SEPTEMBER 2019 - Sandy Springs Reporter

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SEPTEMBER 2019 • VOL. 13 — NO. 9

Sandy Springs Reporter


Fall Education Guide

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for cars and walkers? A policy debate is heating up, while one Georgia Tech expert says the city’s on the right road. The concept, referred to by the city as “street connectivity,” is the idea of connecting roads, making commuting easier in larger cities. City officials want to keep up with the

Two controversial proposals for storage facilities got very different receptions from the city Planning Commission Aug. 27. A facility proposed for Northwood Drive won recommendation for approval due to the unit supporting “positive” redevelopment, while another proposed for a facility on Roswell Road was recommended for denial for doing just the opposite. The proposals will be brought to the City Council to vote on at a date to be determined, according to city spokesperson Sharon Kraun. The proposals are just two examples of often controversial pitches for storage facilities that have become a trend in the metro area. Previously, the city discouraged self-storage facilities in its “Next Ten” land-use plan. The plan has an action clause to “establish a compact, connected and walkable community,” which encourages prohibition of auto-oriented uses, such as gas stations and self-storage facilities, within areas designated as mixed-use. However, when the Development Code – the zoning based on the land-use plan -came to the council for a vote of approval in August 2017, the council decided to allow storage facilities in more areas. One proposal is for a three-story, selfstorage unit at 120 Northwood Drive, which would involve demolishing the current building and displacing several busi-

See CITY on page 14

See PLANNING on page 22


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Planning Commission says yes to one storage facility, no to another AN

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Dozens of guns stolen locally from cars, police say



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Denmark Drive, completed in June 2018, connects Boylston Drive and Roswell Road in an attempt to reduce traffic and to push the city to a more grid-like street system.

City exploring options for street connectivity following residents’ concern BY: HANNAH GRECO

The new downtown area around City Springs features a grid-like system of streets intended to reduce traffic pressures. But should neighborhood cul-desacs get the same cut-through treatment



See page 8


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2 | Community ■

More trees coming to yards and streets through new partnership BY HANNAH GRECO

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Residents Levi Margulies Gordon, 12, and Zoe Margulies Gordon, 11, pose in front of their new front yard trees, planted by Trees Atlanta.

More trees will be coming to residents’ yards and public streets thanks to a partnership between the city and Trees Atlanta. The partnership, called the NeighborWoods Project, will resume a project already existing in the city, the Front Yard Tree Program, as well as introduce a second program called the Right of Way program. “The NeighborWoods Project with Trees Atlanta is a committed effort by the city to enhance the city’s existing tree canopy and improve neighborhood involvement and sense of ownership in the city’s urban forest,” city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said in a press release. Each program will provide up to 200 trees over the next five years and Trees Atlanta, a nonprofit organization, will receive up to $50,000 from the city annually for each program. In 2018, Sandy Springs participated in a pilot pro-

gram that provided 74 free front yard trees to residents. The intent is to lower summer temperatures and reduce energy consumption by investing in tree canopy cover for neighborhoods, according to the nonprofit’s website. Resident Shelley Margulies Gordon participated in the Front Yard Tree program and had three trees planted in her yard, including one nuttall oak, one shumard oak and one ginkgo tree. Margulies Gordon says her experience with Trees Atlanta was “nothing short of fabulous.” “It was as simple as a phone call and a follow up email… By March of this year, three beautiful baby trees were planted and now they are thriving,” Margulies Gordon told the Reporter. The total amount spent on the Front Yard Tree program will depend on the homeowner’s usage of the program, which Margulies Gordon encourages everyone to take advantage of. “It made [my family] feel proud to be residents of Sandy Springs and see our tax dollars put to work in such a productive and beautiful way,” Margulies Gordon said. For the new program for the city, the Right of Way program, Trees Atlanta staff will identify locations that would best benefit from trees for city-owned property, plant the trees and provide maintenance for two years. “The city hopes to [enhance the city’s tree canopy] by planting trees in city rights of way, city parks, and private parcels through specified projects,” the press release says. The Right of Way program will be covered by the city’s Tree Fund, which is paid by developers, builders, contractors, homeowners and others as compensation for permitted and illegal removal of trees within city limits. Trees Atlanta currently has partnerships with many local municipalities, including Atlanta, Brookhaven and Dunwoody, but the collaboration with Sandy Springs is the organization’s largest effort to date, according to Communications Director Alex Beasley. “We look forward to helping Sandy Springs maintain its position as one of the most forested areas in metro Atlanta while we engage with homeowners throughout the city to add shade to their landscapes,” Beasley said. For more information or to request a tree, visit SS


Community | 3


The city has begun a partnership with the North Metro Atlanta chapter of SCORE. SCORE is a national non-profit that focuses on providing free mentorship and resources to established and aspiring business owners. “Our partnership with SCORE is a natural fit for the entrepreneurial spirit of Sandy Springs businesses,” Economic Development Director Andrea Worthy said in a press release. “We look forward to working with SCORE to mentor, train and educate new and existing businesses to expand within the city of Sandy Springs.” The partnership will allow SCORE mentors to hold weekly one-on-one sessions with local business owners and professionals at the Sandy Springs Public Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway.


Mayor Rusty Paul’s term has expired on the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Board of Directors. Paul was appointed by then-Gov. Nathan Deal in May 2018 to fill a departing board member’s unexpired term. He represented the Sixth Congressional District.. The term expired on July 1 of this year. “I was gratified to serve the state and appreciated the opportunity to move the state forward economically,” Paul said. Greg Torre, Deputy Commissioner of Marketing and Communications for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, said Paul was “an active and engaged member.” The board member now representing the sixth district is David Belle Isle, who served as the mayor of Alpharetta from 2012 to 2018 and currently owns the law firm, Hipes & Belle Isle, LLC. The board describes itself as the state’s “sales and marketing arm,” focusing on attracting new businesses and promoting tourism.


The city has signed a resolution in support of local governments keeping the ability to control building design standards for residential spaces in the face of possible state legislation to remove that authority. This resolution is a response to state House Bill 302, which would have prevented local governments from regulating several design elements in one or two-family properties such as color, exterior material, windows, doors, number and type of rooms and foundation materials. While HB 302 did not become law, the controversy created a study committee, which will soon begin meeting. It is expected to offer a new resolution this summer. The city of Dunwoody also joined the opposition in February at a council meeting.


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The City Council delayed an expected vote to choose a contractor to design plans for four shopping centers in the North End. At the beginning of the Aug. 20 council meeting, Mayor Rusty Paul announced that the vote had been removed from the original agenda because some members felt they could not make an informed decision. Paul said that there will now be a non-voting work session to hear findings from a staff evaluation committee at the Sept. 3 meeting. The official vote will be moved to the Sept. 17 meeting. The committee, selected by the former City Manager John McDonough, is recommending the contract be awarded to Cunningham Quill Architects for $375,088. The city issued a proposal request for master design plans for former Loehmann’s Plaza, the Northridge Shopping Center, the North River Shopping Center and the Big Lots Center.


The City Council chose a contractor to design a master plan for trails along the Chattahoochee River at its Aug. 20 meeting. That contract was awarded for $199,942.00 to Heath & Lineback Engineers, Inc. to design the blueprint. The city desires to make connections to the river and to construct trails that run parallel to the river and that would connect to the regional project underway. The regional plan, dubbed the Chattahoochee RiverLands Greenway Study, could include new parks, hiking trails, boat ramps, bicycle paths and other amenities. Heath & Lineback Engineers will assess the property along the river and work with the Atlanta Regional Commission to determine how the property might best be developed. SS

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4 | Community ■

Hammond Drive widening concept design coming within three months BY HANNAH GRECO

A conceptual design for a Hammond Drive widening project, which has been a topic of discussion for years in the city of Sandy Springs, is being finalized and will be presented in a public meeting within three months. Most of Hammond Drive has been widened over the years, but the section between Roswell Road and Glenridge Drive in the Glenridge Hammond neighborhood remains two lanes. Government officials frequently call it a traffic bottleneck and the city is studying a widening project as a possible solution. The goals of the widening project are to “improve safety, mobility and improve pedestrian/bicycle access,” and it is included within the transportation special purpose local-option sales tax, or T-SPLOST, program approved by voters in 2016. The decision on whether to perform the TIBBY DEJULIO widening has not been made, officials say, CITY COUNCILMEMBER and would follow public reaction to the presentation. The city held a meeting for residents the Glenridge-Hammond neighborhood in February to hear the concerns that neighbors have regarding potential changes to Hammond. The meeting did not include a conceptual design, according to Sandy Springs Coun-

We have continually assured the people who live in this area that this was not a done deal.

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The house at 660 Hammond Drive was the latest purchased by the city for a potential widening project.


cil of Neighborhood’s District 5 Director Doug Falciglia, a Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods director for that area. “I am not sure how far along things are and have not seen any documents,” Falciglia said. The City Council Aug. 6 authorized a contract with Gresham Smith and Partners to wrap up a design presentation for a future public meeting for $47,500. According to the contract, the outcome will be a digital presentation with graphics and a model to showcase the potential development. District 5 City Councilmember Tibby DeJulio expressed his concern with making sure that it is just a conceptual design, not a binding engineering contract to build anything. “We have continually assured the people who live in this area that this was not a done deal,” DeJulio said. “That this was a concept and that before anything was done or not done, all plans and decisions will be coming back [to us] so that they could have input on this.” Public Works Director Marty Martin assured DeJulio and the council that this is just proceeding with consulting. “This change order in front of you is all about presenting the concept,” Martin said. Martin said the conceptual design should be ready within three months. The council also approved purchasing a property at 660 Hammond Drive for $450,000 at the Aug. 6 meeting as part of a strategy to acquire land ahead of the possible widening. The city owns 19 houses purchased in anticipation of the widening project and has four more sales pending. The first purchase, 590 Hammond Drive, was made in 2016. Eight houses have been demolished and five houses are set to be demolished. Two of the houses have yet to be determined for demolition. Four houses are currently set aside for city public officer personnel rentals. All four houses are currently rented at a rate of $500 per month, with the renter responsible for the upkeep of the property and utilities, according to city spokesperson Sharon Kraun. For each of the properties purchased, the house is inspected for its potential as a residence for public safety personnel. If the repairs needed cost less than $15,000, the city will make the repairs and the house will be rented. If the repairs needed cost more than $15,000, the building is demolished. This method was discussed and approved during previous council meetings, according to Kraun. The city has also approved purchases of four other properties not included on the current list, but the sales have not yet been completed. “While the council has approved the purchase on the properties you mentioned, we don’t list [the properties] as ours until the sale is completed,” Kraun said

Hammond Drive area houses bought by the city Purchased 372, 380, 400, 418, 436, 446, 465, 521, 524, 550, 564, 590, 610, 630, 650 Hammond Drive 6039 Harleston Road 623 Lorrell Terrace 6017, 6018 Kayron Road

Pending 6020 Glenridge Drive 360, 660 Hammond Drive 6038 Harleston Road Source: City of Sandy Springs SS


Public Safety | 5

Sandy Springs appears on another ‘safest cities’ list an expert calls useless BY JOHN RUCH

Sandy Springs has appeared on yet another “safest cities” website list, this time for purportedly “keeping children safe,” and a criminologist is once again saying the ranking is useless. is one of two websites that get a lot of free press around the country for publishing “safest cities” lists, on which local cities frequently appear. Last year, Utah-based SafeWise acknowledged to the Reporter that its lists are made by staff members with no expertise in criminology or law enforcement as part of a marketing business that drives customers to security companies and Josh Hinkle, an associate professor at Georgia State University’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, said at the time that SafeWise’s ranking method was not an effective way to calculate a resident’s risk for random crime. Now SafeWise is back with a list of “The 50 Safest Cities to Raise a Child in 2019,” on which Sandy Springs appears at number 36. The list was widely promoted with a press release quoting its author, Kaz Weida, and identifying her as a “security analyst.” The press release already resulted in one uncritical story, featuring a quote from Weida and a local mayor, in a New Jersey newspaper.

