Newcomer Magazine Spring 2021

Page 1


Spring 2021 CONTENTS FEATURES Bringing History to Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Atlanta’s Top Neighborhoods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26

From civil rights to the Civil War, from Oakland Cemetery to the State Capitol, the sights of Atlanta will keep you engaged. Check out 10 venues that pay tribute to the city’s vast history.

Whether you’re looking to live inside or outside the Perimeter, north, south or somewhere in between, our guide to Atlanta’s neighborhoods will help you find your next home.

How to Interview a New School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Georgia’s Glamorous Getaways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 The best questions to ask faculty and staff when you’re considering a new school for your child to find the right fit for him or her.

These lavish resort destinations offer everything you need to vacation in style, including top-notch dining, accommodations and amenities.




DEPARTMENTS In Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Relocation Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 The inside scoop on news, events and happenings around Atlanta, from the arts to history to schools.

Homes and Communities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Offering a big return on your residential dollar and home to a thriving

Upcoming Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

business community, south Fulton County has a small-town atmosphere and big-city convenience.

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

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

Hidden Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

With virtual learning on the rise, discover what makes Georgia Cyber Academy, a tuition-free, K-12 school in existence for almost 15 years, an ideal education option in this day and age.

Located in Midtown, Piedmont Park is the crown jewel of Atlanta’s green scene and the place where residents like to spend their summer weekends.

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.

4 | Newcomer Magazine |

JOY IN LEARNING Arbor Montessori fosters independence in each child through supportive relationships, joyful learning, and meaningful work in a Montessori environment, inspiring them to contribute with integrity to the community of the world.

Call 404.321.9304 today for a personalized tour.

EXPERIENCE THE ARBOR DIFFERENCE Serving students 18 months to 14 years at two Decatur campus locations. 2998 Lavista Road, Decatur GA 30033 1434 Scott Blvd., Decatur GA 30030 404.321.9304 •

Arbor Montessori School admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, family structure or sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities of the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, family structure or sexual orientation in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs. | Newcomer Magazine | 5

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

Patrick Killam


Everett Catts & promotions Jeff Thompson


contributing writers

Anna Bentley, H.M. Cauley, Sheila Cosgrove, Carly Felton, Christine Fonville, Donna J. Neale, Amber Pittman, 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, Spring 2021, Volume 25, Issue 1. 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 submissions as necessary. Reproduction in whole or in part of any elements of this publication are strictly prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. © 2021 Killam Publishing, Inc.

For additional copies, further information, advertising or suggestions, please contact:

KILLAM PUBLISHING, INC. P: 770-992-0273 • F: 844-706-1545

6 | Newcomer Magazine |

#1 Private School in Cobb County –

Patrick W., Class of 2019 (Sophomore at Dartmouth)

“My senior year [at Walker] I started on the Football, Basketball and Lacrosse teams. I was captain for all three and I was able to play and train at a high enough level to continue playing at the Division I level.”

Channing A., Freshman “I’ve been at Christian, public and private schools. I like Walker the best because everyone is really friendly and inviting. Teachers are always there to help, and you never feel like you’re bothering them.”

Cris and Toby Thornton, daughters in Class of ’18 and ’23 “We are confident our girls are better prepared for college and beyond due to their experience at Walker.”

Be challenged, be engaged, be known. Accepting late applications in select grades







PHOTO: Feld Entertainment


In February, Mount Paran Christian School broke ground on the Murray Innovation Center, a 23,551-square-foot high school expansion that will help encourage and inspire students with new science labs, a digital lab, a robotics field for the championship Eagle Robotics teams and a collegiate-style high-tech classroom. The center will also feature a coffee shop operated by the school’s entrepreneurship class. The school will welcome students to the new space in the spring 2022 semester. For more information or a virtual tour, visit

Mickey Mouse and an all-star cast of your favorite characters invite you to believe in the power of dreams in Disney on Ice Presents Dream Big. Join Anna and Elsa, Moana and Maui, Miguel and many more in an evening of ice skating and classic Disney songs that will inspire audiences to follow their own dreams. This event features pod seating and other safety protocols to help keep your family safe and secure. April 15-25 at Infinite Energy Arena. 770-626-2464,

History Comes Alive There’s no better way to get to know the rich and varied story of your new home than by spending a day or two at the Atlanta History Center. Explore the 33-acre campus’ historic houses and gardens and take in absorbing exhibitions like “Cyclorama: The Big Picture,” featuring the fully restored cyclorama painting “The Battle of Atlanta,” as well as “Turning Point: The American Civil War” and “Locomotion: Railroads and the Making of Atlanta.” The center is open Tuesday through Sunday. 404-814-4000, 8 | Newcomer Magazine |

The Lyndon Academy Lego Robotics team, Let Go My Lego, has spent the 2020-2021 school year preparing to compete virtually in the First Lego League Georgia Regional Competition. The team learned how to program Lego robots to complete various missions and devised an innovation project to illustrate the theme of getting kids to be physically active They also learned how to be cooperative competitors and good sports. The competition took place on Jan. Historic 29. Results available until after College weren’t Park Home this issue went to press, but these kids are already winners in our book! PHOTO: Bazemore Photography

PHOTO: Courtesy of the Atlanta History Center

Lego Lessons

PHOTO: Science Museum of Minnesota


Take a Step Back In Time Get an up-close look at an ancient culture at Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. This immersive, hands-on exhibit explores what archaeologists have discovered about the Maya civilization that thrived in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, with authentic artifacts, reconstructions and more. The exhibit runs through May 9. For more information, call 404-929-6300 or visit | Newcomer Magazine | 9

The Callanwolde Fine Arts Center originally was the home of Howard Candler, oldest son of the founder of The Coca-Cola Co., and was completed in 1921.

By Amber Pittman

ATTRACTIONS THAT HIGHLIGHT ATLANTA’S HERITAGE Among other things, Atlanta is well-known for its history. The rich heritage of this Southern city never ceases to amaze newcomers, and even locals keep finding more to learn and appreciate. From civil rights to the Civil War, from Oakland Cemetery to the State Capitol, the sights of the city will keep you engaged and enlightened and coming back for more. And what better way to learn more about your new community? Here is just a little taste of the historical venues and attractions the Atlanta area offers. ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER If you want to know about the history of this Southern city, the Atlanta History Center has got you covered. Folk art, Native American relics and art, civil rights and the Civil War, Coca-Cola and local sports legends—the center encompasses all of that in its regular exhibits, and adds even more with traveling exhibits that are shown periodically throughout the year., 404-814-4000.

The Swan House, completed in 1928, is one of the treasures on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center. 10 | Newcomer Magazine |

The Center for Civil and Human Rights has exhibits featuring wars, movements and more.


PHOTO: Dustin Chambers

The legacy of this historic Gothic Revival mansion revolves around Coca-Cola and nearby Emory University, but the beauty of it surpasses its history for many. The mansion was built between 1917 and 1921 and was home to Howard Candler, oldest son of the founder of The Coca-Cola Co. and the company president from 1916 to 1923. Callanwolde today is a busy community arts center offering classes and workshops for all ages, is available for tours and special events and hosts a variety of events every year, including Easter egg hunts and a Christmas party., 404-872-5338.


From the Civil Rights Movement to today’s Human Rights Movement, the Center for Civil and Human Rights offers an inviting place to explore, to ask questions and to learn about the past and the future. Exhibits are like giant storybooks. Wars, movements, leaders who have shaped the world—the exhibits change regularly, but the theme never does., 678-999-8990.



Located in Delta Air Lines’ original aircraft hangars, the museum allows visitors to learn about the history of aviation, the story of Delta and the future of aviation. Interactive exhibits such as flight simulators and full-sized planes to explore make this the perfect spot for all ages., 404-715-7886.

