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Relocation, Lifestyle & Living in Atlanta


December/January 2016

Discover What Makes


The Inside Scoop on Your New City PLUS!

How to Stay Involved in Your Child’s Education Expert Advice on Landing the Perfect Job

’Tis the Season Holiday Festivities Across the State | Newcomer Magazine | 3

December/January CONTENTS FEATURES Finding the Perfect Job in Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Discover What Makes Atlanta Great . . . . . . . . . 26

Learn how to market yourself and make connections as you navigate your new city’s employment landscape.

We break down everything you need to know about this spectacular city, from its top-flight arts scene to its stellar attractions, entertainment options and much more.

The Parent-Teacher Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 ‘Tis the Season for Holiday Celebrations . . . . . . 32

How to establish a strong partnership with your child’s school and stay involved in his or her education.

Looking for some holiday fun? Check out these festive events around the state, from breathtaking light displays to trips to Georgia’s past.




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

Homes and Communities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

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

The home-buying decision is easier if you know the factors that affect your home’s value. Here’s insight to help your home value hold strong.

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

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

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

A small-town community filled with gorgeous homes, College Park also offers convenient access to the airport and downtown Atlanta.

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

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

The Monastery of the Holy Spirit offers a peaceful retreat just east of metro Atlanta, in Rockdale County.

Woodward Academy, the largest day school in the continental United States, is dedicated to developing lifelong learners from an early age.

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

PHOTO: (Center) Charlie McCullers Courtesy Atlanta Ballet.

In Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 | Newcomer Magazine | 5

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

Patrick Killam

& promotions Jeff Thompson


contributing writers

Anna Bentley, H. M. Cauley, Dawn Sloan Downes, Kevin Forest Moreau, Hope S. Philbrick, Laura Raines, Jackson Reeves Margaret Tate, Muriel Vega director of sales & marketing

Patrick Killam account director

Lacey James

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Newcomer magazine, December/January 2016 Volume 19, Issue 5. 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

A Modern Holiday When one of Santa’s helpers learns that he’s actually a human and not an ELF, he sets out to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Join sweet, innocent Buddy on his New York adventure as Broadway in Atlanta presents the stage adaptation of the hit holiday movie at the Fox Theatre, Dec. 2 through 6. For tickets and other information, call 800-278-4447 or visit www.

PHOTO: Joan Marcus

Light Up the Night

There’s no better way to get into the spirit of the season than to experience Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s holiday light extravaganza. For its fifth year, this popular tradition features the new Tunnel of Light, alongside such favorites as the Glittering Galaxy, Radiant Rainforest and more. The display runs through Jan. 9. For more information, call 404-876-5859 or visit

A “Super” Fun Time

PHOTO: Charlie McCullers

Students at Woodward Academy recently took a break from their studies to celebrate the youngest among them during Super Goober Day. This annual fall festival for Woodward’s Pre-K through sixth-grade students included bouncy houses and slides, carousels, face painting, food and much, much more. We’re already looking forward to next year!

20 Years of “Nutcracker” There’s no doubt that The Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker is a highlight of the city’s holiday season every year. But this year promises to be extra-special, as it marks the 20th anniversary of Artistic Director John McFall’s version of the classic tale. The Ballet will celebrate the occasion with a special opening-night red carpet event as it kicks off 19 performances, Dec. 11 through 27. For tickets and other information, please call 855-285-8499 or visit 8 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Atlanta Botanical Garden


infocus Suwanee’s Holly Jolly Evening

PHOTO: LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta

St. Nick will be pretty busy all December getting ready for his big night, but he’s carved some time out of his busy schedule to swing by Suwanee’s Jolly Holly-Day celebration on Friday, Dec. 4. Choruses from local schools will perform seasonal tunes, and free hot chocolate, cookies and s’mores will be served while supplies last. For more information, visit

Build Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Every weekend in December, families are invited to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at the Holiday Bricktacular at LEOGLAND Discovery Center Atlanta! Take part in the Big Tree Build Dec. 5 and 6, and participate in a holiday costume contest Dec. 19 and 20. Learn to build LEGO snowflakes, enjoy the MINILAND Santa takeover and more! For tickets, visit | Newcomer Magazine | 9


Perfect Job Employment Experts Share Tips of the Trade By Laura Raines

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to know that he won’t have to fly you in for an interview or pay to relocate you.”

Get the Lay of the Land

So you’ve decided to live in Atlanta. Good choice! In addition to its temperate climate, world-class airport, friendly neighborhoods and other amenities, metro Atlanta boasts an excellent business environment. The area is home to over 150,000 businesses, and the headquarters of 20 Fortune 500 companies.


hether you’re the spouse of someone whose business relocated here, or you’ve simply decided to try a fresh start in a new market, one thing’s for certain—you won’t find a job just sitting in front of your computer all day. You’ll need to sharpen your job search materials, do some research— and get out and meet a lot of new people.

Where to Start “The first step in any job search is to understand your value to an employer,” says Jane Horowitz, a college-to-career expert and founder of More Than a Resume. “Look at your past work experiences to find your accomplishments and the skills that made them possible. Know your strengths and what you like to do, so you’ll be ready for the ‘Tell me about yourself’ interview

question when it inevitably comes up. Horowitz recommends having business cards printed with your name and contact information on the front and a short value statement on the back. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is current, complete and has a photo. “Hiring managers will use LinkedIn to fact-check and learn more about you,” she says. Whether you’re proofing business cards, updating an online profile or putting together a resume, make sure you have an Atlanta address and phone number, says Tom Darrow, founder and principal of Talent Connections, an Atlanta recruiting and professional services firm, and a career transition company. “Having a non-local phone number can be a yellow flag that gets you bumped to the ‘no’ stack,” he says. “You want the hiring manager

Many job-seekers patrol sites like and, which can be helpful, but experts advise diving deeper to broaden your search. Darrow recommends such resources as the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Book of Lists, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and local job sites like County chambers of commerce, local business associations, and the Georgia Department of Labor’s career centers and Twitter feed (www. twitter. com/GeorgiaDOL) are also useful. When searching for a position, “your target list of employers should include only those who would be a good fit for your skills and interests,” says Horowitz. When you have a target list of about 15 employers, research those companies on Google and LinkedIn. Follow them on Twitter or Facebook. If possible, use your connections to find people who work there, and ask about openings. “In this market, companies who ask for 20 qualifications will probably find candidates with all 20.” says Darrow. “But the person who gets hired will most likely have the 21st thing, which is a recommendation from someone who works there. If a friend has a contact in a target company, ask her to email the employee to tell her about you and to send on a copy of your resume. Having an employee refer you will help you bypass the electronic applications pile, but having a personal recommendation would be even much better.”