However, the report itself describes Weida only as a parent who “spends her time reviewing products,” and SafeWise spokesperson Krystal Rogers said she is a freelance writer who has no degree in criminology or law enforcement. In written messages sent via Twitter, Weida said she did not write the promotional quote that identified her as a security analyst. She said she has “a degree in education and several years of experience as a journalist writing pieces about home safety, crime, politics, parenting and community policing.” She also characterized the Reporter’s scrutiny of her qualifications as a “security analyst” as a form of personal criticism that was “despicable” and “truly off-base and irresponsible.” Weida did not directly respond to Hinkle’s criticisms of the report, but said she was not responsible for the method or the data. “I’m not involved in developing the methodology. I simply receive the data and a creative brief and craft the piece,” she said. The method SafeWise says it used to create the ranking involved comparing crime rates, graduation rates per capita, and the number of sex offenders per capita who are registered as living in the city. Hinkle, the GSU criminologist, said that method is based on a false assumption about citywide crime rates and that the sex offender registry is a “poor measure” of

child molestation risk. “Thus, I see no utility to this list,” said Hinkle. Rogers, the Safewise spokesperson, made no specific response to Hinkle’s criticisms, instead saying generally that crime is “a complex topic” and that SafeWise writes about “safety trends.” “The bottom line is that we want people to talk about and think about safety — if we get a conversation started that can help increase that everyday awareness and inspire ‘safety as a lifestyle,’ then we’re on the right track,” Rogers said. “We appreciate the conversation and will continue to evolve our process. We are constantly striving to provide more relevant and helpful information and resources, and we are learning from thoughtful inquiries such as this.” When asked why SafeWise doesn’t simply hire criminologists to conduct valid studies, and whether the company intends to correct misinformation, Rogers replied, “Thank you for the suggestion. If a mistake is discovered in the data, we are happy to correct it.” Hinkle said the entire premise of “safe cities” and comparing cities to each other makes no sense in terms of crime rates and risks. That is because street crime is highly localized. “It’s pretty moot to look at citywide safety when we know crime is highly concentrated at the microplace level… [which

means] street blocks and lots of block-toblock variation in crime even in ‘bad neighborhoods,’” Hinkle said. Another overall flaw in SafeWise’s method, Hinkle says, is the use of violent crime statistics. That’s because most assaults, rapes and murders are committed by a family member or acquaintance of the victim, not a stranger whom one might randomly encounter in a city. In the new list, the use of sex offender data has the same problem, Hinkle said, because the majority of child abuse and molestation also is committed by family members and acquaintances. And SafeWise appears to have counted all registered sex offenders, not just those convicted of child molestation, when in fact, “most of those aren’t pedophiles,” Hinkle said. For useful information on finding a safe place to live in terms of avoiding random crime, Hinkle said, the best places to go are the websites of local police departments, which usually offer a map of recent crimes. On those maps, anyone can see where there are local concentrations of random crime, such as burglaries and robberies. The Sandy Springs Police Department uses the site “Finding a safe street in a safe neighborhood is what matters, not picking a safe city,” said Hinkle.

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6 | Public Safety ■

Police raise alarm on guns stolen from cars BY DYANA BAGBY

At a recent Brookhaven City Council meeting, Police Chief Gary Yandura gave a brief report on the department’s activities. A fundraising 5K to benefit a police program was scheduled in the next few days, traffic at Montgomery Elementary School seemed to be running smoothly at the start of the school year with help from the traffic unit. But one final item stood out to council members. Yandura reported that on Aug. 12, a day before the council meeting, an AR-15-style rifle was reported stolen from the backseat of a person’s pickup truck while it was parked in the driveway of a house on Becket Drive. The victim, who lives in Alabama, had parked his vehicle at the house on Aug. 7 before he headed to Maryland for a vacation, according to police. When he returned Aug. 12, he noticed the $400 rifle, kept in a military case, was gone. The victim told police his car was unlocked the entire time he was gone, according to a police report. “Any valuable, especially a firearm, should not be left in an unlocked vehicle,” Brookhaven Deputy Chief Brandon Gurley said in an interview. “We are inviting criminals to come into our community, into our neighborhoods, because we make it easy.” The Brookhaven victim did not say exactly what kind of firearm was stolen from his car, other than it was a high-caliber rifle that he described as an AR-15-style weapon, Gurley said. He also did not have its serial numbers. The bullets the gun uses can pierce an officer’s body armor. It is the first known high-caliber weapon of that type reported stolen in the city, he said. “Most of what we see taken are handguns. This was unique and different,” he said. This year alone, dozens of guns from unlocked cars have been reported stolen in Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Buckhead, according to spokespersons 960 Johnson Ferry Road NE, Suite 500 Atlanta, GA 30342

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2017 / 19 2018 / 18 2019 / 22 Numbers from Jan. 1 through July 31 of each year


2017 / 16 2018 / 9 SANDY SPRINGS

2017 / 84 2018 / 54

2019 February to Aug. 21 / 3 2019 February to Aug. 21 / 30


2017 / 284 2018 / 230 2019 January to Aug. 22 / 146 Including firearms or firearm accessories

from each department. But data shows the numbers of weapons stolen from cars are on a downward trend. Georgia does not require private gun owners to report stolen guns. The issue is not just occurring in metro Atlanta. In Nashville, 20 guns were stolen from unlocked cars in one week in August, according to WSMV-TV. In Charleston, S.C., 40 of 44 handguns stolen from vehicles between January and July were from unlocked cars, according to an ABC affiliate. In Mobile, Ala., approximately 1,200 guns were stolen from vehicles last year with 80 percent of those being taken from unlocked cars and trucks, according to a report at The prevalence of people leaving high-valuable items in their unlocked cars has essentially put a target on those communities for criminals who see these areas as easy pickings, Gurley said. None of the guns stolen in Brookhaven have been tracked to any other crimes in metro Atlanta, Gurley said, but the likelihood they end up in another criminal’s hands is significant. An Aug. 25 New York Times report investigated how firearms stolen in the U.S. end up on the streets of Jamaica, where they are used in killings. In Jamaica, 80 percent of its homicides are committed with firearms and most of the guns come from the U.S. where lax gun laws help facilitate the carnage, according to the report. Between February and August, there were 23 guns stolen in Brookhaven. Of that total, 18 were stolen from vehicles. The majority of these were from unlocked cars, Gurley said. In neighboring Dunwoody, seven firearms have been reported stolen in the past six months; three of those being stolen from unlocked vehicles, said Sgt. Robert Parsons, spokesperson for the Dunwoody Police Department. “We are begging people to stop leaving things in cars that leave you a target for theft,” he said. “We beg people to not leave firearms in their vehicles,” he said. “Because once they get in the hands of the wrong people, it can result in tragic results.” Parsons said criminals like to come to Dunwoody because they understand people here tend to leave valuables in their cars and often leave them unlocked. The city and police department have initiated community programs, such as at Perimeter Mall, where signs are posted through the parking lot urging patrons to “Lock, Take, Hide.” Parsons said people may have a belief that that because they live in a nice neighborhood and city, “it won’t happen to me.” In Sandy Springs, there have been 412 reported thefts from autos so far in 2019. Of that total, 30 firearms were stolen from vehicles, with most taken from unlocked


Public Safety | 7

cars and trucks, according to Sgt. Samuel Worsham, spokesperson for the Sandy Springs Police Department. “We try to remind everyone to keep their vehicles locked, remove all valuables, and take the keys with them,” Worsham said. “So many of the vehicles are left unlocked and it makes it easy for thieves. Sometimes people get comfortable or complacent and forget that they may be a victim of theft.” In the Atlanta Police Department’s Zone 2, which includes Buckhead, there have been 146 guns, ammunition or holsters stolen from vehicles so far this year. How many were stolen from unlocked cars was not readily available. Maj. Barry Shaw, commander of Zone 2, said car break-ins throughout Atlanta are down 11 percent; in Zone 2 they are down 20 percent. But if you are a victim, you don’t always care about those numbers, he said. Slowing or stopping the stealing takes a partnership, Shaw said: police working areas where crimes are reported to catch the offenders; the courts and judges sentencing the criminals when caught; and residents not rewarding criminals by leaving valuables in their cars. “It’s like fishing,” he said. “If I go to a lake and I’m not catching anything ... I will go elsewhere.” Guns being stolen from cars keep officers on edge from the fear they will be used to seriously hurt someone, Shaw said. Shaw said he knows there are some places people cannot carry their firearm, so they will leave them in their car. They say they want the gun for their protection, but at the same time they are not responsible enough to protect others by ensuring their gun is not stolen, he said. “If you are going to carry a gun in your car and not take it inside, then you need to secure it in the car,” he said. Lock boxes and other special gun locks are readily available, he said. Shaw stressed he was not victim-blaming, Even Atlanta Police officers have had guns stolen from their vehicles, he said. And while the APD will continue to pursue criminals, getting help from the citizens would also help, he said. “Quite frankly, if everyone would stop leaving valuables and guns in their cars, then this problem would go away,” he said.

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8 | Community ■

In a leap of faith, a new church is born Carol Niemi is a marketing consultant who lives on the Dunwoody-Sandy Springs line and writes about people whose lives inspire others. Contact her at

In the last 20 years, attendance at American houses of worship has dropped 20 percent, according to Gallup. Last year, the percentage of Americans reporting church or synagogue membership reached an all-time low of 50 percent. So, why would anyone want to start another church? That’s what I asked a group of Dunwoodians who five months ago started a Bible study in a private home that is now preparing for its official launch as an independent church in a 70-year-old stone chapel in Sandy Springs. Miracle? You decide. It all started last March when a popular worship leader left his position at a promiCarol Niemi is a marketing consultant who lives on the DunwoodySandy Springs line and about people whose nent Dunwoody church. Doug Allen hadwrites followers, but nolives jobinspire prospects. others. Contact her at “It was blind faith,” said Allen. “I walked away from my only job not knowing what was next, but my wife and I knew He would provide.” He joined a small group that started meeting in a private home in Misty Creek, in the Sandy Springs panhandle. The group soon became a nondenominational “house church” with guest preachers. Meanwhile, Stephen Streett, a popular former Dunwoody church youth minister who had moved to Dalton to head another church, had left that church to become a hospital chaplain. Ironically, Streett and Allen had both served at the same Dunwoody church, though at different times, and had never met. “One of the people in our home church suggested I meet Stephen. We met at the Dunwoody Starbuck’s. It seemed like a divine appointment,” said Allen. The next Sunday, Streett drove down from Dalton as guest preacher. “Not knowing it would become a church, I came down every Sunday,” said Streett. “After five weeks, they decided to become a church and asked me to become the pastor. Everything happened very fast.” He was made official in June.

“We didn’t have much to offer and were asking him to move his family from Dalton,” said Allen. “The fact that he would uproot his family for this little home church didn’t make logical sense.” Despite the lack of logic, things moved quickly. As word spread that the two popular Dunwoody church leaders were involved, the home church grew. “The music and preaching are a big part,” said founding member Ragan Defreese. “But it’s also the genuineness of the people.” By late spring, the group had grown to more than 40 and needed a real church building. Once again, things that didn’t make sense somehow came together. Over in Sandy Springs sat the little stone chapel of the First Baptist Church of Sandy Springs. Built between 1938 and 1949, the chapel had gone through many iterations. Now rented to Orbit Arts Academy during the week, it sat sadly unused on Sundays. Luckily, Defreese knew a member of First Baptist who told him about it. But would First Baptist be willing to rent it to a “competing” church? Once again, the unexpected happened. “We’d been praying for a church to occupy that building,” said David Shivers, First Baptist senior pastor. The deal was struck. The new church, now called Misty Creek Community Church, would become the resident at the old stone chapel. “It’s a story of God pulling strings to bring us together,” said Shivers. Though not officially launched, the new church has been meeting in the stone chapel since July and has been growing steadily, with an average weekly attendance of 90. Non-denominational, Biblically based and conservative, it invites people to come as they are, meet after service under a tent on the front lawn for refreshments and fellowship, and join small home groups to explore every week’s message. The church will launch officially with a meet-and-greet on Sept. 15. On Oct. 6, the two churches - Misty Creek Community Church and First Baptist Church of Sandy Springs will have a joint service featuring bluegrass music and a free barbecue. “We’re bringing in one of the best bluegrass fiddle players I’ve ever heard,” said Allen, now official worship leader of the new church. Services at Misty Creek Community Church are Sundays at 10:30 am at 590 Mt. Vernon Highway NE. The joint service on Oct. 6 will be across the street at First Baptist Church of Sandy Springs at 10:30 am at 650 Mt. Vernon Highway NE. For more information, go to




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Community | 9

Home Depot is latest retailer found charging Atlanta sales tax in Sandy Springs BY JOHN RUCH