Originally built in the 1920s to be the home of a Shriner’s organization (they backed out when they saw just how ornate it was), The Fox is the place to see plays, concerts and movies, but it’s also an amazing venue to tour. Modeled after ancient temples, the building’s architecture alone is reason to visit. Tours are available, and the theatre features several shows annually, such as the Nutcracker ballet and the ever-popular ghost tours. Because, of course, a theatre with this kind of history has a couple of ghosts., 404-881-2100.

GEORGIA STATE CAPITOL Over a century old, built with Georgia’s natural resources, and with its iconic gold dome, the State Capitol peeks its golden head up through the hustle and bustle of the city, seeming to welcome visitors inside. Home to the state government, it also boasts a pretty spectacular museum of local treasures and oddities, and its beautiful grounds hold several statues and pictures of interest., 404-463-4536.



The classic movie might not have been filmed in Georgia, but it was set here, and written by Atlanta native Margaret Mitchell. A visit to the museum is like stepping back into the time of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Among other things, the museum houses some original costumes and scripts from the movie, as well as several of the author’s personal volumes of the book, and educational displays., 770-794-5576. | Newcomer Magazine | 11

Come walk in the shadow of the great civil rights leader, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., by visiting his early home (currently closed for repairs), his church, the house he grew up in and his final resting place. The site also offers a monument, the “I Have A Dream” World Peace Rose Garden, and a visitor center where you can learn more about King., 404-331-5190.



Whether you visit for the assortment of ghost stories and alleged hauntings, or for the history, Oakland Cemetery continues to remain one of the most favorite haunts for photographers and sightseers alike. Winding paths, gardens and large trees are scattered throughout the landscape, making it seem as much a park as the final resting place for many of Atlanta’s most respected and historic citizens., 404-688-2107.

The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History in Kennesaw opened in 1972, featuring The General steam locomotive and dedicated to the Great Locomotive Chase of April 12, 1862. Since then, the museum, which today is more than 65,000 square feet, has expanded to include permanent exhibits on the Civil War railroads and the Glover Machine Works collection, plus an education center., 770-427-2117.

SAVOR THE SEASONS in Upcountry South Carolina

Every season is the best season to explore the many treasures in the Upcountry. A N D E R S O N  C H E RO K E E  G R E E N V I L L E  O C O N E E  P I C K E N S  S PA R TA N BU R G 864-233-2690 Perfectly Seasoned

12 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTOS: (Middle) Courtesy of Dinny Addison; (Right) Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History

MLK JR. NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE | Newcomer Magazine | 13





The area collectively known as south Fulton County is found in the bottom portion of the most populous county in Georgia and the primary county of metro Atlanta. This 125,000acre stretch, separated from the central and northern part of the county by the city of Atlanta, enjoys its own specific identity. And these days, south Fulton—which includes southwest Atlanta and the cities of Chattahoochee Hills, College Park, East Point, Fairburn, Hapeville, Palmetto, South Fulton and Union City, as well as the unincorporated part of this half of the county—is experiencing a resurgence. Home to several renowned businesses and the world’s busiest airport, the region is also a beneficiary of Georgia’s aggressive push to lure the entertainment industry to the state. And its alluring neighborhoods, appealing education options and convenient access to Atlanta are making the area a natural fit for businesses and residents. 14 | Newcomer Magazine |

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

COMMUNITY LIVING South Fulton’s more than 306,059 inhabitants, who enjoy an average household income of $49,963, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, enjoy affordable housing options that are convenient to a variety of schools and downtown Atlanta. “Housing in the area is very attractive,” says Dyan Matthews, the South Fulton Chamber of Commerce’s president and CEO. “You still get a lot for your money.” New homes at Ravenwood in Union City range from the mid- to upper $100,000s. Two- and three-story homes at South Wind: The Estates in Fairburn start in the mid$200,000s. Throughout south Fulton, areas like College Park, Fairburn and Hapeville sport a peaceful, small-town feel with walkable neighborhoods and a live-work-play environment. Colorful

neighborhoods like Historic College Park, filled with tree-lined streets and historic homes, and Cascade, an affluent community in southwest Atlanta, add to the area’s appeal. Serenbe, a 1,000-acre sustainable-living community in Chattahoochee Hills, features quaint townhouses and cottage-style homes, shops and businesses. And Walton Lakes, a gated apartment community near Camp Creek Parkway, offers its own intimate environment with a cozy “Main Street” feel. Those homes and neighborhoods are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to quality of life, says City of South Fulton Mayor William “Bill” Edwards, a former county commissioner and longtime advocate of the area. “There’s no traffic congestion, an exorbitant amount of greenspace, a lower crime rate compared to other metro cities and counties, and [low] home costs.”

EDUCATION AND BUSINESS All public schools in south Fulton are operated by the Fulton County Schools district, one of the oldest school systems in Georgia. The county also hosts a variety of independent and charter schools. Woodward Academy, in College Park, is the largest independent school in the continental U.S. Business is growing in south Fulton, thanks in no small part to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, consistently recognized as the world’s busiest since 1998. The airport, which straddles Fulton and Clayton counties, is a principal part of the area’s economy. “For a long time now the south Fulton area … has been a place where the only thing people would do is drive to that area to catch planes. If they land there, they go out into the metro area for meetings or conferences or whatever



Georgia Renaissance Festival is held in Fairburn each year.



Georgia International Convention Center (GICC) is the state's secondlargest convention facility.

MARTA is metro Atlanta's rapid transit rail.

they are doing,” says Artie Jones III, economic development director for College Park. “We’re finding out there’s so much business being done around the airport that it becomes more advantageous to live in that area and not just travel there. People are getting tired of being in traffic jams.” Hartsfield-Jackson is connected to the Georgia International Convention Center, the state’s second-largest convention facility, and the Gateway Center office and hotel development that also includes a multipurpose arena that opened in 2019. The area is also a major shipping and transit hub, with easy access to Interstates 20, 75, 85 and 285 and a CSX Intermodal Terminal in Fairburn. South Fulton enjoys service from MARTA, Atlanta’s speed rail train, throughout much of the area. “The exciting thing about south Fulton is that we have total access to interstate highways, the airport and rail,” says Edwards. “That’s attractive to people coming into the area, especially busi16 | Newcomer Magazine |

nesses, because those are three things that they use to move their goods and products.” In fact, many prominent businesses call the area home. Hapeville is home to the corporate headquarters of Delta Air Lines and a Wells Fargo processing center. Porsche Cars North America has its headquarters in the city, as part of a $100 million development that features a 1.6-mile test track for drivers to test their dream machines. Porsche’s site is part of Aerotropolis, a 130-acre mixed-use development with office and retail space, restaurants and a hotel. The city maintains its own wireless network for use by residents, visitors and businesses to promote economic development. In East Point, Tyler Perry Studios, a film production facility owned by the movie mogul, was built on most of the property at Fort McPherson, a former U.S. Army base. Union City is home to a manufacturing facility for the biotechnology company Dendreon, while Palmetto hosts the Community Medical Center and a Lowe’s distribution center. The historic

Palmetto Train Depot offers a banquet room, meeting space and history museum. Retail shoppers can visit Camp Creek Marketplace, with more than 100 shops and restaurants, and Greenbriar Mall, which features more than 90 stores and vendors. Last but not least, south Fulton is home to a EUE/Screen Gems Studios facility, and numerous movie and television productions have filmed in the area.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT South Fulton hosts many things to see and do year-round. The Taste of East Point festival serves up food and art on the first Saturday in May, while the Georgia Renaissance Festival brings thousands of visitors to Fairburn each year for jousting, live music and other medieval fare. The area is home to two outdoor music venues, Wolf Creek Amphitheater and Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood. The Southwest Arts Center in Cascade features classrooms, exhibits and a performance theater.

