is a 138-acre development offering an array of condos, lofts, townhomes, apartments and single-family homes, as well as a 2-acre lake and plenty of green space, in addition to a mix of restaurants and shops.

Ask Questions and Investigate Once you’ve settled on a neighborhood, ask your potential new neighbors about the area. Duffy recommends seeking out three sets of neighbors and asking them all the same questions. For families with children, those include: How social is the neighborhood? Are there many parties or events? How many kids live in the area, versus how many adults? It’s important to establish whether a particular neighborhood

Younger families want their children to experience a neighborhood feeling. provides a wealth of opportunities to make friends with children of similar age. It’s also a good idea to visit local shopping areas to ensure that there are child-friendly establishments and other retail outlets that fit your family’s lifestyle. A distance of only two or three miles can make a difference. And be sure to investigate any family-friendly amenities in the neighborhood. The fact that a subdivision has a pool, for example, doesn’t mean that the facility

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has room for all the residents to enjoy it on a regular basis, that there’s adequate seating around the pool or that sufficient safety measures are in place. And there are other factors to consider, such as neighborhood schools. The Atlanta School Guide, Atlanta’s leading education resource for parents and educators, is a great place to start ( Available for free at more than 950 locations across the metro area, this twice-yearly publication offers features on educational trends, as well as important dates, helpful tips and terminology, and detailed, up-to-date information on public and private schools, summer camps, early education centers and other educational resources. Your search should also be guided in part by the needs and interests of the children in your family. “Are they a computer family? What kind of sports do they play?” asks Robin Lemon. “If the kids are really involved in certain things, I can start gearing a search toward the family’s needs. There are some families that will come in and say, ‘My children are very interested in volleyball, or very into karate.’” Most importantly, when scouting a new neighborhood and a new home, remember to take your time. “The key to buying a house is to ask a lot of questions and slow down the process,” Duffy advises. By having a detailed strategy, asking questions and placing special emphasis on neighborhoods and the amenities they offer, you’re much more likely to settle on the perfect home for yourself and your children.

TOP PHOTO: City of Smyrna

Smyrna’s Market Village boasts an airy, open atmosphere.



e Park Arts Festiva

Duluth By Cady Schulman


ocated in Gwinnett County, the charming city of Duluth boasts a family-friendly atmosphere, with kid-approved attractions and a walkable downtown district. It’s also a thriving arts and economic destination, home to a large shopping mall and a popular arena. About half an hour’s drive north from downtown Atlanta, Duluth offers a convenient retreat for those seeking a peaceful but happening alternative to big-city living.

Flicks on the Bricks


Arts and Entertainment

Duluth is home to 28,404 residents with a median income of $60,161. Homes are priced above the state as a whole: The median housing price is $175,900, compared to the state’s median cost of $151,300. In the Abbotts Pointe Subdivision (770-312-4309), a variety of affordable homes have an average list price between $120,000 and $225,000. Colonial Grand at McDaniel Farm (770-814-4100) offers apartments with vaulted ceilings, fireplaces and balconies. Rent ranges from $815-$1,808.

The Gwinnett Performing Arts Center (770813-7500) is a beautiful 708-seat theatre that features orchestra performances, ballets, and other shows. In April, the city installed the Gateway Art Piece “Ascension,” a sculpture located at the roundabout on McClure Bridge Road. The 35-acre Southeastern Railway Museum (770-476-2013) allows visitors to ride in historic railroad cabooses and walk among vintage steam locomotives. And the Duluth Fall Festival (, held the last weekend in September, offers live entertainment and more than 350 vendors.

Local Treasures The city has its own hospital, Gwinnett Medical Center—Duluth (678-312-6800), which features spacious and private rooms, as well as comfortable family suites. And, of course, there is a plethora of shopping options. Gwinnett Place Mall (770-813-6840) boasts 74 retail stores and restaurants and has something for everyone, with clothing, accessories and furniture. Duluth also has a revitalized downtown area where residents and visitors can wander through locally owned stores and enjoy concerts, festivals and other community events at the Town Green. Through October, the weekly Fridays N Duluth features live music, food trucks, and the bi-weekly Flicks on the Bricks outdoor movie series.

Culinary Treats There are plenty of restaurants in Duluth, from local Southern cuisine to tastes of Cuba, Korea or Iran. The Arena Tavern (770-623-4585) is located by The Arena at Gwinnett Center and convenient for those who want to grab a bite before a show. The restaurant features a typical tavern menu with burgers, sliders, wings and sandwiches, as well as beer, wine and cocktails. Luciano’s Ristorante Italiano (770-255-1727) serves upscale cuisine such as steaks, pastas, and gourmet pizzas and flatbreads. Breakers Korean BAR-B-Q (770-946-1000) offers a selection of Korean barbecue classics. N

Gwinnett Performing Arts Center

Luciano’s Ristorante Italiano

The Inside Track Duluth was named one of the 10 Most Beautiful Towns in Georgia by the travel website Culture Trip in 2015, and was ranked the No. 4 Best Atlanta Suburb by the real estate site Movoto. | Newcomer Magazine | 17



Worth a Look

Finding the right area to call home is the most important part of the relocation process, and that’s even truer for families with small children. Here are some of the metro Atlanta area’s top communities that offer something for every member of your household. College Park


This growing community boasts a wealth of gorgeous historic homes and a pedestrianfriendly Main Street. It’s also home to Woodward Academy, the largest private school in the country.