Home Depot is the latest major retailer found charging an incorrect, and higher, Atlanta sales tax within the city of Sandy Springs. It’s another example of ZIP code confusion that local officials fear could result in misdirected sales taxes. The problem is rooted in ZIP codes, such as Sandy Springs’ 30328, that the United States Postal Service generically labels as “Atlanta” even though they are entirely outside that city. Software used by companies to automatically calculate sales tax on purchases is often based on ZIP codes, and thus can be wrong in local cities without careful customization. Some systems will not even let customers write the correct city name in online orders. Within the city of Atlanta, the sales tax is 8.9%. Within Sandy Springs, it’s 7.75%. Since 2017, the Reporter has found the Atlanta tax rate incorrectly used on purchases at a Starbucks on Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, which corrected its system, and in local online orders from the promotional product subsidiary of office supply giant Staples, which refunded the customer but would not say whether the underlying issue would be fixed. The latest case involves delivery-based orders at the Home Depot at 6400 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road. The store is charging the correct local sales tax on over-the-counter purchases, as the Reporter confirmed on a recent visit. The issue was with a delivery order. On Aug. 21, customer Bob Sustak made a purchase there of a new oven at a cost of $3,239.10, with the appliance to be delivered to his home. He realized that the sales tax charge of $288.28 was based on the Atlanta rate. That’s an overcharge of $37.50 from the correct Sandy Springs rate. Home Depot spokesperson Margaret Smith said the company will “correct” Sustak’s issue and added, “We think that this is an isolated incident.” However, her explanation for why the company believes that it affected only Sustak, and not other delivery customers, was itself based on incorrect local geography. Smith noted that, under state law, the sales tax on delivery orders is based on the delivery location, not the store where the order is placed. The oven Sustak ordered, she said, was being delivered across a border into “Atlanta.” In fact, Sustak’s home is in Sandy Springs – in the same 30328 ZIP code at the Home Depot store. That ZIP code is entirely within the city of Sandy Springs. When told that information, Smith said she would have to check for more details, but did not respond by the Reporter’s deadline. Sustak said that when he placed the order, Home Depot “would only accept our Sandy Springs address as ‘Atlanta.’ This may be a source for their problem.” One reason Sustak noticed the incorrect rate is because he has dealt with the sales tax calculation complications firsthand. He said he previously worked at IT manager at the now-shuttered Buckhead School Uniforms on Roswell Road. He said that in working with a tax-compliance software company, the store learned “that just using ZIP codes was not enough to determine tax rates. We found that ZIP code 30328, as an example, covered two different tax areas at the time… and we had no easy way, using any state or county rules, to determine the proper rate. This, of course, also applied to anything that we shipped out of state as well.” Sandy Springs leaders have longstanding concern about possible tax implications, since the city incorporated in 2005 in ZIP codes that long had been known as “Atlanta.” In 2012, the city successfully pushed the Postal Service to conduct a mail-in vote on making “Sandy Springs” the preferred name for local ZIP codes. A majority of residents voted yes, but a needed supermajority of businesses did not, likely because of the prestige and national familiarity of an Atlanta address, the city has said. In recent years, Mayor Rusty Paul has again pushed for the Postal Service to accept “Sandy Springs” as a favored name for local ZIP codes. The city did not respond to a comment request about those efforts and the Home Depot situation. SS


She made wings to fly. Oct 5 - 13, 2019 Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center at City Springs

404-881-8885 ATLANTAOPERA.ORG photo: J.Martin/Comet Interactive

10 | Commentary

Reporter Newspapers

Our mission is to provide our readers with fresh and engaging information about life in their communities. Published by Springs Publishing LLC 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: 404-917-2200 • Fax: 404-917-2201 Brookhaven Reporter | Buckhead Reporter Dunwoody Reporter | Sandy Springs Reporter Atlanta INtown ■

Commentary: Nicknaming the new 285/400 interchange It’s big. It’s expensive. It already has created controversy and angered drivers and it’s not even going to be finished until next year. But one thing the rebuilt interchange at I-285 and Ga. 400 doesn’t have is a name. It needs one, if only to keep up with Spaghetti Junction, the Cobb Cloverleaf, the Downtown Connector and other metro Atlanta highway landmarks. We came up with a few suggestions of our own and asked our readers on social

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C O N TAC T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch INtown Editor: Collin Kelley

media to suggest more nicknames for the collection of concrete taking form on the Perimeter. And they came through. In a big, big way. A strong contender: “The Top Knot.” That kind of says it all. Plus, there’s the source: the Twitter account of North Perimeter Contractors, the folks who are building the thing at the behest of the Georgia Department of Transportation. Who knew construction contractors had a sense of humor? The “Perimeter Pretzel” was by far the

readers’ favorite among our own suggestions. Less beloved were “GDOT Knot,” “Traffic Twister” and “Rush-Hour Ramen.” Here are some of our readers’ suggestions. We couldn’t print them all, of course. Frankly, some were a tad racy. Others, while apt, seemed less sobriquets than the stuff of protest signs, such as “Welcome to Standing Springs.”



Meatball Junction New Spaghetti Junction Linguine Links or Linguine Lanes The Golden Pretzel ▼ Peachtree Pasta Spaghetti Strainer The Blender

Bumper-to-Bumper Incompetence Intersection Diverging Disaster Top End Travesty Purgatory Highway to Hell Apocalypse Now Bypass Boondoggle Malfunction Junction Dysfunction Junction The Can of Worms Jungle Junction Area 51 The Towering Tie-Up The Insane Interchange

Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Hannah Greco Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini Graphic Designer Julie Murcia Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno Sales Executives Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter Office Manager Deborah Davis Contributors Robin Conte, Kathy Dean, Kevin C. Madigan, Phil Mosier, Jane Nah, Carol Niemi, Judith Schonbak, Jaclyn Turner

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FLYING AND TWISTING The 400 Flyover, aka The Fly The Springs Flyover The 400 or Top End Twister ▲ The Serpentine

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AMUSEMENTS AND TOYS Loop De Loop The Carousel Vertigo The Slinky

KNOTS AND BOWS The Bowtie Knot Junction The Shoelace Top End Tangle ► North Knot The Gordian Knot

GEOGRAPHY Perimeter Peaks The Peak Empire Exchange The Gateway





reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily

represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC. SS

Commentary | 11

As the school years pass, so do the backpack fashions In the beginning, there was the diaper bag. It was made of vinyl, and no matter what any designer did to disguise it, it was still a vinyl diaper bag. Ours was covered with teal-colored elephants, so there was no doubt to anyone that it was not my purse or my weekender travel bag, but that it was there to serve the youngest among us. It contained everything we needed to feed, change, entertain and care for our baby—everything short of an actual nanny, although it was big enough to hold one. We lugged it around for years until our toddler outgrew it, passed it to his younger sister as a back-up, and promptly replaced it with the preschool tote bag. It was then I realized that, rather than marking the growth of my children with penciled lines on the wall, I was registering their growth by the size of their bags. The Preschool Tote Bag phase lasted for three more years. It was launched when my son entered the house with a bright purple bag personalized with his handprint and name — in paint that was still wet -- so this phase was marked on the kitchen cabinets for a while, along with the name of the girl he had a crush on. The smeared purple tote bag took him until first grade and to many a grandma sleepover as well. Soon his sister had one, too. Something about that gloppy gel paint made me smile, and those bags grew on me as they hung around in the closet, signaling the Stage of Carefree Childhood. When the kids hit primary grades, the Backpack Era began. My son and daughter started wearing backpacks, but they were little adorable ones that came with matching lunch bags covered with fire trucks or daisies, or packs that were fashioned to look like zoo animals. We had a turtle with a zippered shell, and a ladybug, I believe, but my favorite was a lion with a mane made of yellow tassels. These were backpacks so cute and lunch boxes so clever that I used to play dress up with them myself. They were artfully camouflaged so that children were duped into wearing them for fun. Little did we know that these were actually training packs, because our kids would be lugging backpacks to school and beyond for the next 25 years of their lives. Sure enough, as soon as the children moved from preschool to elementary school, the bags dropped the cute decor, sprouted wheels, and went industrial. Robin Conte lives with her In middle school, though the bags were heavier, wheels husband in an empty nest were not cool, and my kids would leave for school each day in Dunwoody. To contact looking like they were embarking on a three-month trek her or to buy her column across Europe. collection, “The Best of the When the day came that their backpacks were too large Nest,” see and heavy to meet the carry-on standards of an airplane, I knew that my kids had arrived in high school. Once they hit college, they were in fact embarking on a three-month trek across Europe, and their backpacks were fitted accordingly. Each school year ended with the ripped and tattered remains of nylon, and I retired the remnants, thinking of their increasing size, my kids’ growth, and how far we’ve all come since the smeared purple tote bags and the vinyl diaper bag. The lion-shaped bag still rests on the top shelf of the twins’ closet, as a reminder of the days when kids and packs alike were small and playful. Yet even now, bags are still marking rites of passage in our house. Those would be the bags under my eyes.

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Rosin up the bow: Jamming on the old tunes in Sandy Springs Libby Lintel played piano, but she decided it was too solitary an instrument. She wanted to tackle music that would allow her more chances to play with other people. So, a little more than six years ago, she took up the banjo. Learning to play her new open-backed banjo led her to “old-time” music, the slice of American folk music associated with songs and string bands of the Appalachians. “The old tunes JOE EARLE are pretty,” the 57-year-old Cobb Jeremy Aggers, foreground, plays banjo County resident said. “They’re while, left to right at rear, Libby Lintel, Hal simple melodies. They’re historic. Rabinowitz and Vicki Page play along. It kind of links you with the past.” It links her with like-minded musicians, too, which is why one recent Saturday afternoon she joined nine other instrumentalists in the back room at Slope’s BBQ in Sandy Springs to play old tunes. “The reason I picked up banjo was so I could get good enough to come play with a group like this,” Lintel said. Old-time players gather at Slope’s most Saturday afternoons and many Tuesday nights to perform old tunes that sometimes may sound familiar, but often bear strange names. At any time, they may start up “Shove That Pig’s Foot a Little Further in the Fire” or “Camp Meeting on the Fourth of July” or “Floppy-Eared Mule.” The number of players at Slope’s varies from jam to jam, as does the instrumentation. On this Saturday, the group featured five fiddlers, a mandolin player, a guitarist, a hammered-dulcimer player and two banjo players. Mandolin-player Don Sinisi said that when he was young, he played what he called “hippie mountain music,” meaning acoustic music by performers such as the Grateful Dead or John Prine. He moved on to bluegrass and old-time music, then stuck with old-time because he enjoyed it more. Bluegrass jams turn into individual players performing solo after solo, he said; old-time musicians play together as a group. The instrumentalists gathered in a room decorated with wooden and ceramic pigs, a country quilt, lots of Georgia license plates and a serving tray printed with the photo and signature of Elvis Presley. They set their chairs into a circle and sat facing one another as they strummed or hammered or plucked their instruments and took turns calling out songs to play. The informal old-time jam has been meeting in Sandy Springs for about two years, but it’s been going for decades. Decades ago, the players gathered in Decatur. Then they moved to Manuel’s Tavern in Atlanta for a while, until renovation of the tavern forced them to move to Sandy Springs, said Dan Byrd, an 80-year-old fiddler and Buckhead cardiologist who now pulls together the gatherings. Byrd, known to everyone as “Doc,” said he started fiddling about 40 years ago. Before that, he played banjo. “I’ve been playing music all my life,” he said in a telephone interview a couple of days before the jam. “It’s relaxing. There’s no pressure on you and people are learning new songs all the time.” Now Byrd keeps a mailing list of 86 musicians who show up for the jam at one time or another. On any given Saturday, anywhere from four to 15 may join, Byrd said. “The jam session is open to anybody,” he said. “If you want to show up with your instrument, we welcome you.” And once they start playing, the group draws notice. As they worked their way through tunes such as “Snake River Reel” and “Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine,” diners applauded or wandered over to snap photos with their phones of the musicians. Mary Jacobsen of Marietta said she and her husband, Quen, drop by Slope’s for lunch just about every Saturday in order to hear the music. “They call us their groupies,” she joked. Tyler Ellis was pleasantly surprised to find the group jam when he stopped by for a barbecue sandwich for lunch. The 29-year-old Sandy Springs resident, who grew up in Simpsonville, S.C., said the music reminded him of home. “It’s awesome,” he said, before snapping a souvenir photo. On this Saturday afternoon, fiddler Vicki Page of Roswell filled in for Doc as the group’s leader. The 64-year-old said she began playing fiddle after college. She started off playing Celtic music but felt a kinship with the old mountain tunes. “My family is from eastern Kentucky,” she said. “That’s where old-time comes from.” She and the others started discussing what tunes to play next. Before long, it would be time tackle “Nail that Catfish to a Tree.”



Community | 13

City increases rental rates for Performing Arts Center, looks ahead for upcoming seasons BY HANNAH GRECO

After a year of operation at the Performing Arts Center, the city is slightly increasing room rental rates and ticket fees. PAC staff also is looking to bring in new series of higherprofile events to better use the space. The main change involves the new booking policy, which slightly increases room rental rates due to the old rates sometimes falling short. The decision was made at the Aug. 20 City Council meeting in a vote by the Public Facilities Authority, which is composed of the councilmembers.. “It is a little bit of an increase,” Shaun Albrechtson, the Executive Director of the Performing Arts Center, said at the meeting. Rental rates were previously determined with a complex system. Now, there will be a flat rate, according to a press release from the city. “This sounds, in general, like a good improvement,” District 1 Councilmember John Paulson said. “One of the questions we have is, last year… the renter would spend all this money… but then the city would have to pay…for extra costs,” Paulson said. Albrechtson said the extra costs were created because the previous contracting process had glitches. “We were not covering enough of our expenses, so we were actually losing money on some of these contract deals,” Albrechtson said. The city has received complaints on some of the add-on fees charged for certain rentals. Albrechtson said the policy changes should fix a variety of issues. “The community is asking for us to work in a different way than the original structure. We are adapting to their needs,” Albrechtson said. Catering fees were increased, but the prices still rank at the bottom 10 percent of average catering costs in the area, according to Albrechtson. The authority also updated the PAC’s booking policy so that “Presenting Partners,” formerly called “Affiliates,” and other performance groups can book theater spaces sooner. The authority said meeting and event planners may reserve meeting spaces up to three years in advance, a change from the previous one-year limit, according to the city press release. Albrechtson said that is standard for room rentals.


