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SEPTEMBER 16 - 29, 2016 • VOL. 10— NO. 19


Buckhead Reporter



Fall 2016

► For some high schoolers, plays really are the thing



Theater offers a part in ‘the ultimat e group project’

► Schools providing fresh local produce for lunch Sam Reed, left, HIL MOSIER student at The a School in SandyGalloway Springs, rehear for “The Compl ses ete Works of William Shakespeare , Abridged,” in the school ’s Chaddick Theater on Sept. 8.


For some local plays really arehigh schoolers, the thing

Ready to rally

TURNAROUND STRATEGIES Challenges for public schools

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Farm-to-cafete ria fresh local pro : Schools provide duce for lunch

Design of park over Ga. 400 draws questions

BY DONNA WILLIAMS LEWIS doing their daily It says somet hing about warmup — mimic a high school class when a leader of the king the fire alarm goes moment in interp off and nobod reting music races gleefully through movem y for the door. ent. “They were frustra Pace Academy theater teache ted because r Sean Bryhaving a blast,” they were an said his “entire class Bryan said. moane d in great frustration” On top of that, when a fire darn it, they drill sounded had to put their shoes back ing a recent duracting class. on. His students were See FOR on page


BY LESLIE JOHN SON close as a school Here’s some food for though garden that studen t: For thousands of metro maintain and ts help harvest, within Atlanta school children, the a few hours’ proverbial appledrive on a Georgi a-day may come a farm or a stone’s from just around the regionally, in throw corner, thank Florida or North s to a nation Carolina. farm-to-scho Since 2011, al ol initiative. the school nutriti grams in the on proIn fact, health DeKalb and y produce on Fulton system the school lunch menu have participated s could be sprout in the Nation ing from as al Farm to See FARM on page 14

FAILING SCHOO LS Gov. Deal propos es state takeover

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BACK-TO-SCH OOL COSTS Expect to pay more

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BY JACLYN TURNER A dramatic design for a new park capping Ga. 400 through the business district got its first public presentation—and first public questions—at the Buckhead Theatre Sept. 7. The serpentine design curving above a half-mile of the highway in a series of bridges drew attention for its looks, and also for its estimated cost of $195 million to $245 million. “I’m always in favor of more green space for Buckhead, if we can afford it,” said LivSee DESIGN on page 14


North Atlanta High School girls’ varsity volleyball team, back, from left, Ashley Barbeire, Arielle Lestandie, Jenna Campbell and Chase Barber take on, from left, Cameron Dobbs, Becca Grady and Gabrielle Cerasoli from Landmark Christian School on Sept. 10 at Lovett School’s Wallace Gymnasium. The North Atlanta Warriors lost to the War Eagles two games out of three. See more photos on page 12.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE Hospice provides ‘soft landing’

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This exists to make sure we do not forget our heritage.

BY JOHN RUCH Fifteen years after it was announced, the Peachtree Hills Place luxury senior housing development is nearing construction in the first quarter of 2017, according to developer Isakson Living. The developer is aiming for a 2019 opening. The large project—201 condos and 12 single-family custom houses on a 23-acre site at Peachtree Hills Avenue and Virginia Place— was announced in 2005, and in 2008 the

Shep Hammack Organizing president, Mount Vernon Sons of the American Revolution chapter