Make Connections Of course, you can’t get a recommendation if you don’t really know anyone in Atlanta. That’s one reason why meeting people is so very important. “Networking is a core competency in | Newcomer Magazine | 11

business these days,” says Darrow. Hallie Crawford, certified career coach and founder of Create Your Career Path, agrees. “Even though Atlanta is an urban city, it has a small-town, friendly way of doing things,” she says. “Networking and connections are very important here.” One way to make those connections, she says, is to “ask friends and family who they know in Atlanta, and take those contacts to coffee, even if they work in a different industry. You could make a friend or an important connection.” Another way to make professional connections is by attending networking meetings. Start with chambers, business councils, an industry or professional association, or the local alumni club of your college. “In Atlanta, churches have strong career and job-seeking outreach programs that are open to anyone,” Crawford says. “Since professional recruiters often lead the programs, it’s a good place to network and to hear useful tips,” says Darrow. Volunteering for a cause you believe in can also help, he says. “You’ll connect with people who share your interests, and they’ll be able to recommend you as someone who gives back.” Lastly, Darrow recommends forming “your

create a spreadsheet or log to keep track of potential employers, calls and interviews. Because of the city’s size and traffic, you’ll want to target employers who are within a reasonable commute to your house. And always take traffic into consideration. And while you’re interviewing, Darrow also recommends pursuing contract, consulting or part-time work. “It will look good on your resume and improve your budget,” he says. Temporary work through staffing agencies can also lead to permanent employment. By staying focused, organized and active, you’re sure to increase your chances of finding the right job and ending up in the perfect position. Good luck!

HELPFUL RESOURCES own personal board of advisors, mentors or friends. Ask them to breakfast. Tell them what you are looking for and can do, and then listen to their suggestions and ideas. Discuss offers with them so that you don’t panic and take the wrong job. Job seeking is an emotional business, and you shouldn’t do it alone. Advisors can help you think clearly.” As you go about the job-seeking process,

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Atlanta Business Chronicle Georgia Department of Labor Metro Atlanta Chamber Metro Atlanta Jobs

Johns Creek Montessori sChool of GeorGia

Sowing the seeds of organic learning Multi-age, vibrant learning communities with uninterrupted blocks of work time Montessori certified teacher in every classroom Hands-on, multi-sensory learning materials Nutritious lunch, organic milk, and healthy snacks offered daily 6450 East Johns Crossing • Johns Creek, GA 30097 770-814-8001 • | Newcomer Magazine | 13






By Dawn Sloan Downes

Turning Smart Decisions Into Future Dividends You’re about to buy a new home in Atlanta and hundreds, if not thousands, of dazzling possibilities dance in your head like the quintessential sugarplum on Christmas Eve—granite countertops, hardwood floors, berber carpeting and sunken tubs. Many of the choices you make, like upgraded carpet or antique bronze plumbing fixtures, will simply add to your comfort and pleasure with no impact on your home’s value. That’s okay. Our homes are meant to reflect our personal style and serve as havens of comfort and joy. However, some crucial choices you make may determine how well your home retains its value in the years to come. 14 | Newcomer Magazine |

It’s About Location “Location! Location! Location!” It’s the apocryphal motto of real estate agents as far back as anyone can remember, and for good reason. Aside from the size and style of your home, few choices affect the value of your home more than location. When looking for a home, consider locations that are a close commute to major business corridors where many jobs are located. In the metro Atlanta area there are lots of options. A study by the National Association of Realtors shows that home buyers increasingly prefer homes in walk-able neighborhoods and mixeduse developments as they attempt to reduce their carbon footprint, reduce time spent away from their families commuting, and create lives centered around family and community. Close proximity to mass transit can also have a beneficial impact on your home’s value. Naturally, you’ll also want to consider the quality and reputation of the school district in which you purchase your new home. “Even if a buyer doesn’t currently have or plan to have a school-age child, school districts continues to be one of the strongest indicators of home values,” says Joan Kaplan, a Realtor with Drake Realty in Decatur. Kaki Colvin, a Realtor at Harry Norman Realtors, agrees. “The better school districts tend to sell faster, and will retain much of their value due to their location in a better school district.”

A Quality Build Whether you’re choosing an older home in an established neighborhood or want to work with a builder in a new development to personalize your dream home, look for the highest quality in your price range. “Homes made of quality materials by quality craftsmen are far more likely to hold their value,” says Kaplan. One of the best ways to find a quality home is through the referrals of family and friends. If they’re happy with their home and have had no major problems, you can probably depend on the quality of other homes in their neighborhood or built by their builder. Also, look to builders who can show a proven track record of quality builds. Of course, you’ll want to have any home inspected by a certified home inspector before finalizing an offer. If you’re looking in a new development, don’t make your decision to buy based solely on a visit to a model home. Insist on seeing a finished house or unit that is still vacant. Also, visit older developments built by your builder and see how well the homes have held up over time.

The Devil is in the Details Many of the choices you make in choosing a | Newcomer Magazine | 15

home and neighborhood will pay for themselves in years of cozy contentment. Others will continue paying dividends when you put your house on the market years later. Learning about which options have the biggest financial impact on your home’s value can make your choices a little easier. So, is finding a neighborhood with a pool worth it? Probably so, says Colvin. “A well-maintained neighborhood pool can definitely add to the value of your home, though it’s hard to put a figure on the actual impact.” Both Realtors also point out that any amenities like pools, tennis courts, parks and playgrounds, or neighborhood clubhouses can increase the value of your home but come with the added cost of HOA dues. What about your home’s interior? Is the high-end custom kitchen worth the extra cost? Kaplan says no. “Kitchens and master bathrooms are very important to future buyers. You want them to be nice, but don’t over improve them! For instance, upgrading to mid-range cabinetry will give you more value and retain it better than upgrading to superior

and ceramic tile are always worth the cost of the upgrade in return on investment because they will last for decades and never go out of style,” Justus says. “They are second in value only to adding granite countertops. Builders can upgrade your countertops from laminate to granite relatively inexpensively.”

Making a Wise Decision

A well-maintained neighborhood pool can definitely add to the value of your home. cabinetry since most buyers can’t tell the difference.” One splurge she does recommend? Hardwood floors. Lisa Justus, Vice President of Benchmark Homes, agrees. “Hardwood flooring

Fortunately, as you start your search for a new home here in Atlanta, you’ll find developments by builders and developers with solid reputations, offering many value-holding features and amenities. The ultimate value of any home is the love and laughter shared inside its walls. Practically speaking, our homes remain the largest financial investment most of us will ever make. That’s why it is so important we make smart choices when buying them. Choosing wisely when it comes to the core decisions that will help our homes hold their value, we can enjoy the fruits of our thoughtful decision-making regarding location, quality and a few choice amenities long after our new home dreams have settled into a beautiful reality.