Booking information and the new rental rates can be found at Ticket prices also will slightly increase, with customers covering the convenience fee charged by the ticketing company the city uses for ticket sales. Previously, the city covered that fee. There will also be a 2.75% credit card fee charged on online ticket purchases. The other new policies put into effect at the meeting include a new plan for the uses of CityBar, a bar inside of the Performing Arts Center used for various events, and City Green, the park outside City Springs. The city wants to use CityBar more frequently, according to city documents. The city has also drafted and adopted a policy that allows occasional free use of the City Green for activities such as yoga and fitness, and for the space to be rented out for events. The changes took effect on Aug. 20 following the meeting. Albrechtson says he has big plans for the upcoming seasons at the Performing Arts Center, with a focus on the second, smaller theater, Studio Theatre. “The real focus is starting to prep for season three,” Albrechtson said at an Aug. 22 Hospitality Board meeting. “We think it is a really great space that can generate a lot of extra activity.” The PAC staff wants to bring a chamber music, jazz and stand-up comedy series into the Studio Theatre, as well as coordinate events with the larger Byers Theatre. “We are looking to work with the schedule every [space] already has,” Albrechtson said. The PAC is also considering putting together a season of touring shows, including children’s shows. “I would like to see traveling events that includes up to eight nationally recognized names throughout the season,” Albrechtson said. Mayor Rusty Paul encouraged the PAC to bring in smaller, community-based events, such as high school cheerleading and choral competitions, to the spaces. Albrechtson says he hopes to accommodate all types of events, large and small, but that they have to work simultaneously and seamlessly together in order to bring in the most revenue and diversity. “You can imagine the puzzle we have to put together with all of these things,” Albrechtson said.

14 | Community ■

City exploring options for street connectivity following residents’ concern Continued from page 1

rapid growth of the city with new roads and ways for people to travel without their car, creating a more grid-like system. The possibility of connectivity in residential neighborhoods was discussed at an Aug. 6 City Council work session. “In cul-de-sacs, everyone has to go around to get to where they are going...there are no direct trips,” Assistant City Manager Jim Tolbert said during his presentation to the council. “[Connectivity is] more conducive to walking and biking.” “I think it’s a good compromise to protect our neighborhoods but to still connect our downtown urban settings,” District 3 Councilmember Chris Burnett said at the work session. “Connecting up the cul-de-sacs for car travel as well as bikes and pedestrians is a less-studied topic and even less common practice,” Ellen Dunham-Jones, a professor for the school of architecture at Georgia Tech, told the Reporter. “Sandy Springs could be a real leader in this.” At a work session, council members approved city staff to continue studying the concept and to later present the findings to the Planning Commission. Two alternatives have been approved by the council for further exploration - requiring bike/pedestrian connections if no vehicular connection will be required, and to prohibit connection to a collector in protected neighborhoods, or neighborhoods that are discouraged for higher density projects in the city’s Next Ten comprehensive land-use plan. The Next Ten also includes plans for connectivity, stating that Sandy Springs should be made a “connected…city with expanded travel choices by enhancing the connectivity of the street and non-motorized network…by reducing the impact of traffic by managing traffic demand.” City staff was asked to study the issue because of previous concerns expressed by residents for connectivity in Sandy Springs, primarily in neighborhoods, during a proposal to rezone four properties on Dalrymple Road last year to build single-family homes, according to the city’s Communications Director Sharon Kraun. The developer’s proposal suggested extending Thornhill Lane into a new a cul-

de-sac on the south side of Dalrymple. At a community meeting, one resident proposed creating a new road that begins farther east on Dalrymple and snakes through the property as a potential solution. The overall proposal received heavy criticism from the community prior to the council’s vote, which was ultimately to deny the rezoning. “Residents are worried that these connections will bring more traffic into their neighborhood,” Kraun said. According to Tolbert, the advantages of connectivity include decreasing traffic on main roads by providing more direct routes, inspiring more non-vehicular trips and decreasing emergency response time. “Low connectivity gives you a lot of cul-de-sacs, limited intersections, [and] long road sections, and puts all the traffic primarily on [one road],” Tolbert said. The city has made attempts at more connectivity in the city, including the construction of Denmark Drive, a road that connects Boylston Drive and JIM TOLBERT ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER Roswell Road in an attempt to reduce traffic, which was completed in June 2018. The city also extended Blue Stone Road from Hilderbrand Drive to Mount Vernon Highway in April 2018 as part of the City Springs civic center. The city is also planning a cut-through at the intersection of Johnson Ferry Road and Mount Vernon Highway, which is currently an unusual X-shaped configuration, in an attempt for a more grid-like system. The cut-through would take a house and has been a controversial topic in the city. Burnett says that he sees the positives for introducing street connectivity to Sandy Springs. “Connectivity in some areas, particularly in urban settings, is a very positive thing and I think we have seen that in some of what we have already done in downtown Sandy Springs,” Burnett said. But he agreed that the street connectivity concept should be left out of neighborhoods. “Forcing roads into protected single family neighborhoods, I think the negatives outweigh it,” Burnett said. “So...I think it’s a good compromise to protect our neighborhoods but to still connect our downtown urban settings.” District 1 Councilmember John Paulson said that the recommendations presented would do exactly what connectivity aims to achieve. “I think this accomplishes what the intent of this was, which is not to create cutthroughs by forcing connection in some of these residential areas,” Paulson added. Dunham-Jones told the Reporter that there is considerable research supporting the benefits of connectivity, with the average suburban house generating nearly 10 vehicular trips per day. “If even one of those trips per house can become a walk or a bike trip, that is a 10 percent reduction in car trips on both the local and major streets,” Dunham-Jones said. City staff will take the two alternatives and draft recommendations for consideration related to proposed amendments changes for the Planning Commission to review. “Staff will...see if there are any solutions which balance development and connectivity with maintaining the character of…neighborhoods,” Kraun said. The city does not yet have a timetable on when the potential amendments will be presented to the Planning Commission, according to Kraun.

Low connectivity gives you a lot of cul-de-sacs, limited intersections, [and] long road sections, and puts all the traffic primarily on [one road].”



Public Safety | 15

Fulton County grand jury indicts Sandy Springs attorney for murder in road rage incident

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A Sandy Springs resident and attorney has been indicted on three counts including murder and aggravated assault by a Fulton County grand jury. Bryan Schmitt, 48, was arrested earlier this month following a road rage incident at 326 River Valley Road in Sandy Springs in which Atlanta resident Hamid Jahangard, 60, was hit by Schmitt’s vehicle, causing him to fall and strike his head. Jahangard was taken to Northside Hospital and died on Aug. 2 as a result of the inju-

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16 | Community ■

Chattahoochee pedestrian bridge construction could start in two years BY: HANNAH GRECO

A long-awaited bicycle and pedestrian bridge between Roswell and Sandy Springs could start construction in two years, but it will cost the city another $56,000. Roswell has requested that Sandy Springs provide an additional $56,077.50 in preliminary engineering funds for environmental and design costs, which should be the last of the money needed for a design, according to the Roswell Department of Transportation. “I come away from this meeting truly elated after hearing about this for 10 years, to see this come to fruition,” District 1 Councilmember John Paulson said at the Aug. 20 council meeting where the fund-

ing was approved. “So, hallelujah, let’s go.” The bridge will run parallel to the Roswell Road Bridge over the Chattahoochee River, with trails connecting the two cities at Azalea Drive in Roswell and Roberts Drive in Sandy Springs. The amount represents a 50/50 split with Roswell on the $112,155 increase in costs, adhering to the original agreement signed in 2010. With the additional money, Rob DellRoss, deputy director of Roswell DOT, says he is confident that the design of the project can now be completed, and construction can begin, in two years. “We are optimistic that this is the last time we will be looking for additional design money,” Dell-Ross said. “We actually only have one parcel in right of way acquisition located in Sandy Springs…We will

be able to start right of way acquisition in fall of 2020.” The increase in design costs comes from a new requirement the Georgia Department of Transportation has for approving a National Environmental Policy Act document. GDOT is now requiring a supplement to a History Survey addendum and National Historic Preservation Act addendum, according to city documents. “[The project] likely has high levels of environmental clearance both due to its location and funding source,” Natalie Dale, Communications Director for GDOT, said. Roswell originally asked GDOT to cover half of the additional fee due to the new requirement, but the request was denied. Over 11 years ago, a federal earmark of $3 million was granted for the project, which will cover about half of the construc-

tion, according to city staff. In the next couple of months, the cities will seek additional funding of about $2.5 million from the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Transportation Improvement Program. The program allocates federal funds for the use in construction of the “highest priority” projects in the Regional Transportation Plan, which is described as the “longterm transportation vision” for the region. Previously, Sandy Springs obligated $100,000 for preliminary engineering and $322,572.50 for construction for a total funding amount of $422,572.50. The agreement was last revised in November 2014, when the city increased the preliminary engineering by $50,000 based on a proposal by the city of Roswell to support a $100,000 increase in environmental studies costs.

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Art & Entertainment | 17

Stage Door Players bringing laughs and drama in its new season BY JUDITH SCHONBAK The Stage Door Players, Dunwoody’s professional theater company, closed its celebratory 45th season just a few weeks ago. Now it’s heading straight into Season 46, which debuts Sept. 20 with “The Savannah Sipping Society,” the story of four women from different parts of the South, who are thrown together by fate and a hot-yoga class. Plenty of laughs are in store with this opening production and with several more during SPECIAL the season. Robert Egizio, producing In Novemartistic director at ber “A Nice Stage Door Players. Family Gathering,” a prequel to last season’s holiday hit, “A Nice Family Christmas,” finds the Lundeen family on Thanksgiving Day and the first family gathering since the patriarch died. Family dynamics and Dad’s return as a ghost keep the laughs coming. The classic drama “The Glass Menagerie,” a memory play by Tennessee Williams, comes to the stage in January. The narrator, Tom, leads the audience through the story of his family: his fragile, disabled sister Laura who spends much of her time with her collection of glass animals; his mother Amanda and his own role in their lives. “The Outsider,” a regional premiere of a sharp satirical, political comedy about an unlikely gubernatorial candidate follows in March. In May, the musical, “The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee” sees six quirky adolescents compete in the bee, run by three equally quirky grown-ups. Audience members, take note: You may be tapped to help out in the bee. The season closes in July with “The Fox on the Fairway,” a madcap farce set in a snobbish, upscale country club. A parody and tribute to man’s love affair with golf, it will be directed by Egizio. First up on the playbill is “The Savannah Sipping Society.” The humor and one-liners keep the laughs coming throughout the play. And no wonder. The playwrights, Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, were the writers for the TV series “The Golden Girls.” The play made its debut in Buford, Ga. in 2016. “It’s a play for everyone,” said Producing Artistic Director Robert Egizio. “A lot of the women in our audiences may recognize themselves; both women and men will recognize someone they know. And men may get some insight about how women talk about them.” Stage Door Players has a small theater with 125 seats in a half-round configura-

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tion of low-rise, red, comfy seats. Egizio noted a big plus is that all the seats have great stage views. “The joy of an intimate theater is authenticity,” he said. “Audiences really can feel like they are part of the story rather than watching from a distance, and, at times, they actually become part of the story.” The size of the stage – 36 feet by 22 feet –dictates what can be performed as does backstage space. Actors and stage crew slip by each other in a narrow corridor behind black curtains surrounding the stage. “In choosing productions, we have a long list of considerations in addition to the physical space of the stage and backstage. Most important are our audiences and the actors who perform here,” said Egizio. Founded in 1974 as a Community Improvement Project of the Dunwoody Woman’s Club, Stage Door Players performed in various locations until 1988, when it found a permanent home in the North DeKalb Cultural Center in Dunwoody. The transformation of Stage Door Players from a small community theater in 1974 to an award-winning professional company can be attributed largely to Continued on page 18

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Stage Door Players bringing laughs and drama in its new season Continued from page 17

Egizio’s arrival on the scene in 2004. Egizio was bitten by the theater bug early on and graduated from Temple University Theater School in Philadelphia. Over the years, he has worked and performed around the country and he has called Atlanta home for more than 20 years. His network is extensive. He was worked as director, choreographer and actor in most of Atlanta’s theaters. What drew him to Stage Door Players? “I saw so much potential in this theater when I first came here in 2003 as director and choreographer for ’Dames at Sea’ and returned the following year to direct and choreograph ‘Ain’t Misbehavin,’ which won the theater’s annual Woodie award for Best Show of the Year,” he said. That success led to an invitation to join Stage Door Players as its first full-time pro-

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Stage Door Players 2019-2020 season 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody Info:

The Savannah Sipping Society Sept. 20 – Oct. 13 A Nice Family Gathering Nov. 22 – Dec. 8

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee May 22 – June 14

The Glass Menagerie Jan. 24 – Feb. 16

The Fox on the Fairway July 17 – Aug. 9

ducing artistic director. “When I signed on, we gave each other a season to see if we were a good fit. And here I am in my 16th season. It’s been a long steady growth,” Egizio said. “I don’t have a formula, but I love shows that are character-driven, family-driven and friendship-driven. We build our season with a combination of popular, new and lesserknown shows and include comedies, classic dramas, musicals and a premiere,” he said. When Egizio came on board, the company had a loyal following of about 238 subscribers. By his tenth year, it had grown to more than 1,200. In its 45th anniversary season, the players counted nearly 1,400 season ticket subscribers. About 10,000 people come to the six-play season, said Debbie Fuse, executive director of Stage Door Players. “Keep in mind that we’re a 125-seat theater, and that number pretty much maxes out our space.” In total some 12,000 visitors come to the theater each year with all events, such as readings, cabarets and special shows. Stage Door Players is presenting several special events during October for Dunwoody’s Art & Culture Month, orchestrated by Discover Dunwoody. A Playwright Works in Progress Play reading is scheduled for Oct. 2, as part of a series throughout the year, and on Oct. 8, actor Elliot Folds of “The Last Night of Ballyhoo” takes the stage for a one-man show.

