09-14-18 Sandy Springs Reporter

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SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018 • VOL. 12 — NO. 19


Sandy Springs Reporter


The virtual world moves into the classroom PAGE 15

College counselor Q&A PAGE 16


Fall 2018



Sandy Springs considers imposing water fee on Atlanta

Dancing by the springs

BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

The city of Sandy Springs is considering a measure that would require the city of Atlanta to pay a fee to operate the local water system. The proposal came as City Attorney Dan Lee asserted Atlanta is improperly using water revenues and overcharging Sandy Springs customers, which the city of Atlanta denies. The proposal, which was unanimously tabled by the City Council at its Sept. 4 meeting until likely the first October meeting, inSee SANDY on page 30

Kacy Dinh gets a dip from Mark Drum as they dance during the Bogey and the Viceroy show Sept. 9 at Heritage Sandy Springs. The show wrapped up the 22nd annual “Concerts by the Springs” series.

ROBIN’S NEST Leafing through memories of a teacher’s lifelong influence

I think that a summer break is the one thing that helped get me through the monotony of the school year.

OUT & ABOUT Act3 troupe brings on ‘Godspell 2012’ Page 8

Mt. Vernon/ Johnson Ferry design delayed amid debate BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Should we change the school calendar?

Engineers were instructed by the Sandy Springs City Council to begin designing part of the Mt. Vernon and Johnson Ferry intersection “grid” concept while the council continues debating the two options. The options, a “full” or “compressed” grid, differ mainly in the amount of right of way they would need and how much green space would be created. Both grid concepts would change the unusual X-shaped intersection into two inde-


See MT. VERNON on page 31

A 59-year-old Atlanta man

Page 13


2 | Community

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A Place Where You Belong

The Heritage Sandy Springs Museum will reopen during the organization’s annual festival in September following several months of renovations. The museum is within the Williams-Payne House, an 1860s farmhouse that was relocated to 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, now part of Heritage’s historic site. The renovations, all interior, included changing the layout and upgrading systems to better protect historic objects. In part, that will allow exhibits from other museums to be displayed there. The renovated facility has six exhibit spaces, according to Keith Moore, Heritage’s director of historic resources and education programs. The museum will reopen for the 33rd annual Sandy Springs Festival Sept. 22 and 23, which will include various historical demonstrations. For the reopening, the museum will host an updated version of its anchor exhibit, “Sandy Springs Land and People,” along with new material. For more information, see heritagesandysprings.org.


The Powers Ferry Road closure for the bridge reconstruction has been delayed until Sept. 19. The road was planned to close Sept. 4 to begin work on replacing the bridge near Buckhead’s Chastain Park but has been delayed due to continued work on relocating the utilities, the office of District 8 Atlanta City Council member J.P. Matzigkeit said. The road is expected to be closed for seven months. For more information, visit renewatlantabond.com.


The Board of Appeals approved a developer’s plan to bring an Antico Pizza Napoletana to Sandy Springs, requiring it to build a brick and wood fence between it and the neighborhood. Neighbors and representatives from the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods had expressed concern that the restaurant would cause noise and light that would affect nearby residents. The pizza restaurant would replace 4 Seasons Pottery at Hammond Drive and Boylston Drive. The parcel is complicated by the many stream buffers and existing setbacks, according to city planning staff. It also would likely be affected by the upcoming Hammond Drive widening project. Carl Westmoreland, the attorney for developer Gerard Gunthert, said a flexible wood fence was needed to meander through the many trees in order to save as many as possible. The Board of Appeals worried the wood fence would become damaged quickly, so it required brick columns supporting wood panels that would be about 10 feet in length, depending on the arborist recommendations. The Board of Appeals voted 5-1 to deny the variance request, which would have reduced the amount of room for cars to enter the parking lot. Staff recommended the board deny the variance because cars would have to stick out onto Boylston Drive while waiting for another to back out of a space. Member Alvin Johnson voted against the motion. Vice Chair Eric Johnson was absent. The developer is also considering leasing parking spaces from the Signature Bank building across Hammond at 6065 Roswell Road.

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SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018

Community | 3


Strip clubs close following court hearing BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

All three strip clubs in the city have decided to close prior to a judge’s ruling on an injunction against their operations. The three clubs, Coronet Club/Doll House, Mardi Gras and Flasher’s, have all decided to voluntarily close, according to an attorney and social media posts. Adult businesses are prohibited in parts of Sandy Springs under zoning rules that were challenged by the clubs. The case died in June after the U.S. Supreme Court, the clubs’ last option, opted not to review it. The city previously won in lower courts. Two adult bookstores that also are prohibited under the zoning regulations, Inserection and Love Shack, have not closed, according to attorney Cary Wiggins. Most of the businesses are located on Roswell Road, except Mardi Gras, which is located on Powers Ferry Road. Wiggins, who also represents Mardi Gras and Flasher’s, confirmed both those clubs have opted to close after a Fulton County Superior Court hearing on Sept. 5. Wiggins expects the judge’s ruling later this week. A post on the Facebook account for the Coronet Club/Doll House announced the club’s closure. “Unfortunately, the city of Sandy Springs disapproves of our industry and will no longer allows us to operate our business,” the post said. “We are closed indefinitely.” City Attorney Dan Lee said he was “glad” the wishes of Sandy Springs residents, who voted for the mayor and City Council who created the regulations, could be enforced. “It’s tough that it had to go on that long,” Lee said. “They fought a fight that they lost,” he said of the clubs. It is unclear if any of the businesses will relocate to a part of the city they are allowed to operate or to another location. A woman who said she works at Mardi Gras spoke on behalf of the club at the Sept. 4 Sandy Springs City Council meeting, asking them to reconsider closing the businesses. She also said there is no data to show that the club has decreased nearby property values or caused crime. “This is an unprecedented attack on an already marginalized group of men and women, myself included,” she said. “You will be forcing many of us into clubs that are running rampant with drugs and prostitution and the rest of us will simply be facing unemployment.” She said the closure will have ripple effects that would harm not only dancers, but waitresses, valets, cab drivers and DJs, she said. “The effects of our club closing does not stop at the door,” she said. The city has said it has no problem with adult entertainment per se, but argues that it produces crime as a side effect that needs to be controlled. The businesses argued that the city’s laws are motivated by a bias against their work and intended to make it impossible for them to operate. The businesses sued, claiming violations of the U.S. Constitution’s First and Fourteenth Amendments, but they ultimately lost in state and federal courts.

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Fast food company gets incentives to expand in Sandy Springs BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

A fast food company that owns Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings is expanding its operations in Sandy Springs. The company received over $1.1 million in incentives from the state and city. The company, Inspire Brands, was formed in February 2018 after Arby’s purchased Buffalo Wild Wings and the regional chain Rusty Taco. Arby’s is currently headquartered in Sandy Springs at 1155 Perimeter Center West. It plans to move to Three Glenlake Parkway, about a mile west of its current home across Ga. 400. The company will expand its footprint at the building, city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said. “It is especially satisfying to watch companies like Inspire Brands thrive and grow within our community,” Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said in a press release announcing the expansion. A press release from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s office said that the company would create more than 1,100 jobs and invest approximately $32 million in Fulton County over the next six years. That job number is higher than that in city incentive documents. The state Department of Economic Development and the company did not respond to requests for comment about the job projections. The information the company gave to the city when it requested incentives said the Buffalo Wild Wings relocation would bring 200 new jobs with an average salary of over $100,000 to Sandy Springs. Inspire already has 380 employees in Sandy Springs, according to city documents. “It also reflects the unparalleled success of the city of Sandy Springs in being a leading destination for corporate headquarters and operations,” said Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Rob Pitts in the press release. To get the city incentive, a company is required to make capital investment of at least $5 million and bring at least 100 new jobs with salaries higher than the city average, according to the city. The operations of Buffalo Wild Wings are currently in Minnesota. The expected capital investment in Sandy Springs for building out operations for that company is $12.4

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The logo for Inspire Brands, the holding company for Arby’s, which is already located in Sandy Springs, Buffalo Wild Wings and Rusty Taco.


million, according to a city document. The Sandy Springs City Council approved $44,152 in incentives for the company’s expansion at its May 15 meeting. That includes $19,000 for a building permit fee waiver and $8,834 for three years of tax waivers until 2020, according to a city document. The state of Georgia awarded the company $1.12 million through a REBA, or Regional Economic Business Assistance, grant, which are used to help “close the deal” when companies are considering Georgia for their location or expansion, according to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs website. “Our vision is to invigorate great brands and supercharge their long-term growth, and Atlanta provides the culture of innovation we need for our brands to reach unprecedented success,” said Paul Brown, co-founder and CEO of Inspire Brands, in a press release. The company plans to open in the new building sometime next year, the release said. SS

SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018

Community | 5



Progressives group calls it quits


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The Perimeter Progressives logo on display at the February 2017 debut meeting in Dunwoody.






