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Relocation, Lifestyle & Living in Atlanta

October/November 2015



Great Atlanta Schools, Trends & More Finding a Dentist How to Simplify Your Search Midtown Atlanta Charm, Convenience and Culture Atlanta’s Southside Five Neighborhoods With Unique Appeal

s! u l P

Fall Getaways Seven Spectacular Destinations to Visit | Newcomer Magazine | 3

October/November CONTENTS FEATURES Finding A New Dentist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Newcomer’s 2015 Education Guide . . . . . . . . . . 19

Get ready to smile in your new home city. Experts share tips that may help simplify your search for a new dentist.

Our annual look at metro Atlanta education options, including information about scholarships and grants, a look at the independent school advantage, and much more.

Living South of Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Fabulous Fall Getaways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

These five convenient communities just south of Atlanta offer easy access to the city, affordable housing and much more.

Take a break from unpacking and go explore the North Georgia mountains this fall. We share seven tempting lures.




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

Neighborhood Spotlight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Loaded with restaurants and cultural attractions, Midtown is a lively community with a small-town feel that’s adjacent to Downtown Atlanta for oodles of convenience.

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

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

Searching for information on local schools? Consult our select list of some of Atlanta’s most distinguished independent schools.

The Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta delivers an eyeopening education for visitors of all ages.


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.

Special Advertising Section: Atlanta Independent School Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Relocation Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

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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: Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

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

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

Julia Bayly, H. M. Cauley, Chris Chamberlain, Susan Flowers, Melanie F. Gibbs, Ruksana Hussain, Kevin Forest Moreau, Lindsay Oberst, Hope S. Philbrick, Laura Raines, Margaret Tate, Muriel Vega director of sales & marketing

Patrick Killam account director

Lacey James

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

Scan this code to check out past issues of Newcomer.

Newcomer magazine, October/November 2015 Volume 19, Issue 4. Submissions, photography or ideas may be sent to Killam Publishing, Inc., 200 Market Place, Suite 230, Roswell, GA 30075. Submissions will not be returned unless otherwise requested and accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Newcomer magazine reserves the right to revise any necessary submissions. Reproduction in whole or in part of any elements of this publication are strictly prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. © 2015 Killam Publishing, Inc.

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


PHOTO: Jeremy Daniel

Whether you’re already a fan or have never heard of The Four Seasons, you’re likely to leave the smashhit Broadway musical Jersey Boys with a newfound appreciation for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame quartet. Combining the feel-good success story of four blue-collar buddies with a timeless soundtrack of such unforgettable songs as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” this award-winning production returns to the Fox Theatre Oct. 6 through 11, courtesy of Broadway in Atlanta. For tickets or more information, call 800278-4447 or visit


PHOTO: Cirque Dreams Holidaze Courtesy of Cirque Productions


Featuring 30 performers, more than 300 costumes and a dazzling mix of acrobatics, athleticism and choreography, Cirque Dreams Holidaze is a breathtaking new way to celebrate the holiday season. This exciting seasonal spectacle, filled with gingerbread men, toy soldiers, snowmen, penguins and more engaged in amazing, gravity-defying feats, soars into the Fox Theatre for two nights, Nov. 25 and 27. For tickets or more information, call 855-285-8499 or visit

Happy Daze are Here Again Enjoy plentiful shopping, games, rides, food and much more at Lilburn Daze, a family-friendly celebration of community. The kids can partake in a wealth of children’s activities, including a petting zoo, pony rides and plenty of crafts. This free festival benefits the Lilburn Women’s Club, which enriches the local community through scholarships, beautification projects, public health and safety programs, and much more. Oct. 10 at Lilburn City Park. For more information, please visit 8 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Atlanta Botanical Garden

PHOTO: Richard Ferris

That’s a Lot of Legos! Ever seen a 6-foot-tall praying mantis? How about a giant swallowtail butterfly with a 5-foot wingspan? Those are just two of the marvels on display at Nature Connects: Art With LEGO Bricks, the impressive sculpture exhibition on display at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Gainesville through Jan. 3. Made up of more than 375,000 LEGO bricks, these larger-than-life sculptures, all with a nature theme, are sure to entertain and amaze children and adults of all ages. 404-888-4760,

Woodward Delivers the World Many schools claim to mold their students to become citizens of the world, but few local schools deliver on that promise like Woodward Academy. The metro Atlanta-based school, known as the largest independent school in the continental U.S., recently unveiled its new, streamlined International and Global Connections program, which provides opportunities for students to travel to and study different cultures. The program also nurtures sister school relationships, offers homestay programs for international students, and provides language certification. For more information, please visit

Finding a New

DENTIST How to Simplify Your Search By Susan Flowers and Lindsay Oberst

Newcomers to the Atlanta area face a seemingly endless list of tasks, from arranging for utilities to finding new resources for shopping and home maintenance. Among the crucial chores that could easily be neglected in those busy first few weeks: choosing a new dentist. 10 ||Newcomer Newcomer Magazine | 10 Magazine |


are of the teeth and gums is important for the overall health of children and adults. But how do you find the right dentist when you’ve just moved to a new city? Simply picking the practice closest to your home or work, or selecting one at random, might provide a bad match. Fortunately, there are ways to simplify your search. One step is to consult the Georgia Dental Association (GDA) website (see sidebar) and search for member dentists who operate near you. All GDA members agree to abide by the ethical standards reflected in the American Dental Association’s Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct. Dr. Tom Broderick, president of the GDA, advises new residents to quiz their neighbors and coworkers about their dentist. “Word of mouth is very helpful.” he says. He recommends asking several questions including, “Are they comfortable with the care they receive? Is the office clean? Does the dentist keep up with new technology?” It’s also a good idea to ask your previous dentist. He or she may be a member of a profes-

Make sure your potential dentist is a member of a reputable professional organization. sional network and able to recommend a colleague. Or you might contact the GDA directly “and get a list of dentists in your area,” says Broderick.

The Right Dentist for You Once you have a recommendation or two, you’ll want to check the background of your potential dentist. Knowing more about a professional’s education and experience can help you to have confidence in your care. The Georgia Secretary of State’s website will

allow visitors to check that a dentist has an upto-date license and find out whether any disciplinary actions have been taken against that provider by the Georgia Board of Dentistry in the past several years. You’ll also want to make sure your potential dentist is a member of a reputable professional organization such as the GDA, the Georgia Dental Society or the American Dental Association. Just as with any other profession, dentistry’s knowledge base and best practices are constantly evolving, and your new dentist should be up to speed on the latest information and training. Georgia requires that dentists complete a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education every two years, with at least 20 of those hours acquired at an on-site course or seminar. Among the questions to keep in mind when interviewing a prospective dentist: • Is the dentist keeping up with new techniques and technologies? Is his or her equipment up-to-date? • Is the location convenient? • Do the hours or appointment schedule work within your availability? • How are emergencies handled outside of normal business hours? • Does the dentist explain the proposed treatment and other issues related to your overall health? • Is information provided about fees and payment options?

The Right Dentist for Your Child While a general practitioner can usually provide excellent care for your entire family, some parents may wish to consider a pediatric dentist, one who specializes in the care of children. u | Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 11 11

Pediatric dentists complete two to three years of additional training to specialize in treating children, says Dr. Charlie Coulter, pediatric dental specialist with Children’s Dental Sedation Center of Atlanta. What’s more, he adds, they are “uniquely qualified to treat a child who is having his or her first dental visit, to treat early childhood tooth decay, a child overcoming a negative experience in a previous dental or physician’s office and children with special needs.” When it comes to finding a pediatric dentist, “It’s better to go with word of mouth rather than what you see on a billboard,” says Dr. Michael Healey, a pediatric orthodontist serving Roswell and Dunwoody. Check with friends and family in the area, as well as your neighbors, parents at your child’s new school or fellow church members for recommendations. When screening a candidate, ask how many offices he or she has. “If they have five offices,” Healey asks, “how much time can they spend with your child?” It’s also important to ask how many patients the dentist sees daily. “Personally, I see around 30 or 40,” he says. “There are some offices that see 120 kids a day, which means the doctor only has three minutes with a child.”