Victory World Christian School is a multicultural community of learners committed to Christian discipleship, academic excellence & world transformation. 1 Pre-K (4) through 5th grade elementary program 1 High curriculum standards & creative learning environments 1 Interactive technology in every classroom 1 Pick from 8 foreign languages to learn using Rosetta Stone

5905 Brook Hollow Parkway Norcross, Ga 30071 Ph: 678.684.2030 Fax: 678.684.2031

16 | Newcomer Magazine | | Newcomer Magazine | 17


spotlight College Park by Muriel Vega

PHOTOS: Courtesy of the City of College Park


ollege Park serves as a gateway to Atlanta, thanks to its proximity to both HartsfieldJackson Atlanta International Airport and downtown Atlanta. Home to the corporate headquarters of Chick-fil-A, it’s also a growing community with lots of small-town charm, beautiful historic homes and a walkable Main Street.


Historic College Park Arts Festival

The Historic College Park neighborhood features many historic homes, ranging from around $50,000 to more than $400,000. Cooks Landing (770-774-4500) is a safe, family-friendly subdivision right off Camp Creek Parkway with more than 300 homes in the low $80,000 range, a pool and a very active homeowners association. The Rugby Valley Apartments (404-2099600) offer five different floor plans with European-style kitchens and private patios, as well as private tennis courts and a swimming pool.

Culinary Treats

Georgia International Convention Center

Head to the Corner Grille (404-767-1135) for Cajun takes on traditional American fare. Barbecue Kitchen (404-766-9906) specializes in breakfast along with barbecue staples, jalapeno cornbread and homemade peach cobbler. The Manchester Arms (404-763-9980) is the spot for British pub fare like fish and chips. The Brake Pad (404-766-1515) serves up satisfying burgers and sandwiches on a breezy patio. The Pecan (404-762-8444) offers a blend of classic and contemporary Southern style cuisine, such as shrimp and grits. Urban Foodie Café (404-209-7979), previously known as the Feed Store and housed in an actual former feed store, presents a fine-dining take on classic Southern and New American cuisine. Simon’s Steak and Seafood (404-768-0143) is a go-to Historic College Park Home

The Pecan

The Inside Track College Park boasts the fourth-largest urban historic district in Georgia, with 867 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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spot for, well, hand-cut steaks and seafood, as well as ribs, chicken and pasta.

Local Treasures The heart of College Park is located on Main Street and Virginia Avenue, with businesses, restaurants and shops lining the streets. The Georgia International Convention Center (770997-3566) is connected to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport by the ATL Sky Train, making it a hub for major conventions and meetings. The city is also home to Woodward Academy (404-765-4000), the largest independent college-preparatory school in the continental United States. The school offers instruction from Pre-K through high school. The College Park Woman’s Club (404-767-7212) provides a stylish setting for meetings, receptions and special events.

Arts and Entertainment Sponsored by the local Neighborhood Association, the Historic College Park Arts Festival arrives each fall with a raffle, train rides, face painting, ceramic demonstrations, arts and food vendors and more. The College Park Municipal Golf Course (404-761-0731) is a nine-hole course with no tee times and extremely reasonable rates. The Wolf Creek Amphitheater (404-613-9653) offers a new outdoor venue for jazz and summer concerts. N

Enabling Children with Learning Differences

to Succeed ✔ Pre-K through 8th Grade ✔ Small group instruction using multi-sensory techniques ✔ Academic programs matched to individual’s strengths Phone: 770-594-1313 I 200 Cox Rd. Roswell

W W W. P O R T E R A C A D E M Y. O R G | Newcomer Magazine | 19


I N Si G H T



CONNECTION How to Stay Involved in Your Child’s Education By H.M. Cauley

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Getting an Early Start

For many parents, the weeknight doesn’t end until the homework is over. Then it’s on to making sure everything is ready to go in the morning, from backpacks to sneakers. But being the involved parent of a school-aged child means more than just drilling vocabulary words and getting your kids to class on time. It requires a commitment to partnering with teachers and the school to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

Just about every school hosts regular parentteacher conferences where parents can interact with those who are educating their children. But many schools also employ built-in systems for keeping the lines of communication open, starting before the student even sets foot in the classroom. Teachers in the Cobb County School District reach out to parents during the system’s annual meet-and-greet sessions before the school year begins. “Teachers usually give out sheets with their contact information, including an email address,” says Dr. Barbara Swinney, area assistant superintendent. “It’s also the time when they discuss their expectations for the year and solicit volunteers to help out in the classroom.” At Atlanta Girls’ School, a Buckhead independent school for girls in grades 6 through 12, “We start each school year with grade-level meetings, and each grade has a dean who also gets to know the students and families,” says Dean of Students Peggy Hasty. Patsy Ward, lower school principal at The Children’s School in Midtown, says her staff starts off each school year by calling every family individually to discuss their expectations and goals. “We encourage parents to share what their hopes and dreams are for the coming year and to tell us what their vision is,” she says. | Newcomer Magazine | 21

“It’s also a good time to talk about a child’s special learning needs or style or strengths. The more insight a parent can provide, the better for us. And it’s important to know that well before the first parent-teacher conference.”

Keeping Parents Up to Date As the parent of an elementary-aged student, Cobb County’s Swinney sees firsthand how effectively the school system maintains a consistent and informative relationship with parents. “First, school communication comes home every night, and I have to sign it,” she says. “Teachers write notes, and I can write notes back. On Friday, I get a folder of all the assignments, and there’s usually a teacher newsletter in there, too. The teachers also create videos and post them on the school’s website as resources for parents to work with children. Teachers will also call up to remind about events and invite parents to come to the school. It is definitely well beyond just going to a parent-teacher conference.” Similarly, Hasty says that at Atlanta Girls’ School, the goal is to make parents team players in their children’s success.