This walkable city just east of Atlanta radiates a cozy, small-town charm, especially around its historic square. Public transportation is easily accessible, and recreational activities are plentiful, as well. College Park

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PHOTOS: (Top Left) City of Smyrna; (Top Right) Mike Howard; (Center Left) Courtesy of Decatur Downtown Development Authority; (Center Right) Courtesy of the City of Woodstock.


um, the Earl Smith Strand Theatre, Six Flags White Water and the historic downtown square.

Among this city’s kid-friendly draws are the 35-acre Southeastern Railway Museum, the Arena at Gwinnett Center and a walkable downtown filled with historic buildings.

Smyrna This suburban city 15 miles northwest of Atlanta boasts the Village Green, a charming town center, as well as 33 acres of park space and the Silver Comet Trail.

East Point Affordable homes and easy access to downtown Atlanta make East Point a great option for new families. Plentiful recreation options include the Georgia Soccer Park, which features naturalgrass playing fields.

Fayetteville Quality of life is high in this Fayette County city, which features a charming, historic downtown, the Holliday-Dorsey-Fife Museum (which has ties to Doc Holliday and Margaret Mitchell), musical performances at the Southern Ground Amphitheater, and one of the state’s best school systems.

Suwanee Lawrenceville Metro Atlanta’s second-oldest city features such family-friendly attractions as the Aurora Theatre, the Gwinnett Braves minor-league baseball team and Medieval Times.

Marietta This Cobb County hub offers affordable housing, a strong school system and family-friendly attractions like the Gone With the Wind Muse-

Parks and green space are a key part of this city’s appeal, and the Gwinnett County school system is widely considered the best in the state.

Woodstock Known for its proximity to Lake Allatoona, this appealing Cherokee County suburb features 13 public beaches, four city parks, Dixie Speedway, an historic downtown and the Elm Street Cultural Arts Village. | Newcomer Magazine | 19



How To


What to Ask When Considering a School for Your Child By H.M. Cauley

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fter accepting a position as head of school at Atlanta Girls School last spring, Ayanna HillGill found herself on the opposite side of the educational visit. This time, she was the one visiting local institutions to find the right fit for her own two children. And the questions she asked were the same ones she’d heard so many times as head of the Purnell School in New Jersey. “Coming from out of town, we wanted to make sure the curriculum was what my kids were accustomed to, so there would be a smooth transition,” she says. When searching for the right school for your child, there’s no more important part of the process than asking questions of the faculty and staff. From a school’s educational philosophy to its test scores and what it serves for lunch, it’s crucial to get as much information as possible to help you make the right decision. Oftentimes, parents don’t ask many of the important questions that will impact their child’s education. But what questions should you ask?

ACADEMICS Nicole Evans Jones, principal of Toomer Elementary, encourages parents to take the time to consider just what they want their children to learn. “The course offerings and the extracurricu-

lars may not fit your child’s needs,” she says. “Look at the course of study and talk about what the kids are learning.” “The biggest factor to consider in any school decision should be student interest,” says Kari Schrock, principal of the International Academy of Smyrna, an International Baccalaureate charter school. “It’s important to know your child’s strengths and areas of growth, especially as they get older, so they have the opportunity to explore courses they might not have in other locations.” One of the first things parents often ask about is a school’s academics. When interviewing schools for her kids, HillGill made sure to focus on the curriculum. “For instance, I wasn’t familiar with what [one school] used for math, so I asked to see some lessons to get a sense of the objectives,” she says. “It also helps to ask about profiles of graduates—stories about successful alums and what they’re doing can give parents an idea of what their child might look forward to.” Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 21 21

Questions about college are often on the minds of parents visiting Killian Hill Christian School in Lilburn. “Some parents want to know the percentage of kids who go on to college, and the colleges they choose, which does speak to the culture of the school,” says Head of School Paul Williams. It’s also important to ask about teachers, says Hill-Gill, who inquired about class size and the balance of full-time and parttime teachers during her search. “The teachers’ experience levels are very important, too,” says Williams. “Ask how much they’ve taught and find out about their qualifications. In the private schools in particular, there can be a broad spectrum of experience. And ask about student/teacher ratio as well. That’s very important.”

COMMUNITY AND COST Even today’s public schools offer a range of choices and a level of involvement that parents should be aware of.

“The greatest change I’ve seen in 21 years in education is that, today, parents do have a choice,” says Kari Schrock. “There are charter schools where there didn’t used to be, and there are many magnet programs that allow children choice, so it can be confusing.” Whether you’re investigating a public or independent school, Schrock suggests asking just what it means to be a part of the school’s learning community. “I encourage parents to dig deeper to know what the school represents,” she

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says. “As a charter school, we have a charter, and I urge them to read it.” Other questions relating to a school’s community include: Are uniforms required? Is there transportation for students who live some distance from the school? And what, if anything, is required of parents? “For instance, we require a minimum number of volunteer hours for the parents,” says Schrock. “Some families have no interest in doing that, so it makes a difference in their choice of school.” One important topic, whether you’re interviewing a traditional public, charter or independent school, is funding. “Are there boosters, foundations or stakeholders who support the school?” asks Jones. “You can learn a lot about a school by how well it welcomes that kind of support.” “Tuition is one of the distinguishing features of a school,” says Williams of Killian Hill. “Some have added-on fees for any activity outside the classroom; others, like ours, have all those costs built in. But many parents don’t ask about the fees.”


It’s hard to tell a school’s culture just from its website.”