Someone You Can Trust For many patients, establishing a rapport with a dentist is crucial. Dr. Charles King, Jr., of King Family Dental Care in southwest Georgia and member of the Georgia Dental Society, says that’s just as important for the dentist. “Good relationships produce better results,” he says. “As health care providers, we always want to give our best to whoever walks through our doors; even more so, we want to form lasting relationships that enable our patients to feel confident and secure that their lives are in great hands. Honestly, it keeps them coming back.” When talking with a potential provider, ask yourself if he or she is someone you feel comfortable with—one you can trust with your health, or your child’s. “An outstanding dentist, in my opinion, is one who gives his or her best for the benefit of his or her patients every single day,” says King, “no matter what the procedure, no matter what the cost.”


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American Dental Association

Georgia Dental Society

Georgia Dental Association

Georgia Secretary of State

THE COOLER Where Fitness Meets Fun By Julia Bayly

There is a place where world-class athletes and coaches rub elbows with families bringing children for birthdays or just a day of fun on ice. The Alpharetta Family Skate Center, commonly known as “The Cooler,” bills itself as the place “where fitness meets fun” in Georgia.


pened in 1997, The Cooler is home to two ice arenas, a roller-rink, fitness center and world-class facilities for training the skating, hockey, wrestling and volleyball stars of today and tomorrow. It’s also the place where anyone looking to just have fun skating or maybe pick up some new skills needs to be. “We have a ton of different things going on,” says Serena Bonneville, marketing director. “We can handle individuals, kids’ birthday parties, or corporate events for up to 300 people.” Aiming to provide the best athletic program for the community, The Cooler’s owner John Bardis has established programs for figure skating and hockey. Off-the-ice programs include volleyball, roller hockey, martial arts, yoga and wrestling—all with internationally recognized coaches and trainers.

“We really have a great, family-friendly facility here.” “We have Olympic gold medalists on our staff,” says Bonneville. “These athletes love working with people of all abilities, they are sharing their stories, are extremely nice, and really, really good coaches.” Not ready to commit to a class or formal program? Sign up for an individual skating lesson with rental equipment to get a feel for the sport and decide if it’s for you. “We really have a great, family-friendly facility here,” says Bonneville. “There are a ton of

different things to do, a great concession area for food, great music on the ice, a wonderful staff, and fun for all ages.” The Cooler’s mission is to be a recognized leader in the development and operation of highquality family recreation, entertainment and organized skating, and to provide comprehensive training and support for all skating sports. The Cooler is open almost 20 hours a day throughout the year; see the full schedule online. A restaurant with a bar overlooking the skating rinks is coming soon. Holidays are a big deal at The Cooler, according to Bonneville. The staff is planning a Halloween-themed party and starting November 1 the décor will be Christmas-themed with Santa on site every Saturday in December. For more information, call 770-649-6600 or visit | Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 13

The Coweta County Courthouse in Newnan.




Five Convenient Suburbs With Unique Appeal By H.M. Cauley

PHOTO: Courtesy of the Coweta County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Whether you’re looking for proximity to downtown Atlanta and the world’s busiest airport or simply an alternative to big-city living, the metro area boasts several communities to fit your needs. Located just south of Atlanta, these five towns offer easy access to the city, affordable housing and a variety of shopping and recreation options.

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TOP: The Georgia International Convention Center in College Park. RIGHT: Outdoor dining in East Point.

EAST POINT Just west of Interstate 85, the city of East Point boasts the charm of a small town within viewing distance of the Atlanta skyline. “We have a prime location, with easy access to all the major interstates, ‘big city’ amenities, charming tree-lined streets and character-filled neighborhoods,” says Erin Rodgers, the city’s economic and downtown development specialist.. East Point’s estimated 35,000 residents enjoy an average sale price of $75,372, and are spread out over 20 neighborhoods, including the popular Jefferson Park, Conley Hills and Frog Hollow. Much of the city’s vitality comes from its neighbor, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The MARTA train line makes a short hop to Atlanta’s major work centers. Visitors and locals alike flock to Camp Creek Marketplace for a variety of major retailers and branches of noted restaurant chains. Another local draw is the Dick Lane Velodrome, one of the nation’s leading bicycle racing facilities. The nearby Georgia Sports Park features natural-grass fields that host soccer, ultimate Frisbee and Gaelic football competitions. The city is served by the Fulton County Schools public school system, as well as several independent school options, including Discovery Montessori Academy.

COLLEGE PARK A little south of East Point, College Park serves as a gateway to Atlanta, thanks to its close proximity to both Hartsfield-Jackson and the city’s downtown area, as well as its easy accessibility via I-85, I-285 and MARTA. College Park is intricately linked to the airport—the city’s logo even features an airplane as a reminder of that relationship. The Georgia International Convention Center, located in the city limits, is connected to the airport by the ATL SkyTrain, making it a hub for major conventions and meetings. Hotels, car rental offices and restaurants serve the thousands who

pass through town on their way to Atlanta and points beyond. Home to nearly 14,500 residents, College Park boasts a variety of affordable housing options, with an average home price of $119,021. The city ranks fourth in the state for the size of its urban historic district, with more than 850 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Students attend public schools in the Fulton County Schools system. The Main Street Academy, a county charter school, is based here, as is the prestigious Woodward Academy, with more than 2,700 students. u | Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 15

TOP: Spivey Hall, a firstclass concert hall in Morrow. BOTTOM: (Left) The Flat Creek Golf Club and (Right) golf carts in Peachtree City.

Less than half an hour from both downtown Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the city of Morrow is a diverse, family-friendly community offering the perfect balance of intimacy and big-city convenience for its approximately 6,800 residents. The city’s average home sale price is approximately $73,214. Despite its relatively small size, Morrow exerts its fair share of influence over the metro Atlanta area, thanks to its status as a university town that plays host to several institutions of higher learning. Foremost among those is Clayton State University, offering nine master’s degree and 41 undergraduate degree programs for some 7,000 students. Other campuses include

Strayer University, Ohio Christian University, the Pacific Institute of Technology and the Interactive College of Technology. Morrow is served by Clayton County Public Schools, including Morrow Elementary, which has been hailed as a School of Excellence and a Title 1 Distinguished School. It’s also home to the Georgia Archives and the adjacent Southeastern Regional Branch of the National Archives. Noteworthy attractions in the area include the 146-acre Reynolds Nature Preserve, filled with forests, wetlands, hills and hiking trails; the Morrow Pedestrian Path System, which connects residents to a variety of different neighborhoods and parks; and the Morrow Center, an event facility that hosts business meetings, social functions and weddings.

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PEACHTREE CITY Twelve miles off Interstate 85 sits one of Georgia’s newest cities, dating back to 1959. Peachtree City was built across more than 12,000 acres with three lakes on the southern side of Fayette County. Today, more than 34,000 residents residents live in five planned villages, each with its own shopping districts, restaurants, parks and amenities, and enjoy an average home price of $288,324. Students attend Fayette County Public Schools and independent schools including St. Paul Lutheran School. One of Peachtree City’s most striking features is its 90 miles of golf cart paths that link the town’s villages, schools and amenities, providing quick and easy transportation for walkers, joggers and an estimated 10,000 golf

PHOTOS: (Top) Guy Welsh, Studio Burns; (Bottom Left) Dan Nelson.


carts—one of the area’s primary modes of transportation. Not surprisingly, the city is also home to several golf courses and country clubs. The Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater hosts outdoor concerts. Annual events include the Shakerag Arts and Crafts Festival and the International Festival and Dragon Boat Races. The Southern Hollywood Film Tour takes visitors to sites used in such movies and TV shows as Fried Green Tomatoes and “The Walking Dead.”