Owned by a Medical Professional No Registration Fees Imagine what a child can do in life if he/she speaks 4 of the top 5 languages in the World

Quality Instruction by College Educated Teachers Now enrolling 3 months - 1st grade. Summer Session: June 1 - July 23. 2021- 2022 School Year: August 2. “American babies that speak 4 languages? Well, we're doing it, and you can do it too!” - Jessa Depew, PharmD


@thequadacademy 2581B Spring Rd. Smyrna, GA 30080  404-777-QUAD (7823)  | Newcomer Magazine | 17



Downtown Hapeville boasts a unique public art program, which started with giant butterflies painted by local students and artists and includes annual mural projects. The Hapeville Arts Alliance encourages a vibrant arts community in the city. The Hapeville Depot Museum features exhibits, railroad and aircraft artifacts and archives from the 1800s. In East Point, Georgia Soccer Park provides playing fields for youth and adult recreation leagues, while the Dick Lane Velodrome is one of the premier bicycle racing facilities in the nation. The Cochran Mill Nature Center in Palmetto features wildlife exhibits and hiking trails. Whether you’re a young professional or moving with your family, south Fulton has something to offer everyone, with great education, affordable housing, a growing economy, a relaxing community atmosphere and easy access to Atlanta.

18 | Newcomer Magazine |



Union City

College Park

South Fulton Chamber of Commerce

East Point Fairburn Hapeville Palmetto City of South Fulton

Fulton County Schools Woodward Academy Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Georgia International Convention Center







Springmont’s authentic Montessori experience balances academic learning with social/emotional well-being. Highly experienced and caring teachers guide individualized learning that inspires students to become creative, independent and globally-minded. EXTRAORDINARY BY DESIGN. Contact or call 404.252.3910 for more info or a virtual tour.

ATLANTA’S F I R ST MONTE S SOR I SCHO OL | Newcomer Magazine | 19



How to Interview a New School By H.M. Cauley


When searching for the right school for your child, there’s no more important part of the process than asking questions of the faculty and staff. From a school’s educational philosophy to its test scores and what it serves for lunch, it’s crucial to get as much information as possible to help you make the right decision. But what questions should you ask? For parents looking for educational options for their children, one of the best developments in education is the availability of a wider range of school choices than ever before. At the same time, this abundance of choice can be the source of stress when searching for a school, as parents work to weigh a greater number of alternatives objectively. 20 | Newcomer Magazine |

ACADEMICS The first thing to ask about is a school’s academics. Nicole Evans Jones, engagement specialist at Young Middle School and founding former principal at Purpose Built Schools, an Atlanta nonprofit charter school management group, encourages parents to consider just what they want their children to learn. “The course offer-

ings and the extracurriculars may not fit your child’s needs,” she says. “Look at the course of study and talk about what the kids are learning.” Ideally, the program should enrich your child’s academic strengths and interests while also being able to support improvement where needed. Ayanna Hill-Gill, head of school at Atlanta Girls’ School, agrees. After relocating to Atlanta from New Jersey in 2014, Hill-Gill visited local institutions to find the right fit for her own two children. When interviewing schools, Hill-Gill made sure to focus on the curriculum. “Coming from out of town, we wanted to make sure the curriculum was what my kids were accustomed to, so there would be a smooth transition,” she says. “For instance, I wasn’t familiar with what one school used for math, so I asked to see some lessons to get a sense of the objectives,” she says.



For both students and schools, standardized test performance is only a snapshot of academic achievement, but it should be considered. Look at a school’s average test scores, and compare them to results for the past three to five years to determine if they are trending upward or downward. If a test area is weak, determine if there’s an underlying cause. A science and technology magnet school may score slightly lower than average in English, for example. What’s as important as the score is what’s being done to address any deficiencies and to keep improving. For parents of middle and high school students, college preparation is of critical importance. Asking about the percentage of students at a school that go on to college—and which colleges—can help you learn about not just a school’s academic rigor, but also how well it supports a commitment to learning in its students. Other topics about which to ask regarding academics include: How often is homework assigned and how much time does it require? Are tutoring and study assistance available? What programs and support are available for special needs or academically gifted students? What extracurricular activities are offered? It’s also important to ask about teachers. Review the educational background and qualifications for individual teachers and note how these relate to the subjects they teach. While class size and student-teacher ratio are good indicators of how much individual attention can be expected, especially in the lower grades, how it’s computed can make a difference. For a clear picture, ask if the school includes staff such as librarians in its teacher count when determining its published ratio.

COMMUNITY, CULTURE AND COST Every school has a unique culture and its own concept of involving the family in its approach to learning. The answers to questions about a school’s recent accomplishments and outstanding features can speak volumes about a school’s mission and values, and how it might make decisions affecting your child going forward. Whether you’re investigating a public or


10 QUESTIONS TO ASK 1. What is the school’s educational philosophy or mission? 2. What are its safety and security procedures? 3. How does the school help students meet grade-level standards?

independent school, Kari Schrock, principal of Laurel Ridge Elementary School, suggests asking just what it means to be a part of the school’s learning community. “I encourage parents to dig deeper to know what the school represents,” she says. Schrock notes that it’s important for parents to know exactly what their expected level of involvement is, if any, and to make sure they’re able to make the required commitment. Parents may also want to verify the frequency and method of teacher-to-family communication. Other questions relating to a school’s culture include: Are uniforms

4. How is technology used at the school? 5. Does it offer strong arts or extracurricular programs? 6. How do students fare on the SAT and other standardized tests? 7. How does it work with students with learning difficulties or other challenges? 8. Does it have gifted/talented or other programs for exceptional students? 9. How do students get to school? 10. Is the school accredited, and if so, by which organizations?

Grades PreK3-12

Where authentic Christian mission and academic excellence aren’t mutually exclusive WHY WESLEYAN?

E X P L O R E WE S L E YA N AT W W W.W E S L E YAN S C H O O L . O R G/A DM I SSI ON S 22 | Newcomer Magazine |


required? Is transportation available for students who live at a distance? What are the behavior and discipline policies? One important topic, whether you’re interviewing a traditional public, charter or independent school, is funding. Are there booster clubs, foundations or stakeholders that support the school? Also, find out about tuition: what does it cover? Are there added fees for extra-curricular activities, events outside of class or for equipment and supplies?

A foundation for a lifetime...

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


Georgia Cyber Academy

Personalized Attention in a Virtual Setting By Donna J. Neale


hile some schools have struggled to rise to the challenges of remote learning, Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA) has been meeting the needs of its students for nearly 15 years, providing accredited, tuition-free online education for thousands of children statewide. Working closely with parents and certified teachers, students are empowered to reach their full academic potential and emerge ready for the future. Flexibility is a driving factor in GCA’s success, as families find solutions to their unique situations outside of a brick-and-mortar school. “Some families may want more control over their students’ educational environment, peers or outside influences for safety, faithbased or cultural reasons,” says Superintendent Angela Lassetter. “Other parents want to be more involved in their children’s education, spend more time with them or develop a closer bond during the most impressionable years. Medical situations, bullying and an increased number of course offerings are other reasons that families may enroll their students.” Lassetter adds that there is freedom for students, as well. “Students at Georgia Cyber Academy receive individualized educational support and pacing to better meet them where they are on their personal learning paths,” she says. “Virtual learning offers a more flexible option for them to be able to complete their education.” All students participate in direct, teacher-led instruction in a virtual classroom setting and progress under the guidance of an at-home learning coach (typically a parent). Teachers use advanced online classroom technology to facilitate discussions and collaborative activities within the virtual group setting.