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2 | Community ■

Project brings another Hampton Inn hotel to Piedmont Road BY JOHN RUCH

and book their stay with us.” “Although the hotels are both part of the Hilton family, there are differences beA new Hampton Inn hotel will start gotween the Hampton Inn and Hampton Inn ing up in Buckhead Place this month— & Suites brands,” said McKibbon spokesonly about a block person Krystin away from an exOlinski. “McKibisting, similarly bon Hospitality’s named Hampton Hampton Inn & that is undergoing Suites will fearenovation. ture a substantial McKibbon Hosnumber of suites pitality, a hotel dethat cater to a veloper and manmore long-term ager, recently business and leiannounced a consure traveler.” struction start on Buckhead the new Hampton Place, at the MCKIBBON HOSPITALITY Inn & Suites by HilA rendering of the Hampton Inn & northeast corSuites, slated to rise on Piedmont Road, ton Buckhead Place. ner of Piedmont just north of Peachtree Road. The 186-room hoand Peachtree, tel will rise on a lot on Piedmont Road just is a mixed-use center with retail businessnorth of Peachtree Road. es, residences and an existing Hyatt Place The existing Hampton Inn by Hilton Athotel. The new Hampton Inn & Suites was lanta-Buckhead at 3398 Piedmont is only originally announced several years ago as about 950 feet away to the north, on the part of a larger mixed-use redevelopment same side of the street. part of the center that has scaled back. Hilton Worldwide, the holding compaThe new hotel project still includes 5,000 ny that owns the Hampton Inn brand, said square feet of space for retail businesses or there’s market demand for two Hamptons. restaurants, according to McKibbon. Efforts will be made to avoid customer “We have collaborated with McKibbon confusion, said Phil Cordell, Hilton Worldon this project for years and are excited wide’s global head of the Hampton brand. to finally see the project get started,” said A key difference is that the new Hampton Coro Realty Advisors’ president John Lunwill have “suites”— extended-stay rooms. deen, president of Coro Realty Advisors, “The new property offering suites will which manages Buckhead Place. “We think provide select rooms with additional space the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton is the and amenities at a different price point perfect complement to our existing centhan the existing Hampton by Hilton propter.” erty, and will also target a different customMcKibbon manages several other Hiler base,” Cordell said. “We intend to proton and Hampton hotels in the Atlanta vide each of the property’s booking sites area, including the Hampton Inn by Hilton with clear directions and hotel informaAtlanta-Perimeter Center in Sandy Springs. tion to assist consumers as they research

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Council of Neighborhoods hears both sides of school takeover plan

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BY COLLIN KELLEY The Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods heard from the architect of the proposed Opportunity School District (OSD) as well as opponents of the plan during its Sept. 8 meeting. Voters will decide whether to create the OSD, which requires a constitutional amendment to takeover chronically failing public schools statewide, by referendum on Nov. 8. Erin Hames, credited with creating the plan while she was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Legislative Affairs for Gov. Nathan Deal, outlined the details of the OSD and why it could help thousands of students in underperforming schools. The OSD would create a new school district that would have its own superintendent appointed by the governor. Schools that have consistently fallen below 60 on the state accountability system for three consecutive years could be brought into the OSD. The accountability system measures every school on student achievement, growth and progress, and whether the school is closing the gap between the lowest performing students and the state average. Schools are then given a score of 0 to 100. Hames said there are currently 127 schools that meet the criteria for OSD, with 22 of those being in the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) district. No more than 20 schools in any given year can be taken over by the state and the OSD is capped at having 100 schools. Hames said the OSD was modeled on similar reforms created by Louisiana and Tennessee. All of New Orleans’ public schools were taken over by the state after Hurricane Katrina and converted to charter schools, she said. “The improvements made in New Orleans are incredible,” Hames said. “An NPR [National Public Radio] study showed it’s the largest and fastest turnaround in the nation’s history, with graduation rates increasing by 19 percent.” Under Georgia’s OSD, the state would have four options for underperforming schools: a full takeover; shared operation with a school’s local district; conversion to charter school; and, as a last resort, closing the school. Former APS Board of Education member Cecily Harsch-Kinnane, an opponent of the OSD, said she believed the plan was well-intentioned, but was unnecessary. Preferring the term “chronically struggling” schools, she said the Georgia Department of Education already has the power to help and questioned why a constitutional amendment was necessary. Harsch-Kinnane also refuted the successes of Louisiana’s reform, stating that statistics show that New Orleans now has a high number of dropouts and that ACT BH

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OSD opponent Cecily Harsch-Kinnane, left, makes her case to the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods while APS Board of Education member Nancy Meister, center, and Erin Hames, the architect of the OSD plan for the governor, listen.

scores were so low kids can’t go to college. “As a model, I wouldn’t say that Louisiana’s plan has been a raging success,” she commented. Another opponent, Michelle Constantinides, said the OSD plan failed to address issues within the community where a failing school is located. “Are there medical needs? Are the kids coming to school hungry? Are they rested? I wish the governor would look at these issues as well,” she said. “There’s one school in APS where 52 languages are spoken. How is that addressed?” Harsch-Kinnane agreed, stating that a school cannot be fixed without fixing the community.