“We help our parents to be partners with us so we can provide the very best learning environment,” she says. “All students also have an advisor who is the student’s advocate, and that person is in contact with parents monthly. And parents can always approach teachers directly. We constantly work to help parents understand where their student is in her learning and social development.” The school has an extensive website where homework assignments and grades are posted,

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so parents can monitor progress. It’s also a tool for keeping everyone up to date on activities and events for both parents and students. When parents get to know what’s going on and what resources are available, it enhances the learning experience, Hasty says. “Of course, online communication never replaces a relationship with a student’s teacher, dean or advisor,” she notes. “But it’s another way to make parents partners with us so everything works so much more smoothly. It’s hard to think of situations we can’t overcome when we’re all on the same page. And if we’re all talking to each other, that also means that students can’t play one against the other.” “I always say we can solve any problem as long as we can talk about it,” says Ward, whose school serves students from age 3 through sixth grade. “If a child comes home and reports something that happened, and it doesn’t seem right, I tell parents to call us right away. But I also discourage teachers from having lengthy conversations via email; it’s really hard to read someone’s tone. I tell teachers if they use email, it should be to set up a good time to call.”

education, which can be especially helpful if there’s bad news or a behavioral issue. “If a teacher has difficult information to deliver, parents are more receptive if there’s already a trusting relationship,” she says. “They know the teachers have the child’s best interests at heart. There’s no question that the relationship between the school and families is essential to a child’s success.”

TIPS FOR BUILDING A GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIP 1. A  sk Questions: Ask for regular updates on your child’s academic, social and behavioral progress, and how you can help at home.

Getting Involved Another way for parents to achieve a better understanding of what’s going on in their child’s education is to volunteer at the school. It’s a great way to establish relationships with staff members and other school officials and get a better look at how the school operates, says Cobb County’s Swinney. “When I was a principal, we had parents in the building all the time,” she says. “Being there

gives them the chance to develop relationships not only with their own child’s teachers but with everyone. As children get older, it seems there are fewer opportunities to get involved, and you have to make more of an effort, but I feel the older they get, the more they need you there.” The bottom line, says Ward, is that a strong relationship with a school or a particular teacher helps to establish a parent’s trust in their child’s

2. F ollow Up: In addition to parent-teacher conferences, ask the teacher which method of communication works best for regular feedback: phone calls, emails, monthly visits? 3. O  ther Ways to Get Involved: Helping out an hour a week can provide valuable insight. But even just chaperoning a field trip or dropping by to donate supplies is a great way to establish a connection and show you’re involved. | Newcomer Magazine | 23


Woodward Academy

Where Character Takes Center Stage By Jackson Reeves


estled just southwest of downtown Atlanta, College Park’s Woodward Academy sees character as crucial to a child’s education. Through individualized guidance from pre-kindergarten through high school, teachers help students to achieve their maximum potential. All of the school’s graduates achieve acceptance into four-year colleges and universities, and notable alumni include former Coca-Cola president and Atlanta philanthropist Robert W. Woodruff. “Woodward Academy is indeed a special place with a unique culture, where students are prepared for college and for life,” says president Stuart Gulley. The school’s proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport helps to explain the academy’s worldwide reach. Woodward’s International and Global connections program sends students to study abroad in such myriad locales as Zambia, China and the French Alps. “We often hear that we are a microcosm of Atlanta, but I view Woodward as a microcosm of the world,” says Gulley. “Our students gain immensely from the many varied perspectives present in our community, connecting with friends and classmates, challenging each other to think independently, and learning tolerance, empathy and gratitude.” Woodward also emphasizes giving back to its surrounding communities. Its students devote more than 5,000 hours of community service each year. “I believe in servant leadership—that leaders must put aside their own needs in service to the greater good,” Gulley explains. “And I see it demonstrated every day in our students.” Established in 1900 by John Charles Woodward, the school set out to put into practice its founder’s belief that character, health and knowledge served as pillars of success. Since going co-educational in 1964, it has

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become one of the leading college preparatory schools in the country. A satellite school named Woodward North opened in Johns Creek in 1990 to provide schooling through 6th grade for families along metro Atlanta’s northern arc. With more than 2,700 students in enrollment, Woodward is the largest independent school in the continental U.S. The school boasts an average class size of 16 and offers 20 Advanced Placement courses for its students. Woodward offers curricular and extracurricular outlets for all types of students. For those interested in science, mathematics, and technology, the school has an electron microscope and planetarium. For others interested in the arts, performers from the Atlanta Shakespeare Company help high school students produce one of the bard’s plays every few years. For individuals with athletic inclinations, the school’s teams have won more than 30 state championships since 2000. Whatever their interest, Woodward helps students to fine tune their skill sets and temper them in real-world scenarios. Combined with the school’s emphasis on character, its graduates enter the world prepared for anything that might come their ways. “I am awed each day by Woodward students, not only by their intellects, leadership abilities and academic achievements but also by their strength of character,” says Gulley. N

The Specifics Grades: Pre-K - 12 Student/Teacher Ratio: 7:1 Tuition: $15,100 - $24,800 Location: College Park

Contact: 1662 Rugby Avenue, College Park, GA 30337 404-765-4000 Web: | Newcomer Magazine | 25


Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker is an annual holiday tradition.

Discover What Makes Atlanta a Great Place to Live

As a new or future Atlanta resident, you’ve picked a great city to call home. But undoubtedly, you are likely experiencing some stress and anxiety as a result of preparing for your new life in an unfamiliar place. A new job, a new school for your children, new people, new places. But rest assured: Atlanta is a great place for everyone, and no matter your situation, Atlanta is sure to feel like home.

PHOTO: Charlie McCullers Courtesy Atlanta Ballet

By Kevin Forest Moreau

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TOP: Stone Mountain Park’s lasershow. BOTTOM: Atlanta History Center. RIGHT: Woodward Academy is the largest private school in the U.S.

movie. The Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville showcases art and artifacts from and exploring the American West. For hiking, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, stretching over more than 2,900 acres in Cobb County, commemorates an historic Civil War battleground. To the east, Stone Mountain Park, said to be Georgia’s most popular attraction, boasts 3,200 acres of beautiful scenery, amusement rides, hiking trails, golf and much more, all of it surrounding Stone Mountain and its historic portrait of Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis.


PHOTOS: (Top) Stone Mountain Park Stone Mountain, Ga; (Bottom) Courtesy of Atlanta History Center


here’s a lot to learn about this impressive city and its surrounding metropolitan area. On the pages that follow, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about this capital city of the Southeast, from its top-flight arts scene to its stellar attractions, entertainment options and rising status as the Hollywood of the South.

BUSINESS Atlanta boasts one of the highest concentrations of Fortune 500 companies in the country, serving as the global headquarters to 20 corporations including Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, Aflac, The Southern Company and UPS. Atlanta also enjoys a robust media industry.

Turner Broadcasting, which includes CNN, TBS, TNT, the Cartoon Network and other properties, is headquartered here. The Weather Channel makes its home right here in the metro Atlanta area, as well.