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Sunday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m. With tasting competition, vendors, silent auction, live music and children’s activities. Free; tasting tickets $20-$50. The Green at City Springs, 1 Galambos Way. Info:

Thursday, Sept. 5, 7 p.m. Tickets: $30. Studio Theatre at City Springs, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info:



Thursday, Sept. 19, 6 p.m. The Buckhead Business Association hosts a tasting event with top restaurants. The event will also feature a “Spirit Wall” fundraiser to benefit Nicholas House, a nonprofit agency operating an emergency shelter and temporary housing for homeless families. Tickets $75, ASW Distillery, 199 Armour Drive, Buckhead. Info:


Saturday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The two-day arts festival will showcase 100 painters, photographers, sculptors, metalwork, glass artists and jewelers, and also offer artist demonstrations and live acoustic music. Free. Buckhead Village, 200 Buckhead Avenue, Buckhead. Map and other info:


Saturday, Sept. 28, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday Sept. 29, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The Sandy Springs Festival returns to offer two days of art, live music, cultural performances, children’s programming, classic rides, gourmet and festival food options, and more. Heritage Green, 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs. Info:


Friday, Sept. 13-Sunday, Sept. 22 The City Springs Theatre Company brings the classic Disney film to life. Tickets: $30$65. Byers Theatre at City Springs, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Info: events/mary-poppins.


Friday, Sept. 13-Sunday, Sept. 29 A drama based on the television movie about jurors arguing the fate of a murder defendant. Tickets: $16-$25. Act 3 Playhouse, 6285R Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Info:


Friday, Sept. 20 -Sunday, Oct. 13 The Stage Door Players present a comedy about four Southern women, all needing to escape their day-to-day routines, who find themselves drawn together by fate. Tickets: $34. Stage Door Playhouse, 5539 ChambleeDunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Info:



Sunday, Sept. 8, 5-8:30 p.m. Band X plays rock, R&B, jazz and pop starting at 7 p.m. Food trucks on site. Free. Heritage Sandy Springs. 6110 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. Info:


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Friday, Sept. 27, 6:30 p.m. The City Green in Sandy Springs wraps up its summer music series with singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins. City Green, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. Free, no tickets required. Tables may be reserved starting at $40. Info:



Friday, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Sept. 14, Two days of service projects that serve the Atlanta area, including Chattahoochee River Cleanup, Project Open Hand Meal Delivery, and Peachtree Creek Greenway Cleanup. Various locations. Info: ymcaofmetroatlanta.



Sunday, Sept. 15, 1-4 p..m. Wine-tasting and designer fashion show benefiting the Leukemia and Women’s Cancer Programs at Northside Hospital. With raffle, live and silent auctions, and more. Tickets: $150 and up. The Grand Hyatt Atlanta, 3300 Peachtree Road, Buckhead. Info:



Thursday, Sept. 19-Saturday, Sept. 21 The Forward Arts Foundation hosts its annual Swan Coach House Flea Market with proceeds from the event supporting visual arts in Atlanta. Catch the “Fleur de Flea” Frenchthemed preview party on Sept. 19 6-9 p.m. at $30 a ticket or $100 for four. Otherwise, free to attend. The market runs Friday, Sept. 20 and Saturday, Sept. 21. Lower level parking lot at the Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Info: 404-261-9855.


Sunday, Sept. 15, 1-4 p.m. All ages and skills are invited to “Paint the Park.” Completed pieces will be displayed at Blackburn Park pavilion. Winning pieces will be shown at City Hall. Art supplies and paper will be provided. Free. Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford- Dunwoody Road, Brookhaven, Info:

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20 | Art & Entertainment ■

Atlanta History Center exhibit chronicles women’s fight for right to vote

Atlanta and included floats from groups like the Fulton and DeKalb County Branch and the Atlanta Equal Suffrage League. “She drove in Atlanta’s first suffrage parade … and her mother was a catalyst to the Upstairs at the Swan House on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center are two founding of the Equal Suffrage Party of Georgia,” VanLanduyt said. rooms filled with dozens of historic artifacts, from documents to dresses to a judge’s The passage of the 19th amendment did not mean all women could cast ballots, howrobe and gavel. They all come together to contribute to the story of the women’s votever. Mostly, white women benefited. The law required women voters to be citizens, and ing rights movement in Atlanta and Georgia different states had different definitions. and its impact on women in politics. African American women still could not The artifacts are part of a new exhibit, vote, nor could Native American or Chinese “Any Great Change: The Centennial of the women. 19th Amendment,” commemorating the As the curator of the exhibit, VanLan100th anniversary of women gaining the duyt said she wanted to acknowledge this right in 1920 to vote in elections. The exhibpiece of history as well. Several women of it about the advocacy for suffrage – a term color are highlighted for their activism for voting rights – remains open through in the women’s suffrage movement, even Jan. 31, 2021. though they knew they would not benefit. “What we wanted to do was capture a One such woman was Mary A. McCurdy, full year of time … to show people that, over whose portrait is featured on a purple bantime, people have been fighting for their votner in the exhibit. She was an African Amering rights and to take down barriers to the ican journalist who moved to Atlanta in voting booth,” said Jessica VanLanduyt, lead 1886 and then to Rome, Ga., where she becurator for the exhibition and the Atlanta came editor of the “Woman’s World” newsHistory Center’s vice president of guest expaper. periences. In her 1895 essay “Duty of the State to “And hopefully in an election year [in the Negro,” McCurdy wrote, “Then we dare 2020], people will be inspired to vote or be to insist upon the State doing its duty to the inspired to participate in some way,” she Negro [men], and in the meantime we forget said. not the thousands of women who are pleadThe artifacts on display include dozing to-day for equal franchise.” ens of political buttons, one from the 1963 Another was Dr. Mabel Lee, whose famPHOTOS BY DYANA BAGBY March on Washington by Civil Rights acily moved to New York from China when Political buttons are just some of the artifacts featured in the exhibit. tivists; a vintage purple dress fitted with a she was 4. By the time she was 16, Lee was a gold-and-white sash that reads “Votes for well-known figure in the women’s suffrage Women”; and a banner hanging in a window inked with the portrait of Grace Towns movement. But she wasn’t able to vote until 1943 due to a federal law banning Chinese Hamilton, who in 1965 became the first African American woman elected to the Georimmigrants from becoming citizens. gia General Assembly. “We really wanted to call out that all types of women participated, and whether they In the center of one room stands a mannequin draped with a black robe that bewere going to get to exercise the right to vote is not any sort of barrier to participating in longed to former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears. Sears was the the movement,” VanLanduyt said. first African American woman to serve as a chief justice of a state supreme court. Barriers to voting have existed since the country’s founding and continue today, VanHer successful election as chief justice is a direct link to the women’s suffrage moveLanduyt said. A goal of the exhibit is get people to not just think as voters but as citizens, ment, VanLanduyt said. The same thing can be said for all women elected to hold office, to think about issues facing their communities and how to find solutions. including the ones who last year made up the largest group of women elected Congress. “We’re not just talking about voting, but also about community service, attending “This is still so present for us,” she said. “It has not happened in a far-away past.” community meetings, just being informed, registering to vote,” she said. Lining the top of a wall in one of the rooms is a “Road to Suffrage” timeline. On one And, yes, voter registration forms are available within the exhibit. end is the year 1848, marking the first women’s rights convention, held in Seneca Falls, “When you have access to vote, you should use it,” VanLanduyt said. N.Y.; at the other end is the year 1920, when Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify The History Center is located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead. For more inthe 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, making it law and giving some women the formation, see right to vote. And just past that 1920 entry is the year 1970, when Georgia belatedly voted to ratify the 19th amendment. VanLanduyt said the Swan House was specifically chosen to host this exhibit because two of Atlanta’s top women’s suffrage activists were Emily C. MacDougald and her daughter, Emily Inman, who built the house in 1928. Inman is named on a yellowed piece of paper from 1915 that is labeled “Suffrage Parade Program” by the Equal SufDresses worn by voting rights activists included some that were styled after military Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Sears frage Party of Georgia. uniforms, while others wore “Votes for Women” sashes to rallies and parades. donated her robe and a gavel to the Atlanta History Center, That was the first womwhich are now on display in the “Any Great Change.” en’s suffrage parade in BY DYANA BAGBY


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22 | Community ■

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Planning Commission says yes to one storage facility, no to another Continued from page 1

nesses, a church and three nonprofits. But the site also would provide a new city park and bring back the current nonprofit organizations. “To me, this is so different than the [other] application,” Chair of the Commission Lane Frostbaum said at the meeting. “It meets the Next Ten Plan.”


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A conceptualized photo presented by Taylor/Theus Holdings, Inc. for the proposed self-storage plan at 120 Northwood Drive in Sandy Springs.


The developers originally had townhomes in their site plan, but have since removed them after listening to the community’s needs. The space will now hold a park which will be donated to the city upon completion, replacing the current playground found at the site. The plan dedicates the ground-level of the building, 13,000 square feet, to the three nonprofits currently housed at the site: La Amistad, Los Ninos Primero and the satellite office for the Community Assistance Center. The remaining space will be dedicated to “neighborhood-serving” retail for residents around the area, such as grocery stores, laundromats, etc. and the developers say they are open to some of the existing businesses returning. Los Ninos Primero’s Executive Director Maritza Morelli says the organization has been using the building as a community location for children’s extracurricular activities for 10 years. “We impact over 80 children in the programs and around 40 families,” Morelli said. Morelli also says that the space proposed is equivalent to what they currently use and that the organization supports the proposal. Tamara Carrera, CEO of the Community Assistance Center, says the organization has worked out of the facility for a little over a year and uses it as space for one-on-one counseling sessions with families to help determine what resources they need. The office has serviced about 200 families since opening and is being offered a building slightly larger than the one they work from now in order to provide a food pantry to struggling families, according to Carrera. Carrera is in full support of the proposal and says she is impressed with the developers reacting to the community’s input. “I work with a lot of people within the community and it is hard to find a developer that actually listens,” Carrera said. “They really went out of their way.” La Amistad could not be reached for comment before publication. The developers behind the project, Taylor/Theus, have previously claimed that GDOT wants to take the property for its future toll lanes project, which would cause the building to be demolished regardless, but GDOT’s Communications Director Natalie Dale says there are no solid plans for right of way for the toll lanes project yet and that the building likely could remain. At the Planning Commission meeting, city staff recommended approval of the proposal because it furthers city goals, specifically to the mixed-use ambitions of the Next Ten Comprehensive Plan, a 10-year policy and planning document guiding land use and redevelopment that helped the city form a new zoning code in 2017. Two residents spoke in support of the proposal, including the Council of NeighSS


borhoods President Ronda Smith and CAC volunteer Cecilia Webster. After hearing staff reports, comments from Woody Galloway, a zoning attorney representing the developer, and supporting residents, the commisSPECIAL sion recommended approvAn illustration shows the conceptual design for a al of the proposal to the City proposed self-storage facility at 8040 Roswell Road. Council. “It is rare that a project checks as many boxes as this one does,” Commission ViceChair Andy Porter said. “You guys have done a great job.” The second proposal was for a three-story self-storage unit at 8040 Roswell Road. It would replace the long-vacant Sandy Springs Gun Club and Range, which has been closed since 2016 due to a fire. The developer behind the proposal, RRB Development, said the new building would have around 720 units. At the Planning Commission meeting, city staff recommended denial because they do not see the storage unit as promoting North End revitalization or the Roswell Road “small area” plan in the Next Ten plan. Eleven residents spoke in opposition, including Smith, with the general consensus that the self-storage unit is not a positive development for the area and that the building will lower property values. “Making a decision for the welfare of the citizens goes far beyond what’s legal,” a resident said. “It is really a violation of what the revitalization plan states.” After hearing staff reports, comments from Carl Westmoreland, a zoning attorney representing the developer, and opposing residents, the commission also recommends denial of the proposal to the City Council. “Considering this is not a mixed-use proposal, I do not see why we would do it,” Commission Member Dave Nickles said.