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4 | Community ■

New chapter of Sons of the American Revolution promotes history BY JACLYN TURNER Millions of people are proud to be American, but only some can trace their lineage back to the patriots who risked everything to help America reach independence. The Sons of the American Revolution, an organization for male descendants of those patriots that helps to preserve the history, has a new chapter based in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. “This exists to make sure we do not forget our heritage,” said Dunwoody resident Shep Hammack, 72, the organizing president for the new Mount Vernon SAR chapter. The chapter, which has met since March, will receive its charter at a banquet Sept. 24 at Villa Christina in Brookhaven, and expects to have at least 60 members. The SAR consists of 50 societies, 500 chapters and approximately 33,000 members. There are 32 chapters in Georgia. The new local chapter’s name has a dual significance. “Mount Vernon” is the name of George Washington’s home in Virginia, and the name of a street connecting Sandy Springs and Dunwoody, the cities where most of the new chapter’s members reside. Membership eligibility is based on being able to prove descent from someone

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Diane Smith is committed to the success of her agents. does doofit? Hardandwork, She is highlyHow driven, withhelots passion a loveof for technology.course, She has built her real estate career but his motto is simple: “If youon integrity and knowledge of the market. Harry Norman, take of your clients, willin REALTORS® forthe thebest past care 85 years has done the it same the Atlanta market. Diane come is a strong back motivator to you.” and enjoys coaching people to achieve their highest potential.

Clients note that Allan goes above their accessible. Diane believes in coaching the whole person and focusing on strengths am availablelevels whenever I’m needed to drive them to achieve “Iextraordinary of accomplishment. Training is the foundation… of real a thriving it is essential estate iscareer, not aand Monday throughto build and update your knowledge. Knowledge is power and is BRINGING ATLANTA Friday, nine-to-five job.” That’sgrowth what powerful! Harry Norman, REALTORS® gives its associates the training, BUYERS & SELLERS some comingand back to support and exposure theykeeps need to buildclients their business achieve TOGETHER FOR their goals. With a supportive office of experienced associates and staff, Allan again and again. OVER 15 YEARS

who fought in or actively supported the Revolution. SAR members tend to be of retired age, but are able to join at any age. Hammack enrolled his grandsons in the SAR, but doesn’t expect them to be active unless they develop an interest. “I’ve always been interested in history,” Hammack said of his interest in genealogy. “I had known about my great-great grandfather who was in the Confederate army, and killed at the breakout [during the siege of] Petersburg [in Virginia]. I have a letter written by him to my great-grandfather, who was 3 at the time.” “Ten years ago I decided to look further back,” he continued. “I joined SAR to prove the line. I wasn’t going to get very involved. I just wanted to prove what I thought was true. But then the rest was history and I got involved.” Hammack traced his ancestry back to a William Dugan, who was at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania. Another member, Sandy Springs resident Don Hart, with the help of his wife Marlene’s interest in genealogy, traced his lineage to a great-grandfather (going back five “greats”). That ancestor was a captain of light horse cavalry; his six sons fought with him in the Revolutionary War. He

COACHING AND TRAINING expectations and is always ALLAN M I NTE R


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the Year in her office. Continuing on as top producer for 8 years while transaction has been smooth including and earning designations and very certifications Certified Relocation Specialist and Lifetime Member of the Million Dollar Club. Diane very pleasant. He is honest, diligent, moved on to become a successful managing broker for 8 years. Now she andNorman his record speaks forfamily, as Sr. Vice President ishard-working, a part of the Harry REALTORS® and Managing Broker itself.”—Kory and of JefftheMSandy Springs Office. In her previous career, Diane worked in banking for 20 years as a branch manager and senior Satisfied clients with are Allan’s number one priority. loan officer, a strong marketing andAnd finance Not background. Shebut has just the top agent, for over 35 years and is Allan the proud of two wonderful also a great family man, Allan it been shows.married We couldn’t be prouder! Congrats from mother is pictured here with his wife, boys. She enjoys reading a good book and kayaking.