The very first thing parents should consider when selecting a school, says Jones with Toomer Elementary, is the feel. This is best evaluated by a school visit, which can demonstrate all aspects of the school’s culture, from its safety and security procedures to how open and enthused the staff and faculty are. - AYANNA HILL-GILL, “It’s how you are greeted, not Atlanta Girls’ School just in the office but in the halls,” she says. “Do the kids and teachers seem happy? Are they excited to talk about their school? You should see some visible evidence of parental involvement, from volunteers in the classrooms to PTA sign-up sheets on the walls.” “It’s hard to tell a school’s culture just from its website,” says Hill-Gill. “When you step foot on a campus, you can get a sense of the mission and you can find out what makes them different. I look at how people address each other, what the vibe is when people are walking in the halls. Do they welcome you when you visit the classroom?” And if possible, bring your child along when you visit, she adds. “I think it’s important to have them involved in the process.” After discovering as much as possible about a school, the final decision about whether or not to enroll a child there comes down to one thing, she says. “It’s all about fit; you want the best fit, and only you know what works best for your child.” | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 23 | Newcomer


Victory World Christian School

Helping Students Succeed in a Global World By Cady Schulman


uilt on the foundations of a challenging education and Christian discipleship, Victory World Christian School strives to develop in its students a strong moral center and the ability to communicate and live in an increasingly multicultural world. Located in Norcross, Victory World Christian School—an auxiliary ministry of Victory World Church—serves the area’s thriving immigrant community, with a diverse campus reflecting many different ethnicities and nationalities. “We’re really unique in the United States,” says Head of School Irene Prue. “We’re probably one of the only schools of our kind.” Having so many nations represented in one school enables students to experience different customs first hand. Children at Victory World Christian School learn about the different kinds of foods eaten in other countries, and how people from other nations relate to others and honor their elders, among other topics. “Sometimes living in a world where there’s one group, you think that’s the norm,” Prue says. “Seeing the rich and diverse perspectives that other cultures have exposes you to different ways of thinking.” As a result of the school’s multicultural approach, Prue says, students easily accept and create friendships with those who are different from themselves. Another way that Victory World Christian School helps to bridge the gap between cultures is by providing Rosetta Stone software, which allows students to learn other languages—and helps their parents to learn to speak better English, as well. That’s just a part of the way the school embraces technology to enhance the learning experience. Students from kindergarten through fifth grade use Neo2 laptops, which helps familiarize them with technology—

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and can provide added benefits, such as giving students the ability to answer questions in a poll format during class. “This is really important for the child who is quiet and unsure of themselves,” Prue says. “It gives the child anonymity in responding and when they know they got it right, their confidence builds and the shy child blossoms into a confident learner willing to be more verbal and take risks.” Victory World currently serves students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. But Prue says the school hopes to expand and add more grades in the future. “We really feel like we need special space and all the accoutrements that go along with having a middle school,” she says. “We really want to do middle school like they used to, where you have classes like Shop and Home Economics. We feel like that’s really missing. We just need the resources and the space to do that.” In the meantime, the school’s faculty continues serving not just its students, but also their parents—talking with them about the Christian concept of intentional parenting and how to both love and lead at the same time. “We just have a really strong community, where families really know each other,” says Prue. “It really does take a village to raise a child.” N

The Specifics Grades: Pre-K-5 Student/Teacher Ratio: 15:1 Tuition: $6,400 Location: Norcross

Contact: 5905 Brook Hollow Parkway, Norcross, GA 30071 678-684-2030 Web: | Newcomer Magazine | 25

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TOP: (Left) The Alliance Theatre’s 25th anniversary production of A Christmas Carol; (Center) Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 70th season; (Right) Broadway in Atlanta’s The Wizard of Oz.

Your new city offers more than just great new places to explore, fabulous restaurants and a wealth of good schools. It’s also the arts capital of the Southeast, with top-notch theaters, music and performing arts venues, museums … the list goes on. Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry. On the following pages, we’ve put together a list of the biggest players on Atlanta’s cultural stage. CONCERTS, SHOWS AND PLAYS

Top Photos: (Left) Greg Mooney; (Center) Courtesy of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; (Right) Keith Pattison

ALLIANCE THEATRE One of Atlanta’s most celebrated theaters, the Tony Award-winning Alliance is known for launching Broadway shows and touring productions including Bring It On, Sister Act and Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. Among the highlights of the 2015-2016 season are Born for This: The Bebe Winans Story, a new musical by Bebe Winans and Charles Randolph-Wright.

ATLANTA BALLET Founded in 1929, the Atlanta Ballet is the oldest continually operating company in the country. Its 86th season kicks off in December with its signature production, Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. Other highlights include Moulin Rouge and The Sleeping Beauty.



Since its first production in 1980, this acclaimed company has developed a reputation for fostering great local and international talent. For its 2015-2016 season, which will open in October, the Atlanta Opera will stage productions of the classics La Bohème, Romeo and Juliet, and Winterreise.

Sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, Broadway in Atlanta hosts a number of touring Broadway productions each year at the Fox Theatre. Highlights of the 2015-2016 season will include Jersey Boys (October 6-11), The Book of Mormon (January 12-24), The Sound of Music (March 1-6) and Kinky Boots (March 29-April 3). For more information on upcoming shows and ticket pricing visit www.broadwayacross

ATLANTA SYMPHONY The Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony, one of America’s leading orchestras, has an ambitious 2015-2016 season on tap that will honor the 100th birthday of Robert Shaw with four world premieres, guest performances from such names as André Watt and Itzhak Perlman, and crowd-pleasing programs including a Brahms Requiem and a Mini-Beethoven Festival. For information about the ASO’s 70th season and special events visit

COBB ENERGY PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE This 2,750-seat theater just northwest of Atlanta is home to the Atlanta Ballet and the Atlanta Opera, as well as a variety of concerts and national touring productions. Upcoming highlights this year include comedians John Cleese and Eric Idle (Oct. 21-22) and Wanda Sykes (Nov. 6). u Newcomer Magazine | 27

LEFT: Midtown Atlanta’s Fox Theatre. RIGHT: (Top) Spivey Hall is located in Morrow, Georgia; (Bottom) Street dance sensation Blaze will appear at Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech.