HISTORY The metro area offers many links to Atlanta’s historic past. The 33-acre Atlanta History Center in Buckhead explores the city’s rich past with two museums, six gardens and two historic plantations. It also runs the Margaret Mitchell House in Midtown, where the author once lived and where she wrote much of Gone With the Wind. The Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum features an impressive collection of memorabilia related to the book and

Atlanta is home to a wealth of notable independent schools, including Holy Spirit Preparatory School, High Meadows School, The SAE School and Woodward Academy, the largest private school in the continental United States. In addition, several public school systems across the metro area boast magnet schools for students with special abilities, as well as charter schools, which are given more freedom in how they educate children. The area is also home to more than 40 colleges and universities of different sizes, including such nationally recognized higher-learning schools as Agnes Scott College, Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Oglethorpe University, Georgia State University and Kennesaw State University. The Savannah College of Art and Design maintains a presence in Atlanta, as does Macon-based | Newcomer Magazine | 27

Mercer University. The city is also home to several distinguished historically black colleges including Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Morris Brown College and Spelman College.

HEALTH CARE Atlanta is well known for its hospitals and medically related entities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), located near Emory University, heads a list of locally based organizations and research facilities that includes the American Cancer Society, the Emory University School of Medicine and Morehouse School of Medicine. Grady Memorial Hospital is renowned for having one of the best trauma and burn centers in the nation, while Northside Hospital delivers more babies per year than any other community hospital in the country. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is regarded as one of the nation’s premier pediatric hospitals. The Shepherd Center, one of the nation’s leading catastrophic care hospitals for patients with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and degenerative disorders, is headquartered here. Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, part of Piedmont Healthcare, has been recognized on U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Hospitals” list.


FAMILY FUN The city also offers many attractions of special interest to children. The Center for Pup-

TOP: The Dare Devil roller coaster at Six Flags over Georgia. BOTTOM: The Mall of Georgia in Buford, Ga.

petry Arts traces the history of this unique art form and houses exclusive exhibits spotlighting the work of Jim Henson. The newly renovated Children’s Museum of Atlanta offers fun, informative exhibits for young children and preteens. Interactive Neighborhood for Kids is an interactive museum in Gainesville where children can role-play and climb aboard a real 1927 fire truck. The LEGO Discovery Center is an interactive playground filled with the world-famous building blocks, designed to delight and inspire children ages 3 through 10. The Six Flags Over Georgia theme park offers roller coasters, water rides and other thrills. The Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville makes learning about science fun, with engaging hands-on exhibits and

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galleries as well as a planetarium and observatory.

HOLLYWOOD OF THE SOUTH In the past decade, a booming TV and film industry has grown throughout the state. In 2010, Georgia’s was the fourth-largest film industry in the nation. Lured by tax incentives, motion pictures and television shows, including “The Walking Dead” and “The Vampire Diaries,” are constantly filming here. Two large production studios, Tyler Perry Studios and EUE/Screen Gems, are located in the metro area, and there are plans to expand existing studios and build new facilities in Fayette County and Covington.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Atlanta is a hub of the arts. The Tony Award-

BOTTOM PHOTO: Courtesy Mall of Georgia

Atlanta was conceived as a railroad town and is a major railroad spot. But its status as a major transportation hub is thanks largely these days to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Consistently ranked as the world’s busiest airport, it recently added a new international terminal that should keep it atop such lists for years to come. Three major interstates—20, 75 and 85—converge here, adding to the city’s convenience factor. Of course, that also results in traffic congestion—a reality for any metropolis with as many millions of residents as Atlanta—but the city boasts a number of public-transportation alternatives to automobile traffic, including MARTA, the area’s premier rail and bus service, as well as Cobb Community Transit, Gwinnett County Transit, and Xpress, a commuter bus service. The Atlanta BeltLine, a multi-use trail encircling the city and providing park space, provides yet another option.

with informative exhibits, IMAX films and giant dinosaur skeletons in its atrium. The Center for Civil and Human Rights features exhibits and educational programs that aim to show visitors how the American civil rights movement and modern civil rights issues around the world are linked—and empower visitors to enact change in their own communities.

SHOPPING As befits a metro area of Atlanta’s size, there are a great many shopping options to satisfy your every need. Super-sized shopping malls Cumberland Mall, Discover Mills, Lenox Square Mall, Mall of Georgia and Phipps Plaza offer hundreds of shops, as well as food courts, movie theaters and more. Atlantic Station, a Midtown mixed-use development, is home to such retailers as H&M, Target and Dillard’s. North Georgia Premium Outlets and Tanger Outlets, both a little outside the city, sport great brands and bargain prices. Meanwhile, the Buckhead neighborhood is your spot for high-end retail, while Little Five Points buzzes with record shops and thrift stores and Virginia-Highland is stuffed with artsy clothing and home-décor boutiques. 

KNOW THE LINGO Big Chicken: An Atlanta landmark, this 56-foot metal rooster icon, that soars above a KFC in Marietta, has been in existence since the 1960’s. The Connector (or Downtown Connector): The stretch of highway where interstates 85 and 75 overlap. The Hooch: The Chattahoochee River serves as a source of power, drinking water and recreation.

PHOTOS: (Top) Jonathan Hillyer; (Bottom) Fernbank Museum of Natural History/© Brian Upchurch

TOP: The High Museum of Art. BOTTOM: Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

winning Alliance Theatre stages thoughtprovoking and crowd-pleasing works and has premiered shows that went on to the Broadway stage. The thriving theater scene also includes such acclaimed companies as Theatrical Outfit, 7 Stages and True Colors. The High Museum of Art, the Southeast’s leading art museum, houses permanent and rotating exhibits throughout the year. The Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Opera and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra are all world-class performing arts institutions. Venues including Chastain Park Amphitheatre, the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, the Fox Theatre, the Ferst Center for the Arts, the Rialto Performing Arts Center, Spivey Hall and Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, among others,

host big-name concert tours and high-caliber national theatrical productions. And last but not least, the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks professional sports teams draw thousands of fans each year.

ATTRACTIONS Atlanta offers much for locals and visitors to see and do year-round. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is home to 30 gorgeous acres of themed gardens, including a Japanese garden and a rose garden, and often hosts events and outdoor art exhibits. Centennial Olympic Park is an oasis in the heart of downtown that hosts concerts and events and is popular with children for its Fountain of Rings. The Fernbank Museum of Natural History spotlights the natural world

ITP/OTP: Inside the Perimeter/Outside the Perimeter—meaning inside the I-285 loop (the more urban areas) or outside (suburbia). King and Queen Buildings: Located at the I-285/ Ga. 400 merge, the designs of the two towers resemble chess pieces. The Perimeter: I-285, which circles the city of Atlanta and is meant to be used as a bypass. Spaghetti Junction: Complicated intertwining of I-85 and I-285 loops and bridges. Tech: Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, one of the oldest, most respected polytechnic universities in the country. The Ted: Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves baseball. | Newcomer Magazine | 29

The winery at Chateau Elan sits on more than 60 acres of vineyards in the midst of a sprawling resort.