NEWNAN Newnan, the seat of Coweta County, sits roughly 37 miles south of Atlanta. Known as the “City of Homes,” it traces its roots back to the 1820s, and much of that history can still be seen in its historic homes. The median home price today is $193,424. Newnan’s leading employers include Piedmont Newnan Hospital, Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation and the Yokogawa Corporation. The historic downtown area is a thriving district filled with quaint restaurants and shops. Other draws include the Forum at Ashley Park shopping center and beautiful Oak Grove Plantation. Students attend Coweta County public schools, including the award-wining Northgate High School, as well as such independent schools as The Heritage School, Orchard Hills Academy and Mills Chapel Christian Academy. From top-notch entertainment and education to convenient transportation options and a relaxing, small-town atmosphere, each of these cities offers all the amenities of a major metro area while retaining their own unique identity and appeal. If you’re looking for a distinctive place to call home, consider joining one of these communities just a short drive south of town.

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION College Park East Point Morrow Newnan Peachtree City | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 17 | Newcomer



e Park Arts Festiva

Midtown By Muriel Vega


PHOTO: © 2013, Kevin C. Rose/

here’s always something going on in Midtown, from cultural activities at the Fox Theatre and Woodruff Arts Center to festivals and seasonal farmers markets at Piedmont Park. Located just south of Buckhead, this thriving area is filled with high-rise condominiums, historic homes, and some of the best restaurants in the city.

South City Kitchen

PHOTO: Dan Schutz Photography

The Lofts at Atlantic Station

PHOTO: LaCour Photography

Fox Theatre


Culinary Treats

Young professionals can find luxury condominiums at Colony House (404-892-6266) starting at around $150,000. Hanover House (404892-4231) offers condominium homes starting at $250,000. Apartments at 1660 Peachtree (404-287-1660) start at around $1,250 for a one-bedroom, while one-bedroom units at Post Parkside (866-921-3574) begin at approximately $1,200. Historic homes are available along Piedmont Road and adjacent streets. The Atlantic Station mixed-use development offers plentiful housing opportunities, including apartments at the Lofts at Atlantic Station (404-815-0224) starting in the $1,700s, and Park District (404-872-5542) starting in the low $1000s. The area surrounding the development also features townhomes and single-family homes ranging from the $150s to the $400s.

Midtown is filled with so many great restaurants, we can’t list them all. Antico Pizza Napoletana (404-724-2333) serves delicious oven-baked pizzas, made with ingredients imported from Italy. One Midtown Kitchen (404-892-4111) is one of Atlanta’s premier spots for seafood and American cuisine. South City Kitchen-Midtown (404873-7358) specializes in contemporary Southern classics. Try Bantam & Biddy (404-907-3469) for top-quality rotisserie chicken and other staples. Located in the Four Seasons Hotel, Park 75 (404-881-9898) offers fine dining and a superb wine list. Visit the Varsity (404-881-1706) for a slice of Atlanta history along with your chili cheese dog, onion rings and Frosted Orange shake.

Local Treasures Piedmont Park (404-875-7275) is the city’s most famous green space, with a dog park, biking trails, picnic areas and more. The Atlanta Botanical Garden (404-876-5859) features 30 acres of flowers, gardens and gorgeous greenery, and often hosts outdoor events. The Georgia Institute of Technology (404-894-2000), one of the nation’s leading research universities, attracts students from around the world.

Arts and Entertainment The fabulous Fox Theatre (404-881-2100), known for its beautiful architecture, is one of the city’s main performing art venues. A little more than a mile down Peachtree Street, the Woodruff Arts Center (404-733-5000) is home to the High Museum of Art, the Southeast’s leading art museum, as well as the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The Center for Puppetry Arts (404873-3391) hosts puppetry exhibits (including exclusive displays of the work of Jim Henson) and performances for children and adults. N

The Inside Track Midtown Atlanta is home to approximately one-third of the city’s high-rise buildings and covers an area of roughly 4 square miles.

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PHOTO: ©2013, Kevin C. Rose/

Piedmont Park


The Independent School Advantage

Preparing Students for Success

When considering how to prepare your children for college, one of the first topics to arise is usually whether a public or independent school will provide a better foundation. Although a College Board Group Profile Report showed that metro Atlanta independent schools boasted average SAT scores nearly 200 points higher than those of the highest-achieving local public schools, there’s no conclusive data that independent school students have a leg up when it comes to college acceptance. By Ruksana Hussain 20 | Newcomer Magazine |


he Metro Atlanta area is home to many great public schools, including charter and magnet schools, which do an excellent job of preparing students for college. Still, you may be considering an independent school. Here are some of the benefits that independent schools can offer that a public school in your vicinity may not.

grams that work closely with students to help them with everything from developing a list of prospective colleges to preparing for the ACT and the SAT. GAC’s Learning Center offers individualized academic assistance in core subjects, as well as an elective SAT-preparation course.

Smaller Class Sizes

Curriculum and Special Programs One advantage of independent schools is that many hold students to a higher academic standard via challenging and engaging curricula. “We strive for a traditional yet innovative approach to education in the 21st century, offering diverse academic opportunities, strong art and athletic programs and state-of-the art facilities,” says F. Stuart Gulley, Ph.D., president of Woodward Academy, which serves more than 2,700 students from pre-K through grade 12 in College Park and Johns Creek. Atlanta Girls’ School, which teaches more than 200 female students in grades 6 through 12, offers a rigorous college preparatory curriculum in an innovative, technology-rich setting. Students also participate in two customized internships and a required global travel program. “The mission of Atlanta Girls’ School is to

provide a challenging college preparatory program in a learning environment designed to foster the full potential of each student and to enable her to become a vital contributor to our complex global society,” says Dr. Sylvia Rodriguez Vargas, academic dean. “Atlanta Girls’ School is preparing the next generation of leaders with a curriculum custom-built for girl-centered education.” In addition, many independent schools, such as Greater Atlanta Christian School (GAC) and Pace Academy, offer college counseling pro-

Smaller class sizes are often linked to better academic results. “Independent schools provide lower teacher-student ratios,” says Lynne Floyd, advancement associate at Eastside Christian School, a pre-K through eighth grade school in Marietta. Those lower ratios provide for more individual attention between student and teacher, she adds. “It is the personal relationship with families, and teachers knowing their students individually, that helps us meet the needs of students in a personal way,” she says. “Most families form lifetime relationships with staff and teachers.” Gulley at Woodward Academy agrees. “We provide wide individual instruction at every step of the process, be it interviews, admission or college placement,” he says. “We also respect varied learning styles and accommodate children of all learning abilities.” The Friends School, a pre-K through 8th | Newcomer Magazine | 21

Independent schools instill character traits and perspective. grade school in Decatur, averages 9 students per class, while Sophia Academy, which serves pre-K through high school, boasts an average class size of 10 and Eastside Christian School averages 14 students per class.

Character and a Global Perspective Independent schools can help instill character traits and provide a wider perspective that can greatly benefit a student in his or her college years and beyond. At Atlanta Girls’ School, “Students learn to take appropriate risks, be courageous leaders, give back to their communities, and project confidence and competence in all they do,” says Vargas. As opposed to public schools, which mostly serve students within a set geographic boundary, independent schools attract students from across the metropolitan area. This often results in diverse student bodies made up of many different backgrounds and nationalities, which can prepare students for life in an increasingly global world.