FERST CENTER FOR THE ARTS AT GEORGIA TECH Located on the Georgia Tech campus, this 1,159-seat venue has been hosting theater, dance and comedy performances for more than 20 years. Upcoming shows include Mavis Staples & Joan Osborne: Solid Soul (Nov. 18) and PostSecret: The Show (Feb. 6). For more information on upcoming shows and events, visit

FOX THEATRE This Midtown landmark, a former 1920s movie palace known for its Moorish and Egyptian architecture, hosts a number of concerts, performances and plays. Upcoming highlights include The B-52s (Oct. 30) and Mythbusters: Jamie and Adam Unleashed (Nov. 15).

RIALTO CENTER FOR THE ARTS This restored, 833-seat venue on the campus of Georgia State University is one of the city’s premier venues for leading national and international jazz and world music acts. The Ri-

alto’s 2015-2016 season highlights include the Orchestra Buena Vista Social Club on Oct. 24 and the always hilarious Capitol Steps comedy troupe on Feb. 13, 2016.

SCHWARTZ CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS Emory University’s Schwartz Center features an 800-seat concert hall that hosts music, dance and theater performances. Upcoming attractions include An Evening with Bassists Edgar Meyer and Christian McBride (Oct. 30) and Julian Bliss Septet: A Tribute to Benny Goodman (Feb. 6).

SPIVEY HALL Renowned for its exceptional acoustics, this 400-seat space on the campus of Clayton State University in Morrow is a great setting for live jazz and classical music. Among the highlights of its upcoming season are performances by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (Oct. 11) and the Glenn Miller Orchestra (Jan. 9, 2016).

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MUSEUMS AND EXHIBITS ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER Situated on a 33-acre complex in Buckhead, the Atlanta History Center features two museums, two historic homes, six historic gardens and the Kenan Research Center. The Center also hosts special events throughout the year, ranging from author lectures to film screenings. www.atlanta

BOOTH WESTERN ART MUSEUM Located just an hour north of Atlanta in Cartersville, the Booth Museum explores different aspects of Western culture and history, including the Carolyn & James Millar Presidential Gallery and Western art exhibitions. Upcoming exhibits include Three Point Perspective: Dean, Elliott & Hagege, featuring three young stars from the Western art world.

JIMMY CARTER LIBRARY AND MUSEUM This official monument to the former state senator, Georgia governor and U.S. president houses

National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

his official papers, as well as exhibits and artifacts, including his Nobel Peace Prize and a replica of the Oval Office. The library often hosts guest lectures and other events as well.

GONE WITH THE WIND MUSEUM Dedicated to Margaret Mitchell’s world-famous novel and its classic movie adaptation, this charming museum on the historic Marietta Square showcases some of Mitchell’s personal volumes of the novel, as well as movie memorabilia, including the original honeymoon gown worn by Vivien Leigh in the film.

HIGH MUSEUM OF ART The High is considered the Southeast’s leading art museum for such prestigious exhibits as the upcoming Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collections, featuring masterpieces and rare objects from the collection of the Habsburg Dynasty (Oct. 18 - Jan. 17).

MARGARET MITCHELL HOUSE Explore the life of Mitchell, the former journalist best known as the author of Gone With the Wind, by touring the apartment where she wrote much of the novel. There are also exhibits on the writer and her worldfamous book.

MICHAEL C. CARLOS MUSEUM Known as one of the Southeast’s foremost museums of ancient art, this museum on the Emory University campus showcases objects from ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece, Africa, Asia and elsewhere. It also hosts educational lectures, workshops and other events.

NATIONAL CENTER FOR CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS This new attraction, open since June 2014, traces the history of the American civil rights movement and explores its relationship to today’s human rights efforts across the globe. Exhibits include items from Morehouse College’s collection of Dr. Martin Luther King’s personal papers and belongings.

SUWANEE SCULPTOUR This popular public art exhibit in Suwanee, a half-hour north of Atlanta, features 17 original sculptures that can be enjoyed during a 1-mile | Newcomer Magazine| |29 29 | Newcomer Magazine


ing tour in and around the city’s Town Center Park. The current exhibit will remain on display through March 2017.

The Science Center, which is not connected to the Fernbank Museum, features a two-story exhibit hall filled with educational displays. There’s also a planetarium and observatory, a large solar panel and the 65-acre Fernbank Forest.



This enchanting Midtown institution houses a museum dedicated to the art of puppetry. The Center also hosts workshops and performances, such as the recent Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. Upcoming highlights include Peter Pan (Sept. 24 - Oct. 25) and Pinocchio (Dec. 29 - Jan. 10).

THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF ATLANTA This downtown museum is currently closed for extensive renovations, but is set to open in late 2015 with a number of new and refurbished interactive attractions designed to stimulate learning and creativity. Exhibits allow children to tromp through a crawl space, work on a farm, learn about nutrition and explore their artistic sides.