Perimeter Progressives, one of several regional political groups that rose in the wake of President Trump’s election, is calling it quits. The group, which drew more than 100 residents and elected officials to its debut meeting in Dunwoody roughly 18 months ago, said in a Sept. 4 farewell statement that the competition since then made it unnecessary. “In the fullness of time as these groups have matured and sharpened their focus, we knew that some of us had overlapping goals,” said the statement posted on Facebook. “In order not to dilute the finite energy needed to reach the results we strive for, Perimeter Progressives will discontinue operations.” Joe Seconder, the Dunwoody Democrat who founded Perimeter Progressives roughly 18 months ago, did not respond to a comment request. His name was not among those of the “executive board” that signed the farewell announcement. State records show the group formally dissolved on Sept. 7. At its founding, Perimeter Progressives was plainly Democratic, but presented as nominally open to centrist Republicans and independents who were turned off by Trump. Its debut meeting in February 2017 came as the special election for the 6th Congressional District seat was gearing up. The campaign manager for Jon Ossoff, the Democrat who would come surprisingly close to election in the nation’s most expensive Congressional election of all time, was in attendance. Also showing up were other candidates, City Council members from Chamblee and Dunwoody, and the then-president of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association. Newsletters indicate the group stopped meeting formally last fall. Since then, it has advocated various liberal causes and political positions on social media and suggested opportunities for demonstrations against U.S. Rep. Karen Handel, the Republican who defeated Ossoff for the local Congressional seat. The farewell announcement suggested other groups that Perimeter Progressives members might work with, such as Drinking Liberally and Indivisible.

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Local mayors chosen to help elect new transit board BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

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The mayors of Sandy Springs and Brookhaven have been selected to be part of a group that will elect board members to the new umbrella transit authority known as “The ATL.” Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul was selected Aug. 29 to help elect the District 3 board member. Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst was chosen Sept. 10 to help elect the representative for District 5. “I’m excited about being part of the process that creates a truly regional transit system,” Paul said in a written statement. “It’s been decades in the making and will be decades more in achieving the ultimate goal, but this is an historic opportunity to play a role in expanding mobility and the continuing economic vitality of the metro region.” “Transportation is a complex issue that affects the entire region,” SPECIAL Ernst said in a press reA map shows the districts for “The ATL,” the new umbrella lease. “I am elated that transit authority. Parts of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Buckhead and Brookhaven are all included in District 3, the state of Georgia is shown in yellow. District 5, in light purple near the bottom, addressing the issue includes south Buckhead and parts of Brookhaven. holistically, and proud to play a role in The ATL’s direction and governance.” The selection is the first step to elect a district board member in a complicated series of internal votes. The ATL, or the Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority, is a new authority for 10 transit systems in 13 counties. It will have a regional governance board with 16 members serving four-year terms, who must be in place by Dec. 1. The ATL is tasked with coordinating existing and future transit service provided by MARTA, Xpress, CobbLinc, Gwinnett County Transit and others. District 3 includes most of Sandy Springs, Buckhead and Dunwoody and part of Brookhaven, along with a large chunk of Cobb County. District 5 includes south Buckhead and the rest of Brookhaven, along with most of Atlanta. Ernst and Paul were chosen in separate district mayoral caucuses. The caucuses included mayors from all the cities that are a part of the districts, even if only a small piece, including mayors of Atlanta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Doraville, Dunwoody, Marietta, Peachtree Corners, Sandy Springs, Smyrna and Tucker, among others, according to The ATL website. Paul and Ernst will be part of groups that will elect one person to serve on The ATL board for District 3 and 5. Those groups will include Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and state legislators and county commission chairs who represent any part of the districts. Sandy Springs is also part of Districts 1 and 2. Buford City Commission Chair Phillip Beard was selected as the District 2 representative Oct. 16, Haggard said. Woodstock Mayor Donnie Henriques was selected for District 1 on Aug. 22, he said. Paul has previously said that he would advocate for a board member to be from Sandy Springs or Dunwoody because those cities are central to transit in the Ga. 400 and I-285 corridors. The board members must be residents of the district “who possesses significant experience or expertise in a field that would be beneficial to the accomplishment of the function and purpose of” the ATL, the legislation said. State Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs) said she has nominated a local transportation logistics expert to be the district’s ATL board member. The elections are planned to be held in October or November, said Scott Haggard, The ATL’s director of government and external affairs. Representatives will be similarly elected in the eight other districts. The full board will be joined by members appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the state House of Representatives. The governor’s appointee will serve as the board chair. For more information, see atltransit.ga.gov.

SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018




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8 | Art & Entertainment

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Friday, Sept. 21 to Sunday, Oct. 14. Stage Door Players opens its 45th season with “A Red Plaid Shirt,” a play about two old friends who take on their retirement in very different ways. Marty wants to explore the open road on a Harley while Fred decides to pay more attention to his health, inventing many new ailments along the way. $15$33. North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Show schedule: stagedoorplayers.net.

Join us for a free concert on City Green

Sunday, September 23 at 7p.m. Home By Dark is a songwriters-in-the-round concert event. Hear the stories behind the songs and witness powerful performances. Experience how a “Song Can Change Your Life.”

Reserved seating and tables are available for purchase at citysprings.com


Friday, Sept. 21, 7:30-10 p.m. World-renowned bass-baritone Jesse Blumberg appears with the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra at the Cathedral of St. Philip for a performance of Monteverdi’s “Songs of Love & War.” $10-$30. 2744 Peachtree Road N.W., Buckhead. Info: atlantabaroque.org.


Ongoing through Sunday, Sept. 23. A small group of people use games, storytelling techniques and comic timing to help Jesus Christ tell parables in “Godspell 2012,” the revised version of the original musical. $15-$30. 6285-R Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. Show schedule: act3productions.org.

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Thursday, Sept. 27, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Wes Yoakam returns to the Chattahoochee Nature Center with his high-energy show featuring acoustic covers of ’80s and ’90s music. Picnics welcome, cash bar. Included with general admission. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Info: chattnaturecenter.org.


Saturday, Sept. 22, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The annual festival is back this year with two days of an artist market, live music, cultural performances, a pet parade, chalk walk art competition, 10K and 5K races, children’s programming, classic rides, gourmet and festival food options. The festival is the primary fundraiser for Heritage Sandy Springs. Free. Heritage Green, 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs. Info: heritagesandysprings.org.

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Saturday, Sept. 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 23, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This two-day festival in the heart of Buckhead features the work of about 100 painters, photographers, sculptors, jewelers, glass and metalwork artists. Artist demonstrations, live acoustic music. Rain or shine. Free. Buckhead Village. West Paces Ferry Road, Peachtree Road and Roswell Road all converge in Buckhead Village. Map and other info: buckheadartsfestival.com.

Continued on page 10

SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018




THE PLACE TO APPLAUD Event tickets are on sale now at citysprings.com

City Springs Theatre Company presents: 42nd Street September 14–23, 2018 Speaker Series: Col. Jill Chambers: “Veteran Empowered Care” September 22, 2018 Home By Dark September 23, 2018

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Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News Continued from page 8


The Grace of Public Education

By Stacey Abrams

Saturday, Sept. 22, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Atlanta History Center’s annual fall family program focuses on barbecue traditions and features guests from the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma; grilling and craft demonstrations; a folk art marketplace; live music; storytelling; and hands-on activities at the Smith Family Farm, a preserved 1860s farmstead. Barbecue for sale; cash bars. Festival is included with general admission. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead. Info: 404-8144000 or atlantahistorycenter.com.