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“We have a deep respect for difference,” says Gulley with Woodward Academy. “We are diverse in that 40 percent are students of color and we cater to a 23-county area in Atlanta, which gives us a wide geographical reach.” What’s more, many independent schools feature a focus on “character education,” which stresses such values as kindness, empathy and respect, and aims to mold students into involved members of society. For example, at Eastside Christian School, “We instill personal responsibility at a young age, focusing on embracing the joy of lifelong learning and preparing for success,” says Floyd. “Children are encouraged to work together so they develop the capacity to enjoy accomplishments individually as well as that of fellow students.” By offering a stimulating academic experience with a focus on individual attention, building character and a global perspective, independent schools provide an experience well worth the financial investment: an education that will pay dividends for a lifetime.

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

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Scholarships and Grants Tips for Funding Your Child’s Education

Whether you’re investigating an independent school for your child or helping your teenager explore college options, one of your biggest challenges is likely figuring out how to pay for it. With tuition steadily rising at colleges and independent K-12 schools across the country, more families need help paying for education. By Laura Raines

Scholarships for Independent Schools

Application deadlines vary by school. Start researching and planning early.

​ hile there are great public school systems W in the metro Atlanta area, many parents may wish to explore whether an independent school is the best fit for their child. There are roughly 2,000 independent schools in Georgia, and many offer some kind of need-based or merit-based financial aid. But not all of these programs are created equal. “The amount of financial aid funding for students differs tremendously from school to school,” says David Fincher, president of Greater Atlanta Christian School. “Once parents determine the schools that fit their child best, the best place to obtain funding information is on the schools’ websites or through their financial aid offices.” Application deadlines also vary by school, so to avoid missing out on a potential opportunity it’s best 24 | Newcomer Magazine |

to start researching and planning your next steps early enough in advance. ​Parents can also apply for K-12 loans to help finance independent school education through services such as Prepgate, Your Tuition Solution or Sallie Mae. Interest rates, loan amounts and options will of course differ for each organization; Prepgate’s maximum loan amount is $30,000, while Your Tuition Solution’s maximum amount is $40,000. One increasingly popular source of funding is the Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit program. Donors can receive a tax credit for every dollar they contribute to a student scholarship organization (SSO), which is authorized by the state to receive donations and disburse them in the form of scholarships to independent schools. Georgia places a

cap of $58 million on the tax credits available through the program each year. The program “has empowered more Georgia families to be able to choose private K-12 schools by removing some of the financial barriers,” says Lisa Kelly, president of the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program. In six years, she says, her SSO has awarded $88 million in scholarships to 30,000 students. “Because of this program, schools have been able to increase the socioeconomic, ethnic and racial diversity of their student bodies,” she says. Pay it Forward Scholarships also provides funds for pre-K through 12th grade students to attend any accredited private school in Georgia. Pay it Forward Scholarships is funded by tax credits and distributes scholarships equally among all approved scholars by school, with a cap based on income. “It’s easy to apply on the website and the deadline is December 31,” says Cary Sinnett, director of Pay It Forward Scholarships. Parents of special needs children may benefit from the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship (GSNS). Public school students on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)—a document that outlines the needs of a student with learning disabilities and creates a plan for meeting those needs—may be eligible to transfer to a better public or private institution and offset some of the costs with a scholarship that ranges from $2,500 to $13,500

with an average amount of about $6,000. Grants may also be available through school alumni associations, foundations, religious denominations and other groups. The schools themselves are the best source of scholarship and grant information, says Mark Kantrowitz, a national expert on student financial aid and senior vice-president and publisher of Edvisors, a network of websites that offer educational resources for students and parents. Financial aid can be very competitive, he says, so it’s wise to apply early.

Financial Aid for College ​ hile many college scholarships are awarded W to athletes and academic stars, others are based on geographic location, ethnic background, religious affiliation, musical talent and even community service. “You can’t receive money if you don’t apply,” says Nancy T. Beane, college counselor for The Westminster Schools. “Be proactive and don’t wait until the last minute. Scholarship deadlines are often earlier than college admission deadlines, so get serious about your search in your junior year.” Your first stop should be your high school’s guidance office, which has resources and specialized knowledge of local and national scholarships. Civic organizations, churches and employers may also offer scholarships or grants. Even small awards can add up. u | Newcomer Magazine | 25

“Contact the financial aid office of each prospective college to ask about all of their needs-based and merit scholarships,” advises Jean P. Hague, an Atlanta-based independent college consultant. “They don’t always publicize every opportunity on their websites.” The Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC), a state agency that provides financial aid to Georgia students, is another valuable resource. It holds more than 1,500

events each year at schools around the state to talk to parents and their high school and middle school students. And then there’s Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship. HOPE, which is funded entirely by the Georgia Lottery for Education, has helped approximately 2 million academic achievers attend Georgia public colleges, paying out more than $7.2 billion in tuition. The HOPE Grant, a separate program from the HOPE Scholarship, helps pay for diploma and certificate programs at Georgia technical colleges. Another grant, the Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant, pays $450 per semester or $300 per quarter to qualified students enrolled in private Georgia colleges. While there is definitely money to be had for qualified applicants, Beane urges students to use caution. “Choose legitimate sites recommended by your counselor,” she says. “Beware of scams. Never pay for a scholarship match or give out personal financial information. There’s plenty of free information available.” For more information on scholarships and a list of SSOs, visit the Georgia Department of Education at, or visit www.georgiacollege411. org, or search the name of any organization named in this article.

Johns Creek Montessori sChool GeorGia of Geor

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 •

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28 | Newcomer Magazine |

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



world. It provides students with the confidence to thrive in this global world, while caring for the environment, health and well-being, and service. For more information, call 770-3948177 or visit

THE FRIENDS SCHOOL OF ATLANTA Brandon Hall takes a unique approach to learning, extra-curricular activities, and student life to help students succeed. Brandon Hall is a prestigious boarding school that draws students from the southeast and around the world. The campus is a historic nature preserve filled with iconic stone buildings, and the faculty and staff members are world-class. Brandon Hall’s mission as a coeducational boarding and day school is to provide a challenging college preparatory experience immersed in technology. Its community embraces diversity, celebrates individual strengths, fosters global citizenship, encourages athleticism and the arts, and inspires creativity—where every student’s dream to attend college becomes reality. Brandon Hall focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math education that will prepare students for the rapid pace of innovation in the

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


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

The mission of Hebron Christian Academy is to help parents prepare their children spiritually, academically, physically, and socially to become disciples of Jesus Christ. Established in 1999, Hebron Christian Academy has been the school of choice for hundreds of families in Gwinnett and surrounding counties and has garnered back-to-back awards as the “Best Private School” by Gwinnett Daily Post readers. HCA offers an academically-challenging, college preparatory program with students scoring well above national averages. HCA offers accelerated academics including AP and dual enrollment classes and boasts a 100-percent college acceptance rate. More than 900 students from K-12 benefit from small class sizes, the vertically aligned curriculum, dual SACS/ACSI accreditation, and Biblical worldview training. HCA is known for its award-winning fine arts program and is the proud winner of many Georgia High School Association (GHSA) regional and state championships from a broad athletic program that includes expanded athletic offerings at the middle and elementary school levels. HCA offers before and after school care/enrichment, a student missions program, integrated technology with PC and Mac labs, Microsoft Surface Pro 3 for 1-to-1 technology instruction, and an elementary voice, piano, and guitar conservatory. Hebron students set community standards for leadership through HCA’s comprehensive foreign mission and community service programs. Caring, competent, degreed teachers work with an active parent association as well as student mentor and student leadership systems. To discover why HCA is the college preparatory school of choice for many Atlanta area students, visit or contact the admissions department at 770.963.9250 ext. 2300. u SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Newcomer Magazine | 29


The Heritage School is an independent, college preparatory, non-sectarian day school that serves students from pre-K through graduation. A Heritage education provides students with balance to think creatively, act independently, and feel compassionately. Heritage offers diverse opportunities for all students. The school has a full fine arts program complete with performing and visual arts. The athletic program, which includes 13 varsity sports, offers opportunities for students as young as 4th grade. The middle

school offers 5th through 8th grade students 16 clubs in which to participate. The upper school offers up to 19 AP courses each year. The 51 graduates of the Class of 2015 were awarded more than $4 million in merit scholarships. Recent Heritage graduates have earned acceptances to Cornell, Duke, Georgia Tech, UGA, Emory, Berklee College of Music, SCAD, Yale, and the U.S. Air Force Academy. For more information, please call 770-253-9898 or visit

potential by developing them into inquiring, multilingual, and intercultural citizens who will have a competitive advantage in an increasingly global business world. For more information call 470-222-7420 or visit www.