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Community | 5


Members of the Mount Vernon Chapter Colorguard in full uniform, from left, Geoff Oosterhoudt, Tom Chrisman, Bob McCleskey, Shep Hammack and Randy Pollard.

won a battle at Mask’s Ferry on the Peedee River at Wilmington, N.C. The SAR brotherhood works to perpetuate the memory of and records from the Revolutionary War through educating students, seeking out burial grounds of soldiers to give them a grave marking, and presenting a color guard for civic events, parades and other patriotic program. SAR chapters also give businesses certificates for properly displaying the American flag, which includes keeping it lit at night. Many SAR chapters focus on education by visiting elementary and middle schools with a traveling trunk filled with reproductions of toothbrushes, soap, dolls made of

cornhusk and other items to teach the students about life during the 1700s. SAR chapters are also active with Eagle Scouts, and offer scholarships at the chapter, state and national levels. The SAR holds meetings once a month, and often invite speakers to give historical talks. The local chapter’s topics have included Christmas celebrations during Revolutionary times and the life of Baron Johann de Kalb, a war hero who was the namesake of DeKalb County. The Mount Vernon chapter meets on the second Tuesday of the month, with its next meeting taking place Oct. 11. Visit for more information.

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A study of Pill Hill’s traffic and possible mitigation projects is underway, with results expected by mid-November.


A wide-ranging study of Pill Hill’s traffic and possible mitigation projects is underway, with results expected by mid-November. Some officials are questioning how useful the study, conducted by KimleyHorn, will be, given its 90-day timeframe, small target area and inclusion of projects that remain on the planning board. One state project that triggered the study, “managed lane” ramps along I-285 and Ga. 400, lacks any detailed plan. But Yvonne Williams, president and CEO of the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts, which commissioned the study last month on behalf of the Medical Center’s institutions, said she believes there’s value in the study.

“The study will be identifying best opportunities to best relieve traffic,” she said, adding that Kimley-Horn has conducted many previous Pill Hill studies and has that background to draw on. “There’s a lot of interest in the Medical Center area,” Williams said. “[Local institutions need] to make sure that we have a transportation grid that works… It makes absolute sense that we [have] a complete transportation network.” The study came out of an effort by Northside Hospital, which is footing the $100,000 bill, according to Williams. But Emory Saint Joseph’s and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite are participating, along with Sandy Springs city staff and other local stakeholders. The study will include existing conditions and projects on the books, as well

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Community | 7

as such longstanding concepts as exsibilities under study are two giant tending Perimeter Center Parkway beramps going right through the interhind Emory Saint Joseph’s to Johnson change and an access-ramp system Ferry Road. where Ashford-Dunwoody Road meets The four-year reconstruction of the I-285. Some of those ideas got NorthI-285/Ga.400 interchange alongside side’s attention, Goldberg said. Pill Hill, slated to begin in October, is “That conversation started the largthe elephant in the room. But Norther conversation about what can be side’s desire for a traffic study was trigdone to improve traffic in that area,” gered, Williams said, she said. by another, even lonThe complexiger-term state project ty and uncertainthere: “managed lanes,” ty of such proposals meaning separate lanes There’s a lot of interest are also getting atwith access limited in the Medical Center tention. At a recent by toll or vehicle type, Sandy Springs City which would be added area. [Local institutions Council briefing, to the interchange and need] to make sure that Bryant Poole, the asthe top-end Perimeter we have a transportasistant city managin general later. er for infrastruction grid that works… Gov. Nathan Deal anture, likened the nounced funding for It makes absolute sense I-285/Ga.400 manthe managed lanes ear- that we [have] a complete aged lanes to “trylier this year, but de- transportation network. ing to stick a needle tails were scarce. Jill through a spaghetti Goldberg, the Georgia YVONNE WILLIAMS, PRESIDENT noodle.” AND CEO OF THE PERIMETER CENDepartment of Trans- TER IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS “We think that portation’s communithis [traffic study] cations manager, said scope should be exin a recent interview that the managed panded” to a larger area and a longer lanes must begin construction by 2026 timeframe, he said, noting the “devil is under the funding order, but that it is in the details.” too late to fold them into the current Goldberg agreed that the uncertainI-285/Ga.400 project. ty and timeframe means the Pill Hill “It’s not possible to do within the curstudy will be a “very broad stroke” done rent scope of the I-285/Ga.400 reconin an “extremely high-level” method. struction,” she said. But it’s also just part of a package The lanes will have to be built latof new cooperative traffic planning for er and will require their own land acthe Medical Center. The three hospitals quisition and environmental review, and Sandy Springs are also working on among other complexities, Goldberg an agreement to conduct joint traffic said. GDOT knows that the current and parking plans, apparently for the interchange project won’t make the first time in their history. The activity managed lanes impossible, she said, follows Mayor Rusty Paul and the City but still hasn’t decided exactly where Council this summer expressing disthey will run. pleasure with the apparent lack of soAccording to the city of Sandy lutions for the booming Medical CenSprings, among the managed lane poster’s traffic.