The Grace Public Education The Grace ofofPublic Education

My mother was eight years old when she dropped out of her segregated elementary school in Mississippi. And she didn’t plan on going back. But her neighbor, Miss Gert, had other plans. Miss Gert noticed my mom The Grace of Public Education around hopeless and penniless, gave her some odd jobs and y Staceyhanging Abrams By Stacey Abrams pocket money, and told her every single day that she was too smart to stop now. y motherMy was eight oldoldwhen shedropped dropped of her segregated mother wasyears eight years when she out ofout her segregated elementary school in Mississippi. And she didn’t plan on going But back. But When my mom finally took Miss Gert’s advice and summoned the SUKKOT FARM-TO-TABLE ementary school in Mississippi. And she didn’t plan up onback. going her neighbor, MisstoGert, hadshe other plans. to Miss Gertthird noticed my mom courage to go back school, expected repeat grade—and FESTIVAL r neighbor, Miss had other plans. Miss Gert noticed hanging hopeless penniless, gave her some oddnot jobs and my mom stick out asaround theGert, tallest girl inand class. To put it mildly: she was looking pocketto money, andafter told herpenniless, every single day that she tooshe smart forward that. But she walked in, she learned thatwas when nging around hopeless and gave her some oddtojobs and stop now. dropped out, one of her former teachers had written a note to the cket money, and told her every single day that she was too smart to principal: op now. When my mom finally took Miss Gert’s advice and summoned up the to Hall go back school,back she to expected repeat “Ifcourage Carolyn evertocomes school,to move herthird on tograde—and the next stick She’s out as smart the tallest girl inShe class. put it it.” mildly: she was not looking grade. enough. canTo handle hen my mom took Gert’s advice andwhen summoned up the forwardfinally to that. But afterMiss she walked in, she learned that she Sept. 30, noon to 4 p.m. dropped out, one of her former teachers had written a note to the That’s all it took. My mother went on to fourth grade and nine years later, urage to go back to school, she expected to repeat third grade—and Sunday, Chef demonstrations, farmers market, petprincipal: walked across the stage as valedictorian of her high school. And a ting zoo, and pickle-your-own veggies are ck out as the tallestlater, girlsheinwatched class.her Todaughter put itwalk mildly: shestage was quarter-century across the as not looking planned for this festival at the Marcus Jewish “If Carolyn ever comes back to in, school, her on that to the when next Avondale High in DeKalb County. rward tovaledictorian that. ButofHall after she walked shemove learned she Community Center of Atlanta. Sponsored by grade. She’s smart enough. She can handle it.” the Jewish Food Alliance. Free. MJCCA-Zaban opped out, one of her former teachers had written a note to the Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Info: atThat’s the power of public school and of teachers who care. And that’s lantajcc.org. That’s all it took. My mother went on to fourth grade and nine years later, Georgia’s fundamental responsibility is to guarantee access to public incipal: why walked across stage as valedictorian her high school. And a education for ourthe children—from cradle toofcareer. quarter-century later, she watched her daughter walk across the stage as f Carolyn Hallmany ever comes back school, move herin on to the next valedictorian of Avondale in to DeKalb County. We have caring publicHigh school teachers and “Miss Gerts” Georgia, people who are willing to run not just the extra mile, but a BROOKHAVEN BIKE ALLIANCE ade. She’s smart enough. She can handle it.” That’s the of public school and teacherswe who care. And that’s marathon forpower our children. However, we of can—and must—do a lot Ongoing Mondays, 6:30-8 p.m. whytoGeorgia’s fundamental responsibility is to guarantee access to public more support them. Join the alliance for bike rides every Monday night. Three levels of rides range from a for our children—from career. grade and nine years later, at’s all iteducation took. My mother went cradle on totofourth “Getting Started” 8-mile ride through nearFirst, we must commit to fully funding our public school system. Our alked across the stage as public valedictorian ofcuts, hercombined highGerts” school. by neighborhoods to “Fit and Fast,” a 20-mile We have many caring school teachers and “Miss schools endured 16 straight years of austerity withincost-And a route at an average 15-16 mph. All rides are Georgia, people whowatched are willing to runWe notmust just the extra mile, but a the stage as shifting to local districts and educators. reverse the trend, arter-century later, she her daughter walk across “No Drop,” meaning you won’t be abandoned marathon for our children. can—and we must—do lot through identifying additionalHowever, resourceswe and rolling back measures alike if you have a flat tire or fall behind. Start localedictorian of Avondale High in DeKalb County. more toprograms support them. voucher that only funnel dollars from public schools to private tion is the Savi Provisions market, 1388 Dresden Drive, Brookhaven. Info: facebook.com/ interests. First, we must commit to fully funding our public school system. Our at’s the power of public school and of teachers whowith care. And that’sgroups/BrookhavenBikeAlliance. schools endured 16 straight years of austerity cuts, combined costI am proud to be the only candidate in the race for governor who opposes hy Georgia’s fundamental responsibility ispublic to guarantee access to public shifting to local districts We our must reverse the trend, voucher-like programs thatand takeeducators. money from schools and hand through identifying additional resources and rolling back measures like it over to private schools, and I’m the only one with a proven track record ucation for our children—from cradle to career. programs thatschools. only funnel dollars from public schools to private ofvoucher defending our public interests. Second, caring we must engage children in a more holistic e have many publicourschool teachers and fashion “Misswith Gerts” in “PAINT THE PARK” I am proudservices, to be theincluding only candidate raceservices, for governor whoasopposes wraparound accessintothe health as well eorgia, people who are willing to run not just the extra mile, but a Sunday, Sept. 23, 1-4 p.m. voucher-like programs that take money from our public mental health support, and ESL assistance for children andschools parents.and Tohand Artists of all ages and skill levels arathon fund for our children. However, we can—and we must—do a lot it over to privateservices, schools,we andshould I’m the onlyaone with a proven track record wraparound adopt more comprehensive are invited to Blackburn Park to of defending our that public schools. education formula directly addresses the correlation between poverty, paint pictures of the park, and ore to support them. student social-emotional health, and educational outcomes. Wraparound volunteers with knowledge of Second,are wenecessary must engage our children in a more holistic fashion have with the services to ensuring that children born into poverty art are needed to judge the enand assist participants. wraparound services, including access to health services, as well as same path to success as any other child in our state. rst, we must commit to fully funding our public school system. Our tries Completed pieces will be dismental health support, and ESL assistance for children and parents. To played in the park near Ashfordhools endured 16 straight years of austerity cuts, combined fund we should adopt more comprehensive I’m notwraparound running for services, governor of Georgia to beathe “education governor,” I with costRoad until the event education formula addresses the correlation between poverty, running to be thethat “Public Education Governor.” Regardless of their ifting toamlocal districts anddirectly educators. We must reverse the trend, Dunwoody closes. The winning pieces will studentincome social-emotional health, educational Wraparound parent’s or zip code, everyand child in Georgiaoutcomes. deserves access to a be on display at City Hall and featured in rough identifying additional resources and rolling back measures likethen services areaffordable necessary education. to ensuringBy thatfully children born into poverty have the high-quality, committing to our public a 2019 City of Brookhaven calendar. Art supucher programs that only funnel dollars same path to success as any other child in from ourfrom state. plies and paper will be provided, but artists education system and engaging holistically cradlepublic to career,schools we can to private can bring their own easel and canvas. Free. guarantee that all of our children in Georgia, no matter their needs, have erests. theI’m 3493 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Brookhaven. not of running forand governor of Georgia be the I kinds teachers neighbors in theirtolives that“education my mothergovernor,” had. Info: email annmarie.quill@brookhavenga. am running to be the Governor.” When that happens, be “Public assured Education that Georgia’s bold andRegardless ambitiousof their gov or call 404-637-0508. parent’s income or zip code,they every child in Georgia deserves access towho a notonly just survive: will m proudchildren to bewill the candidate inthrive. the race for governor opposes high-quality, affordable education. By fully committing to our public ucher-like programs take money from education system that and engaging holistically from our cradlepublic to career,schools we can and hand guarantee that all of our children in Georgia, no matter their needs, have track record over to private schools, and I’m the only one with a proven AN EVENING OF ART FEATURING the kinds of teachers and neighbors in their lives that my mother had. defending our public schools. ATL LATINO ARTISTS When that happens, be assured that Georgia’s bold and ambitious Friday, Sept. 28, 5:30-8:30 p.m. children will not just survive: they will thrive.


s eight years old when she dropped out of her segregated hool in Mississippi. And she didn’t plan on going back. But Miss Gert, had other plans. Miss Gert noticed my mom d hopeless and penniless, gave her some odd jobs and and told her every single day that she was too smart to

m finally took Miss Gert’s advice and summoned up the GET ACTIVE back to school, she expected to repeat third grade—and e tallest girl in class. To put it mildly: she was not looking . But after she walked in, she learned that when she ne of her former teachers had written a note to the

all ever comes back to school, move her onGET to the INTOnext THE COMMUNITY mart enough. She can handle it.”

ok. My mother went on to fourth grade and nine years later, the stage as valedictorian of her high school. And a y later, she watched her daughter walk across the stage as of Avondale High in DeKalb County.

wer of public school and of teachers who care. And that’s fundamental responsibility is to guarantee access to public our children—from cradle to career. VISUAL ARTS

y caring public school teachers and “Miss Gerts” in cond, we must engage our children in a more holistic fashion with eaparound who services, are willing runtonot theasextra includingto access healthjust services, well as mile, but a ental health support,However, and ESL assistance children and we parents. To ur children. we for can—and must—do a lot Paid for by Stacey Abrams for Governor.

An evening of art featuring Latino artists will be held in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month and Welcoming America’s Welcoming Week. The artwork of Contra-

punto, an Atlanta collective of six Latin American artists, and the winners of this year’s “Portraying the Undocumented Experience Art Contest” for high school students will be showcased. Hosted by Georgia4Immigrants and the Latin American Association, where the event will be held. Free. 2750 Buford Highway N.E., Brookhaven. RSVP: apascual@thelaa.org.


Mondays, Sept. 17 through Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. PALS (Perimeter Adult Learning Services) presents another eight-week series of Monday one-hour classes at Dunwoody Baptist Church. Among this session’s classes are “Game Changers” (women of the West, legends of baseball); “Heroes of the Holocaust”; “The Big Questions” (such as what happens after death); Black History; and an in-depth analysis of the upcoming midterm elections. $8 for one day of classes; $50 for the entire series. Lunch can be purchased in advance for $8 or brought from home. 1445 Mount Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Info: palsonline.org or 770-698-0801.


Monday, Sept. 24, 7-8:30 p.m. Learn about the different types of shade and how to successfully garden within each type in this installment of the North Fulton Master Gardeners’ Lecture Series at Lost Corner Preserve. $10. 7300 Brandon Mill Road, Sandy Springs. Register: friendsoflostcorner.org.


Wednesday, Sept. 26, 6:30-9 p.m. A 2010 French film loosely based on the story of a peaceful situation between monks and Muslims in Algeria until seven of the monks were kidnapped in 1996 during the Algerian Civil War will be shown at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church. A discussion facilitated by Catholic and Muslim moderators follows the film. Free. 1350 Hearst Drive N.E., Brookhaven. RSVP: mdannenfelser@ olachurch.org.