INTERNATIONAL CHARTER SCHOOL OF ATLANTA The International Charter School of Atlanta (ICSAtlanta) is a dual-language immersion public charter school in Roswell, offering grades K-5 in the 2016-17 school year and adding a new grade each year through 12th grade. As a Georgia state charter school, enrollment is free and open to all Georgia residents. The school offers language tracks in Spanish, French, Mandarin, and German. ICSAtlanta’s mission is to empower all students to reach their academic and social


If you’ll excuse the cliché, Holy Spirit Preparatory School is a hidden gem in Atlanta. The young but accomplished school is one of the few independent Catholic schools in the Atlanta metro area. It serves students from 6 months all the way through 12th grade, so is perfect for families. Its high school keeps getting named one of the top Catholic high schools in the country by the Catholic Education Honor Roll. Really, it’s all about fit. Because they maintain a smaller enrollment than most independent schools, HSP finds the right place for each student—channeling them to the right club, the right gifted classes, the right team— and the right college fit after HSP. This school is all about personalized learning, small class sizes, and forming students in “mind, body, and soul” in a family of faith and learning. For more information, call 678-761-7992 or visit

JOHNS CREEK MONTESSORI SCHOOL OF GEORGIA High Meadows School is a private, non-profit, co-educational, independent and non-sectarian day school for students in preschool through 8th grade. Established in 1973 and located on more than 40 wooded acres in Roswell, High Meadows School’s innovative, inquiry-based, integrated curriculum emphasizes love of learning, creativity, meaningful connections, environmental responsibility and excellence. Education at High Meadows extends far beyond the classroom by allowing students to learn through authentic experience. High Meadows students come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Likewise, its diverse community and International Baccalaureate curriculum help prepare students for the global community, in which so much is interrelated and the ability to consider multiple perspectives is essential. As a direct result, High Meadows kids are easily recognized as confident, creative problem solvers, accomplished speakers, experienced team players, critical thinkers, and selfadvocates who connect with their teachers and peers. High Meadows School is highly respected and consistently recognized for best practices, innovation and excellence by major educational organizations, including the International Baccalaureate Organization, SAIS-SACS and AAAIS. In short, High Meadows is what school should be. For more information, please call 770-993-2940 or visit 30 | Newcomer Magazine


Johns Creek Montessori School of Georgia offers authentic Montessori education in the heart of Johns Creek. Observe the “Montessori Magic” happening in the school’s vibrant classroom communities, where children are free to choose from a wide variety of activities and lessons best suited to their development. Specially-trained teachers act as “guides” to the extensive curriculum, planting a seed of wonder that grows into a desire for greater knowledge. Multi-age classrooms allow younger children to learn from older ones, and for older children to reinforce and “test” their learning when helping younger ones. This dynamic, structured environment nurtures a strong work ethic, love of learning, and a passion for discovery not found in

other schools. Dr. Maria Montessori wrote: “Education should no longer be mostly imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities.” Help your child to reach his or her full potential. Call 770-814-8001 to schedule a tour or visit www.


Johnson Ferry Christian Academy is a certified University Model School that prepares students for life academically, spiritually, and relationally in a vibrant community atmosphere. It delivers a personalized, accredited, college-preparatory education with a uniquely flexible schedule. The staff leads with a love for Christ, a desire for all students to discover God’s purposes in their lives, and a passion to prepare students for life. Established in 2004, JFCA is a ministry of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church and provides an educational program for grades K-12. JFCA offers rigorous academics, low teacher/ student ratio, opportunities for spiritual growth and personal development in a vibrant school culture with an array of activities including academic competition, athletics, and fine arts. Mid-semester applications will be accepted following the November 10, 2015 Open House. JFCA is accredited through the Georgia Accrediting Commission and is a member of the Association of Christian Schools International. For more information, call 678-784-5231 or visit


Mt. Bethel Christian Academy, established in 1998 as a K-8th grade program, has now expanded to include pre-K and high school. Now

with two campuses, it is the only faith-based pre-K-12th grade college preparatory school in East Cobb County. The high school, located at 2509 Post Oak Tritt Road, serves as an extension of the pre-K-8th grade program, located at 4385 Lower Roswell Road, both in Marietta. Classes are small by design, with servant leadership development beginning in preK. Spanish begins in pre-K, Latin begins in 3rd grade, a 1:1 iPad program in 2nd grade, and a 1:1 laptop program in 5th-12th grades. Course offerings include, but are not limited to, Advanced, Honors and AP Math; Honors and AP Literature; U.S., World and AP History and Geography; Bible; Apologetics; Logic; Public Speaking; Debate; Honors and AP Latin and Spanish; Chorus; Band; Art; and P.E. The championship athletic program includes volleyball, soccer, cross-country, basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, archery, clay target, swimming, club lacrosse, and cheerleading. For more information or to schedule a tour, contact Jackie Grasty, Director of Admission pre-K-8th grade or Cal Boyd, Director of Admission 9th-12th grade, at 770-971-0245, or visit Tours are offered weekly on both campuses, every Wednesday at 10. a.m.


Omega Private Academy, located in Suwanee, is a SACS-accredited, Christian-based private school for students ages K-12. The school is a rewarding alternative to a traditional public or private school. In its small group classrooms (8:1 student teacher ratio), Omega’s certified teachers customize each student’s curriculum to meet his or her academic needs. Students learn at their own pace, accentuating the individual qualities of each child, and experience significant academic growth in a personalized learning environment. Omega’s average academic growth is two years and six months. For more information or to schedule a tour, contact Carolyn Burkes at 770-932-8363 or Suwanee@ or visit www.omegaprivate

PORTER ACADEMY Porter Academy is dedicated to educating children pre-K through 8th grade by utilizing individualized programs that are appropriate to each student’s developmental level and learning style. If one technique is not proving effective for a particular child, then the teachers will try alternative techniques until they find one that works. The team of teachers, therapists, and administrators work together to develop academic abilities, foundational abilities (e.g., processing skills, attention, motor skills), and self-esteem. Porter Academy utilizes (1) small homerooms grouped by social-developmental level; (2) assessments to determine academic and developmental level; (3) individualized academic programs; (4) small group instruction of core academics to ensure comprehension; (5) integration of project based learning, multi-sensory techniques, and well established academic programs to engage students and enhance learning efficiency; (6) social guidance and intentional character development; and (7) therapeutic support (speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, and music therapy) within a group setting. As one proud Porter Academy parent said, “This is the first environment which has enabled my daughter to be successful in so many ways. She knows herself that she is learning and improving academically.” For more information, call 770-594-1313 or visit u SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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Perimeter School has been uniquely educating children since 1983 and currently serves more than 575 children from K-8th grade. Perimeter is a covenant school where parents embrace their biblical responsibility to the next generation by nurturing their own children as well as the children of fellow believers. Together, home and school empower students to use their gifts to refresh and redeem the world. Though the daily instruction is primarily the task of teachers, parents are extremely vibrant in the life of a covenant school. Perimeter School embraces the importance of free play, community service, creativity, and childhood preservation. Class ratios are very small to maximize authentic relationships where children are expected to share their ideas, think critically, communicate honestly and be motivated intrinsically, without reliance on rewards. The curriculum is a feast of rich sources of literature, science, art, math and physical activities. Please call 678-405-2307 to schedule a tour, or visit for more information.