FERNBANK MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY Take an entertaining and educational look at

Aesop’s Fables’ Fox and Crane at Center for Puppetry Arts.

natural history at this Decatur museum, with such permanent exhibits as A Walk Through Time in Georgia and Giants of the Mesozoic, which showcase some of the world’s largest dinosaurs. There’s also an IMAX theatre with an ever-changing lineup of fascinating and thrilling films.

Since first opening its doors in August of 2002, Interactive Neighborhood for Kids (INK) has established itself as a one-of-a-kind children’s museum that engages children of all ages through interactive, hands-on learning. Offering children a miniature version of a “grownup” community, INK allows them to role-play as doctors, nurses, teachers, postal workers and more.

TELLUS SCIENCE MUSEUM This Cartersville museum allows aspiring archeologists to stare into the jaws of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It also gives amateur astronomers a tour of the current evening’s sky at the planetarium. Other attractions include a mineral gallery and a look at transportation technology. The museum also hosts lectures and other educational programs.



10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Closed Sunday



Scarlett on the Square

Gift Shop, facility RentalS annual eventS

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Photo: Rod Reilly

Original Gone With the Wind memorabilia on display from the private collection of Dr. Christopher Sullivan. | Newcomer Magazine | 31





4 Great Destinations Less Than a Day’s Drive

Atlanta is filled with many exciting spots to visit and things to do, but sometimes you just want to explore someplace new. With the cooler breezes of fall now arriving, there’s no better time to take off on a well-deserved respite. Whether you’re looking to spend a night, a week or just an afternoon, your new home is convenient to several nearby locations worth a trip. Here are four fun-filled destinations, all less than a day’s drive. By Kevin Forest Moreau

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TOP: The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. MIDDLE: Stroll through the streets of Asheville’s downtown district. BOTTOM: Ruby Falls at Lookout Mountain.

Asheville, N.C. Approximately three and a half hours from Atlanta sits the beautiful and vibrant city of Asheville, renowned for its lively mix of architectural styles, an eclectic arts scene, a rich history and its nearly endless array of outdoor activities. Located in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is one of the top outdoor cities in the Southeast, with recreation options including white water rafting, hiking trails, zip line canopy tours, mountain biking, horseback riding and much more. The city’s downtown district is filled with lovingly preserved buildings sporting art deco, beaux arts and neoclassical designs. Visitors and locals stroll among artists, street musicians, art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and museums. The sprawling Biltmore Estate is one of Asheville’s must-see attractions; built in the late 1800s by art collector George Vanderbilt, it features 252 rooms and occupies more than 178,000 square feet. Other notable attractions include the Basilica of St. Lawrence, a Catholic church dating back to the early 1900s; the Moog Factory, where world-famous Moog synthesizers and electronic instruments are created; and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Historic Site, where the author spent part of his formative childhood.

PHOTO (Top):

Lookout Mountain, Ga. Just two hours northwest of Atlanta along the Georgia-Tennessee border, Lookout Mountain boasts a number of eye-opening attractions that will keep you and the kids busy all day. High atop the mountain, Rock City Gardens draws nearly half a million visitors a year, who come to view stunning rock formations thought to be 200 million years old. This 4,100-foot trail is also filled with deep crevices and lush gardens with more than 400 species of wildflowers and vegetation. Other attractions include the Enchanted Trail, which winds through the 14-acre property; a 1,000-ton balanced rock; the SwingA-Long Bridge, which spans nearly 200 feet; and Lover’s Leap, which offers breathtaking views of Newcomer Magazine | 33

The Nashville Skyline at night.

explore the battlefields of Point Park, where the Battle of Lookout Mountain took place during the Civil War.

Nashville, Tenn. Also just three and a half hours from Atlanta, Nashville sits on the Cumberland River and sports a rich downtown area known for its restaurants, entertainment venues, shops, galleries and museums. Nashville, the capital city of Tennessee, is

also widely known as the epicenter of the country music industry, earning the nickname “Music City.” Fans making a pilgrimage there will want to check out the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, a shrine to the genre’s rich past filled with historic artifacts and informative exhibits. The Grand Ole Opry House, another must-see musical landmark, is the home of the weekly Grand Ole Opry live show, dedicated to country, bluegrass, gospel and other downcontinued on page 36

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Nashville CVC.

seven states from above a 90-foot waterfall. Ruby Falls, located in a limestone cave deep in the heart of the mountain, is known as America’s tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public. This 145-foot waterfall flows from the roof of the cavern. For a unique experience, take one of the guided lantern tours. The Incline Railway, heralded as the steepest railway in the world, whisks visitors up to the top of Lookout Mountain, where they can enjoy magnificent views of the Chattanooga Valley and

The Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn.

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ride on Lake Chatuge. Climb to the top of Brasstown Bald, Georgia’s highest point of elevation at 4.784 feet above sea level, where a visitor information center and viewing tower await. Brasstown Valley Resort is one of the area’s premier lodging destinations, boasting a wide array of activities, from horseback riding, fishing, golf and spa indulgences, or the chance to curl up near the roaring fire in the rustic lobby. The area’s two largest towns, Young Harris and the county seat Hiawassee, are home to antique shops, art galleries and restaurants. Dine on gourmet fare at the Chophouse of Hiawassee or savor the traditional flavors of home cooking at Sit at Our Table.

Hamilton Gardens’ Rhododendron garden, Towns County, GA.