Finding Great Sips Without Leaving the State By Hope S. Philbrick

Georgia is home to many wineries, craft breweries and micro distilleries, making it easy to enjoy great drinking options without crossing the state border. You can buy a bottle or two from your local retailer, but it’s even more fun to visit producers for a behind-the-scenes tour, review the full selection of offerings and sample a taste before you buy. We’ve compiled a selective list of locations that are open to the public, many of which host special events and festivals throughout the year. Château Élan Winery & Resort

Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery

The winery at this Braselton retreat, a four-diamond, four-star resort and conference destination, also hosts the French fine-dining restaurant Le Clos, the Mediterranean-style bistro Café Elan, a culinary studio and a wine market, which features wines and a variety of wine and culinary gift items. Offerings include chardonnay, viognier, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, port-style wine, white and red blends, and several muscadine wines. Tours are available daily; times vary. The Deluxe Tour is $25 per person and includes five wine samples; other, more extensive private tours range from $30 to $50 per person. Purchase a custom wine label as a keepsake. The winery is also available for private functions. 678-4250900,

This distillery produces and offers free tastings of “legal moonshine”— hand-crafted corn whiskey based on traditional recipes passed down over more than 150 years—and employs a custom-made 250-gallon copper still for production. Additional products to complement its signature corn whiskey are in the works. Daily tours and tastings are free. 770-401-1211 or 706-344-1210,

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Habersham Vineyards & Winery Located a half-mile from the Alpine village of Helen, Habersham is one of the oldest and largest wineries in the state, producing vinifera varietals as well as blended wines using both vinifera and French-American

Festive Ale. Visitors must be 21 and up. The $10 standard tour includes a souvenir pint glass and six 6-oz. tasting samples. Other tours are also available. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. 404691-2537,

TOP LEFT: The tasting room at Yonah Mountain Vineyards. TOP RIGHT: A tour of SweetWater Brewing Company. BOTTOM RIGHT: A copper potstill at Richland Rum. CENTER: Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery.

grapes, in a range of styles from sweet to dry. The gift shop stocks a wide variety of specialty gift items from around the world, including gourmet foods, cheese and snacks. The winery is open daily for self-guided tours and free tastings. 706-878-9463,

PHOTOS: (Top Left) Lindsey McIntosh Photography; (Top Right) Courtesy of SweetWater Brewery

Richland Rum This family-owned operation in Richland, Ga., produces small-batch rum from sugarcane, using a special fermentation process involving a special strain of yeast that took 12 years to perfect. The distillery partners with Chocolate South, High Road Craft Ice Cream and Monday Night Brewing on additional tasty products. Open weekdays and the first Saturday of each month. Tours are free, although advance reservations are recommended. 229-887-3537,

SweetWater Brewing Company Based in Midtown Atlanta, the state’s premier brewery boasts a product line that includes the flagship 420 Pale Ale and a hops-heavy IPA (India pale ale). There are also seasonal brews like the popular winter offering

Terrapin Beer Company This Athens-based brewery, which released its first beer in 2002, offers dozens of beers for all seasons, including some collaborations and special releases. Two-hour tours include tastings, live music and informative talks. The outdoor areas are dog-friendly. The “Stay & Play” tour includes a souvenir glass and 36 ounces of beer samples. Other tours are also available. Open Wednesday through Saturday. 706549-3377,

Yonah Mountain Vineyards The vineyards, situated on a privately held 197-acre estate in northeast Georgia, offers a variety of wines including chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and the award-winning Genesis red blend. Wine tastings range from $25 to $55 by the bottle. Tastings are $8 for a partial and $15 for the full portfolio. The 90-minute “Cave Tour & Tasting” is $30 and includes a souvenir glass which you’ll use to taste nine wines; it’s offered on Saturdays at Noon and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. by advance reservation. Other tours are also available. The tasting room is open daily. 706-878-5522, | Newcomer Magazine | 31

’Tis Season THE

Georgia’s Spectacular Holiday Celebrations

PHOTO: Courtesy Stone Mountain Park.

By Anna Bentley

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LEFT PAGE: Christmas at Stone Mountain Park. RIGHT PAGE: (Top) Callaway Gardens’ Fantasy in Lights; (Bottom Left) Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Garden Lights, Holiday Nights; (Bottom Right) Victorian Christmas in Thomasville, Ga.

More than 8 million twinkling lights. A leaping, twirling Mouse King. Victorian homes beautifully decorated for the holidays. These are just some of the things you’ll find across metro Atlanta and Georgia this holiday season. Here’s a roundup of our best bets. LIGHT SHOWS

TOP PHOTO: Courtesy of Clay Walker.

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights The Atlanta Botanical Garden’s annual holiday event covers the attraction’s 30 acres with 1.5 million glittering lights. This year, explore new features like the massive Tunnel of Light. The Radiant Rainforest, Glittering Galaxy and Orchestral Orbs also return, offering a different take on animated holiday sound and light shows. Through Jan. 9. 404-876-5859,

to See Holiday Lights. And for good reason: Fantasy in Lights features 8 million lights in a dozen dazzling scenes, all accompanied by festive music—some even with lively animation. Plus, in the resort’s Christmas Village, you can take pictures with Santa, have story time with Mrs. Claus, take a Christmas train ride or even hear a holiday organ concert. Through Jan. 2. 855-923-7580,


Fantasy in Lights

Victorian Christmas in Thomasville

Now in its 23rd year, Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens has become a favorite attraction not just for Georgians, but for those across the Southeast as well. National Geographic Traveler even named it a Top 10 Place

On Dec. 10 and 11, downtown Thomasville transforms into a Victorian winter wonderland. This annual celebration features carriage rides with sleigh bells, revelers that are dressed in period-appropriate finery, | Newcomer Magazine | 33

TOP: Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. BOTTOM: Christmas in Roswell at Smith Plantation.

and joyous carolers singing holiday favorites throughout the downtown area. Other highlights include a live nativity scene, chestnut roasting and marshmallow toasting, and a special play area for the younger visitors. 229-228-7977, www.thomasvillega. com.