24 | Newcomer Magazine |

In grades K through 8, students are given a pacing schedule and an outline of assignments to complete. High school students enjoy the flexibility of individualized learning plans tailored to their strengths and goals, coupled with personalized support from GCA’s qualified staff. In addition to a rigorous online curriculum in line with Georgia Standards of Excellence, GCA offers English to speakers of other languages, Advanced Placement and gifted classes, dual enrollment, workbased learning opportunities and a schoolwide Title I program. It also provides a variety of supplemental resources. Without an expensive investment in physical materials, the school can quickly adopt or discard learning tools as necessary. To increase interaction between students, the school schedules virtual and in-person field trips, celebrations, clubs, and service projects. With Georgia Cyber Academy’s high standards and personalized attention, students are empowered for the future. “Whether the path they have chosen is college, a technical school, the military, an apprenticeship, a job, to start their own business, a gap year to serve their community or to become a homemaker, I am confident that they will be equipped with the education they need to stand on their own and be successful,” Lassetter says. N

THE SPECIFICS Grades: K-12 Student/Teacher Ratio: Varies by grade level Tuition: Free Location: Online

Contact: 1745 Phoenix Blvd., Atlanta, GA 30349 229-297-7244 Web:


ap Ad







TCS’s intentional approach addresses the whole student by working with their social & emotional needs, in addition to their educational goals. Visit


for more information. | Newcomer Magazine | 25


Atlanta’s Top Neighborhoods EXPLORE THE METRO AREA’S BEST COMMUNITIES By Anna Bentley

Moving to a new city can be daunting, and one of the first decisions you have to make may be the hardest: Which neighborhood should you call home? However, Atlanta’s diverse communities and cities offer something for everyone, including quality education, affordable housing, family-friendly events and tight-knit neighborhoods. Whatever you’re looking for, Atlanta has many perfect spots to choose from. Here we’ve got you covered, showcasing 17 of Atlanta’s most popular communities, located all around the metro area, to serve as a starting point for your exploration.

KEY: F family 26 | Newcomer Magazine |

E empty nesters


Midtown F E Y The heart of Atlanta is Midtown, the city’s second largest business district and a booming live-work-play community. Its network of walkable tree-lined streets puts the area’s shopping, dining and employment just steps away, and access to the MARTA rail line, Interstates 75 and 85, and Amtrak put the rest of the city—-and the world—within easy reach. It’s also home to the city’s art district, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, High Museum of Art, Alliance Theatre, Fox Theatre and more. And at its center are the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Piedmont Park: “Atlanta’s back yard” and the scene of numerous events and festivals throughout the year.

Y young professionals

Old Fourth Ward F Y Spurred by the development of the Atlanta BeltLine, a 22-mile biking and walking trail, the “O4W” has rapidly become one of the city’s most vibrant districts and a beacon for progressive but thoughtful revitalization. Attractions in this area just northeast of downtown include Ponce City Market, a mixed-use development with premier dining and shopping; the bustling Freedom Farmers Market and Sweet Auburn Curb Market; numerous restaurants and bars; several parks; and, of course, the BeltLine itself, which connects the neighborhood to the rest of the city with a walkable scenic path that features dining, art and community life along the way. Housing options range from historic bungalows to modern new townhomes, with plenty of starter options. Virginia-Highland F Y Just east of Midtown is the vibrant neighborhood of Virginia-Highland (or “The Highlands”), named for the intersection of Virginia and Highland avenues at its heart. This fun, funky neighborhood is filled with eclectic shopping and diverse dining and nightlife options, including some of Atlanta’s oldest bars and pubs. Its network of short blocks and residential streets lined with historic bungalows makes it one of Atlanta’s most walkable communities. It’s also right off the BeltLine and a short walk from Piedmont Park, making it ideal for active

young professionals. Its Summerfest arts and music festival is one of the largest in the Southeast.

Decatur is also on the MARTA rail line, allowing for easy access to Atlanta’s top destinations and events.




Hapeville F E This charming city boasts a small-town feel and is the home of the Dwarf House, the first Chick-fil-A restaurant. A designated Main Street city, Hapeville takes pride in its downtown that features historic sites like the Depot Museum and Visitor Center, the Christ Church and Carriage House, a conference center and numerous businesses. There’s also a picturesque downtown park and a unique public art program that

Buckhead F E Y The public face of this wealthy historic district is its Peachtree Road corridor, home to its business district and lined with high-rise offices and glitzy hotels, dining and shopping. Its private life stretches away from Peachtree in a sprawling area made up of 43 distinct and unique neighborhoods, stretching from I-285 to I-85 and making up a fifth of the city. Notable neighborhoods include Tuxedo Park, with palatial mansions nestling on rolling manicured lawns; Chastain Park, home to one of the city’s largest parks, which includes a golf course, amphitheater, equestrian center, tennis courts and a pool; and Garden Hills, with its winding, tree-lined streets.

Decatur F E Y A vibrant city with a tight-knit community, Decatur is located just 15 minutes from Atlanta. The city puts a premium on walkability with its historic downtown, full of charming restaurants, pubs, boutique shops and specialty stores. Events are held downtown throughout the year, including the popular Decatur Craft Beer Festival and the Decatur Book Festival.

Located in the heart of Atlanta, Midtown is the city's second largest business district.

College Park F Y College Park truly presents the best of both worlds for the rising professional who enjoys a little quiet time. Its easy proximity to downtown Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport offer the convenience of big-city living balanced with a relaxing, small-town feel. The airport and the Georgia International Convention Center also make this an increasingly desirable destination for business travelers. There’s affordable housing in the historic College Park neighborhood, and there are numerous attractive dining options. The main campus of Woodward Academy, the largest independent day school in the continental United States, is located here as well.

The Atlanta BeltLine, a 22-mile ring of trails around the city, runs through several top neighborhoods. | Newcomer Magazine | 27

Adair Park annually hosts the Porches and Pies Festival.

The Chattahoochee River offers many recreational opportunities in several top metro Atlanta neighborhoods.

has created a number of murals to beautify the city. Hapeville has experienced significant revitalization. Porsche Cars North America built its world headquarters and the Porsche Experience Center here in 2015.


Vinings F E This unincorporated village is unique in bordering the city of Atlanta but located in

Cobb County. Situated northwest of Buckhead, Vinings offers walkable charm, quality schools, great shopping and dining and plentiful housing of every type. With recreational opportunities on the Chattahoochee River, Vinings provides easy access to the entire metro area. Generous property tax exemptions make it attractive to empty nesters and retirees. Adair Park F Y “Go west!” is the new watchword in Atlanta for young professionals seeking an affordable community with access to the city. Longtime residents of this community on the National Register of Historic Places are welcoming newcomers who are finding good values on existing homes with vintage charm, while trendy lofts and townhomes are springing up rapidly. An artists’ mecca, Adair Park’s location on the BeltLine has spurred the growth of small businesses and the creation of parks, with playgrounds and sports facilities as well. The neighborhood comes together to host the annual Porches and Pies Festival and the Tour de SWAT cycling event for a unique sense of local pride.


Sandy Springs hosts a bevy of family-friendly events each year. 28 | Newcomer Magazine |

Sandy Springs F E Y Directly north of Atlanta, Sandy Springs is one of Atlanta’s biggest employment and high-end shopping destinations. Recently, Sandy Springs

developed a new city center called City Springs to serve as the heart of the community. Officially completed in 2018, City Springs offers office space, greenspace, residential and retail space and a performing arts center. The city hosts the Sandy Springs Artsapalooza fine arts festival each spring and the popular Sandy Springs Festival, with its beloved pet parade, in the fall.