Thursday, Sept. 27, 6-9 p.m. This second annual benefit supports the Atlanta Homeward Choir, a nonprofit that invites people who are homeless or have ever experienced homelessness to come together, form community and sing around metro Atlanta. Drinks, food, music, silent auction. $50. Newell Brands, 6655 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, Sandy Springs. Info: atlantahomewardchoir.org.

SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018

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12 | 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 www.ReporterNewspapers.net Atlanta INtown www.AtlantaINtownPaper.com Atlanta Senior Life www.AtlantaSeniorLife.com

C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene stevelevene@reporternewspapers.net Editorial Managing Editor John Ruch johnruch@reporternewspapers.net INtown Editor: Collin Kelley Editor-at-Large Joe Earle Staff Writers Dyana Bagby, Evelyn Andrews Copy Editor: Donna Williams Lewis Creative and Production Creative Director Rico Figliolini rico@reporternewspapers.net Graphic Designer: Wes Duvall Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno amyarno@reporternewspapers.net Sales Executives Melissa Kidd, Jeff Kremer, Janet Porter, Beth Smith, Jim Speakman Office Manager Deborah Davis deborahdavis@reporternewspapers.net Contributors Robin Conte, Alec Larson, Phil Mosier

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Community Survey / Should we change the school calendar? Don’t mess with the school calendar. That was the message from respondents to the Reporter Newspapers’ latest community survey when asked about the possibility of year-round school and how best to handle snow days. The survey was conducted by 1Q.com via cellphones to 200 residents in Reporter Newspapers communities. The results are not scientific. Strong responses came from one simple question: Should metro Atlanta students go to school year-round, with shorter breaks spread through the year, rather than employ a school calendar with a long summer break? “No,” a 32-year-old Atlanta man replied. “That is balderdash.” Many agreed with him. In fact, respondents were against the idea of year-round school by three to one. Some were strongly against. “No. Absolutely not,” a 37-year-old Dunwoody woman said. “Hell no! Children need down time and [to] focus on just playing and being kids. Year-round schooling is the dumbest idea ever,” a 42-year-old DeKalb County man said. “I think that a summer break is the one thing that helped get me through the monotony of the school year,” a 59-year-old Atlanta man said. “Without the break to look forward to, the entire year would be a seemingly endless year of the same. A summer break also takes on the realization of the fact that you’ve just hit the next level. That’s a true mental reward!” Advocates of year-round school, although vastly outnumbered, marshalled less emotional arguments in favor of the plan. A 70-year-old Brookhaven woman proposed that a school calendar with several breaks of about a month each spread throughout the year would benefit learning. “I feel children lose too much knowledge during three months off and the first four to six weeks of the start of school is for review. This is particularly true for early and middle school.” A 37-year-old Brookhaven woman argued a year-round school calendar should be designed “with balanced breaks throughout the year to give kids the downtime they need. The variable summer and school schedules are difficult to manage for working parents. The curriculum could be better paced and balanced.” Still, a long summer break was far and away more popular among respondents to the survey. “Kids need the summer off to travel, go to camp and do various other summer activities,” a 64-year-old Sandy Springs woman said. “I taught school for 36 years and when they started having fall breaks the kids were awful!” The survey also asked respondents about another perennial school scheduling question: how best to make up the unexpected days off that are universally known as “snow days.” Should the schools make up the time by adding hours to the day or days to the school year — or just forget about them? With last winter’s bad weather, local school districts tried a variety of those options. Given five possible answers, the largest group of respondents (38.5 percent) said the schools should let students work from home by declaring digital work days — an increasingly popular tactic with school districts. About half as many thought the days should be added to the end of the year (19.5 percent) or scattered throughout the year and added to holiday breaks (18 percent). Only 14.5 percent thought school districts should forget about the days, but an even smaller group, just 9.5 percent, thought the hours should be added to the end of other school days.

What is the best way for schools to make up for “snow days” and similar cancellations of classes?




38.5% 9.5%

During school closures, declare digital learning days so that students can do their school work at home on their computers.

Reschedule them all at the end of the school year, pushing classes back as far as necessary.

Add extra days throughout the year and shorten holiday breaks. Just forget about the lost days.

Add time to each school day until the cancelled days are made up. BE COUNTED IN OUR NEXT READER SURVEY 1Q is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a technology which sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text message from businesses and organizations across the country. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity. Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting REPORTER to 86312.

Here’s what some other respondents had to say about a year-round school calendar “Children need down time and time with the parents. They need camps and summer activities. And the schools suck, so what good will it do?” – 50-year-old Sandy Springs man “Too many vacations are hard for working parents.” – 64-year-old Atlanta woman “A shorter break would be better — late June to mid-August. It gives kids some separation between years, some time to decompress and play, and to take classes or camp. Really, everyone gets stupid and lazy in the middle of summer — it just makes sense for students to skip that time.”

– 50-year-old Sandy Springs man “I do not believe going to year-round school calendars serves the children or families well. Children need to have time off from school and experience the joys of childhood summer. Also, it will create a completely different dynamic and schedule for both working and non-working parents. I do think it could be beneficial to have more structured activities in the summer so kids don’t get bored. Boredom can be an ugly monster in the making.” – 59-year-old Sandy Springs woman “[Year-round school should be imposed] only if they move to a four-day week, let

students sleep in more, and give periodic two-week breaks throughout the year.” – 25-year-old Brookhaven man “I think both options have positive and negative effects. Year-round school is great, as it allows smaller breaks throughout the year while also helping broaden the learning process to increase the amount of knowledge taught each year. However, some students learn differently and need a longer break. So it just depends on the student, but overall I do think year-round school has more benefits.” – 26-year-old DeKalb County woman

SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018

Commentary | 13


Leafing through memories of a teacher’s lifelong influence “And tell me what those are, again?” my husband questioned me as we drove. “The ones with the pink flowers?” “Mimosa.” The tree, not the drink. Now, I don’t want to brag, but I do know a thing or two about trees. The mimosa, for instance, is a showy, quick-growing thing with fuzzy, pink cottoncandy-ish flowers. One of my favorite features of the tree is that its leaves will close up if you run your hand along them, just as they also close up at night. This I learned from doing a certain biology project when I was in the 10th grade, and now that another school year has officially commenced, I feel that it’s appropriate for me to reminisce about my own experience. I went to Clarkston High School, not all that far from the DeKalb County home in which I’m now living. My biology Robin Conte lives with teacher was a tiny, slim woman who barely cleared the top of her husband in an the lab bench and looked as if her first choice of career might empty nest in Dun- have been ballerina. I do wish I could remember her name. But I remember a good deal of what I learned in her class, woody. To contact her and that is mostly because she required us students to make a or to buy her new colleaf collection. We had to collect 50 leaves: gather them, label umn collection, “The them, draw an image of the tree from which they came, and Best of the Nest,” see write more scientific rigmarole that I don’t recall. robinconte.com. It was a challenge. The first 30 leaves were pretty easy to obtain. The next 15 were difficult. And the last five were excruciating. I remember that one friend lived near a gingko tree, and for three weeks she was the most popular girl in the 10th grade. We’d gather around her during lunch, panting, “You have a gingko? I’ll trade you two birch and a sycamore!” Through the whole leaf collecting and documenting process, I learned the names of a lot of trees, and much of that knowledge has stuck with me. Decades later, I have taken real pleasure in being able to impart that knowledge to my children, to walk them along a wooded path when they were young and curious and point out the reddish stem of a red maple or the wavy lobes of a white oak. I relished relaying the wondrous fact that a sassafras tree produces three different types of leaves: singlelobed, double-lobed (like a mitten), and tri-lobed. There’s a primal comfort in being able to call a tree by its name and in the connection to the natural world that familiarity creates. Once you have taken the time to learn the distinctions in the details of something as ubiquitous as the leaves that surround you, your appreciation for creation blossoms. And I don’t want to end this column sounding like a dotty old codger, but I hope that somewhere, in some classroom or in some dappled forest, there is a teacher showing leaves to a child and introducing them by name.

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Robin’s Nest

Read Robin Conte’s debut book ‘The Best of the Nest’ “The Best of the Nest” offers 49 of Reporter Newspapers columnist Robin Conte’s witty essays on suburban family life, organized by seasons. They include some of the pieces that won Robin the first-place Lifestyle/Features Column award in 2017 and 2018 and first-place for Humorous column in 2018 from the Georgia Press Association.

Order the book at bestofthenest.net Follow Robin’s book-related appearances at robinconte.com. SS

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14 | Community

Facebook.com/TheReporterNewspapers ■ twitter.com/Reporter_News

Rep. Silcox talks new laws, Medicaid and more cent turnout, you guys, in the Fulton County primary. … That is pitiful, you guys,” she added, especially “if you consider the number of people who died for this flag, who died for voting rights in this country…”

Silcox’s bills

State Rep. Deborah Silcox speaks to the Rotary Club of Buckhead at Maggiano’s Little Italy on Sept. 10.