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8 | Making a Difference


Hospice Atlanta Center provides ‘soft landing’ for terminally ill BY DYANA BAGBY

Linda Booth said her husband, a physician, loved the philosophy of hospice, of caring for a dying person that allows the patient and their family to enjoy their last months together in an environment that is gentle to all. “He called [hospice care] a soft landing,” she said. Dr. Arthur Booth was a general surgeon and a founder of Brookhaven-based Hospice Atlanta Center, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. A gala and fundraiser is set for Oct. 27 to commemorate the founders, who also include Marry Gellerstedt, Warren Jobe and late Eula Carlos. As a surgeon who treated cancer patients for much of his career, Dr. Booth was intent on bringing hospice services to metro Atlanta in the mid-1980s after working with families in which a parent in each family died from the disease. The daughter of one family was able to take a leave of absence from work and spend the last six months of her father’s life caring for him. The daughter of the other family could not take off and had to travel often for her job. She asked Dr. Booth to check in on her mother when she was out of town. One day when he didn’t get an answer at the ill woman’s home, he went to the emergency room of the local hospital. He found the daughter curled up on the bathroom floor. “These two daughters loved their parents to the same degree,” Linda Booth said. “They deeply wanted to care for their parents.”

Dr. Booth began talking to patients and teamed up with his patient and friend, Eula Carlos, to open a hospice practice. At first it was hard to convince doctors that they couldn’t always “pull a miracle out of a bag” and cure a terminally ill patient, Booth said. “But once you got doctors to understand they were not giving up on a patient but helping them in that last phase

Making A Difference of life, they opened their billfolds and gave and gave,” to have the hospice center open, she said. “Some people are only healed after death,” she said. Many people are unsure of what hospice is exactly. Sandy Springs-based Visiting Nurse Health Services, a nonprofit health care organization of which Hospice Atlanta is an affiliate, states hospice is “a concept of care that emphasizes quality rather than quantity of life.” The care extends to families as well as patients. Without hospice care, families can sometimes get “caught up” in the care of a dying family member instead of spending the final months sharing memories, holding hands and being with each other, Booth said. Her husband wanted to give families that special time together. “[Death] is just another phase of life,” she said. Dr. Booth had two strokes and battled cancer, but still kept “trucking along,” she said. After the couple retired in 2004 to South Carolina, he and another doctor

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Making a Difference | 9

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Location: Stave Room at American Spirit Works, 199 Armour Drive, Buckhead Date: Thursday, Oct. 27 Time: 7-10 p.m. Honoring: The four founding members of Hospice Atlanta Center: Marry Gellerstedt, Warren Jobe, the late Dr. Arthur Booth and the late Eula Carlos Tickets are $250 each and sponsorships start at $1,000 Information:

opened a free clinic for underprivileged people. “He truly believed everyone should leave the world a little better than they