Duluth F E Voted one of Georgia’s best affordable suburbs by Businessweek magazine, Duluth sports a small-town feel thanks to its family-friendly greenspace and historic downtown district, filled with charming specialty shops. The Town Green, with its amphitheater and fountain, hosts community events throughout the year, such as the annual Duluth Fall Festival each September. Duluth is also home to the Atlanta Gladiators (a minor league ice hockey team) and the Infinite Energy Center, which hosts major festivals, concerts and events. The Hudgens Center for the Art and Learning presents exhibits by well-known masters and local artists, with classes in pottery, drawing, painting and more for both adults and children. Gainesville F E Gainesville is a top pick for active families and




Duluth's Town Green is a popular gathering spot that hosts events throughout the year.

nature lovers alike. Lake Lanier, on the western and northern edges of town, offers swimming, fishing and camping options, while the Blue Ridge Mountains just north of town are another perfect option for hiking or camping. The city’s Interactive Neighborhood for Kids and Quinlan Visual Arts Center are just two of its many family-friendly attractions. Gainesville has also been recognized by AARP as one of its top 10 affordable places to retire. Retirees can tee up at the Chattahoochee Golf Club, take a swim at the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center and enjoy an abundance of recreational opportunities. Johns Creek F Y Just a neighborhood a decade and a half ago, Johns Creek officially became its own municipality in 2006—and it hasn’t stopped growing since. The young, affluent city boasts some of metro Atlanta’s top schools and the award-winning Technology Park mixed-use development, which hosts several Fortune 500 companies. And with the Chattahoochee River forming a large part of the city’s southern and eastern boundaries, Johns Creek offers plenty of options for outdoor recreation—including miles of recreational trails, including the Johns Creek Greenway, a 4-mile (and growing!) trail system; and the Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center, which sits on 46 acres of woodlands.

Duluth was ranked number 2 in the Best Atlanta Suburbs by the AJC

Duluth was ranked in the TOP 25 Places to Visit in Georgia by Vacation Idea Magazine

Duluth was ranked number 4 in the 10 Best Atlanta Suburbs by Movoto

Duluth was named one of AARP’s 10 Best Places to Live for under $40,000

Duluth was ranked number 4 in the 10 Best Atlanta Suburbs for Millennials by Niche

Duluth was ranked number 5 in the 10 Best Atlanta Suburbs for Families by Movoto

Live, Work, Play City Award from Georgia Municipal Association and Georgia Trend Magazine

Duluth was ranked in the Top 10 Most Beautiful Towns in Georgia by Culture Trip

Duluth was ranked number 12 in the Best Places to Buy a Home in the Metro Atlanta Suburbs by Niche

For more information, visit | Newcomer Magazine | 29


The Market Village in Smyrna Lilburn F E With an estimated population of about 13,000, this Gwinnett County city is one of the smaller ones on this list, but that makes a big difference when it comes to its sense of small-town community. Top attractions include the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, the largest traditional

Smyrna F E Attractive neighborhoods, a thriving downtown and plentiful greenspace are highlights of this Cobb County city, which in the 1980s was one of the area’s first to complete a master plan for revitalization. Its Williamsburg-style Village Green is now the scene of many annual concerts and festivals and a vibrant town center hosting the city hall, library and community center; along with shopping, office space and residential options. Residents also have access to more than 33 additional acres of parks and greenspace, all located within one mile of downtown. With immediate access to I-75 and I-285, Smyrna is minutes away from virtually everywhere in Atlanta. Woodstock F E Y Woodstock calls itself “a city unexpected,” and this community of about 33,000 offers ameni-

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is the largest traditional Hindu temple of its kind in the globe outside of India. 30 | Newcomer Magazine |

ties you might not imagine in a city of its size. More than 2,500 businesses are located here, and residents have a wide choice of housing options: many accessible from downtown on foot or via the free downtown trolley service and bike share program. The city boasts hiking and biking trails, concerts, festivals and other special events. It’s easy to see why Woodstock has been steadily racking up accolades from national media outlets and was the only Georgia city to make Money magazine’s 2020 list of Top 50 Best Places to Live in the U.S.


Peachtree City F E This master-planned community has the feel of a vacation resort. Golf carts are a primary means of transportation here, zipping along 100 miles of multi-use paths that are also great for strolling and bicycling. The area’s lake, golf courses, playgrounds, nature areas and sports fields offer numerous recreational opportunities, and the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater hosts a number of outdoor concerts. The city is also a magnet for film and television productions and boasts a Southern Hollywood Film Tour that visits popular filming locations.

Flat Creek Golf Club is among the courses in golf-friendly Peachtree City.

PHOTOS: (Top Left) Cobb Convention & Visitors Bureau; (Bottom Left) Richard Ferris; (Bottom Right) Dan Nelson

Hindu temple of its kind in the world outside of India; Lilburn City Park; and the Camp Creek Greenway: a 4.2-mile paved and gravel trail. Lilburn has experienced substantial growth in recent years, and has recently completed a new city hall and library complex and revitalized its downtown corridors.


Fitzgerald, Georgia Discover small-town charm in Fitzgerald, Georgia—a quirky town with wild chickens in the streets. Celebrate these feathered friends at Fitzgerald’s annual Wild Chicken Festival March 18-20 featuring a plethora of activities and events. The same weekend also features the Fitzgerald Boogie Sky Dive at Paulk Park. Choose between your bicycle or your running shoes Saturday, April 17. To commemorate the capture of the Confederate President Jefferson Davis outside Irwinville, the communities along this final route will host the annual Chasing Jefferson Davis Marathon. USATF Certified (GA15012WC). The Wild Chicken 100 is a fun and adventurous bicycle event that begins from the historic AB&A Depot. There’ll be multiple bike route

options including paved/gravel/dirt/clay road choices. Enjoy the scenic back roads and landscape. Fitzgerald’s historic district is filled with diverse architectural styles. It’s a pleasure to walk the town’s brick streets as you enjoy a day of shopping and sightseeing or embark on one of the town’s Architectural Treasures Tours. Step back in time at the Blue and Gray Museum. Immerse yourself in art at the Carnegie Center. Enjoy a movie or performance at the Art Deco Grand Theatre. Enjoy a wide selection of dining choices at our local restaurants. Make a weekend of it with a stay at one of Fitzgerald’s unique accommodations. Fitzgerald is Small Town U.S.A. at its best! So, pack your bags and come for a visit. 1-800-3864642, | Newcomer Magazine | 31




PHOTO: Mark O’Tyson Photography

Summer will be here before you know it, and Georgia is home to a number of award-winning resorts that allow you to vacation in high style. These resort destinations feature the best in dining, accommodations and amenities, whether that means an afternoon at a top-notch golf course or a day spent being massaged and polished at a luxurious spa. Whether you spend a relaxing weekend or a week, prepare yourself for some serious pampering. By H.M. Cauley

32 | Newcomer Magazine |



d 1. ATLANTA EVERGREEN MARRIOTT CONFERENCE RESORT This Marriott facility at Stone Mountain is one of the few resorts that can claim to blend history, natural wonder and an adventure park. Nestled amid 3,200 acres of parkland about 20 miles east of Atlanta, the resort features its own amenities—four restaurants, a fitness center, two pools and a spa—but it’s also within a leisurely stroll of the attractions at Stone Mountain Park. Get an early-morning workout by climbing to the top of the mountain, a natural granite outcropping that soars 1,686 feet above sea level. Grab a bike and pedal along tree-shaded lanes, take a boat out onto the lake or jog on 15 miles of nature trails. The park also boasts two championship golf courses, a 4-D theater, a scenic railroad and an immensely popular summer laser light show. 770-879-9900,