BY JOHN RUCH johnruch@reporternewspapers.net

State Rep. Deborah Silcox (R-Sandy Springs) touted some of her bills as a freshman legislator, and fielded questions about such big issues as Medicaid expansion and “religious freedom” laws, at a Sept. 10 Rotary Club of Buckhead luncheon at Maggiano’s Little Italy. Silcox represents House District 52, which includes parts of Buckhead and San-


dy Springs. She defeated a Republican challenger in May’s primary election and now faces Democrat Shea Roberts on the November ballot. Silcox did not mention Roberts and the luncheon appearance was presented as an apolitical legislative update. Her one reference to the election was urging attendees to vote in it, noting that the ballot also includes choosing a new governor. “It is more important than ever to get out and vote,” Silcox said. “We had a 19 per-

“I actually passed more pieces of legislation than anyone else in the freshman class,” said Silcox, showcasing four bills she sponsored. A law that subjects fireworks to local noise ordinances was particularly popular in Sandy Springs, though city government there is still figuring out how to implement it. Silcox also cited a sex-trafficking law that explicitly cracks down on “middlemen” and toughens penalties for victimizing children; and a bill funding a Georgia Holocaust Memorial, which she hopes can be paired with the Anne Frank exhibit in Sandy Springs. A fourth bill she touted was designed to help address Georgia’s low rankings on infant mortality and childbirth mortality rates. The law creates a voluntary “designation” system for ranking hospitals’ neonatal and maternal healthcare. An audience member criticized the system as no help for mothers who have no choice of hospitals under insurance providers, and Silcox acknowledged that “may be an ironclad sit-

uation” for some, though saying the federal government and insurance companies are responsible for that.

Medicaid expansion

Another healthcare topic was expanding Medicaid coverage to more Georgians, an option under the federal Affordable Care Act that was rejected by Gov. Nathan Deal. An audience member asked about Medicaid expansion, noting that many hospitals are closing across the state. Silcox said she would not want to expand Medicaid in a way that would “water down” benefits for the 1.8 million Georgians who currently use it. She suggested a waiver policy to “target a certain population with identified needs” and thus “grow Medicaid, but not an all-out expansion.” Any Medicaid coverage changes need to be “effective and targeted and not just given out to the general population,” she said.

Religious freedom laws

“Religious freedom” or “religious liberty” laws have generated repeated controversy in the state in recent years, including a veto by Deal. Proponents say religious practices need better protections from government intrusion, while opponents say such laws could legalize discrimination, particularly against LGBT people. A big factor in the dispute is opposition from many large corporations. Asked about a possible new round of religious freedom legislation, Silcox indicated an open but cautious mind. “I am certainly for religious freedom, but I’m not for discriminating against anybody,” she said. A law identical to an existing federal version, and which did not discriminate, might be OK, she said. But she also expressed concern about economic damage to the state.


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Silcox reviewed the legislature’s recent work on education, including full funding of the “Quality Basic Education” formula for school funding and the creation of a $16 million school safety committee that she believes will produce new laws. She also noted an infusion of $361.7 million into the teachers retirement fund to “shore it up.” “Our teachers are invaluable. They aren’t paid enough for what they do,” she said. Asked about increasing access to preschool, Silcox acknowledged that early learning is important and tied it to criminality. In her remarks and comments afterward, she said unidentified “government wonks” study elementary-level reading and math scores and “look at a lot of thirdgraders to plan how many prison beds they need going forward.” However, she said, preschool access means more money, which is difficult under the state’s balanced budget. SS

Education | 15

SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Fall 2018


The virtual world moves into the classroom

Local legislators aim to prevent school shootings BY EVELYN ANDREWS evelyn@reporternewspapers.net

Local legislators are leading an effort to come up with potential solutions to a problem receiving greater attention nationwide: school shootings. State Sens. John Albers and Kay Kirkpatrick, two Republicans who represent parts of Sandy Springs, are serving on a Senate committee meeting coming up with ideas for school safety improvements that will be presented in a report in December. The committee, which is chaired by Albers, has met at several schools across the state, kicking off with a June meeting at North Springs Charter High School in Sandy Springs. Although school shootings have been occurring for decades, two of the deadliest occurred this year in Sante Fe, Texas, and Parkland, Fla. Those incidents inspired student-led movements calling for gun control measures and caused school districts to discuss new safety measures.


The first thing that strikes you is that you’re standing in mid-air, floating hundreds of feet above the towering buildings of a city. It takes your breath. Then you start to focus on the details. The city is New York. Familiar buildings and landmarks spread out around you as you glance about the city far below. New views and different buildings appear as you move your head or turn about. After a few minutes, the scene changes and you’re suspended high above London. Then Paris. Then other cities located around the world. You’re immersed in a high-flying tour of the planet that you’ve taken without an airplane. Welcome to virtual reality. This particular slice of it, this virtual tour of some of the world’s biggest cities, was produced for Google Earth and is one of the programs used to demonstrate the technology in the virtual reality lab at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Sandy Springs. Long the province of gamers and one of the regular Next Big Things touted in computer programming, virtual reality — or VR, as it’s often called — is moving into schools. Students in several local schools are donning computer-connected goggles to enter virtual worlds or using computer tablets or smartphones to blend the real with the computer-generated.


Continued on page 20

Mount Vernon Presbyterian School sophomore Alec Johnson enters a virtual world.

Continued on page 24

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16 | Education

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College Counselor Q&A


A four-year-old may ask constant “why” questions to understand the world.

How do I get into my dream school? Fall doesn’t just mean football and colorful leaves. It’s also college application season, the time that high school seniors are rushing to pull together packets of information about themselves that will assure their admission into their perfect colleges. That’s a lot of pressure. So we thought we’d ask a few local experts for a little help. We submitted five questions to local school counselors. Here are their responses. STEVE FRAPPIER is director of college counseling at The Westminster Schools. He is a co-recipient of the National Association of College Admission Counseling’s 2018 Excellence in Education Award.

you’re 18 to 22 years old? And in what sized campus and city? Most students change their majors multiple times; as academic interests evolve, is the course catalog large enough to accommodate potential shifts? A college’s ranking has never delivered anyone success; your feeling of belonging will be that guide. Every day in my work, too, I reflect on being a first-generation college attendee, and one’s instincts are an important guide, too.

Q: How many schools should I apply to?



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The national average is about four, but the real answer is: to however many colleges will ultimately result in affordable options that meet your criteria and family’s parameters.

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Q: What’s the best way to make my application stand out?



Each Primrose school is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools® and Balanced Learning® are registered trademarks of Primrose School Franchising Company. ©2018 Primrose School Franchising Company. All rights reserved. See primroseschools.com for ‘fact’ source and curriculum detail.

Steve Frappier

Q: How do I decide what college is right for me?


The phrase “the right college” deserves a deeper look, because, ideally, all colleges on a student’s list should be contenders for enrollment. It’s important to establish and discuss essential characteristics with your family — and to revisit those parameters as you continue to grow and evolve during senior year. Academic programs, cost, distance, and envisioning your surroundings (your new home) all play important roles. What personalities and activities do you want around you, while

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• Academics first, but not at all cost. Grades matter through graduation, but there’s so much more to senior year than ruminating over grades. • What are you doing with what you’re doing? Many students are titled leaders of clubs. Questions that could be asked in admissions committees can include: Does that “club” have any members? How do the members feel about that leader’s style? How will this leader pass the torch prior to graduation? How do we think this applicant works with faculty advisors? Positive impact versus busy-ness. • Play to your strengths, including choosing intended majors that most

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Education | 17

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• Write truly and authentically — and proofread. • Refuse to let too many well-intentioned adults “get in your head,” or worse, handle your application materials. This should be your set of applications and your rite of passage. When I worked in admissions, one of the phrases that I used when I sensed an overworked application: a hammered-down nail doesn’t stick out.


what I’ll master today?

Q: Should I take the SAT or ACT or both?

Inspiring students through 8th grade.

A: About one-third of Georgians in the

Class of 2019 took the PSAT as juniors, and of this group, many students knew from their PSAT score whether they were likely to continue with the SAT, or if they were willing to try the ACT. All American colleges accept both tests equally, with ACT being more popular than the SAT as of 2016. For those taking both the ACT and the SAT, check out the brand-new percentile comparison charts from the testing agencies, to determine which score is your best to send.

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Q: Should I take an SAT prep course?

A: How a student familiarizes with a

test — of any kind — is a personal decision. Tutoring is not a mandate in this process, and nationwide, most student do not seek a tutor due to financial restrictions. There are worthwhile and free online resources provided by Khan Academy (for the SAT) and by ACT Academy. Some students do crave the structure of an individual or group class; others might want to try a test on their own before seeking out help toward reaching a target score. For seniors who are testing or retesting this fall, it’s a matter of managing your calendar and registering ahead of time for the ACT (remaining dates in September, November, and December) and the SAT (remaining dates in October, November, and December) in order to meet colleges’ deadlines, which are often by early January. My main advice is to keep the process in perspective. The college process boils down to three kinds of decisions: where to apply, where a student is admitted, and where to enroll. The applicant is in complete control of two of these three, yet we often lose sight of how much agency young people have due to anxiety about the “getting in” part.

Continued on page 18 SS

Bright, young minds

thrive here.