Celebrating more than 60 years of Catholic education as a K-8 school within the Archdiocese of Atlanta, St. Joseph Catholic School is a 2003 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and continues to meet that standard. Accredited by AdvancED, St. Joseph embraces the Catholic faith while offering an academically challenging curriculum that is enhanced with weekly school mass, art, music, computer lab and Spanish. Extracurricular opportunities include drama, LEGO robotics, basketball, volleyball and more. Before- and after-school care are available. The school is located at 81 Lacy Street in Marietta, Ga. 30060. Call 770-428-3328 or visit www. for more information about this remarkable school.



At The SAE School, teachers lead each student on their own personal journey of self-discovery. It is not enough to simply teach. SAE’s educational vision is the discovery of the individual and the nurturing of unique strengths and interests, the tailoring of a journey that will take the student further than even they could have imagined. Its mission and responsibility is to make sure they are ready when they get there. Come and explore The SAE School’s many powerful advantages such as Academic Families which preserve teacher-student alliances across multiple years; martial arts integrated into the curriculum; and a year-round, 200-day learning calendar. As Georgia’s only true Project Based Learning school, The SAE School offers a unique educational experience with the mission to be the most exceptionally safe, innovative and rigorous school in Georgia. The SAE School is different because it was created, and is managed, governed and led by South Cobb educators, parents and residents. For the health and welfare of its students, the school will always retain and never relinquish these responsibilities to any outside organization. As a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization, The SAE School is solely focused on the education and development of your children. Currently serving preschool through 10th grade and expanding to 12th grade by 2017, the school’s rolling admissions process means that spots are still available in some grade levels for the 2015-16 school year. The school is located at 6688 Mableton Parkway, in Mableton (30126). For more information, call 678-239-3200 or visit

Victory World Christian School is a multicultural community of learners committed to Christian discipleship, academic excellence and world transformation. It aims for success and significance—that is, teaching children to make choices that lead to unleashing their Godgiven talents for their own good as well as for the benefit of others. It wants to raise a special kind of leader: servant leaders…who lead from a heart filled with God’s love for other people, from multiple ethnic or racial groups, economic backgrounds, ability levels, and cultures. VWCS takes on big goals and embraces diversity. If this vision excites you, attend an Open House or schedule a time to visit for a tour. For more information, call 678-684-2030 or visit

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WOODWARD ACADEMY Woodward Academy is celebrating its second century of fostering excellence, character, and opportunity. With almost 2,700 students, Woodward is the largest independent school in the continental U.S. and spans two campuses on 133 acres in metro-Atlanta. The main campus (pre-K–12) is 11 miles from downtown Atlanta, and the north campus (pre-K–6) is in Johns Creek, on a 33-acre wooded campus. Woodward offers a full range of college-preparatory instructional tracks including 20 AP courses as well as a Transition Program for students with mild learning challenges in grades two through eight. The average class size is only 16, allowing for a personal and intimate learning experience. Teachers, coaches, and counselors provide wise guidance at every step, preparing students for best-fit colleges, mentoring them in life-shaping qualities of good character, and helping them reach their fullest potential. At Woodward, diversity is more than skin deep. Students develop a deep respect for difference as they collaborate with peers from over 20 metro-Atlanta counties and a broad array of religious, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Woodward offers prolific opportunities to try and triumph, including hundreds of courses in traditional and innovative subjects as well as a wide range of clubs, arts opportunities, and athletic options. The Academy’s Global Connections Program develops students’ knowledge of the world’s cultural diversity through international study abroad programs. Because of the Woodward experience, students are more confident and well-prepared for today’s evolving world. A typical graduating class attends more than 100 different colleges and universities, devotes 5,000 hours to community service projects, and earns more than $14 million in scholarship awards. For more information, call 404-765-4001 or visit and Discover the Woodward Difference today. For more information on schools listed in this section, turn to “Beyond the Basics” on page 34 u


Newcomer Magazine | 33

Beyond The Basics

THE PIEDMONT SCHOOL OF ATLANTA Serving bright children K-6 with autism and related disorders (2016-17 K - 9)


Academic, Social, and Life Skills


Individual Goals, Differentiated and Group Instruction


National Core Curriculum and Georgia Standards by Dually certified teachers 1330 N. Druid Hills Rd. Atlanta, GA 30319 404-382-8200

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Annual Tuition

Avg. Class Size

Religious Affiliation

Accreditations or Affiliations

Open House Dates

Alexsander Academy








Contact School

Arbor Montessori School



Decatur/ Oak Grove






Arlington Christian School







AdvancED, SACS


Atlanta Girls’ School









The Bedford School








1/24, call for more dates

Brandon Hall



Sandy Springs​





Contact School

The Friends School of Atlanta








12/5, 1/9, 2/6

Hebron Christian Academy




$6,925 $8,675





The Heritage School









High Meadows School



Roswell/ East Cobb





11/8, 1/24 & by Appt.


Lower School, 22; Upper School, 12



Preschool, 10/26; (K-6), 10/27; (7-12), 10/28; All School, 1/31

Holy Spirit Preparatory School



Buckhead/ Chastain

International Charter School of Atlanta




Open Enrollment



Dual-Language Immersion

1st Thursday each Month

Johns Creek Montessori School of Georgia



Johns Creek

Contact School




Contact School

Johnson Ferry Christian Academy



East Cobb





11/10, 1/26




Main Campus: 11/12; 1/10; 1/27 North Campus: Contact School

Mt. Bethel Christian Academy



East Cobb


Omega Private Academy








Contact School

Perimeter School



Johns Creek




ChildLight Schools Association

11/6, 1/22, 2/5

Porter Academy








10/13, 12/1, 1/12, 2/2, 3/1

The SAE School







GAC, in progress for SACS

11/14, 1/16, 2/6 & Tours Weekly

St. Joseph Catholic School






Roman Catholic


11/6, 1/9

Victory World Christian School








10/24, 1/30


Two Campuses: College Park & Johns Creek


College Park, 16; Johns Creek, 10



Main Campus, 11/1; Woodward North, 11/8

Woodward Academy







Seven Lures to Georgia’s Mountains By Chris Chamberlain

PHOTOS: (Top) Georgia Department of Economic Development ; (Bottom) Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway 241 Depot St. in Blue Ridge, 877-413-8724, The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway offers the chance to ride on a genuine historic train during its Fall Foliage Tours. Leaving quaint downtown Blue Ridge from a historic depot that dates back to 1905, the locomotive pulls ten passenger cars plus a commissary car on a fourhour, round-trip journey along the scenic Toccoa River. Each car is different, though several are PullmanStandards; seating options range from open-air observation coaches to more luxurious climate-controlled vintage passenger cars. The itinerary includes a two-hour layover break

in McCaysville where you can shop for crafts and antiques or enjoy an ice cream cone while strolling along the streets of the quaint little town. You can also walk across the Georgia state line into Copperhill, Tennessee—perhaps even snap a selfie while you are standing with one foot in each state.