3. JEKYLL ISLAND CLUB RESORT Get away from it all by stepping back into the luxurious past. As the Victorian era faded into the 20th century, some of the country’s wealthiest citizens vacationed in palatial cottages and a magnificent clubhouse on this barrier island off the Georgia coast south of Savannah. Get a taste of what it might have been like to hobnob with the Rockefellers and other famous names during a stay at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, an iconic island landmark

Play golf on the Westin’s 18-hole championship course designed by renowned architect Robert Cupp & legendary golf pro Sam Snead.

with 159 rooms, a distinctive turret and intricate latticework. Rooms and suites in four restored mansions offer such posh accommodations as porches, fireplaces, spa bathrooms and French doors that open to adjacent lawns. Along with a private beach and dock, the hotel sports an array of recreational options, including nature walks, horseback riding, canoeing, carriage rides and golf. Dining at the club is an attraction all its own; exquisitely prepared meals will make you feel as if you’re dining at the turn of the last century. 912-635-2600,

2. WESTIN SAVANNAH HARBOR GOLF RESORT & SPA Palm trees swaying in the breeze, a lazy river rolling by and the heart of an historic city nearby: The elements of a relaxing coastal getaway combine with the historic appeal of Savannah at this resort on the harbor’s edge. After a day of lounging by the pool, enjoying spa treatments or touring the city’s historic sites, complimentary ferries whisk guests into the heart of town, where Savannah’s famed restaurants, nightlife and entertainment centers await. The beaches at Daufuskie Island are also accessible on summer weekends, when boats from the resort’s on-site marina transport guests to sandy shores where umbrellas and chairs await.912-201-2000, | Newcomer Magazine | 33

AT L AN TA PHOTOS: (Middle) Courtesy of Sea Island; (Right) The Ritz—Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation


4. CHATEAU ELAN WINERY AND RESORT Built in the style of a classic French chateau nestled in a vineyard, this resort in northeast Georgia offers a variety of escape options. Enjoy elegantly appointed rooms in the main inn, or book a villa for up to six people, complete with gourmet kitchens and rustically designed living areas. The resort’s spa has 14 guest suites designed to foster relaxation, with oversized soaking tubs, glass showers and more. Tour the vineyards, golf, take a swim, attend a wine tasting and dine in one of seven themed restaurants, ranging from classic French and Southern cuisine to Irish pub fare. 678-425-0900,

5. SEA ISLAND What began in 1928 as an intimate seaside hotel has become the getaway of choice for heads of state from around the world looking for time away from the public eye. This ideal beach getaway off the Georgia coast features natural and manmade amenities without equal. Stay at The Cloister, The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club or guest cottages, all of which share access to a private beach, three golf courses, tennis and squash courts and nature outings. The island is home to a five-star spa, a hunting preserve, a number of acclaimed restaurants and an array of water sports. It also played host to the G8 Summit of world leaders in 2004. 800-732-4752,

6. REYNOLDS LAKE OCONEE Part resort, part residential community, Reynolds Lake Oconee is the ideal spot for a luxurious escape. Situated on 12,000 acres around Lake Oconee, less than 90 minutes’ drive from downtown Atlanta, the area boasts such amenities as boating from two marinas, water sports, tennis, nature trails, horseback riding, a luxurious spa, fine dining in 10 restaurants and six championship golf courses designed by some of the sport’s top players and designers. Guests can choose between condos, private cottages and The RitzCarlton, where the hotel’s dedication to premium pampering is part of the appeal. 706-467-3131,


This romantic destination northwest of Atlanta charms with Victorianinspired cottages, a hunting lodge and the rose-covered ruins of a historic mansion. There’s also golf, a spa and fine dining. 770-773-7480,

34 | Newcomer Magazine |


Lovers of the outdoors, spas and natural beauty will find all in abundance at this 6,000-acre resort. Features include a water park, adventure courses and the renowned Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center. Accommodations range from rustically designed cottages to gorgeous suites at the Lodge and Spa. 800-225-5292,


Lake Lanier shines in the warmer months, when water sports and the expansive water park draw visitors from across the Southeast. Kick back in elegantly appointed guest rooms or suites, or enjoy the fitness center, spa, pool and other amenities. 770-945-8787,





THERE Vehicle Emission Inspection

Vehicles that are 24 model years old and later (except the three years prior to the current year) must be checked yearly 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, the 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 $2.50 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

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) 877694-2511, by dialing 511 or by visiting | Newcomer Magazine | 35

COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION PUBLIC SCHOOLS Cherokee County Schools Board of Education 770-479-1871

Cherokee County QUICK INFO

Elementary Schools 23 Middle Schools 7 High Schools 6 Centers 4 Per-pupil expenditures $9,149 School & bus information 770-720-2112

County Neighborhoods

Avg. SAT Scores Cherokee Co. 1115 Georgia 1048 National 1039

Median household income: $75,477 Median age of residents: 38 Population: 235,896 Sales tax: 6%

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

Chamber of Commerce Cherokee County 770-345-0400,


Property Taxes Per $1,000 of assessed value is: Unincorporated Cherokee County, $21.46; Incorporated Cherokee County, $21.46. Tax Commissioner: 678-493-6400

ELECTRICITY Amicalola EMC 706-253-5200 Cobb EMC 770-429-2100 Georgia Power 888-891-0938 Sawnee EMC 770-887-2363 GAS Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit

TELEPHONE/INTERNET/TV AT&T Cobb EMC Comcast (Xfinity) Direct TV Dish Network ETC Communications Spectrum TDS Telecom Windstream

WATER Cherokee County Water Authority City of Ball Ground City of Canton City of Waleska City of Woodstock

770-479-1813 770-735-2123 770-704-1500 770-479-2912 770-592-6006

HOSPITALS Northside Hospital-Cherokee 770-224-1000 Wellstar Kennestone Hospital 770-793-5000

Old Sixes Mill

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 median value of homes is $283,573. Homes for well over $1 million can be purchased in such neighborhoods as Bradshaw Farm, BridgeMill and Towne 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

36 | Newcomer Magazine |

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


to live, 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 reinvesting 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 Ridge

Located 12 miles south of Canton, Woodstock is one of Georgia's top 10 fastest-growing cities and a community recently named one of the Top 50 Cities Places to Live in the U.S. by Money magazine. Residents also enjoy easy access to 575 and 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 area, 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 Website at


PUBLIC SCHOOLS Cobb County Schools Board of Education 770-426-3300 Elementary Schools 67 Middle Schools 25 High Schools 17 Magnet 6 Charter 1 Per-pupil expenditures $8,833 School and bus information 678-594-8000

Cobb County QUICK INFO

Cobb County came into being in 1832 when the state County redistributed land once part Neighborhoods of the Cherokee Nation. Named after Thomas Willis Cobb, the county experi enced a devastating setback during the Civil War when most of it was destroyed during the famous Battle of Median household income: $75,654 Median age of residents: 36.6 Kennesaw Mountain. Population: 755,754 Today, Cobb County, Sales tax: 6% located northwest of Fulton County, is one of the state's Chamber of Commerce Cobb County most thriving counties. With 770-980-2000, a diverse economic base that includes jobs in the service, Property Taxes retail, aerospace and techThe property tax is $33.84 per $1,000 of assessed value. Tax Commissioner: 770-980-2000 nology sectors, Cobb County offers a quality of life unsurpassed in the Southeast. Nearly $900 million has been spent Cumberland Mall, secluded subon transportation improvements in divisions in East Cobb and horse recent years, allowing residents easy access to Atlanta and the commercial ranches in the northwest corner of the county. The small towns districts of Vinings Overlook, Cumberland Parkway and the prestigious of Marietta, Vinings, Smyrna and Platinum Triangle in the popular Austell still retain their Southern Galleria area. charm amidst urban settings. AcA variety of housing options cording to the Census Bureau, the exist in Cobb County, including median value of homes in 2018 luxury apartments and condos near was $237,800.