Trinity is elementary only, age three through Sixth Grade, by design. Research reinforces our belief that this configuration best supports children’s growth and development. Our entire focus – expertise, facilities, resources – is devoted to these young learners and helping them flourish. Experience Trinity firsthand at an Open House. October 25, 2018 November 13, 2018

December 5, 2018 January 9, 2019

Each Open House begins at 9:30 AM. To RSVP or for more information: 404-231-8118 or trinityatl.org

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College Counselor Q&A Continued from page 17 SHAMONA HARRELL is head school counselor at Riverwood International Charter School

Q: Should I take an SAT prep course?

A: We first advise students to do a little self-reflection. If they are very disciplined and will set aside weekend hours to practice sample test questions available on the internet, they can benefit tremendously from this at no cost. Practicing questions and reviewing the answers is a great start. Secondly, Riverwood offers test prep classes at a minimal cost. Thirdly, students can pay for test prep through several local companies and private tutors.

TYLER SANT is director of college counseling at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School

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Q: How do I decide what college is right for me?

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A: As counselors, we advise students to consider multiple factors while developing their prospective college lists. These factors include school type (public, private, two- or four-year), size, location and climate, travel distance from home, cost (tuition, room and board) and availability of scholarships, available majors and special interests, acceptance rate, etc.

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Q: How many schools should I apply to?

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A: Some students know exactly where they want to apply; others want to develop a broader list to include a wider range of colleges. An average list typically includes six to eight colleges covering various cost and admission ranges.

Q: What’s the best way to have my application stand out?

A: Students are advised to meet the application deadlines and that includes deadlines for all supporting documentation. Secondly, the student’s short answer essays or personal statement as well as teacher recommendations can truly help the student stand out among multiple students applying for the same spot in a freshman class. We like to be able to learn about the student from reading their essays. Thirdly, we advise students to make sure senior grades are maintained at the highest level possible.

Q: Should I take the SAT or ACT or both?

A: We typically recommend students take at least one real SAT and one ACT to determine if they prefer one test over the other one.

Tyler Sant

Q: How do I decide what college is right for me?

A: Finding what college is right for you requires both research and self-reflection. Knowing yourself is just as important as knowing something about a variety of colleges. Once you have an idea of what’s important to you — the things you might want to study, the types of people you want to be around, the sort of environment in which you feel comfortable — you can begin to match colleges to those criteria. And there’s no one-and-onlybest-fit college. Keep an open mind and explore broadly. You’ll find many colleges where you can be happy and successful.

Q: How many schools should I apply to?

A: There’s no right or wrong answer to this (unless you’re applying to a huge number of schools with little understanding of how they might be a good fit; in that case, that’s a wrong answer). The college counseling team at HIES encourages students to apply to anywhere from two to eight colleges, deSS

SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net pending on the likeliness of admission and the timing of the applications. A thoughtful student might begin senior year with a longer list of schools in mind but prioritize their top choices for earlier deadlines. If you get good news early from a school that you love, you might not end up sending additional applications afterward. We have students every year who only send one application, though most of our seniors send four to six.

and ACT once, assuming you have time during your junior year to do so without feeling rushed. For students who are short on time or just would prefer to head in one direction and stick with it, take a full-length mock exam for each and see which you perform better on. If your scores are indistinguishable, pick the exam that felt most comfortable to you. While each exam tests similar content, the actual exam experiences are different.

Q: What’s the best way to have my application stand out?

Q: Should I take an SAT prep course?

A: I would argue that the best way to have your application stand out is to avoid trying to make it stand out. Don’t prepare the application that you think the admission office wants; prepare the application that is true to you. Play to your strengths and highlight the things you sincerely care about, academically and beyond. Remember to think of the application as one complete package. Each component presents an opportunity to introduce something about yourself. Don’t trade an opportunity to share what’s important to you in favor of something you think will be more “impressive” or stand out.

Q: Should I take the SAT or ACT or both?

Education | 19

A: Students who prepare for the SAT or ACT perform better on these tests than students who do not. However, the type of preparation I would recommend depends largely on the student and the family. In-person test prep, whether in a class or one-on-one, can be very effective. It can also be expensive. An organized student who is willing to hold herself accountable to a schedule can see significant gains through free online test prep via Khan Academy for the SAT or the new ACT Academy. No student should walk into the ACT or SAT feeling unprepared. Take advantage of the free resources available to you and consider additional prep when possible.

A: It’s not a bad idea to take both the SAT

Children have BIG ideas. At Mount Vernon, we believe when teachers know their students’ curiosities and passions, incredible things can happen.

Learn more about Mount Vernon at mountvernonschool.org/learn SS


DEC 1 12:30-2:30pm

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ABOUT THE PHOTO: In the spring, Middle School students explored CONSERVATION through an Isdell Center for Global Leadership (ICGL) study tour to Switzerland.

The virtual world moves into the classroom Continued from page 15


Mount Vernon students with teacher Marie Graham. From left, Robbie Long, Bryce Jones, teacher Graham, Justin Blumencranz, Porter Slayden.

They’re taking virtual field trips to faraway places, learning about the lives of refugee families or studying the inner workings of volcanoes. Some are making their own VR products for use by others. “VR in education is still fairly new,” said Marsha Maxwell, head of educational technology for the Atlanta International School in Buckhead. “We’re looking at the ramifications and how to use it.” It’s catching notice. “It really captures students’ attention, and they really enjoy something they can [interact with],” Maxwell said. “They don’t just have to be consumers.” Maxwell likes to refer to virtual technology as “XR” instead of “VR,” in order to include the variety of types of alternative realities made possible through computers. “It’s many different platforms,” she said, including “AR,” or “augmented reality,” which adds to the real world, and “MR,” or “mixed reality,” which mixes AR and VR, she said.

Ellis Thomas, St. Pius X Catholic School social studies teacher.

Although some teachers who have tried device-based virtual lessons in their classrooms say they don’t think the programs add much, others are enthusiastic about the possibilities. “It’s pretty cool,” said St. Pius X Catholic School social studies teacher Ellis Thomas, who last year led four 22-student history classes on a virtual tour of Versailles when they were studying King

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Marsha Maxwell, head of educational technology for Atlanta International School.


Education | 21

SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net Louis XIV. “It’s pretty cheap, too. Normally a field trip to France costs several thousand dollars.” Thomas said he could direct the students and lecture to them as they toured the French king’s home and its gardens using material made and provided by Google. He also used Google tours of battlefields from World War I and II, he said, and this year he’s thinking about leading his American history students on virtual tours of Civil War battlefields. “It’s not something you would teach with every day,” he said, “It’s kind of a supplement. But sometimes I think the VR field trips are more useful than the usual museum field trips [because they provide] the sense of being there and seeing everything to scale. It’s fairly compelling for the kids.” Students remember what they’ve encountered in the virtual world, said AIS’s

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Preschool Monday, November 5 Kindergarten Thursday, October 25 K-7th grade Tuesday, November 6 8th-12th grade Wednesday, November 7 RSVP at holyspiritprep.org/visit.

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Mount Vernon Presbyterian School teacher Marie Graham.

Maxwell, who studied behavioral neuroscience for her doctorate. “I can read all I want about how a dinosaur moves,” she said, “but if I’m walking with one through a virtual forest, it’s very different. … The whole thing is about applications. It’s not about having experiences but how do I augment my learning?” In other words, the technology may be entertaining, but content matters. “As long as you have clear objectives, it can really add to [learning],” Maxwell said. “It’s all down to having a good teacher in the end.” VR also offers students a chance to experience places and people they might not otherwise encounter. “It seems to me to be a great way to help kids understand perspective,” Maxwell said. “With virtual reality, you really get to walk in someone else’s shoes and Continued on page 22

At St. Martin’s, preschool through eighth grade is more than school. It’s an experience. One dedicated to graduating individuals who are ready to wholeheartedly embrace life. Learn more about how we create a well-balanced educational experience for students:    

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3110-A Ashford Dunwoody Rd. | Atlanta, GA 30319

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The virtual world moves into the classroom

Explore, connect, create change for a better world. A welcoming community with local roots and global reach, composed of families from over 90 countries. • Full-immersion preschool and partial immersion primary programs in French, German, Mandarin and Spanish • International Baccalaureate curriculum, Grades 3K - 12 • Innovative design technology core classes

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A student experiences virtual reality at Atlanta International School.


www.aischool.org Continued from page 21

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you get to see what someone else sees.” Marie Graham, director of Mount Vernon’s virtual and augmented reality lab and teacher of a 15-student VR course, believes immersive technology offers a way for students to learn empathy. One VR program she has used, she said, followed refugee families. Students who went into in their world virtually, she said, left it with opinions that differed from the ones they had held before. “The kids said, ‘They’re like us.’ I said, ‘yes.’ Then I realized [the students’] language about refugees had changed. I thought, do we harness HR.pdf this and1 SJA‘How reporter ad 4.94x4.08

use it?’ ” One answer was the VR design lab she directs. Through the lab, Mount Vernon students develop virtual reality projects for use by others. They put one together for the Center for Civil and Human Rights to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his death. Another project is designing a program to teach math and science and “basic concepts” to children in a school in a small rural village in India, Mount Vernon senior Bryce Jones said. Still another VR lab project is to design a program for pediatric rehabilitation patients at Children’s Hospital of At-


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are outperforming the top quartile of independent school students on standardized testing.