Each holiday season, Roswell’s trio of historic homes—Bulloch Hall, Barrington Hall and Smith Plantation— undergo a festive holiday transformation, celebrating both the holiday season and the homes’ unique histories. For instance, Bulloch Hall will host a reenactment of the prominent wedding of Theodore Roosevelt Sr. and Mittie Bulloch, which took place on Dec. 22, 1853. Other highlights include self-guided tours, breakfast with Santa, Christmas high teas and a concert by the Joe Gransden Big Band. For a complete list of activities, dates and times, call 770-640-3253 or visit

Christmas 1886 with the Gordons Savannah’s Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace—childhood home of the founder of the Girl Scouts of America—celebrates the season by decorating for the season in 1880s Victorian style with the dining room table set for Christmas dinner, a vintage “Game of Merry Christmas” on display and stockings hung on the mantle. Through Dec. 30. 912-233-4501,

HOLIDAY THEATER Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker A Christmas tradition for many Atlanta families, the Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker tells the story of young Clara and her grandfather’s magical Nutcracker each December at the Fox Theatre. The timeless tale of fighting mice, waltzing snowflakes and a leaping Sugar Plum Fairy is made all the 34 | Newcomer Magazine |

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer The Claymation classic comes to life at the Center for Puppetry Arts through Dec. 27. Based on the 1964 television special and adapted and directed by Jon Ludwig, this puppet performance stays true to its source material, with a few unexpected surprises to keep it fresh. For information 404-873-3391,

FESTIVE PARKS AND OTHER ATTRACTIONS Stone Mountain Christmas It’s a busy holiday season at Stone Mountain Park. See one of the park’s four performances, including The Littlest Christmas Tree, Forever Christmas, Holly Jolly Cabaret and A Christmas Carol. Visit Santa at the Christmas Corner and hear Mrs. Claus tell her Mistletales at Candy Cane Corner. Board the Singalong Train to hear your favorite Christmas tunes, or catch Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas 4-D movie. Have your picture taken with the Snow Angel, and enjoy a nightly Christmas parade and fireworks display to wrap up the night. Through Jan. 3. 800-401-2407,

Lanier Islands Winter Adventure Lake Lanier Islands Resort combines favorites from its famous Magical Nights of Lights with new additions to create a new seasonal celebration. Enjoy watching your favorite holiday moments performed live at a state-of-the-art outdoor theater screen, carnival rides, holiday fare at the resort’s restaurants, and a new, extended walking tour of its dazzling light show—not to mention a visit with Santa and his elves. Through Jan. 3. 770-945-8787,

TOP PHOTO: C. McCullers

Christmas in Roswell

more magical by live accompaniment courtesy of the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. Dec.11–27, with two showings on Saturdays, Sundays and a variety of weeknights. 404-881-2100, | Newcomer Magazine | 35

Chattanooga TENNESSEE

The Perfect Winter Getaway Ruby Falls Christmas Underground: Journey through gem mines and the Sugar Plum Fairy Village as you help Santa and his miners find the rare Joystone in this new adventure. Dec. 1-23, Chattanooga Zoo’s Holiday Lights: View hundreds of lights, enjoy holiday games and crafts and even visit with the animals and watch them open their Christmas presents. Dec. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, Mainx24: This 24-hour festival celebrating Chattanooga’s Main Street and Southside district features parades, fashion shows, live music and much more. Dec. 7, Ten nessee Valley Railroad North Pole Limited Adventures: Hop aboard for a trip to the North Pole with storytelling, caroling, and a visit from Santa himself! Through Dec. 26, Holidays Under the Peaks at the Tennessee Aquarium: Enjoy special educational programs, see The Polar Express in 3-D and visit with SCUBA Claus. Through Jan. 4, Rock City Enchanted Garden of Lights: This award-winning attraction features hundreds of thousands of lights, plus nightly entertainment and more. Through Jan. 10, Ice on the Landing: This temporary open-air skating rink features special themes, great food vendors and even appearances by Santa himself! Through Jan. 10, For more information on things to see and do in Chattanooga, call 800-3223344 or visit 36 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Courtesy of Chattanooga CVB


estled in the mountains of Southwest Tennessee, the “Scenic City” of Chattanooga is the ideal destination for family-friendly fun. Here are 7 attractions and events worth the drive.

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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 | Newcomer Magazine | 39

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

Bartow County

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

Tellus Science Museum ADAIRSVILLE

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

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

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

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

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

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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 706-276-2362 Amicalola EMC 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 770-735-2000 Ball Ground Windstream 800-501-1754 Water Cherokee County Water Authority City of Ball Ground City of Canton City of Waleska

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

City of Woodstock


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


Hospitals Northside Hospital-Cherokee 770-720-5100 Wellstar Kennestone Hospital 770-793-5000 | 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 678-376-6800 Gwinnett City Water Lawrenceville 770-963-2414 770-448-2122 Norcross Cable TV Bellsouth Multimedia 770-360-5000 Charter Communications


Comcast 404-266-2278 Hospitals Emory Eastside Medical Center


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


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

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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Johnny Mathis, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre The singer of such hits as “Chances Are” and “Misty” performs on a special tour celebrating his 60th anniversary in the music industry. Jan. 29, 800-745-3000,

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage, Fox Theatre A live symphony orchestra performs music from the various “Star Trek” TV series and movies. Jan. 30, 855-285-8499,

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Fox Theatre Broadway in Atlanta presents a gorgeous production of the beloved classic about beautiful young Belle and the Beast, a handsome prince transformed by an evil spell. Feb. 2-7, 800-278-4447, Christmas at Callanwolde, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

Theater & Concerts A Little Princess, Theatrical Outfit The privileged daughter of an adventurer overcomes adversity in this adaptation of the classic novel. Dec. 3-27, 678-528-1500,

Brian Setzer Orchestra, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre The Grammy Award-winning singer and guitarist performs as part of his 12th annual Christmas Rocks! Tour, which features swinging originals and renditions of holiday favorites. Dec 5,

Exhibits & Events Christmas Ornament Craft Week, Interactive Neighborhood for Kids

The Book of Mormon, Fox Theatre

Create beautiful handmade ornaments to hang on your Christmas tree! Dec. 1-6, 770-536-1900,

Two young Mormon missionaries journey to Uganda to learn their training hasn’t prepared them for life this far from Salt Lake City in this touring production of the Tony Award-winning smash. Jan. 12-24, 800-278-4447,

Wild Winter Wonderland Family NightCrawler, Zoo Atlanta

The Athens Tango Project, Heritage Sandy Springs

Kick off the holiday season with a family overnight adventure as you spend the night in the zoo. Dec. 5, 404-624-5600,

This multicultural group of music students from nearby Athens, Ga., performs. Jan. 17,

Duluth’s Holiday Festivities, Duluth GA


Enjoy the spirit of the season at the 37th annual Christmas tree lighting at Duluth Town Green on Dec. 5. Then share cookies and cocoa with Santa Claus at the Red Clay Music Foundry, 10 a.m. to noon on Dec. 19. And finally, ring in 2016 with a New Year’s Eve extravaganza at Duluth Town Green on Dec. 31.