Truist Park


Kennesaw One of Family Circle magazine’s Ten Best Towns for Families, Kennesaw takes pride in its smalltown atmosphere and boasts abundant parks and greenspace, exceptional recreational programs and top-notch schools, including Kennesaw State University. Kennesaw’s historic downtown features shopping, dining and attractions such as the Smithsonianaffiliated Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, the Smith-Gilbert Gardens and nearby Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

Smyrna Rapidly defining what’s new and progressive in quality of life and citizen services, Smyrna delivers an amazing sense of style and love of life. The Market Village district, home to fabulous restaurants, bars and upscale shops and services, is the final piece of a master plan for success. Call it “Main Street USA” or “Disneyland,” but don’t overlook its charm and ability to offer the best in fresh, trendy lifestyle options. N For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our Website at

Marietta City Schools Board of Education 770-422-3500 marietta-city-org Elementary Schools 8 Middle Schools 1 High Schools 1 Sixth-Grade 1 Magnet 1 Per-pupil expenditures $10,542 School and bus information 770-429-3110 Avg. SAT Scores

Cobb Co. 1114 Marietta City 1056 Georgia 1048 National 1039 PRIVATE SCHOOLS Visit our website at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS ELECTRICITY Acworth Power 770-917-8903 Cobb EMC 770-429-2100 Georgia Power 888-891-0938 GreyStone Power Corp. 770-942-6576 Marietta Power 770-794-5150 GAS Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit TELEPHONE/INTERNET/TV AT&T Cobb EMC Comcast (Xfinity) Direct TV Dish Network Spectrum WATER Austell Water Cobb County Water System Marietta Water Powder Springs Water Smyrna Water

770-944-4300 770-419-6200 770-794-5150 770-943-8000 678-631-5338

HOSPITALS WellStar Cobb Hospital 470-732-4000 WellStar Kennestone Hospital 770-793-5000 WellStar Windy Hill Hospital 770-644-1000 | Newcomer Magazine | 37


PUBLIC SCHOOLS Fulton County Schools Board of Education 470-254-3600 Elementary Schools 59 Middle Schools 19 High Schools 18 Charter 10 Centers 4 Per-pupil expenditures $10,609 School & Bus Information North 470-254-2970 South 470-254-6060 Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education 404-802-3500 Elementary Schools 49 Middle Schools 12 High Schools 14 Charter 18 Alternative 4 Per-pupil expenditures $11,263 School & bus information 404-802-5500 Avg. SAT Scores Fulton Co. 1086 Atlanta Public Schools 944 Georgia 1048 National 1039 PRIVATE SCHOOLS Visit our website 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 770-964-2244 City of Palmetto 770-463-3322 Georgia Power 888-891-0938 GAS Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit TELEPHONE/INTERNET/TV AT&T Comcast (Xfinity) Direct TV Dish Network WATER Fulton County


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 404-785-2273 Emory University Hospital Midtown 404-686-4411 Grady Memorial Hospital 404-616-1000 WellStar North Fulton Regional Hospital 770-751-2500 Northside Hospital 404-851-8000 Piedmont Hospital 404-605-5000 Shepherd Center 404-352-2020 Emory St. Joseph's Hospital 678-843-7001

Fulton County 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 one million 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 $290,400. 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 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 greenspace, hosts many outdoor festivals and concerts.

sion, the historic Swan House and the Atlanta History Center. Buckhead is also an entertainment and dining hotspot. With luxury hotels, shops, bars and more than 250 restaurants, the Buckhead area is a magnet for young professionals.The neighborhood also offers numerous antique stores, art galleries and mall shopping at both Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza.




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 filled with high-rises, upscale restaurants, the Governor’s Man-

38 | Newcomer Magazine |

County Neighborhoods

Piedmont Park

is home to about 64,000 residents, drawn to its affordable housing, parks, shopping at North Point Mall and concerts at Ameris Bank Amphitheatre. The city's historic downtown boasts an appealing town square. Called Alpharetta City Center, it features locally owned shops and restaurants, and hosts events year round.

Median household income: $65,037 Median age of residents: 35.5 Population: 1,050,114 Sales tax: 7.75%, Atlanta City: 8.9% Chamber of Commerce Greater North Fulton 770-993-8806, Metro Atlanta 404-880-9000, South Fulton 770-964-1984, Property Taxes The property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value is: $40.92 for the City of Atlanta; $29.18 for incorporated Fulton County; $40.76 for unincorporated Fulton County; $33.54 for Johns Creek; $33.91 for Sandy Springs. Tax Commissioner: 404-613-6100


One of metro Atlanta’s most vibrant and affluent cities, Alpharetta

Johns Creek

Incorporated in 2006, this thriving community of 84,000 was ranked fourth among 50 Best U.S. Cities to Live In by USA Today. It boasts a diverse economic base, coupled with a peaceful environment: the city contains over 400 acres of parkland and nature reserves and contains five access points to the Chattahoochee River.


Also incorporated in 2006, Milton combines a pastoral setting with forward-thinking city planning that offers what's been called "The best quality of life in Georgia." N For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our website at

Gwinnett County

COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION 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.


City Hall and the Town Green in downtown Duluth

Suwanee is named after the Shawnee Indians who settled here in the latter part of the 18th cenOriginally part of Georgia’s tury. Following the official foundNative American territory, Gwinnett ing of the city in 1837, Suwanee County was created by the State became a railroad stop along the Legislature in 1818 and named Southern Railroad route. It reafter Button Gwinnett, one of Geormained a small country town well gia's three signers of the Declainto the ’70s when conration of Independence and a struction of I-85 and U.S. former governor. 23 brought easy access to County While the county was once the region. Neighborhoods largely rural with small towns, Since then, Suwanee country stores, farms and forests, has experienced tremen today it is home to about 600 dous growth, from 2,412 international companies and 450 residents in 1990 to more high-tech firms. With an averthan 20,000 today. To help Median household income: $68,914 age of 21 new professional and manage growth, the city Median age of residents: 35.3 industrial companies relocating has developed a comprePopulation: 920,260 to the county each year, attracthensive development plan Sales tax: 6% ing almost 21,000 new jobs, that promotes pedestrianChamber of Commerce Gwinnett County remains in oriented development and Gwinnett County, 770-232-3000, the top 10 ranking for growth mixed-use zoning. The nationwide. The county supcity was designated a Tree Property Taxes ports many cultural events, City USA for 29 years for The property tax in unincorporated Gwinnett restaurants and shopping opits commitment to preservCounty is $28.84 per $1,000 of assessed value. portunities, including the Mall of ing 27 percent of its land Tax Commissioner: 770-822-8800. Georgia in Buford. as greenspace. of Gwinnett County, Duluth has Gwinnett County remains Such foresight has allowed some of the most exclusive neighaffordable for renters and firstSuwanee to retain its old-fashioned borhoods in metro Atlanta and time home buyers, many of whom charm while providing contempois home to some of the best golf find homes in the communities of rary convenience. Only 35 miles courses and private tennis clubs. Doraville, Lawrenceville and Snellfrom downtown Atlanta, Suwanee There are numerous parks for recville. The median value of homes is close to big-city attractions, busireation and participatory sports, in 2018, according to the Census ness districts and shopping. Many including Bunten Road Park and Bureau, was $200,400. antique shops and historic strucShorty Howell Park. North Point tures, including several Victorian Mall, a major shopping center, is and regional farm-style homes, are located near Duluth. The Southlocated near downtown Suwanee. N eastern Railway Museum, which For more counties and neighborhood preserves and operates old railroad information, visit our website at Amidst the pristine setting equipment, is a must-see for any