Towns County, Ga. Nestled against the North Carolina border, this northernmost Georgia county is a top destination in the fall. That’s the season when the lush woodlands of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chattahoochee National Forest burst into brilliant color, making it an excellent area to observe the seasonal change. It’s also close enough for a weekend getaway, allowing visitors to unwind with a hike beside natural waterfalls, a kayak ride along the Hiwassee River or a leisurely boat


Lookout Mountain

Nashville, Tenn.

Towns County

PHOTO: Courtesy of Towns County, GA.

home genres. The historic Ryman Auditorium, the Opry’s famous former venue, still hosts a variety of concerts and performances. Nashville is also home to Vanderbilt University, a private research college. The Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the classic Greek temple, houses an art museum. The Hermitage, the former plantation home of Andrew Jackson, is now a museum devoted to the former president. And the Tennessee State Museum traces the state’s past from prehistoric times to the present.

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THERE Driver’s License

Out-of-state drivers are required to obtain a Georgia driver’s license within 30 days. To obtain your license, you will need to provide the following: 1) Previous driver’s license; 2) Two pieces of identification; 3) An eye exam at the time of issue; 4) A $20 fee (in cash) for a five-year license, or a $35 fee for a 10-year license. Licenses are issued through the Georgia Department of Driver Services at several sites across Atlanta. Call 678-413-8400 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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Car Tag

MARTA Rail Service

You must register your car within 30 days of residency. Bring with you the following information: 1) Car title, name and address of lienholder, or copy of lease agreement; 2) Current tag registration; 3) Mileage reading of vehicle; 4) Proof of insurance; 5) Emission certificate (if applicable). There is an approximate $20 fee for your tag. In January 2006, the state began charging sales

GETTING STARTED tax on vehicles. Your tag office will provide the amount of sales tax on your vehicle. For information on a specific county, contact the appropriate county’s Tax Commissioner’s Office.

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

Driving Tips

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

NEED TO KNOW Voter Registration

Registration applies to U.S. citizens at least 18 years of age. You have up to 30 days before an election to register. Register at your local Voter Registration Office and most public libraries. Refer to the AT&T directory for locations, or download a registration form at

Making a Phone Call All phone numbers in the metro Atlanta area include the area code plus the sevendigit number. To make a phone call, dial one of the four area codes (404, 770, 678 and 470) and the seven-digit number. In general, 404 is designated for intown areas and 770 for suburbs; the 678 and 470 area codes overlay both areas. Cell phone subscribers can choose from any area code when signing up for service.

Registering for School By law, children must be 5 years old on or before September 1 to enter kindergarten and 6 years old on or before September 1 to enter the first grade. To enroll your child in either kindergarten or first grade, you will need to provide the child’s social security number; a vision, hearing, and dental screening from a family practitioner or local health clinic; and immunization records on Georgia State Form 3231. | 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 770-387-5631 City of Cartersville 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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Cherokee County

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


Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

County Neighborhoods Schools 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,

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

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 Avg. SAT Scores Cherokee Co. 1560 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 Amicalola EMC 706-276-2362 Cobb EMC 770-429-2100 Georgia Power 888-660-5890 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 Ball Ground 770-735-2000 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 | Newcomer Magazine | 41


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 $8,816 770-422-3500

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 AT&T 888-436-8638 Comcast 404-266-2278 MCI Worldcom 770-541-7235 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

White Water

Cobb County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Marietta City Schools Board of Education



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 redistributed land once part small-town atmosphere and boasts County of the Cherokee Nation. abundant parks and green space, Neighborhoods Named after Thomas exceptional recreational programs Welch Cobb, the county and top-notch schools, includ experienced a devastating ing Kennesaw State University. setback during the Civil Kennesaw’s Historic Downtown 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.

42 | Newcomer Magazine |




DeKalb County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

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.


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

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 DeKalb Peachtree Air- Population: 739,956 Sales 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.

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

EDUCATION pUBLIC schools DeKalb County Schools Board of Education 678-676-1200 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 Avg. SAT Scores DeKalb Co. 1334 City of Decatur 1577 Georgia 1460 National 1509 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

404-605-5000 | Newcomer Magazine | 43


PUBLIC SCHOOLS Fayette County Schools Board of Education 770-460-3535

Avg. SAT Scores

Fayette Co. Georgia National

1550 1431 1483

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

UTILITIES & CONTACTS HOME SERVICES ELECTRICITY Georgia Power Company 888-660-5890 Coweta-Fayette EMC 770-253-5626 GAS Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit TELEPHONE AT&T Residential


WATER Fayette County Water 770-461-1146 Comcast

CABLE TV 404-266-2278

HOSPITALS Fayette Care Clinic 770-719-4620 Piedmont Fayette Hospital 770-719-7000


Old-fashioned community pride mingles with a progressive sensibility on the streets of historic downtown Fayetteville, where antique stores and boutiques sit side by side in refurbished buildings. Boasting a population of approximately 16,000 residents, Fayetteville is home to the Fayette County Historic Society, Research Center and Museum. A haven for family fun, Dixieland Fun Park offers an assortment of activities for young and old alike. The HollidayDorsey-Fife Museum provides a fascinating link to the past thanks to its association with several historical figures, including Margaret Mitchell and "Doc" Holliday. The 1,500-seat Southern Ground Amphitheater attracts national touring acts with its annual summer concert series.