found it,” Linda Booth said. “And he definitely did.” Dr. Booth died June 18 – at the hospice he helped create. Linda Booth said her husband was a very religious man who looked for signs on what to do. One day he told her that God told him he was “coming home.” “He said he wanted to collect his soft landing,” she said. An air ambulance brought him from South Carolina to Hospice Atlanta, to where it all began and to where it would also end. Hospice Atlanta, located on Park Vista Drive, includes residential care, for those who may not be able to care for someone in their home, where Dr. Booth spent his last days. He was able to hug a nurse he hired 20 years ago and share memories with the hospital staff he had worked with for so many years. Family and friends came to visit him and hug, cry and laugh as he was cared for in the facility he helped build. SPECIAL “We received for a short time From left, Linda Booth, Kimberly Booth the love, comfort and peace you Rimmer and the late Dr. Authur Booth, who get from being in the center,” Linwill be honored along with three others, at da Booth said. “He truly closed the a gala and fundraiser on Oct.27 to celebrate Hospice Atlanta Center’s 20th anniversary. circle.”


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

C O NTA C T US Founder & Publisher Steve Levene Editorial Managing Editor Joe Earle Associate Editor: John Ruch Intown Editor: Collin Kelley Staff Writer: Dyana Bagby Copy Editor: Diane L. Wynocker Creative and Production Creative Director: Rico Figliolini Graphic Designer: Harry J. Pinkney Jr. Advertising Director of Sales Development Amy Arno Sales Executives Jeff Kremer Janet Porter Jim Speakman Office Manager Deborah Davis Contributors Robin Conte, Leslie Johnson, Donna Williams Lewis, Phil Mosier, Jaclyn Turner

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© 2016 with all rights reserved Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Reporter Newspapers or Springs Publishing, LLC. ■

Opinion / How can we help chronically failing schools? In November, Georgia voters will decide Gov. Nathan Deal’s “Opportunity School District” plan for state takeover of public schools deemed chronically failing. Reporter Newspapers asked state Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody), who backs OSD, and state Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta), who opposes it, for their arguments. For more about the OSD plan, see the Fall 2016 Education Guide in this issue.





In August, some Georgia students began a new school year with unrestrained excitement, knowing that education provides boundless potential to make their dreams a reality. Parents watched their kids board school buses, entrusting the future of those who are most precious to them, their children, to dedicated educators and administrators. However, thoughts of limitless possibility do not reach all of Georgia’s children. This year, approximately 68,000 Georgia students had to take their seats in schools plagued by years of underachievement and failing performance because they live in certain attendance zones or ZIP codes. At these schools, abysmal test scores, declining student achievement, and poor graduation rates don’t go unnoticed by students, their parents and the community. Yet these children are trapped, forced to endure the inadequacies of failing schools, without the financial means or institutional options to choose another path. As a Georgia citizen and legislator, I feel responsible to these students and their parents. It is unacceptable to continue to hand over precious taxpayer funds to schools where failure has become the norm, knowing that these students must endure years of subpar instruction or drop out. This November, Georgians will vote on the Opportunity School District (OSD) amendment to the Georgia Constitution, a giant step toward making success possible for all students. Passed with bipartisan support in the Georgia legislature, the OSD will finally allow for state intervention in persistently failing schools, those with three-plus years of failing performance. The OSD allows for the state to partner with local communities to implement fresh approaches at these schools, approaches uniquely tailored to those students’ needs. Moreover, it provides intensive turnaround support to transform schools into environments where children are eager to be and where they know the education they receive helps them build happy, successful lives. As an ardent supporter of local control, I am a firm believer that government that is closest to the people governs most effectively and efficiently. However, when local situations become desperate, we need to pledge community—Georgia—support. By engaging parents and community leaders in turnaround processes for schools, OSD would assure improvements have the best chance to be “locally owned” and take root. Our state constitution guarantees public education for all of Georgia’s children. Greater than 50 percent of Georgia’s budget is appropriated to public education each year. Unfortunately, many DeKalb County schools could be the poster child for a status quo of failure. Today, only one-third of Georgia students read at grade level. Ignoring our failing schools and accepting the status quo isn’t an option. It would be a mistake just to continue to direct more funds to failing operations and expect new and better results. I encourage those who think that poverty is the issue and that more funding is the solution to know there are schools with high poverty that have high achievement. They are doing something right. Failing schools impact all Georgians. By passing the OSD amendment in November, voters will send a clear message that we can and must do better in Georgia. The future of our students and our state depends on it.