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PAGE 37-42





Up for debate

Local schools ride high in speech competitions

Marist School debate coach Jeffery Miller, center, with debate team members Sophie Verska, left, and Will Sjostrom, right, with trophies the team has won. PHOTO BY JOE EARLE

For school districts, is smaller better? BY KATHY DEAN The Sandy Springs advocacy group Citizens for Local Area School Systems (CLASS) is pushing to create its own city school district. According to an April 2019 study commissioned by the group, Sandy Springs’ taxes would generate sufficient funding to operate the 11 public schools within the city’s borders. Sandy Springs schools are part of Fulton County Schools (FCS), the fourth largContinued on page 30

BY JOE EARLE Jeffrey Miller portrays his introduction to high school debate as a happy accident. He signed up for his first debate class at his south metro Atlanta high school because he was looking for something that wouldn’t be too demanding. “I heard it was an easy A,” he joked. But debate turned out to mean a lot more to Miller than just something to fill out his schedule. He was hooked. “I took debate all four years,” he said. “I really caught the fever. It’s all I did in high school.” And it stuck. Now, he’s director of speech and debate at Marist School and coaches the school’s team, which travels the country for competitions in places spread from New York to New Orleans and Florida to Minnesota. Dozens of big silver trophies Marist’s team has collected during his tenContinued on page 26

26 | Education ■

Up for debate Continued from page 25

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ure now gleam side-by-side in Top, Dunwoody debate team members show trophies they collected in competition. Miller’s classroom, and he’s savBottom, Jordana Sternberg, debate coach ing room for more. Last year, at the Westminster Schools, hoists her Marist’s debate team placed third Georgia Debate Coach of the Year plaque. in a national competition, he said. They took part in 18 competitions altogether last year, he said, and they will compete in 11 competitions by Thanksgiving this year. Jordanna Sternberg, director of debate at The Westminster Schools, got her start as a high school freshman in Massachusetts back in the 1980s. She signed up for junior varsity debate only because a friend wanted company for that first meeting. At the end of the year, Sternberg made the varsity team; her friend didn’t. She, too, was hooked. “I loved it,” she said. Her affection pays off. Her Westminster students, like the students at Marist, have argued their way to trophies at competitions around the country. In 2017, a pair of Westminster seniors took first place in a national championship competition in Utah. This year, 2018, according to the organization’s Westminster debaters plan to take part website. in about 20 competitions, Sternberg Other north metro schools, such as said. Dunwoody High School, Pace Academy, Galloway School and Lovett School, Coaches of the year also field debate teams. Last year, about Sternberg and Miller each have been 70 Georgia schools participated in the named “debate coach of the year” by forensic coaches association’s invitathe Georgia Forensics Coaches Associtional tournaments, which drew 4,100 ation, Miller in 2012 and Sternberg in entries, according to Mario Herrera,

Education | 27

SEPTEMBER 2019 ■ the organization’s executive chair and the debate teacher and team coach at Grady High School in Atlanta. Three other organizations, Herrera said, also promote debate and speech events: the Atlanta Urban Debate League, the Georgia Independent School Association and the Georgia High School Association. The forensic coaches association promotes competition in various forms of debate and various kinds of public speaking. It calls itself a “forensics” organization because it includes various public speaking events and the word

meant an argumentative exercise before taking on the more common meaning of applying scientific analysis to police cases. In debates, competitors go heard-tohead to argue different sides of issues. In speech contests, individual competitors may present opinions, or they may do other kinds of public speaking, such as giving humorous talks.


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‘Speech is special to me’ Dunwoody High junior Morgan UnContinued on page 28



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Above, Marist School debate teacher and coach Jeffrey Miller works in his award-filled office. Below, Marist debates Will Sjostrom, left, and Sophie Verska, both seniors, discuss strategy.




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28 | Education

The first round is kind of dramatic, but they come back and … get more and more confident and you really get to see the kids grow stronger in their skins. That’s very exciting for a teacher. DAVID GAY DIRECTOR OF THEATER AND SPEECH AT DUNWOODY HIGH SCHOOL ■

Continued from page 26 derhill took part in two different presentations during speech competitions last year. In one, she portrayed the actress Vivien Leigh of “Gone with the Wind” fame in “Vivien Leigh’s Last Press Conference.” In the other, she was one of a pair who took the top award in the state by presenting “Malcom X Jefferson Elementary Proudly Presents a Fifth-Grade production of ‘A Cho-


Above, Westminster Schools debater Holland Bald, left, and his partner, George Alford, research a topic for debate. Below, Bald, right, with his partner last year, Chris Rascoe, at left, show awards they won.

rus Line.’” She portrayed five different characters in that one, she said. She also takes part in school plays, but says “speech is special to me. You’re so nervous, but you get up there and you get to embody somebody else. It’s not you. It’s showing what you can do.” David Gay, director of theater and speech at Dunwoody, said he takes teams to nine or 10 meets a year and two national competitions. Gay, who has been named the GFCA’s speech coach of the year, says speech teaches students discipline, to be able to think on their feet, to be confident and to be

competitive. “We’re teaching life skills,” he said. “It’s really exciting to see the kids the first time they go [to a competition],” he said. “They’ve got their tails between their legs. The first round is kind of dramatic, but they come back and … get more and more confident and you really get to see the kids grow stronger in their skins. That’s very exciting for a teacher.” Debate requires different skills. Herrera argues it requires “critical thinking, empathy, writing, logic, listening, argumentation, introspection, commu-

Education | 29

SEPTEMBER 2019 ■ nity engagement and sportsmanship, just to name a few.” In what are called “policy debates,” two-member teams research a topic and prepare both pro and con positions. They don’t know which side they’ll argue until just before the debate begins. Just like in a football game, the side a team attacks or defends is determined by a coin flip. Policy debaters stay with a single topic throughout the year. This year, they’re arguing about U.S. policy on arms sales. “You’ve got to learn about topics and learn about them in depth,” Sternberg said. “It takes the ability to engage in critical thinking with other students.”



‘You have to think fast’ Debaters also must learn to think on their feet, said Marist debate team members Will Sjostrom and Sophie Verska, both seniors. When an opponent presents a lot of points in favor of a position, your team has to knock them all down in the time allotted. “If you only have three minutes to prepare … you really have to think fast,” Verska said. “It helps with your self-confidence,” Sjostrom said. “If you have to give another speech at school or go to a job interview, you’ll know how to talk. It prepares you a lot for the real world.” Once a competition starts, debaters on one side try to make as many arguments as they can and then their opponents try, in turn, to rebut them all. Debaters learn to speak quickly in order to get in as many points as possible. Westminster junior Holland Bald, who with his partner ranked 10th in the country last year, according to Sternberg, said his favorite part is the research. Debaters must know a lot about a subject in order to be prepared to present an array of arguments or to answer any specific argument their opponents may offer. “It’s a very unique think to try to learn everything about a topic,” Bald said. And he likes being able to see how arguments work when presented to the judges. “I like the immediate payoff, when you prepare and see it pay off.” To prepare for their debates, students put in hours of extra work. They often miss classes while traveling to distant debates, so they must make up other work, too. Some attend summer camps, usually at colleges, where they learn more about debating skills and research. But it’s worth the extra effort, they say. “It’s really fun. It’s really rewarding, I guess is the right word,” said Westminster senior Sara Ann Brackett. “There’s a lot of payoff.” No argument there.




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30 | Education ■

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est school system in the state. FCS employs more than 14,000 people, including 7,500 teachers in 106 schools, serving about 95,000 students. CLASS formed about three years ago, growing from the effort it took to convince the FCS Board that the North Springs Charter High School building needed to be renovated instead of replaced. Parents felt the aging facility could no longer meet modern scholastic demands, according to statements submitted by CLASS members Cheryl Barlow, Sandra Jewell, Betty Klein, Linda Trickey and Sandy Springs City Councilmember Jody Reichel. It is important to note that the city of Sandy Springs has not officially endorsed the idea of a city schools district. “We wondered why it was so challenging to effect positive change,” the group said in its prepared statement. CLASS studied the state of education in Georgia and Fulton County and found that, despite the good intentions of FCS personnel, the size of the organization, the number of schools and the large geographic area made it difficult to focus on the needs of specific schools and the variety of students. “Sandy Springs is a very diverse city and has broad diversity in its schools,” CLASS said. “FCS has seven board members that serve 106 schools and 95,000 students.” This isn’t the first time the issue has been raised. In 2013, a group of Dunwoody parents organized under the name Georgians for Local Area School Systems (GLASS) to lobby the state Legislature to amend the state Constitution to allow the creation of new city school systems. Schools in Dunwoody are part of the DeKalb County School District, the third largest school system in Georgia, with 140 schools serving nearly 102,000 students and employing about 15,500 people, including 6,600 teachers. GLASS member Heyward Wescott, a former chair of the Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber of Commerce and current candidate for a seat on the Dunwoody City Council, said the group is not actively pursuing an independent school district. However, the group still files papers with the state every year to continue to operate. “We’re ready to go at any moment and become be active again,” Wescott said. “We still want to improve education. We’re keeping an eye on CLASS and waiting to see what happens with our neighbors.” CLASS said that research shows that smaller school districts typically have better student performance than larger school districts, regardless of the racial makeup and economic status of students. Many of the top public-school systems in Georgia

We believe that a local school system will provide many of the same benefits as cityhood—a more responsive organizational structure with greater accountability, the ability to quickly respond to changes, increased community input for desired outcomes and fiscal responsibility that would allow teachers to be paid more. CITIZENS FOR LOCAL AREA SCHOOL SYSTEMS (CLASS) are city school systems or smaller county systems with less than 12,000 students, the group said. Sandy Springs has approximately 10,000 public school students. “We believe that a local school system will provide many of the same benefits as cityhood—a more responsive organizational structure with greater accountability, the ability to quickly respond to changes, increased community input for desired outcomes and fiscal responsibility that would allow teachers to be paid more,” CLASS said. “Sandy Springs is proud to have the highest-paid fire and police forces in the state. Our teachers deserve the same consideration.” However, advocates for creating new school districts must jump a high bar: the state Constitution prohibits creation of new independent school systems. “City districts established prior to the incorporation of this language can continue to operate [under the state Constitution], but no new ones can be established unless the law changes,” said Meghan Frick, director of communications for the Georgia Department of Education. “Legislation has been proposed a few times in recent years that would allow cities to create their own school districts, but has not passed.” CLASS said that the school system cap was first set 70 years ago, when legislators didn’t envision mega school systems with tens of thousands of kids. “While there may have been good reasons then, there are better reasons to eliminate the cap now

SEPTEMBER 2019 ■ and allow for new approaches in education,” CLASS said. State Rep. Tom Taylor, a Dunwoody Republican, introduced legislation that called for a statewide vote to change the constitution to allow school districts to be created in cities, such as Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, that have been created since 2005. The legislation repeatedly stalled and Taylor is no longer in office. Still, supporters aren’t giving up. Dunwoody had its own feasibility study done, Westcott said, and found that they have the perfect footprint for a city school district, with one high school, one middle school and five elementary schools that feed into them. “What it comes down to,” Wescott said, “is that there’s a lot of heavy lifting to be done for the legislation to be changed so city school districts can form. We need more cities to be engaged in this issue.” When asked about Sandy Springs’ effort to create a city schools district, Fulton officials responded: “Fulton County has great schools in Sandy Springs. Our students are excelling. We have fantastic and talented teachers and staff. We will continue to provide the best education to the children in our jurisdiction. If the jurisdiction changes, we will continue to provide the best learning experience for the students

that remain in our schools.” CLASS said it has heard concerns from some citizens, including that running a school system is a big job and very different than running a city… “and those concerns are valid,” the group said in its statement. “We know there are major logistical challenges. However, smart people who are motivated can figure this out, just like the other city school systems.” Another concern is that students in other parts of the county could be affected by separation. The CLASS response is that FCS would receive more state and federal funding for their budget. Any difference in the budget can be substantially or totally offset with changes in spending at the district level. “We encourage Sandy Springs citizens to look at their tax bills,” CLASS said. “For most property owners, more than 50% of their taxes go to FCS. And 25% of the FCS operating budget—more than a billion dollars a year—comes from Sandy Springs.” CLASS said that what it wants is to give Sandy Springs citizens the right to choose. “Ultimately,” the group said, “this is about the students and teachers, and giving the citizens of Sandy Springs the right to decide what is important to them and whether they want a city school system.”

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32 | Education ■

New Faces

Here are some of the new faces appearing on the campuses of schools in Reporter Newspapers communities this year.