17 6 5 1 1 $8,359 770-460-3520 Photo: Courtesy of the City of Fayetteville

Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Alternative Open Campus Per-pupil expenditures School & bus information

Fayette County


Starr's Mill in Fayetteville

Located southwest of Atlanta, the land comprising Fayette County was ceded from the Creek Indian Nation in 1821, thus creating Georgia’s 49th county. The county seat, the city of Fayetteville, was established in 1823 and contains the oldest courthouse in the County state, built in 1825 and located Neighborhoods The area now known on Fayetteville’s historic town as Peachtree City was square. Both the county and city Schools originally settled by were named for the Marquis de Woodland Era Indians LaFayette, who fought alongside Median household income: $82,216 Median age of residents: 42.4 several thousand years ago, George Washington in the Population: 107,104 and ceded to the Federal Revolutionary War. Sales tax: 6% government in 1821 by Author Margaret Mitchell Chamber of Commerce Chief William McIntosh, Jr. spent many summers at her 770-461-9983, Comprising some grandfather’s home in Fayette 12,000 acres, Peachtree County, which helped to inspire Property Taxes Per $1,000 of assessed value is: City was chartered in the locations in her novel Gone With Unincorporated Fayette County, $30.70; 1950s as a masterplanned the Wind. Fayetteville, $31.64; community of five separate Today, the 199-square mile Peachtree City, $34.54. villages. Today, the area area is renowned as a thriving Tax Commissioner: 770-461-3611 is linked by a 90- mile economic center that features network of trails and golf numerous attractive incentives for businesses, including the 2,200From 1984 to 1994, Fayette cart paths connecting homes, acre Peachtree City Industrial Park, County was the fifth-fastest growing businesses, schools and parks. Gol carts, bicycles and walking are the which features its own Foreign Trade county in the U.S. Zone, which allows merchandise to Fayette County boasts several preferred modes of transportation enter from or exit to foreign countries golf courses and two amphitheaters, among its 35,000 residents, who without a formal U.S. Customs entry among other attractions serving a enjoy its wooded scenery and or payment of duties. In addition, family-oriented population of more wealth of parks, playgrounds and Fayette County maintains a rural, than 106,000 residents. Single-family recreational areas. N . small-town allure, and has been housing in Fayette County ranges For more counties and neighborhood recognized as one of the nation’s from the $50,000s in moderateinformation, visit our Web site at most attractive communities for income areas to more than $2 million corporate family relocation. in affluent neighborhoods.

44 || Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine |


Peachtree City


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

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.


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 riety of parks and outdoor 770-993-8806, 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 Middle Schools 14 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.


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 Gwinnett City Water 678-376-6800 Lawrenceville 770-963-2414 Norcross 770-448-2122 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


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

Mall of Georgia




46 | Newcomer Magazine |



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Riverside Sounds, Riverside Park Head to the river in Roswell on the first Saturday of every month to enjoy some fantastic live music. Bring a picnic or dine from one of the food trucks on site. Admission is free, and there is a free shuttle service from Azalea Park and Don White Memorial Park. Through Oct. 770-641-3705,

Fridays -N- Duluth, Duluth Town Green Every Friday night through October, visit downtown Duluth for a night filled with fun, food and live music. Also, on the first and third Friday of the month, movies are shown at dusk.

Suwanee Fest, Suwanee Town Center Park

Theater & Concerts Concerts by the Springs, Heritage Sandy Springs The Return, known as one of the best Beatles cover bands in the country, will take the stage for Concerts by the Springs in Sandy Springs. The Return has crafted a truly authentic, entertaining, and very exciting show. And in doing so, the band not only delivers a near perfect reproduction of a live Beatles concert.

PHOTO: Scott Quady

Through Oct., 770-476-3434,

Festival. Soul Asylum will be serving up a tangy musical performance. The annual festival will begin at 5 p.m. at Town Center Park. Following performances by local bands, Soul Asylum will perform at 8 p.m. Aug. 8,

Exhibits & Events Touch a Truck, Wills Park Spark your children’s curiosity at Alpharetta’s Touch a Truck event. Children can see, touch and explore a fire truck, dumb truck school bus, 18-wheeler, limo, police vehicles and more. The free event also includes animal balloons, face painting and inflatables. Aug. 22,

Atlanta Meatball Festival, Sandy Springs

Summer Stage Concert Series, Duluth Town Green Head to historic downtown Duluth on Aug. 15 for Yacht Rock Schooner and enjoy the smooth sounds of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Aug. 15,

The second annual Atlanta Meatball Festival will return to Belle Isle Square in Sandy Springs on Sunday, Aug. 30, to serve up a mighty selection of meatball dishes, live music, limoncello tastings and much more! Aug. 30,

Aug. 2, 404-851-9111,


Concerts in the Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden

Rhythms on the River, Chattahoochee Nature Center

Healthy Living Event, Atlanta Ballet, Midtown Atlanta

Enjoy some live music by some popular artists this summer with Concerts in the Garden. Acts coming up in August are Colbie Caillat (Aug. 7), John Hiatt and The Combo will be joined with The Taj Mahal Trio (Aug. 21), Melissa Etheridge (Aug. 22), and The Mavericks & Los Lobos (Aug. 28).

Enjoy music under the stars at the Chattahoochee Nature Center during Rhythms on the River. Bring a picnic basket to dine during the show. Adult beverages will be available for purchase. Shows will start at 6 p.m. Aug. 16,

The Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education will host an all-day healthy living celebration at the Michael C. Carlos Dance Centre in Midtown Atlanta. Kids and adults can participate in a variety of free activities, such as dance classes, food demonstrations, and special games and activities. The event is free to the public.