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Education | 23

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A student experiences virtual reality at Atlanta International School.

lanta, Graham said. One idea is to create a virtual experience where a patient will feel like he or she is riding a bike. “When you’re biking with the goggles on,” said sophomore Robbie Long, “it’ll feel like you’re actually in a place. We can put it in any environment.” Graham says her class attracts students of various types, from techies to

filmmakers. She saw the importance of bringing VR technology into schools when she experienced it herself. “This is the technology that is taking off … in our world right now,” she said. “This is not going away.” At the same time, using VR in the classroom can help reclaim a technology more often associated with enter-


Students at Holy Spirit Preparatory School study volcanoes using “augmented reality.”

tainment than education. “Games can be very destructive,” she said. “This is taking that technology and saying, ‘How can we use it for good?’ I love that the kids can have an impact. … I want them to be the people that do and not just think about doing.” And it can change their view of the world.


Last year, one of her classes was reading a book about India. She couldn’t take them on a field trip to see a city there, she said, but she could take them to the VR lab. They donned the goggles and flipped on the Google video. Soon, they were flying about Mumbai.

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Local legislators aim to prevent school shootings Continued from page 15 Albers and Kirkpatrick said they don’t know exactly what recommendations the committee may make in its final report. But they said they will generally fall into three areas: prevention, building security and response, and possible new legislation or funding. Kirkpatrick said she views prevention as vital, but possibly the most difficult. Adding more door locks and putting armed officers in schools are “straightforward, but expensive,” Kirkpatrick said. Trying to figure out how to intervene with a possibly troubled or violent student is much more complex, she said. “That is a whole other level beyond just requiring clear backpacks,” Kirkpatrick said. Training teachers, counselors and school nurses to recognize those signs is important, she said. Schools could also implement bullying prevention measures, Kirkpatrick said. Kirkpatrick, who is a physician, said her profession has given her more interest in how to help “high-risk” students who are isolated or have a difficult home life.

“The difficult part is figuring out how to connect them to services without spotlighting them,” Kirkpatrick said. She said she hopes to hear more presentations on prevention before they need to make their recommendations. Strengthening the response to incidents may include adding budget funds for providing schools with trauma kits, which typically include tourniquets and bandages, Kirkpatrick said. One idea not currently on the list is arming teachers, Kirkpatrick said. The committee has substantially discussed it, but police officers discouraged the idea in presentations, she said. “When law enforcement comes in and people are waving guns around, they don’t know who’s who. It makes their job harder,” she said. Albers said Georgia is fortunate to not have had a major school shooting incident, as many other states have. At the same many who have provided input to the committee say they want to be prepared, Albers said there is “certainly concern” from people who are afraid an attack could happen. He said he has his own concerns as a parent of a student attending Roswell High School. Grace Truax, a student at Centen-

nial High School, spoke at the Sandy Springs meeting and said she believes every student at her school has thought about what they would do in the event of a shooting. “I run this drill quite frequently with myself, but I never know if I’ll survive,” Truax said, according to the meeting video. Garry McGiboney, the Georgia Department of Education’s deputy superintenEVELYN ANDREWS dent of external Shannon Flounnory, the Fulton County School District’s director of affairs, said at that security, speaks at an Aug. 6 Rotary Club of Sandy Springs meeting. meeting that while many student violations are decreasdents know what to do during an emering, bringing handguns onto school gency and 82 percent reported feeling property is on the rise. Most of the safe at school. handguns were brought from home, However, the number that concerns McGiboney said. McGiboney is that only 78 percent In the latest student survey, the deknow an adult in school to ask for help. partment found that 88 percent of stu“If we don’t have the trust of the stu-


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Education | 25

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Inspiring Early Learners through 12th grade

Opportunities in arts, academics, and athletics

State Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick.


dents to tell us what’s going on in the school, we’re operating blind,” he said. Sandy Springs Police Chief Ken DeSimone said at the meeting that he believed that discussing some type of gun control law is needed, according to a meeting video. “Having school safety talks and not talking about gun legislation is probably like talking about the Civil War and not talking about slavery,” he said. Sandy Springs Fire Chief Keith Sanders encouraged the committee to recommend safer school designs, such as having doors with no windows and creating better escape routes. For a model of how to improve school safety, Albers said that they don’t have to look any farther than the Fulton County School District, which Albers’ district covers. He said they are talking with districts across the U.S., however. “They have certainly been ahead of the curve,” Albers said of Fulton schools. Fulton has implemented security measures such as locked front entrances, security cameras, a management system to record visitors and more school resource officers. It also is launching a mobile app that students can use to anonymously report incidents or concerns, Shannon Flounnory, Fulton school’s director of security, said during a presentation at an Aug. 6 Rotary Club of Sandy Springs meeting. The Fulton school district now has 70 sworn officers, adding six earlier this year. The DeKalb County School District has 73 resource officers, with plans to hire 10 more by October, the district said.

The Senate School Safety Study Committee plans to meet two more times at schools. The next meeting will be held Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. Chamblee Charter High School before the final meeting in Savannah. For more information, gasenatek12safety.com.


State Sen. John Albers.


The Fulton officers train with local law enforcement to coordinate on how to neutralize any active shooter threat, Flounnery said. But he also puts a focus on learning de-escalation and crisis intervention tactics. “Often the tools officers need are not on their duty belt,” he said. Despite the increased discussion about school security and the recent major shootings, Flounnery said students are not in more danger at school. “Schools are still the safest place for kids to be. Without a doubt,” he said.

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Main Campus (JK-8) 4385 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta, GA

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Sunday, October 14, 2018 – 1-3 p.m. Thursday, November 29, 2018 – 9 - 11 a.m.

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New faces at local schools Marist School starts the school year with a new president and a new principal. Father William Rowland was named president of the school and Kevin Mullally named principal earlier this year. Rowland had been serving as acting president prior to his appointment. Mullally started the 2017-18 school year as vice principal and academic dean and in the past had served as the dean of the faculty and assistant dean of students.

The Galloway School has a new head of school. James Calleroz White, who started at Galloway on July 1, had worked the previous five years at Louisville Collegiate School in Kentucky. “I am so excited to be here,” he told about 700 parents, alumni and other school supporters who attended a welcome cookout Aug. 24. “I can’t tell you how long I have been waiting for a school like this. The feeling of warmth and kindness, as well as a clear love for learning, is amazing.”

Springmont School named Jon Aldean its new head of school, effective July 1. Aldean most recently worked as the head of the Nantucket New School. Springmont, located in Sandy Springs, was founded in 1963 and claims to be the oldest Montessori school in the southeastern U.S.

OPEN HOUSE Sunday, December 2, 1– 4 p.m.

Share in the Spirit

Success in School … Success in Life

Serving grades 7–12, Marist School provides an education where achievement exists within a spirit of humility and generosity. Students are challenged by an extensive college-preparatory curriculum while an array of extracurricular activities inspire exploration and uncover hidden talents. Through it all, students gain a unique strength of character and skill and a joy of serving others that prepares them to be compassionate, confident leaders.

Come visit to experience Marist’s spirit yourself.

UPCOMING OPEN HOUSE DATES Wednesdays at 9:00am October 17, November 7 RSVP: www.millsprings.org/OpenHouse

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13660 New Providence Road, Alpharetta, GA 30004

“If a student can’t learn the way we teach … we should teach the way a student can learn.” –Tweetie L. Moore, Founder

An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers

770-360-1336 • millsprings.org

SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018 ■ www.ReporterNewspapers.net

Education | 27

Atlanta Public Schools posted new principals to several Buckhead schools at the start of the school year. Jay Bland is the new interim principal at Morris Brandon Elementary School. He worked for the three years as the assistant principal at Morningside Elementary School. Emily Boatright is the new principal at Sarah Smith Elementary School. She most recently served as dean of academics for grades three through six at Westside Atlanta Charter School. Anita Lawrence is the new principal of Bolton Academy. She most recently served as Primary Years Program principal at Wesley International Academy, an APS charter school where students receive daily lessons in Mandarin. Atlanta Classical Academy, a public charter school in Buckhead, named Chris Knowles its new principal. Knowles had served most recently as Head of the Upper School at the Westminster School at Oak Mountain, an independent K-12 classical school in Birmingham. “The board sees in Mr. Knowles a capable leader who will advance our mission and serve as the intellectual leader of the faculty and the principal teacher of the school,” said the board’s chair Matthew Kirby. “He will support our growing arts, athletics and activities programs, and manage the affairs of the whole with both a firm sense of what is right and a humble demeanor.” Holy Spirit Preparatory School has named Kristina Wilhelm director of its preschool. She will continue to work as director of admissions, the school said.

BEYOND EXPECTATIONS At Galloway, students (age 3-grade 12) are inspired to be fearless learners, to embrace challenges, and to discover more about themselves and the world around them.

To learn more and register for an admissions tour, visit


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The American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees Local 1644 and the Georgia Federation of Public Service Employees recently presented Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen with a 2018 Georgia Superintendent of the Year Award. “Her leadership is bold and inclusive,” said Demetric Bishop, executive director of GFPSE. “Dr. Carstarphen is the best Superintendent in the state of Georgia and our students and community are blessed to have her.”