Lovett School has a new assistant head of school for academic affairs. Chelle Wabrek had served as head of the middle school at the Episcopal School of Dallas. She has worked for 25 years as a teacher or administrator in independent schools and has worked at schools in Kentucky and Louisiana.

Heather Kerutis

Kyle Pietrantonio

Dr. Edward Lindekugel


New principals take the reins at Holy Spirit Preparatory School’s upper and lower school this year, according to the school. Dr. Edward Lindekugel has been named principal at the Upper School. Kyle Pietrantonio takes the new position of principal of the Lower School and also serves as Head of School. Heather Kerutis becomes director of the preschool. Lindekugel in 2018 founded and led the Catholic School Services division of the Southern Teachers Agency, the nation’s oldest teacher and administrator placement firm, the school said in a press release. Pietrantonio came to Holy Spirit Prep in 2005, the school said. He has served as the school’s director of community service, principal of the junior high school, principal of the lower school and associate head of school. In 2013, he was named Head of School.





ABOUT THE PHOTO: During the summer, Upper School students explored France through an Isdell Center for Global Leadership (ICGL) study tour.

Veteran Fulton County educator Kindra Smith took over as Riverwood International Charter School’s new principal in July. She succeeds Charles Gardner, who took a position as chief operations officer for Marietta City Schools. Smith, a former Fulton County Principal of the Year, was most recently at Elkins Pointe Middle in Roswell for four years. In 2018, Elkins Pointe received the Georgia Department of Education recognition of “Beating the Odds,” which identifies Title 1 schools that outperform schools with similar diverse populations, according to her Fulton County bio. In 2019, Elkins received a five-star school climate rating for its seventh year in a row, along with being chosen as an AVID Showcase School for its work with the college readiness program, her biography said. Smith was previously a teacher at Crabapple Crossing Elementary in Milton for seven years, an assistant principal of Northwestern Middle in Milton for eight years and for five years was principal of Roswell North Elementary, where she was named Fulton County Principal of the Year.


Oglethorpe University has named Peter D. Stobie as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Business & Finance. Stobie brings more than 30 years of finance and operational experience in both higher education and the corporate environment, the school said in a press release. He starts his new position on Sept. 16. “Pete is a vital addition to Oglethorpe’s leadership team,” said Oglethorpe University President Larry Schall. “He has a proven track record of strategically and successfully managing campus finances and operations. Pete’s depth of experience will be invaluable as Oglethorpe plans for continued growth and to reinforce our current position of financial strength.”

Education | 33


Education Briefs

BEYOND EXPECTATIONS At Galloway, students are inspired to be fearless learners, to embrace challenges, and to discover more about themselves and the world around them.

LO VET T S C H OOL STA RTS BUS S ERV IC E Lovett School cranked up the 201920 school year with the school’s first bus program. School officials said they were looking for a way to try to address Atlanta traffic and reduce carpool congestion around the school’s campus in north Atlanta. Buses will pick up and drop off students at stops in Brookhaven and North Buckhead or stops in Morningside and Garden Hills, the school says on its website. About 35 students participate, “which eliminates roughly 53 cars from coming to campus both in the mornings and afternoons,” the press release said.



For more information:


Atlanta Public Schools is offering a new online tool intended to make it easier for parents, students, members of the community and school employees to contact district officials. The new tool is named “Let’s Talk” and shows up on the district’s webpage, or through the APS mobile app on a smartphone or other mobile device. It is intended to make it easier for parents, students and others to ask questions, make comments and share ideas with distict officials. The new tool was launched Aug. 12.

Continued on page 34

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34 | Education ■

Continued from page 33

dollars per year by selling snacks and


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tives from the fifth through eighth

Student Council has raised a total of

grades, the council raises thousands of




by collecting a $5 contribution from students for a week of non-uniform days during Middle School Spirit Week. The snack cart brings in 80 percent of the council’s annual profit. It is a popular attraction at break time in the Middle School and features sweet and savory treats sold for 50 cents each. Council members donate their break time to manage the cart. Last year, the council distributed $5,500 between five organizations: The Good Samaritan Health Center, the Brookhaven



Foundation, Episcopal Relief and Development, the Suthers Center for Christian Outreach and Bella Vista Children’s Home.

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Oglethorpe University is launching the search for its 17th president. The new president will succeed Lawrence M. Schall, who has held the job since 2005 and plans to leave it next June. Board of Trustees Chair Timothy P. Tassopoulos named a search committee comprised of trustees, faculty, staff, student, and alumni representatives. The committee, chaired by trustee S. Tammy Pearson and assisted by a national search firm, includes: trustees Jack Guynn, Belle Turner Lynch , Timothy Randall Roberson, John Shelnutt and Jim Winestock; faculty members Mario Chandler, J. Lynn Gieger and Katharine Zakos; Mark W. DeLong, immediate past president of Oglethorpe’s alumni association; Colleen Donaldson, special assistant to the president; and student body president Glenn Kaiser; “Selecting a president is one of the most important responsibilities of any board,” Tassopoulos said in a press release. “Oglethorpe is fortunate to have an engaged and active board that will make a selection during a time of significant growth and positive momentum for the university. Our goal is to select a person who will continue to strengthen Oglethorpe while staying true to our mission.” Open forums will be held on campus at the start of the fall semester to gather input from students, faculty, and staff. A presidential search website ( also includes an opportunity for alumni and community members to submit nominations, input, and comments.

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The committee plans to conclude the search process in spring 2020, at which time the Board of Trustees will choose the new president

Education | 35


Riverwood student builds flight simulator for flying club Lucas Daniels, a junior at Riverwood International Charter School in Sandy Springs, has been interested in planes and aviation since he was in middle school. Upon beginning his freshman year, Lucas heard about the school’s flying club and immediately joined. After just one year, Lucas became the club’s president, when the club’s faculty sponsor, Alan Sohmer, decided that Lucas would be a good fit for the position. Riverwood’s flying club teaches students about aviation through instructional videos and takes the students to fly around the Gwinnett County Airport at the end of each semester, but the trip is financially difficult for some members. Lucas decided to look into alternatives for students to continue honing their craft. After finding an old PC at his house that he felt would be good for the club, Lucas was on the hunt for a monitor to attach to the PC for flight simulations so that club members could practice before their discovery flight. While looking for a monitor, Lucas

Standout Student

Continued on page 36

Open House | December 7, 12:30 - 2:30p.m. 510 Mount Vernon HWY NE | Atlanta, GA | 30328

Lucas Daniels onboard after his discovery flight around the Gwinnett County Airport. SPECIAL

36 | Education ■

Standout Student: Riverwood student builds flight simulator for flying club Continued from page 35

OPEN HOUSE Sunday, December 8, 1– 4 p.m.

Share in the Spirit Serving grades 7–12, Marist School provides an education where achievement exists within a spirit of humility and generosity. Students are challenged by an

space Career Education Academy and was selected as one of 12 participants to attend the solo flight academy. After interviewing “in the style that airline pilots are interviewed,” Lucas was accepted to the solo flight program. He has earned 15 hours towards his private pilot license through the program. Lucas also received a $1,000 scholarship to attend the National Flight Academy in Pensacola, Fla., which brings students to learn about aviation on a Navy aircraft carrier. The sponsorship is given by Delta Air Lines and OBAP. Outside of school, Lucas enjoys working with computers, taking them apart and seeing how things work. He also keeps “a couple of guppies, some cherry shrimp and some goldfish in a pond outside.”

heard about the PTSA Student MiniGrant process, which awards funding each semester for projects and classroom needs. After some research, Lucas decided to apply for the grant in order to build a “full-blown simulator” that could be used for practice by all members, not just the students attending the field trip. For the next few months, the team figured out what the costs would be and what they could use the simulator for. With the help of Sohmer, Lucas received the grant and the simulator came to life. Lucas is mostly self-taught when it comes to planes. With the money the club was awarded, Lucas built a flight simulator called the “202 Lemma Delta.” He said that he purchased and installed software himself. He built the computer used to run the software by following YouTube tutorials and guides from various PC enthusiast blogs and websites. Lucas had built his own computer in the past, so he had some general knowledge about the technology. “[The club members] flew like experienced pilots due to having much practice in the flight simulator,” Sohmer said. The simulator helps students learn more about flying before attending the discovery flights. They can decide if they want to pay for the trip or if they want to continue learning on the simulator. During the summer of 2018, Lucas attended the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals’ (OBAP) Aero-

What’s Next? Lucas plans to continue to lead Riverwood’s flying club over the next two years. He would like to attend a college for aviation and eventually wants to pursue a career as a commercial pilot. This article was written by Sloane Warner, graduated from The Weber School and will be attending Northwestern University. Editor’s Note: Through our “Standout Student” series, Reporter Newspapers showcases some of the outstanding students at our local schools. To recommend a “Standout Student” for our series, please email with information about the student and why you think he or she should be featured.

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State grades local public schools BY JOE EARLE AND HANNAH GRECO Each year, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement publishes an annual report giving Georgia public schools a grade of A-F. The grade is based on a numerical score that reflects the performance of the schools. “This information will encourage parents and community members to understand the strengths and challenges of their local schools and will help focus improvement efforts,” the office’s website says. The A-F grade is based on the school’s score on the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI), which is calculated by the Georgia Department of Education. The CCRPI score ranges from 0 to 100 and is based on state test scores, student growth on these tests, graduation rates and other factors. Source: The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement;

Atlanta Public Schools Enrollment: 50,847 students


Performance Snapshot ■ Atlanta Public Schools’s overall performance is higher than 58% of districts. ■ Its elementary students’ academic growth is higher than 73% of districts. 2018 LETTER GRADE 2018 SCORE ■ Its middle school students’ academic growth is higher than 47% of districts. ■ Its high school students’ academic growth is higher than 46% of districts. ■ 40.2% of its 3rd grade students are reading at or above the grade level target. ■ 55.2% of its 8th grade students are reading at or above the grade level target. ■ Its four-year graduation rate is 79.9%, which is higher than 10% of districts. ■ 43.7% of graduates are college and career ready.


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Performance Snapshot ■ DeKalb County’s overall performance is higher than 41% of districts. ■ Its elementary students’ academic growth is higher than 53% of districts. 2018 LETTER GRADE 2018 SCORE ■ Its middle school students’ academic growth is higher than 35% of districts. ■ Its high school students’ academic growth is higher than 57% of districts. ■ 36.2% of its 3rd grade students are reading at or above the grade level target. ■ 54.1% of its 8th grade students are reading at or above the grade level target. ■ Its four-year graduation rate is 75.0%, which is higher than 1% of districts. ■ 50.5% of graduates are college and career ready.

Fulton County Schools Enrollment: 93,448 students



Performance Snapshot ■ Fulton County’s overall performance is higher than 89% of districts. ■ Its elementary students’ academic growth is higher than 64% of districts. 2018 LETTER GRADE 2018 SCORE ■ Its middle school students’ academic growth is higher than 46% of districts. ■ Its high school students’ academic growth is higher than 82% of districts. ■ 51.7% of its 3rd grade students are reading at or above the grade level target. ■ 65.4% of its 8th grade students are reading at or above the grade level target. ■ Its four-year graduation rate is 86.8%, which is higher than 38% of districts. ■ 62.4% of graduates are college and career ready.


Continued on page 37

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38 | Education ■ Continued from page 36

Individual High Schools

Chamblee Charter High School




School grades for past five years: 2018: C 2017: B 2016: B 2015: B 2014: C

2018 SCORE

Performance Snapshot ■ Chamblee Charter High School’s overall performance is higher than 72% of schools in the state and is higher than its district. ■ Its students’ academic growth is higher than 39% of schools in the state and lower than its district. ■ Its four-year graduation rate is 82.7%, which is higher than 31% of high schools in the state and higher than its district. ■ 69.7% of graduates are college and career ready.

Cross Keys High School



66.6 2018 SCORE

School grades for past five years: 2018: D 2015: C 2017: C 2014: D 2016: B


Blessed Trinity Catholic High School - 11320 Woodstock Rd., Roswell, GA 30075 - (678) 277-9083 -


Blessed Trinity Catholic High School invites prospective students and their families to tour our facilities, meet our students, and speak with our teachers and coaches. President, Principal, and Director of Enrollment Management will speak at 1 pm and 2 pm. 28 Advanced Placement classes ~ Curriculum delivered on an A/B block schedule that maximizes instructional time ~ The 245 members of the class of 2019 earned more than $32.7 million in college scholarship offers in addition to Georgia’s HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships ~ A fully funded Fine Arts program that includes band, chorus, visual arts, and theater program that performs four first-class productions each year, including a musical, and one of the most highly honored dance programs in the state ~ A student-teacher ratio of 13:1; average class size of 19 ~ A comprehensive community-service program ~ An athletic department that fields more than 50 teams in 22 sports, and has won 44 state championships

Performance Snapshot ■ Cross Keys High School’s overall performance is higher than 32% of schools in the state and is lower than its district. ■ Its students’ academic growth is higher than 74% of schools in the state and higher than its district. ■ Its four-year graduation rate is 64.4%, which is higher than 9% of high schools in the state and lower than its district. ■ 49.3% of graduates are college and career ready.