THIRD DAY, Turner Field The GRAMMY award-winning contemporary Christian band THIRD DAY is set to perform a postgame concert at Turner Field immediately following the 5:10 p.m. game. Concert admission is included with a paid game ticket. Aug. 9,

Sept. 20,,

Sept. 13, 404-873-5811,

Atlanta Meatball Festival, Sandy Springs

European Market, Downtown Alpharetta Feel like you’re a world away in downtown Alpharetta at the European Market. Shop for vintage home furnishings and décor, art, handmade jewelry, clothing and accessories and more. Sept. 19-20,

Suwanee’s August Concert and Wing Festival, Suwanee Town Center Park The wings aren’t the only things that will be flavorful at Suwanee’s August Concert & Wing 48 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Taste of Atlanta


Roswell Art Festival, Roswell Town Square Shop for fine art and original crafts at the 49th annual Roswell Art Festival on the historic Roswell Town Square. The event also includes

Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting, High Museum of Art

PHOTO: Kim Kenney

Healthy Living Event, Atlanta Ballet, Midtown Atlanta

entertainment by singers, dancers and children’s entertainers, well as painting, sand art and other activities. Food vendors will be on site, and there is a free shuttle service from Roswell City Hall. Sept. 19-20,

Suwanee Fest, Suwanee Town Center Park Have some family fun this fall at Suwanee Fest, an award-winning, two-day festival that celebrates all things in the community. Suwanee Fest features more than 100 arts and craft vendors, dozens of yummy festival food choices, a parade, hours of onstage entertainment, and rides and activities for children. Sept. 19-20,

A Short Drive Away Music on Main Street, Downtown Hendersonville, North Carolina A favorite downtown event, Music on Main Street offers classic rock ’n’ roll and beach music throughout the summer. Through August 14,

Dawsonville Music and Beer Festival, Dawsonville GA Head to the mountains for music, beer and crafts at the Dawsonville Music and Beer Festival. Bands slated to perform include Reluctant Saints and Back N Black. Aug. 21-22,

Wine Trail Weekend 2015, Dahlonega, GA No need to hop a plane to California, France or Italy to savor award-winning wines— Dahlonega is home to Georgia’s own wine country. Now, visitors can enjoy a weekend of tastings at five wineries for one low price at the annual Dahlonega Wine Trail weekend passport event. For just $30, oenophiles and vino novices can enjoy weekend long festivities at all five of Dahlonega’s unique vineyards. Aug. 22-23, 706-864-3711,

Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi: Whim, Serenbe GA Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi will venture south of the city for its first engagement at Serenbe, the progressive community connected to nature on the edge of Atlanta. In Whim, the troupe will perform new works by first-time Wabi Sabi choreographer Robyn Mineko Williams along with premieres by Atlanta Ballet‘s Tara Lee, Heath Gill and Sarah Hillmer. Aug. 23,

Sevier County Fair, Sevierville, Tennessee Head to Sevierville, Tenn. for a traditional hometown fair with a midway, carnival rides, games, contests and concerts. Sept. 7-12,

Art Crawl at The Commons, Sevierville, Tennessee Enjoy live music; art; and treats from area eateries, distilleries and wineries during Art Crawl at The Commons in Sevierville, Tenn. Five wines and five whiskeys will be paired with food from local restaurants. Sept. 24,

A T. rex Named Sue, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, Florida A short trip to Gainesville, Florida and you’ll be able to experience the largest, most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered! Pack up the kids and take a short drive for this worthwhile experience. Through Sept. 13, 352-846-2000,

Thursday Night Bike Nights at The Diner, Sevierville, Tennessee Classic diner food and awesome bikes are served up Thursday nights from 5-9pm at The Diner in Sevierville, Tenn. Bikers get specials on classic diner fare and attendance every week qualifies you for a ticket to the monthly drawing for a leather jacket or $100. Through November, | Newcomer Magazine | 49



ake a stroll through Suwanee’s Town Center Park on any given day, and you’ll find yourself immersed in an outdoor gallery of art pieces that range from Corey—a horse sculpture created out of car engine parts and tools—to Dancer XX, a sculpture that features a man who seems to fly when the wind hits just right. These figures are part of the city’s SculpTour, an exhibit now in its fourth year, and arranged along an approximate one-mile walking tour. City officials began soliciting work from artists in 2011 to display as part of the exhibit. Initially, pieces selected for SculpTour were displayed for one year but now each exhibit remains for the duration of two years. The SculpTour exhibit was born out of the desire to create a public art initiative. City council members and city employees visited Columbus, which boasts a similar program, and were inspired to bring public art to Suwanee. “What makes cities great is architecture,” says Denise Brinson, assistant city manager. “When you think of Paris, you think of the Eiffel Tower. When By Cady Schulman I think of great cities, I think of great architecture.” That’s what city officials hope to achieve with the public arts display. Seventeen pieces were selected out of 70 proposals for the current exhibition, which will be on display for two years, ending in March 2017. The goal is to create an eclectic mix of different mediums by various artists. The area receives heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and city officials project that every day, around 20,000 people drive by one particular exhibit, The Herd, which includes eight whimsical goats created out of steel. When each exhibition comes to a close, not all the sculptures will bid farewell to the area. The city hosts a People’s Choice competition on its website, and the SculpTour art piece which receives the most votes is purchased through private donations and added to the city’s permanent collection. The SculpTour exhibit is located in Town Center Park, 330 Town Center Avenue, Suwanee, GA 30024. For more information, call 770-945-8996 or visit

SculpTour Exhibit

Suwanee’s Passion for Art

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52 | Newcomer Magazine |

Newcomer Magazine | August/September 2015  

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

Newcomer Magazine | August/September 2015  

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