R & A Orchards 5505 GA-52 East in Ellijay, 706-273-3821, In the North Georgia Mountains, autumn is apple season. R & A Orchards, which is located on the edge of the Chattahoochee National Forest, grows an abundant variety of the luscious red treats. With 60 acres of apples planted in rows of | Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 35

Red Top Mountain State Park

colored trees in the rolling foothills, new types ripen throughout the season. Drop by to pick your own by-thebushel on weekends; visit the orchard’s website before you go to see what’s available. As the weather turns crisper, so, too, do the apples. The October and November harvest includes Granny Smith, Fuji, Pink Lady, Gold Rush and more.

50 Lodge Rd SE in Cartersville, 770-975-4226, Interested in camping in the great outdoors but not sure if you want to invest money in all that gear? The Red Top Mountain State Park has the perfect solution. With the First-Time Camper program, you can borrow all the gear you need, receive expert advice, and enjoy two-night accommodations for just $50. The equipment includes a sixperson tent, four sleeping pads, a camp stove and fuel, four roasting forks for s’mores, a lantern and two camp chairs. Just bring your pillow and sleeping bag. The park offers 15 miles of hiking trails rated from accessible to easy to rugged, plus canoe rentals for paddling along the shores of Lake Allatoona.

Hillside Orchard Farms

PHOTOS: Georgia Department of Natural Resources

18 Sorghum Mill Dr. in Lakemont, 706-782-2776, You can also gather your own fruit at Hillside Orchard Farms near Lakemont, plus this family farm also offers several fun opportunities for children who might not want to work that hard on an excursion. Located along the old Tallulah Falls Railroad line, Hillside is playing up the train theme this fall. Kids can enjoy a gentle train ride Tallulah Gorge State Park Test out camping gear and the overnight tent experience with the first-time around the property by the barn and 338 Jane Hurt Yarn Dr. in camper program at Red Top Mountain State Park in Cartersville. along the creek or the whole family can Tallulah Falls, 706-754-7981, enjoy figuring their way around a locomotive-themed corn maze. Also be sure to stop by the quaint country store to pick up some jars of jams and Tallulah Gorge State Park, located in the northeast corner of the state, is jellies made from fruit harvested on Hillside Orchard Farms. always a gorgeous vista yet only as physically challenging as you choose

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camping) in teepees that sleep up to ten people with comforts including temperature control systems, lights and electrical outlets for your gadgets.

to make it. Trails along the two-mile rim of the almost 1,000-foot deep gorge offer spectacular views of the river flowing beneath and waterfalls cascading the length of the canyon. A limited number of permits are available to hike on the pristine floor of the gorge. The park offers tent camping and RV sites for overnight stays. Tallulah Gorge is part of the state’s “Hike 4” program where frequent hikers can earn a free T-shirt by visiting four different parks.

Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding

North Georgia Canopy Tours 5290 Harris Rd. in Lula, 770-869-7272, Avid outdoor enthusiasts flock to Lula for adrenaline-raising activities at North Georgia Canopy Tours. Twelve different zip-lines comprised of over a mile of cable crisscross the property above forests, ponds and the North Oconee River. The course ends in a dual zip where you can race a partner to the finish line. The grounds also house a disc golf course and a free geocaching course where you can use a GPS device or cellphone app to locate five hidden canisters using GPS coordinates in a high-tech scavenger hunt. Overnighters can enjoy “glamping” (a.k.a., glamorous

7201 Scenic Hwy. in Rising Fawn, 800-688-5637, For the ultimate in fall foliage watching, get a bird’s-eye view of the colorful canopy from the sky soaring high above the Georgia and Tennessee border. At Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding, you can learn to fly or take a tandem flight with a pro. Lesson packages range from a series that prepares you to pilot a hang glider solo to shorter training experiences on the gentle slope of a small hill where you’ll get just up to ten feet off the ground. You can also take a tandem flight with an instructor to savor the sweeping views of Lookout Valley, soaring up to 3,000 feet to marvel in the beauty below. A camera attached to the wing provides lasting images of your experience to savor and share. Select a weekend package with multiple flights and you can take advantage of lodging options including cabins, campsites and RV hookups.

PHOTO: Georgia Department of Natural Resources

For the ultimate in fall foliage watching, get a bird’s-eye view of the colorful canopy. | Newcomer | NewcomerMagazine Magazine || 37

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

Mass Transit

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

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Driving Tips

MARTA Rail Service

The Georgia DOT provides daily updates of road work, road closings and traffic delays, which are helpful when commuting. Updates can be obtained by calling (toll free) 1-877-694-2511, by dialing 511, or by visiting | Newcomer Magazine | 41

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

Cherokee County QUICK INFO

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

County Neighborhoods Schools

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

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

Sawnee EMC

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

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

City of Woodstock


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


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

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

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

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

Cagle Dairy Farm, Canton

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

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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


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

Cobb County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

White Water



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



Marietta City Schools Board of Education


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

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

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

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

CABLE TV Bellsouth Multimedia 770-360-5000 Charter Communications 888-438-2427 Comcast 404-266-2278 HOSPITALS Emory Adventist Hospital 770-434-0710 WellStar Cobb Hospital 770-732-4000 WellStar Kennestone Hospital 770-793-5000 WellStar Windy Hill Hospital 770-644-1000 | Newcomer Magazine | 43

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

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

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


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


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

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

UTILITIES & CONTACTS Electricity Georgia Power


Snapping Shoals EMC


Walton EMC


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



404-780-2355 Water

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


Comcast Cablevision


Hospitals Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston


DeKalb Medical Center


Emory University Hospital


Piedmont Hospital and Medical Care Center


Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

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

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.

Dunwoody In the northern corner of the county is Dunwoody, a popular neighborhood among established professionals and young, upwardly mobile proEmory University fessionals raising families. It is often referred to as the “tennis set” neighborhood because of its numerous recreDeKalb County pros- County ational outlets that include Lynpers in part due to its ex- Neighborhoods wood Park and Recreation Cencellent transportation sys- ter, as well as Blackburn Park tem. Five major road ar- and Tennis Center. Cultural teries traverse the county: attractions include the DunInterstates 20, 85, 285, woody Nature Center and the 675 and US Highway 78. Schools Spruill Gallery. Hartsfield-Jackson Inter- A variety of housing is national Airport is only Median household income: $51,753 available in Dunwoody, includsix miles from DeKalb’s Median age of residents: 35 ing apartments, townhomes, southern border and the Population: 739,956 ranch-style homes, bungalows DeKalb Peachtree Air- Sales tax: 7% and mini-mansions with maniport, a general aviation Chamber of Commerce cured lawns. Nearby Perimeter field, is reported to be DeKalb County Mall provides shopping, dinthe second busiest air- 404-378-8000, ing and family entertainment. port in Georgia. DeKalb Property Taxes With its proximity to all major County is also a leader in The property tax rate is $41.50 per $1,000 for expressways and North Fulthe biomedical commuunincorporated DeKalb County. Tax Commissioner: ton’s booming business oppornity with The Center for 404-298-4000 tunities, Dunwoody is a hotDisease Control headthe Courthouse Square, which fea- spot for families. N quartered there. The median value of homes in tures an eclectic mix of storefront For more counties and neighborhood 2006, according to the Census Bu- boutiques and shops, restaurants information, visit our Web site at and entertainment options. The reau, was $190,100.

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QUICK INFO | Newcomer Magazine | 45


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 $9,561 404-802-3500

Elementary Schools 52 14 Middle Schools High Schools 20 Charter 15 Alternative 6 Per-pupil expenditures: $13,069 School & bus information: 404-802-5500 Avg. SAT Scores Fulton Co. 1567 Georgia 1452 National 1498 pRivate schools Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

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

Fulton County



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

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.

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.

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development.

Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education

Fulton County

Downtown Atlanta skyline




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

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

County Neighborhoods Schools

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Gwinnett County

COUNTY INFORMATION 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 While the county was easy access 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 Schools To help manage growth, 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




EDUCATION 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 Walton EMC 770-972-2917 Gas Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit


Telephone 888-436-8638

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


Comcast 404-266-2278 Hospitals Emory Eastside Medical Center


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


Gwinnett Women’s Pavilion 678-312-4770 Summit Ridge Center for Behavorial Health 770-822-2200 | Newcomer Magazine | 47


Fest-of-Ale, spotlighting specialty brews and live bluegrass (Oct. 8, 15, 22, and 29); Goblins in the Garden, featuring a kids’ costume runway, storytelling, pony rides and more (Oct. 25); and a pumpkin-carving contest (Oct. 29). 404-876-5859,

Taste of Suwanee, Town Center Park

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, Atlanta Botanical Garden

STREB: Forces, Ferst Center for the Arts Choreographer Elizabeth Streb and her Extreme Action Company combine dance, boxing, Hollywood stunt choreography and more in a dazzling performance. Oct. 8-9, 404-894-9600,

Classical Mystery Tour, Atlanta Symphony Hall The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s classical recreation of the Beatles’ only Atlanta concert appearance 50 years ago pays tribute to the Fab Four. Oct. 16-17, 404-733-5000,

Howl O’Ween, Gainesville Square Bring your favorite four-legged friend and enjoy dinner and drink specials in downtown Gainesville. Oct. 24, 770-297-1141,

Women and Girls Program, Center for Civil and Human Rights Through its Women and Girls Collaborative, the Center for Civil and Human Rights commemorates the International Day of the Girl. Oct. 10, 678-999-8990,

Conversations on Race, Center for Civil and Human Rights This series of discussions explores the complexity of race in America. Oct. 13 and 27,

the classic moments you love along with some surprising new twists. Nov. 3-8, 800-278-4447,


Mavis Staples and Joan Osborne, Ferst Center for the Arts

Boo at the Zoo, Zoo Atlanta Bring the little ones in their best costumes for an enchanting experience with delicious treats, enchanted pathways, whimsical characters and more. Oct. 17, 18, 24, 25, and 31,

Staples, the award-winning R&B and gospel singer, performs along with singer-songwriter Osborne, known for her hit song “One of Us.” Nov. 18, 404-894-9600,


Exhibits & Events

Moonlight Movie, Lilburn City Park Enjoy a free outdoor screening of Hotel Transylvania on the lawn of Lilburn’s city park. Kids’ activities and food vendors will also be on hand. Oct. 24,

Fridays N Duluth, Duluth Town Green Enjoy movies, children’s activities, food trucks and more at this free weekly event for all ages in downtown Duluth. Films include The Boxtrolls on Oct. 2 and The Maze Runner on Oct. 16.

Howl on the Green, Duluth Town Green This Halloween celebration features inflatables, games, live music and entertainment. Oct. 30,

Oct. 2, 9, 16, and 23, 770-476-3434,

Danny Elfman’s Music From the Films of Tim Burton, Atlanta Symphony Hall

October in the Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra celebrates Halloween with performances from the scores of such popular films as Batman, Corpse Bride, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Oct. 30-31, 404-733-5000,

The Atlanta Botanical Garden presents a harvest of activities throughout the month, including Scarecrows in the Garden (Oct. 8-31);


Halloween Costume Party, the Cooler Take part in a costume contest and enjoy games, crafts, activities and festive foods at Atlanta’s finest sports training facility. Oct. 31, 770649-6600,

Howl on the Green, Duluth Town Green

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Fox Theatre Broadway in Atlanta presents this Tony Awardwinning musical, featuring a contemporary take on the timeless fairy tale that promises all 48 | Newcomer Magazine |

Trek or Treat, Suwanee Creek Park PHOTO: Dustin Grau Photography

Theater & Concerts

PHOTO: Atlanta Botanical Garden

Sample sweet and savory bites from more than 30 local restaurants and vendors at this free annual event. Live music also featured, a kids’ zone and college football games courtesy of Dish Network. Oct. 10,

Kick off Halloween a little early with this event for children 10 and younger. Enjoy fall festivalstyle games, music, contests, and a free hot dog lunch (while supplies last). Trek or Treat takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 31,

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

Open House, St. Joseph Catholic School Prospective parents are invited to attend and learn what this well-regarded independent school has to offer. Nov. 1, 770-428-3328,

energy-efficient LED lights creating beautiful displays. New this year is the Tunnel of Light, a nearly 100-foot-long corridor of dazzling illumination. Nov. 15-Jan. 9, 404-876-5859,

Suwanee Wine Fest, Town Center Park

Jingle Mingle, Gainesville Square

This third annual event features more than 100 hand-selected premium wines, as well as craft beer, great food, live entertainment and more. Nov. 7,

Kick off the holiday season with shopping and events including the lighting of the Big Chicken, live music, caroling and pictures with Santa in his sleigh. Nov. 19, 770-297-1141,

Suwanee Classic Car Show, Town Center Park View approximately 150 classic cars at this award-winning event. The show also includes a silent auction, raffles, a presentation for veterans and more. Nov. 8,

Veterans Day Concert, Lilburn City Park Enjoy high-energy swing music performed by the Continental Dance Orchestra. Nov 8,

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, Atlanta Botanical Garden The Atlanta Botanical Garden’s hit holiday light show returns, with nearly 2 million

A Short Drive Away Smoky Mountain Winterfest, Sevierville, Tenn. View millions of twinkling lights arranged in festive displays, and enjoy shopping, shows and more. Nov. 9 through Feb. 29, 888-738-4378,

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland at Smokies Stadium, Sevierville, Tenn. Experience a breathtaking display of lights and music celebrating the spirit of the season. Nov. 9 through Feb. 29, 888-738-4378,



10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Closed Sunday



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

770-794-5576 | Newcomer Magazine | 49


The Center for Civil and Human Rights


ocated in downtown Atlanta, adjacent to the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium, the Center for Civil and Human Rights has become a must-see attraction since it opened on June 23, 2014. Designed by famed architect Phil Freelon, the 43,000-squarefoot building is a monument to mankind’s ongoing struggle for freedom and equality, drawing visitors from all over the globe. “People are coming from all over the country and beyond,” says Judith Montier, the Center’s vice president of marketing. “I’ve run into visitors from Germany, Korea and Switzerland. By Kevin Forest Moreau Now more than ever, people really need a place where they can come together and explore difficult issues in a civil way.” The Center is split into four distinct spaces. Rolls Down Like Water: The American Civil Rights Movement is a permanent exhibit that takes visitors on an interactive tour through important events in civil rights history. Perhaps the most popular installation of this gallery is a lunch counter where guests can experience the threats hurled at protestors at nonviolent sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960. “Any weekend, there’s a line for people to experience the lunch counter,” says Montier. “That continues to be very, very powerful.” The other permanent exhibit, Spark of Conviction: The Global Human Rights Movement, spotlights activists around the world, and educates visitors about famous dictators like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Voice to the Voiceless: The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection showcases different items and effects that belonged to the late Rev. Martin Luther King. The fourth space hosts temporary displays, like a current exhibit exploring the gay rights movement in Atlanta. The Center’s stated mission is “to empower people to take the protection of every human’s rights personally,” and Montier hopes that visitors leave feeling educated about the history of human rights abuses and inspired to do their part. The Center, she says, “is really about fostering a multigenerational dialogue. It’s about standing up for justice, using your voice and realizing the power that each of us as individuals has to make a difference in the world.” The Center for Civil and Human Rights is located at 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. For tickets and other information, call 678-999-8990 or visit

A Museum That Educates, Empowers and Inspires

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Newcomer Magazine | October/November 2015  

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

Newcomer Magazine | October/November 2015  

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