Dunwoody High School



81.5 2018 SCORE

School grades for past five years: 2018: B 2015: B 2017: B 2014: C 2016: A Performance Snapshot ■ Dunwoody High School’s overall performance is higher than 77% of schools in the state and is higher than its district. ■ Its students’ academic growth is higher than 62% of schools in the state and higher than its district. ■ Its four-year graduation rate is 86.4%, which is higher than 45% of high schools in the state and higher than its district. ■ 75.6% of graduates are college and career ready.

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North Atlanta High School



77.1 2018 SCORE

School grades for past five years: 2018: C 2015: C 2017: B 2014: C 2016: C Performance Snapshot ■ North Atlanta High School’s overall performance is higher than 66% of schools in the state and is higher than its district. ■ Its students’ academic growth is higher than 41% of schools in the state and similar to its district. ■ Its four-year graduation rate is 92.5%, which is higher than 76% of high schools in the state and higher than its district. ■ 61.0% of graduates are college and career ready.

North Springs Charter High School



for college for life forever

82.8 2018 SCORE

Holy Spirit Prep embraces the traditions of Catholic education to form students of deep faith, advanced intellect, and heroic virtue.

School grades for past five years: 2018: B 2015: C 2017: B 2014: C 2016: B Performance Snapshot ■ North Springs Charter High School’s overall performance is higher than 81% of schools in the state and is similar to its district. ■ Its students’ academic growth is higher than 73% of schools in the state and similar to its district. ■ Its four-year graduation rate is 90.0%, which is higher than 60% of high schools in the state and higher than its district. ■ 62.7% of graduates are college and career ready. ■ North Springs Charter High School is Beating the Odds, meaning that it performs better than similar schools.

COME VISIT RSVP for a weekly tour at

An independent Catholic school in Chastain Park, forming students 6 months-12th grade.

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Individual High Schools

Riverwood International Charter School




School grades for past five years: 2018: C 2017: C 2016: B 2015: F 2014: C

2018 SCORE

Performance Snapshot ■ Riverwood International Charter School’s overall performance is higher than 71% of schools in the state and is similar to its district. ■ Its students’ academic growth is higher than 42% of schools in the state and lower than its district. ■ Its four-year graduation rate is 92.2%, which is higher than 74% of high schools in the state and higher than its district. ■ 60.8% of graduates are college and career ready.

Open House November 17 Monthly Forest to Farm Tours, check website for details

Health care for women by women Our team of experienced physicians provides comprehensive gynecologic services, in a compassionate environment, throughout every stage of a woman’s life.

MULTI-LEVEL Atlanta Classical Academy District: Atlanta Public Schools Grades: K-11 Clusters: Elementary, Middle, High Address: 3260 Northside Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30305

School Letter Grade: C

MIDDLE SCHOOLS Chamblee Middle School District: DeKalb County Grades: 6-8 Clusters: Middle Address: 3601 Sexton Woods Dr. Chamblee, GA 30341

School Letter Grade: C Peachtree Charter Middle School District: DeKalb County Grades: 6-8 Clusters: Middle Address: 4664 N Peachtree Rd, Atlanta, GA 30338

• Annual Well-Woman Exams • Menopausal Care • Cervical Cancer Screenings • HPV Vaccinations

• Hormone Replacement Therapy • Minimally Invasive Hysterectomies • Contraception Management • Other Gynecological Issues

OUR PHYSICIANS: Dr. Eva Arkin • Dr. Sujatha Reddy • Dr. Laura Cummings Dr. Nadine Becker • Dr. Jennifer Lyman

Call for an appointment: 404-257-0170 960 Johnson Ferry Road NE, Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30342

School Letter Grade: C Ridgeview Charter Middle School District: Fulton County Grades: 6-8 Clusters: Middle Address: 5340 S Trimble Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30342

School Letter Grade: C

Sandy Springs Charter Middle School District: Fulton County Grades: 6-8 Clusters: Middle Address: 8750 Pride Place, Sandy Springs, GA 30350

School Letter Grade: C Sutton Middle School District: Atlanta Public Schools Grades: 6-8 Clusters: Middle Address: 2875 Northside Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30305

School Letter Grade: B

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS Ashford Park Elementary School District: DeKalb County Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 2968 Cravenridge Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30319

School Letter Grade: A Austin Elementary School District: DeKalb County Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 5435 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody, GA 30338

School Letter Grade: A

Education | 41




Enjoy free admission and special programs on the second Sunday of each month.

Accepting New Patients! Primary Care of Brookhaven is a full-service primary care practice providing the highest quality care possible to families of the Brookhaven and the Atlanta Metro Area. Our board-certified physicians, Dr. Jennifer Burkmar and Dr. Jeffrey Reznik provide care for the whole patient, and offer a full range of family medicine services, including: • Primary Care for Patients of All Ages Including Newborns • Immunizations for Children and Adults • Acute Illness Care & Chronic Disease Management • School & Sport Physicals • Women’s Health Services • Preventative Health Consultations We take pride in serving each patient with personalized attention and care, accept most insurance plans, and offer same day appointments for sick visits.

SEPT 8 • OCT 13 Designed for little kids, big kids, and the whole family, Second Sundays are for everyone. Visit us each month and experience new interactive, innovative family activities inspired by our collections and ever-changing exhibitions. Second Sundays are sponsored by the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation.

On Your College Application Alexander Muss High School in Israel: The Ultimate College Prep Study Abroad Adventure Generous grants available for Atlanta students.

Contact Us Today! 800.327.5980

Jennifer Burkmar, MD, MBA, FA AFP

Jeffrey Reznik, MD, FA AFP

Call 404-365-6500 for an appointment • 4062 Peachtree Road, Suite C, Brookhaven, GA 30319 Prim ary C

42 | Education

We offer multidisciplinary and compassionate cancer care for patients diagnosed with melanoma, other aggressive skin cancers and sarcoma. In partnership with the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, our specialized team consisting of experts in surgical oncology, radiology, pathology, reconstructive surgery, medical and radiation oncology, and nurse navigation are available to support our patients throughout their cancer journey, from prevention and treatment through survivorship. We are excited to welcome Dr. Nicole Kounalakis, a surgical oncologist with over 10 years of experience that specializes in providing personalized treatment options to her cancer patients. She focuses on the surgical care of conditions including: ■ Brandon Elementary School District: Atlanta Public Schools Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 2741 Howell Mill Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30327

Kittredge Magnet School District: DeKalb County Grades: 4-6 Clusters: Elementary, Middle Address: 1663 East Nancy Creek Drive, Atlanta, GA 30319

School Letter Grade: A

School Letter Grade: A

Chestnut Charter Elementary School District: DeKalb County Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 4576 N Peachtree Rd, Dunwoody, GA 30338

School Letter Grade: A

Nicole Kounalakis, M.D. Surgical Oncologist Phone: 404-851-6000 980 Johnson Ferry Road NE Suite 940 Atlanta, GA 30342

• Melanoma • Squamous cell and basal cell skin cancer • Merkel cell cancer • Sarcoma

Dunwoody Elementary School District: DeKalb County Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 1923 Womack Road Drive Dunwoody, GA 30338

School Letter Grade: A Dunwoody Springs Elementary School District: Fulton County Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 8100 Roberts Dr. Sandy Springs, GA 30350

School Letter Grade: C Garden Hills Elementary School District: Atlanta Public Schools Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 285 Sheridan Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

September 20th - October 13th A Comedy... Four Women... Liquid Refreshment... and... Living in the Moment... or 770-396-1726 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody GA

Lake Forest Elementary School District: Fulton County Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 5920 Sandy Springs Cir, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

School Letter Grade: D Montgomery Elementary School District: DeKalb County Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 3995 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30319

School Letter Grade: B Rivers Elementary School District: Atlanta Public Schools Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 8 Peachtree Battle Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30305

School Letter Grade: C Sarah Smith Elementary School District: Atlanta Public Schools Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 370 Old Ivy Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30342

School Letter Grade: C

School Letter Grade: B

Heards Ferry Elementary School District: Fulton County Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 6151 Powers Ferry Rd NW, Sandy Springs, GA 30339

Spalding Drive Elementary School District: Fulton County Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 130 W Spalding Dr NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

School Letter Grade: B

School Letter Grade: C

High Point Elementary School District: Fulton County Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 520 Greenland Rd NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30342

Vanderlyn Elementary School District: DeKalb County Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 1877 Vanderlyn Drive, Dunwoody, GA 30338

School Letter Grade: C

School Letter Grade: A

Kingsley Elementary School District: DeKalb County Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 2051 Brendon Dr. Dunwoody, GA 30338

Woodland Elementary School District: Fulton County Grades: K-5 Clusters: Elementary Address: 1130 Spalding Dr, Atlanta, GA 30350

School Letter Grade: C

School Letter Grade: B


Classifieds | 43



Female Caregiver with 20 years exp. seeks to barter domestic services for a room in a nice home in the metro area. Senior cat coming with. 470-351-7237. Certified Respite Provider – Caring for Love Ones! Specializes in Alzheimer’s Care. Call Patricia 678-754-1831.

CEMETERY PLOTS Arlington Memorial Park - Three cemetery plots located in the Masonic section - selling for $6995 each. Call 404-403-5676.

Landscaping: Tranquil Waters Lawn Care – Hauling of debris, yard cleanup, aeration, leaf blowing, power washing, etc. Free estimates – No contract necessary – Commercial or Residential. Senior/Veteran discounts available. Call Mike 678-662-0767. Masonry: Driveways & Walkways – Replaced or Repaired. Masonry, Grading, Foundations repair, waterproofing and retaining walls. Call Joe 770-616-0576. Property Home Tending – Regular inspections of your For Sale or unoccupied home. Call Charles 404-229-0490.

Home Services Directory


Handyman - Wood rot repairs, roof leaks, deck refinishing/repairs. Interior/ Exterior painting. Excellent references. 404-452-1812.

BOOK FOR SALE Parental Dementia by Keith Galas with Halle Eskew – A Guide Through All the Difficult Questions. The essential book for Dementia families. Order at www. use special code word – Mom.

YARD SALE: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14TH, 8:00-3:00 - BROOKHAVEN FIELDS Located behind the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe MARTA station

To Advertise, call 404-917-2200 ext 110 Avoid Costly Roof Replacement *Save 80% compared to a new roof. *Extend shingle life up to 15 years. *100% environmentally friendly. *Roof tune-up included. Call for your free inspection and no-obligation quote.

No Lock-In Contracts

AT YOUR SERVICE Repairs & New installation

Showroom, Design, Build





Plumbing Appliances Water Heaters Shower Pan Leaks

404-219-1923 justTRASHit!

SINCE 1986



We Haul Away: We Clean Out:


REPAIRS LEAKS 404-697-6937

Windows And Doors

Buy with confidence! Visit our showroom in Chamblee!

770-939-5634 3660 N. Peachtree Rd • Chamblee, GA 30341

*Furniture *Appliances *Construction *Pianos *Hot tubs *Paint cans

*Basements *Garages *Attics *Offices *Storage units *Estate sales

(770) 314-9867

Oriental Rug Shop Antique and Decorative Rugs since 1976

Sales, Cleaning, Restorations, Appraisals, Pick-up & Delivery 5548 Peachtree Ind. Blvd Chamblee, GA 30341 770-452-0430

Best Selection & Values 1.5 miles inside 285 in Chamblee Plaza


Cleaning & Repair of OFF All Rugs


Preserve Roofing 770-314-9867

Kitchen Bathroom Basement

Georgia Commission on the Holocaust – Volunteer Opportunity. Greeters for Anne Frank in the World Exhibit 1929-45 - 5920 Roswell Rd. Sandy Springs 30328. Bring the lessons of the Holocaust to life, make A difference, help visitors understand dangers of prejudice, discrimination and hate to make a difference, engage with your community - training provided. A monthly commitment and 2 hour shifts required: Tuesday- Thursday 10- 4pm, Saturday-Sunday 12-4 pm. Call Sandra Craine 770 206-1558.

Sam 770-450-5955



Belco Electric

• Family Owned since 1972 • Fast, Dependable Service by Professional, Uniformed Electricians


Check out our new website and follow us on

Fall Clean-up Special With two professional in-house polishers, we can make your silver flatware, tea sets, bowls and trays more beautiful than ever before. Bring it by or call us for an estimate today!

Atlanta’s Premier

• Window Cleaning • Gutter Cleaning • Pressure Washing • Family Owned • Licensed and Insured • Free Estimates

since 1968


With coupon. One per family. “Serving Metro Atlanta Since 1998”


LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED BONDED & INSURED PROFESSIONAL & RELIABLE Serving Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Buckhead, Brookhaven, and Peachtree Corners (770) 852-5453




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SANDY SPRINGS 10K The Heart of Our Community since 1984