We have a problem with education in this state. We are failing many of our students, who leave unprepared for college, for tech schools, for life as an adult. It isn’t acceptable, and something needs to be done. We agree on the problem. Where we disagree is the solution. The argument for the Opportunity School District (OSD) is simple. Local school districts have run schools that have failed too many children, and the state should intervene if they can’t get their acts together. But intervene how? The OSD constitutional amendment sets up a school district that would be entirely controlled by one superintendent appointed by the governor. There won’t be any school board. The public won’t have the opportunity to vote this superintendent out of office. This gives a lot of potential for unfettered change, but it also means the public has no assurance about what the path forward will be for these schools. “Trust us” is the message. But has the state shown itself to be worthy of that trust when it comes to education? If one examines the list of schools that would currently be eligible for takeover if the constitutional amendment passes, one immediately notices something they share in common: They are all in high-poverty areas. We know that poor children often don’t get the same educational resources wealthier students do, even within the same district. And that’s not even mentioning burdens many poor children bring with them when they arrive at school every day: food insecurity, less access to health and dental care, transience, less parental availability. But are these factors discussed by the Opportunity School District legislation? No. Further, allies of the OSD have shown little interest in discussing the fact that the state has underfunded education for years. For many, that makes the “trust us” nature of the proposal unappealing. Supporters of OSD point to New Orleans, where the state similarly took control following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Georgia does not propose to take over almost an entire district or eliminate attendance zones, as was done in New Orleans. The OSD is therefore more similar to efforts in Tennessee, Michigan and the rest of Louisiana, where the results have been lackluster. If we are going to have a systematic, focused plan for improving education in all of our schools, especially those that are failing, we need to stop chasing the latest fads—tons of testing, “school choice,” giving families public money to attend private schools, or believing in the magic of anything called a “charter.” These are all Band-Aids for a problem that cries out for real system-wide reform. What we need is a reinvigorated, talented teaching and administration force coming out of education schools that are first-rate and difficult to get into—which is not what we have today. We need to treat teaching like the critical profession it is and make sure we are attracting our best and brightest to the profession. We need the resources to get every child the support he or she needs to be a success in life. If we were serious about improving education in Georgia, we would stop offering up platitudes and instead focus on what we know works. BH

SEPTEMBER 16 - 29, 2016

Commentary | 11

Tuck, tuck, loose? I’m not exactly fashion-forward. My wardrobe is basically dictated by what I can find that fits me and is on sale, so it’s a limited collection. But there’s a trend I’ve noticed while window-shopping during lunchtime, and in fact, it’s been around and persistently gaining momentum for the last few years. It’s the half-tuck. You might know it by another name, as it’s the style formally known as the front-tuck. You see, once upon a time, there were two ways to wear a shirt: 1) Tucked-in, or 2) Not. Then a new fashion crept upon the scene, persistently gaining momentum, until it earned its own name, i.e., the front-tuck. The front-tuck is a somewhat self-explanatory style that involves wearing a loose shirt and tucking-in only the front of it. The front-tuck has a sister called the side-tuck, which is what happens when only one-half of a buttoned-down shirt is tucked-in. Then the Tuck family grew and all kinds of tucks were born: the side-tuck, the back-tuck, the casual-tuck, the tighttuck, the loose-tuck, the twist-n-tuck, the wrap-n-tuck. And, as often happens in large families, people started calling these tucklings by the same name. So the front-tuck is also called the half-tuck or the casual-tuck, which leaves the halftuck with nothing to be called but the half-half-tuck, or the full gainer. It took me a while to catch on. For the longest time, I noticed the “J. Crew” catalog models wearing their tops only partly tucked, and I actually thought they were advertising their belts. But let’s get back to the front-tuck/ half-tuck, remembering all the while, of course, that I am not a stylist — I only watch them on YouTube. So I am not doling out fashion advice, I am merely passing along what I have gleaned. My understanding is that this sassy, part-in, part-out, noncommittal tuck is designed