The DeKalb County School District has set three public meetings to gather input on upcoming redistricting for the Cross Keys cluster in Brookhaven as a new elementary school prepares to open next year. The three meetings will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Cross Keys High School, located at 1626 North Druid Hills Road, on Oct. 2, Oct. 23 and Nov. 27, according to a press release. The redistricting effort will address the additional capacity that will be created by the new John R. Lewis Elementary opening in Brookhaven, as well as the overcrowding of existing elementary schools in the Cross Keys cluster, the release said. The new school is expected to open in Brookhaven in time for the 2019-2020 school year. Lewis Elementary is currently temporarily housed in North Druid Hills at the former location of the International Student Center. Schools affected by the redistricting may include Ashford Park Elementary, Dresden Elementary, John R. Lewis Elementary, Montclair Elementary, Montgomery Elementary, Woodward Elementary, Chamblee Middle, Sequoyah Middle, Chamblee High and Cross Keys High, according to the release.


Atlanta Jewish Academy attracted a record number of students for the 2018-19 school year, the school announced. The 675 students enrolled in the school this year represent 22 synagogues, 13 countries and 35 ZIP codes spanning Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and other areas of metro Atlanta, the school said. AJA was created by the 2014 merger of Yeshiva Atlanta High School and Greenfield Hebrew Academy.

CRIST O REY S T U DENT S CO M P L ET E INT E RNS H IP S AT L ENBRO O K Six seniors from downtown Atlanta’s Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School recently graduated after successfully completing their internship at Lenbrook senior living community on Peachtree Road in Buckhead. Between 2015 and 2018, student teams of four worked closely with Lenbrook’s associates in the marketing, human resources, concierge and enrichment departments and with associates in the health center. In addition to providing business experiences, Lenbrook added “Mentoring Mondays” to the interns’ schedules: each student was paired with a resident to talk about career choices and life experiences.

ST . P IU S X VO L L EY BAL L T EAM W INS HO NO R FO R ACADEM ICS For the fifth year in a row, the American Volleyball Coaches Association has honored the St. Pius X Catholic High School volleyball team for academic excellence, the school announced. The team, honored for academics during the 2017-18 school year, has won the award eight times overall, the school said in a press release. The award honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.3 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.1 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.

SEPTEMBER 14 - 27, 2018

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Sandy Springs considers imposing water fee on Atlanta

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cludes a franchise fee on 5 percent of Atlanta’s revenue from Sandy Springs water service. The fee would bring in an estimated $900,000 per year and would be used by Sandy Springs to repair the system, Lee said. The battle over control of the water system is one of the city’s longest standing issues. The city launched a new priority in January this year to seek improvements to the Atlanta-run water system or sue to seize control of it. Sandy Springs claims the system is aging and leaky, while Atlanta says the criticisms are not true. Mayor Rusty Paul said at his “State of the City” address in June that he was trying to meet with Atlanta to discuss purchasing the water system. He said that is still an option Sandy Springs is interested in at the Sept. 4 meeting. Since early this year, the city has been asking Atlanta for records to use for an appraisal for the water system, including what rates the city charges Sandy Springs customers. Atlanta was slow to respond to Sandy Springs’ requests, and has not fulfilled all of them or only given outdated documents, Lee said. Atlanta has blamed some of the delay on a cyberattack. But the documents Sandy Springs has received show Atlanta is using some of the water revenues improperly, Lee said. Cities are required to only use any revenue from water service to support those systems, but documents show millions of dollars from the Department of Watershed Management are being diverted to the city’s general fund and others, Lee said. “Completely improper,” Lee said. “Their own documents show this.” The city of Atlanta, through a joint statement between the mayor’s office and

Department of Watershed Management, denied that the funds are being wrongly allocated. “The city of Atlanta takes vigorous objection to the accuracy and the intent of any statement that asserts or implies that funds from the Department of Watershed Management have been inappropriately allocated in any way. To the contrary, all water and sewer funds are used according to the very specific restrictions set forth by law,” the statement said. The documents showed that Sandy Springs is paying higher rates for service than Atlanta residents, Lee said. City officials are calling for Atlanta to return the revenue to the watershed department and to lower the water rates to a “justified” level. “The city of Atlanta has not reinvested any of this money it’s making to improve the water system in Sandy Springs,” Paul said. “It appears we are paying high rates for a low quality of service.” Sandy Springs has complained that the fire hydrants are not maintained and that leaks are too frequent. The city of Atlanta defended its operations in the statement, saying that all water utility providers suffer some water loss. Atlanta’s department has coordinated fire hydrant repairs with the Sandy Springs Fire Department since 2016 to ensure firefighting operations are not affected, Atlanta’s statement said. The franchise fee, which Atlanta did not comment on, would be used by Sandy Springs to make its own repairs, which the city has the authority to do to protect citizens from public safety threats like water leaks or faulty fire hydrants, which have been a problem, Lee said. The council decided to table the measure for further investigation.

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Mt. Vernon/Johnson Ferry design delayed amid debate Continued from page 1 pendent streets connected by a proposed cut-through road east of the Sandy Springs Library. The city presented updated versions of the concepts at an Aug. 30 open house, where over 200 residents weighed in on the designs, which both include the controversial plan to build a cut-through road that would require the taking of a longtime resident’s house, although the city said it plans to wait to take the house until it “becomes available.” Located just a block east of busy Roswell Road, the intersection is known as dangerous and gridlocked during rush hour, though traffic can be light at most other times. City officials said there were more than 150 accidents reported there in 2014 through 2016. In the full version, the city would need to take all commercial properties on the south side of the intersection between Roswell and Boylston including a Chevron gas station, bank and an Enterprise car rental outlet, officials said. The compressed grid would likely save those properties, and an estimated $5 to $10 million on right-ofway acquisition costs, the city said. A local developer’s idea to turn that building strip into a “restaurant row” with on-street parking could be influencing decisions on the intersection design. The developer, Gerard Gunthert, owns one of those buildings, at 285 Mount Vernon where the current tenant is a chiropractor, and said he has floated the idea with city officials. The concept was not mentioned by officials at the City Council meeting, but city spokesperson Sharon Kraun previously said city staff was considering it. The full grid would create a miniature park of 2.4 acres. The compressed grid would save 0.8 acres. That money may go farther in other parts of the city to buy properties and create more green space than at this intersection, Councilmember John Paulson said at the council’s Sept. 4 meeting. “It sounds like a lot to add a little more green space,” he said. Councilmember Andy Bauman said he shared Paulson’s concern on the cost. “None of us take eminent domain lightly. I think we should do the minimum amount necessary to achieve the goals of this project,” Bauman said. Councilmember Tibby DeJulio said he thinks the full grid was more attractive and he fears the city may regret choosing the compressed grid in a few years. Councilmember Chris Burnett, who represents part of the intersection, was absent from the council meeting, but said at the open house that the city will try to address the citizen concerns while still getting “the best results.” “I feel like our citizens want us to do this,” he said. “Doing nothing is not an option.” The council chose to instruct staff to SS

Community | 31


move forward with creating a detailed design for the part of the project that is similar in both concepts. That includes the northern road, the sections of the both roads that are east of the library and the cut-through road. The design process is estimated to take 12-18 months. The council plans to decide between the two versions by the October meeting, but Mayor Rusty Paul said that does not signal the end of input on the project. “Let me just reassure everybody: this is not the end. We’re about halfway through the decision-making process,” he said. There will be more public input on the full design once it is finished, he said. Residents had previously complained at the open house about the brief comment period before the council’s meeting. Comments were technically due at the open house, but Kraun, the city spokesperson, said residents can continue to send comments. Others said they are worried many who are out of town for the Labor Day holiday weekend missed an opportunity to comment on the changes before the council’s work session. “Not giving people more of an opportunity to comment makes me feel like they are just jamming this down our throats,” one resident said.

The concepts are similar to ones presented in March, where residents had 30 days to comment, Kraun said. But a big change is the proposed location of a new cut-through street. Instead of going through library property at 395 Mount Vernon Highway N.E., it would cut through an existing single-family house, requiring the city to acquire the home of Doris Spruill, a 91-year-old woman who has lived at the property for 68 years. The cut-through would be used as a way to maintain a connection between Mount Vernon and Johnson Ferry for crossover traffic. Without it, drivers would need to use Glenridge Drive. The concept would prohibit making a

left-hand onto Mount Vernon from southbound Roswell Road and a right-hand turn onto Johnson Ferry from northbound Roswell. Officials said this change would improve traffic congestion and safety. Scott Nelson, a Glenridge resident, said he and his wife have safety concerns about the proposal, and may stop their kids from riding their bikes to the library, as they often do now, if it is implemented. “The whole point is to make it a walkable community, but it seems like they’re trying to make it like downtown Atlanta,” he said. For more information, including the meeting presentation, visit sandyspringsga.gov/jfmv.


City of Sandy Springs


Resolution to Authorize the Transmittal of the Annual Capital Improvements Element (CIE) Update to the Regional Development Center and State for Review and Comment

Public Hearings:

Mayor and City Council October 2, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.


Sandy Springs City Hall 1 Galambos Way Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328 770-730-5600

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