Disney Live! Presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Cookies and Cocoa with Santa, Duluth GA

Join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Goofy as they bring the timeless fairy tale adventures of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Snow White to life. Dec. 12-13, 800-745-3000,

Bedford Dasher, The Bedford School

Take part in a 5K and a children’s 200-meter “Elf Run”—and pose for pictures with Santa— at this seventh annual fundraiser for The Bedford School, which helps maximize the potential of students with learning disabilities. Dec. 12,

The UGA Accidentals, Heritage Sandy Springs Enjoy a “Pitch Perfect” performance from this celebrated a capella singing group from the University of Georgia. Dec. 13, 404-851-9111,


Romeo & Juliet, Fox Theatre The State Ballet Theatre of Russia performs its award-winning production based on the Shakespeare classic. Jan. 10, 855-285-8499,

48 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Courtesy of City of Duluth

The Meaning of the Nobel Prize, Center for Civil and Human Rights This exhibit examines the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Nobel Peace Prize and features artifacts including handwritten drafts of his acceptance speech and other writings. Through Jan. 3, 678-999-8990,

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

Christmas at Callanwolde, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center


The entire 27,000-square-foot Candler Mansion is decorated by professional interior and floral designers during this annual tradition. Enjoy fun activities while strolling through special themed rooms. Through Dec. 15, 404-872-5338,

Noon Year’s Eve, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta Bring your children to ring in the New Year well before midnight with a balloon drop and other activities throughout the day. Dec. 31, 404-

Bedford Dasher, The Bedford School


10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Closed Sunday


Open House, High Meadows School Explore the campus and learn about the unique curriculum of this independent International Baccalaureate school for children in Pre-K through eighth grade. Jan. 24, 770-993-2940,

Penguin Craft Week, Interactive Neighborhood for Kids Create a cute handmade penguin craft! Jan. 2531, 770-536-1900,

Olde Fashioned Hendersonville Christmas, Hendersonville, N.C. Carolers, entertainers, refreshments, merchant open houses and late-night shopping highlight this annual family-friendly event. Dec. 4, 828-233-3216,

Light Up the Night Christmas Parade, Eatonton, GA Watch as lighted floats travel down the main streets of downtown Eatonton’s historic district. Dec. 5, 706-749-9150,



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


PHOTO: Karl Lamb

Let’s Go Caroling, Braselton, GA

Suwanee Gateway Half-Marathon, Town Center Park

Suwanee Gateway Half-Marathon, Town Center Park Enjoy an energizing run through scenic Suwanee neighborhoods and along the Suwanee Creek Greenway. Jan. 30,

Polar Bear Plunge, Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club Start off 2016 with a splash into Lake Lanier! Compete for prizes including best costume, biggest splash and more. There will also be a chili cook-off. Jan. 1, 770-287-7888,

A Short Drive Away Lighting of the Tree, Greensboro, GA

It’s “caroling with a twist” as you stroll along downtown Braselton to hear different community and church choirs and take advantage of sales and shopping specials at local merchants. Dec. 12,

Christmas at Connemara, Flat Rock, N.C. Celebrate the season with traditional decorations, holiday music and storytelling at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. Dec. 19, 828-693-4178,

25th Annual Holiday Lights Safari, Wellford, S.C. Drive through Hollywild Animal Park and be greeted by live deer, cattle, zebras, emus and more as you enjoy the light displays. Pet and hand-feed animals and warm up with a bonfire in Santa’s Village. Through Jan. 2, 864472-2038,

Rose Glen Literary Festival, Sevierville, Tenn.

Enjoy holiday tunes sung ’round the tree, a visit with Santa, an old-fashioned hay ride and local food vendors at this festive event in downtown Greensboro, Ga. Dec. 4,

Regional authors including Cory MacLauchlin, Jeremy B. Jones and Cindy Henry McMahon discuss their work at this one-day event.

Feb. 27, | Newcomer Magazine | 49


The Monastery T of the Holy Spirit

he sign that marks the entrance to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit near Conyers, Georgia, approximately 30 miles east of Atlanta, is modestly small, considering that this community of Cistercian monks is one of Rockdale County’s largest tourist attractions, drawing an estimated 70,000 visitors a year. Utilizing the 2,000-acre wooded tract of land on which the Monastery is located, the monks have provided for themselves since the monastery was by Margaret Tate founded in 1944 by a group of monks who came from Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky. In the early years, they sold hay and beef cattle. Today, they grow bonsai trees and make fudge and fruitcake to sell in the Abbey Store, which also offers food from other monasteries, along with religious-themed books and art. The monks have a small stained-glass operation, and they also have a Retreat House that can accommodate groups and individuals for rest, reflection and renewal. “It’s other-worldly here,” says Brother Callistus, who serves as spokesperson for the Monastery. “It’s a curiosity for people. When you have a place where people live a life totally dedicated to the worship of God, an environment is created around them with certain qualities like silence and solitude, green space, conservation, nature. These qualities draw not only the curious, but also those who want to partake of some of those elements, some of that peace that’s almost palatable.” Brother Callistus recommends allotting at least an hour for a leisurely tour of the Monastery, but he says many people make a day of it, bringing a picnic and enjoying walking trails. Many visitors come specifically to see the Monastery’s historic church, which the founding monks built themselves, and are invited to worship and pray with the monks in this awe-inspiring Norman-Gothic cathedral. Groups are encouraged to make reservations. The Monastery is open to visitors year-round, but the best times to visit are in the spring and fall. The Web site for The Monastery of the Holy Spirit provides directions and a schedule of events, which mainly revolve around worship, with special concerts from time to time. “The Monastery is not the typical type of place where you come for activities,” Brother Callistus emphasizes. “It’s more of a learning experience for people, something that came right out of the history books and medieval days.” For more information, call 770-483-8705 or visit N

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PHOTOS: Monastery of the Holy Spirit Archive

A Peaceful Retreat | Newcomer Magazine | 51

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Newcomer Magazine | December/January 2016  

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

Newcomer Magazine | December/January 2016  

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