PUBLIC SCHOOLS Gwinnett County Schools Board of Education 678-301-6000 Elementary Schools 80 Middle Schools 29 High Schools 25 Per-pupil expenditures $8,926 City Schools of Buford Board of Education 770-945-5035 Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools Per-pupil expenditures

2 1 1 $9,397

Avg. SAT Scores Gwinnett Co. 1094 City of Buford 1122 Georgia 1048 National 1039 PRIVATE SCHOOLS Visit our website at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS ELECTRICITY City of Buford 678-889-4600 City of Lawrenceville 770-963-9834 City of Norcross 770-448-2122 Georgia Power 888-891-0938 Jackson EMC 800-462-3691 Sawnee EMC 770-887-2363 Walton EMC 770-267-2505 GAS Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit TELEPHONE/INTERNET/TV AT&T Comcast (Xfinity) Direct TV Dish Network WATER Buford 678-889-4600 Dacula 770-963-7451 Gwinnett City Water 678-376-6800 Lawrenceville 770-963-2414 Norcross 770-448-2122 CABLE TV Spectrum 888-438-2427 Comcast 800-266-2278 HOSPITALS Eastside Medical Center 770-979-0200 Northside Hospital Gwinnett 678-312-1000 Gwinnett Women’s Pavilion 678-312-4790 Summit Ridge Center for Behavorial Health 678-442-5800


Duluth | Newcomer Magazine | 39


Made By Her Hands: The Beauty, Warmth and Stories of Local Quilting, Marietta History Museum This exhibit spotlights handmade quilts made by Cobb County women, who expressed themselves creatively through their intricate stitching and patterns and the fabrics that they used. Through March 28, 770-794-5710,

Orchid Daze, Atlanta Botanical Garden The Atlanta Botanical Garden showcases the beauty and fragrance of orchids with three creative displays pairing these vibrant flowering plants with richly colored textiles, adding texture and a sense of movement for a one-of-a-kind visual experience. Through April 11,

Microsculpture, Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Theater & Concerts Mirandy and Brother Wind, Synchronicity Theatre Young Mirandy hopes to catch the wind so he’ll be her partner for the upcoming junior cakewalk. This production is based on the book by Patricia McKissack. March 12-April 4, 404-484-8636,

Beautiful Blackbird Live, Alliance Theatre This socially distanced, family-friendly concert features original music inspired by Ashley Bryan’s children’s book “Beautiful Blackbird.” Part of the Alliance’s “Under the Tent” series. April 8-18, 404-733-5000,

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Atlanta Symphony Hall Legendary jazz musician Wynton Marsalis leads a collection of some of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players working today.. April 9, 404-733-5000,

PHOTO: Levon Biss

Woody Guthrie. Part of the Alliance’s “Under the Tent” series. April 29-May 9, 404-733-5000,

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi In Concert, Atlanta Symphony Hall

Microsculpture, Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Watch the science-fiction classic on a 40-foot screen while the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs the film score live. May 14-15,

See microscopic insects in large-format and high-resolution detail. Through May 2, 404-929-6300,


The Pigeon Comes to Atlanta! A Mo Willems Exhibit, Children’s Museum of Atlanta

Exhibits & Events

Visit with such beloved characters as Elephant Gerald, Piggie, Knuffle Bunny and The Pigeon at this exhibit based on the characters of children’s book author Mo Willems. Take part in a fashion show with Naked Mole Rat, launch foam hot dogs at The Pigeon, and put on a wearable bus for a drive around the exhibit! Through May 9, 404-

Dawoud Bey: An American Project, High Museum of Art This exhibit features the work of celebrated photographer Dawoud Bey, renowned for spotlighting underrepresented communities and exploring Black history. Through March 14,



Vaquero Legacies & Diverse Descendants, Booth Western Art Museum

The Pigeon Comes to Atlanta! A Mo Willems Exhibit, Children’s Museum of Atlanta

This show explores the many legacies of the first cowboys to come to the Americas in the 1700s. Through July 11, 770-387-1300,

Featuring original songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stephen Schwartz and James Taylor, this musical explores what makes our work meaningful across all walks of life. Part of the Alliance’s “Under the Tent” series. April 22-

ParentEd.: Parenting in a Tech World, Mount Paran Christian School

40 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Jason Simmonds

May 30, 404-733-5000,

This family-friendly concert features the classic children’s songs of American folk music legend

This exhibit showcases more than 100 photos from the High Museum’s collection, many of them never before on view, charting the history of photography through the work of women photographers. April through August, 404733-5000,

Working: A Musical, Alliance Theatre

A Song to Grow On, Alliance Theatre

Underexposed: Women Photographers From the Collection, High Museum of Art

Educators give a talk to parents on the ups and downs of tech with tweens and teens, including social media apps, establishing limits and boundaries and the role relationships play in dealing with technology. Spring,

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




Session 1: June 21 - July 2 Session 2: July 5 - 16 Held on the campus of The Bedford School in Fairburn 5665 Milam Road Fairburn, GA 30213 770-774-8001 •

2829 Cherokee St. | Kennesaw, GA 30144 | 770.427.2117

New Experiences to enhance your next visit!

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is offering two new experiences in our Underwater Astronaut Trainer! With SeaTREK, museum visitors don a specialized diving helmet for a fully guided underwater walking experience for all skill levels, ages 10 and older. DIVR+ is a virtual reality snorkeling system with sensory feedback, providing an unbelievably realistic VR experience suitable for ages 7 and up.

@RocketCenterUSA | Newcomer Magazine | 41

PHOTO: (Far Left) ©2014, Kevin C. Rose/


Piedmont Park



THE DETAILS LOCATION: 1320 Monroe Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 HOURS: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily PHONE NUMBER: 404-875-7275 WEBSITE:

42 | Newcomer Magazine |

By Carly Felton and Sheila Cosgrove

n major cities, people need a respite from the hustle and bustle— someplace where residents and visitors alike can relax and feel at one with nature. In New York City, that place is Central Park; in Chicago, it’s Lake Michigan; in Atlanta, it’s Piedmont Park. Located in Midtown and bordered by Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street, Piedmont Park is the place where Atlantans go on weekends. In fact, this serene oasis is one of the metro area’s most-visited locations, with more than 4 million visitors each year. The park offers more than 200-acres of wide-open spaces for picnicking, sunbathing and relaxing. A paved trail leads visitors through rolling hills, past Lake Clara Meer, tennis courts, an off-leash dog park and more. Other amenities include soccer and softball fields, two playgrounds and a bocce ball complex. The aquatic center has a landscaped deck, four lap lanes and a current channel perfect for floating away on a lazy summer day. As if all this weren’t enough, the park also hosts a number of annual events, including the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. In summer, the park also hosts the EnviroVentures Summer Camp, offering educational outdoor play for children ages 5-13. Another staple is the Green Market, featuring local farmers, bakers and other vendors, as well as classes and workshops. Larger and more popular than ever, Piedmont Park continues to reign as the jewel of Atlanta’s green crown.


Photo: Château Élan Winery & Resort

FERRARI DRIVER | FRENCH CHEF | SOMMELIER | COLLECTOR | ARBORIST GOLFOnly PRO | BOURBON CONNOISSEUR | MEEPLE | you HISTORIAN | KART RACER a short drive away, there’s a place where you can be whatever want to be—sipping wine under the stars, playing golf in the sun, or shopping an outdoor antique market. Plan an experience


Order Your Passport Today!

800.828.4244 Ch e e r s T r ai l.or g | Newcomer Magazine | 44