to give your shirt a split personality (kind of like Superman when he takes off his glasses) by making it look professional in the front and all crazy in the back. If you do it right, you have a neatly Robin Conte is a writer tucked bit of and mother of four who shirt somelives in Dunwoody. She where along can be contacted at the front of your jeans and a freeflowing fiesta of fabric elsewhere, which announces to everyone that you are NOT a geek, but a slave to fashion. You might be wondering, how much tuck does a person tuck if a person could half-tuck? Rest assured that you can Google “mastering the half-tuck” and find a plethora of internet tutorials on how to achieve this casual, carefree look. If, however, you google “back-tuck,” you will find videos of a gymnastic move. It doesn’t work on me. I’m either allin or all-out. Oh, I tried. I watched the tutorials and worked with my forefinger and my cotton-blend fabric, spending way more time dressing myself than truly necessary, in an attempt to make my shirt display just the right amount of attitude. But I never arrived at “jaunty.” I only accomplished “disheveled.” I might make a belt-wink with my shirt, but that ends up sloppy, too. So I’ve concluded that until this fashion trend plays out, I’ll just stick with dresses.

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Community | 13

After 15 years, Peachtree Hills Place nears construction start Continued from page 1

phase of construction have been pre-sold. The developer has previously said that construction of this type of senior housing is based on pre-sales. The condos currently

Peachtree Hills Apartments were demolished to make way for it. But the project repeatedly stalled with the economic crash and a falling housing market. In 2008, when the plans called for 275 units, Isakson Living pre-sold 150 of them before putting the project on hold during the recession. All buyers received a full refund, the company SPECIAL said at the time. A rendering of the club and lodge proposed as part of the In 2011, the bank Peachtree Hills Place senior housing development. BB&T filed a lawsuit against Isakson Living, alleging that the developer had failed start at about $700,000 for a 1,400-squareto repay $30.5 million in loans and interest foot, one-bedroom unit. for Peachtree Hills Place. That lawsuit was The development’s concept is luxuresolved last year, according to Kevin Isakry housing and services for people 55 and son, the developer’s director of sales and older, including memory care, assisted livmarketing. ing and skilled nursing along with typical Isakson Living recently announced the housing. Amenities would include a clubproject is moving forward once again and house, dining facilities, a fitness and wellthat roughly half of the units in the first ness center, security and transportation.

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Solar-powered compacting trash cans are coming soon to Buckhead streets with a five-year agreement in the works from the city and the Buckhead Community Improvement District. The CID board previously hesitated on a deal with Massachusetts-based Bigbelly in part because the company’s business model involves placing advertising on the cans. Some CID board members say that’s a billboard type of look they don’t want on Buckhead streets. One idea was using sponsored mural art instead of ads. The current deal will bring Bigbellies without ads, but also without art. Instead, Bigbelly will be paid $153.42 per station per month, according to CID Executive Director Jim Durrett, while the art idea remains a possibility. Durrett said that “there are always other approaches to consider, but to get the ball rolling we will go at it as described for now and then can modify later.” Specific locations, timeline and other parts of the deal are yet to be worked out. BH

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Design of park over Ga. 400 draws questions

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A rendering showing a possible 9-acre park over Ga. 400, spanning from Lenox Road to Peachtree Street, with connections to two MARTA stations, as well as the PATH400 multi-use trail and park system. ROGERS PARTNERS

Continued from page 1 able Buckhead board member Sally Silver. “We don’t have answers to how it’s going to be funded.” The Buckhead Community Improvement District, a self-taxing business district, has discussed the possible park for years and commissioned the current proposal from Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers. The idea is to provide more green space in central Buckhead. Robert M. Rogers from Rogers Partners presented the designs of the 9-acre linear park over Ga. 400 as a way to make strategic connections to enhance the life of the district. The park would span from Lenox Road to Peachtree Street, connecting MARTA’s Buckhead station between the Atlanta Financial Center and Lenox Road/ Buckhead Loop. There would be connections with two MARTA stations and the PATH400 multi-use trail and park system. The park would be built atop a series of

relative slender bridges, rather than a tunnel completely capping the highway. That would be easier to build, Rogers said. The park would consist of three parts: a “Garden,” a “Plaza” and a “Commons” area bisected by a line of trees for shade. The garden would be a more intimate space for public art, strolling and picnicking. The plaza would have space for a big screen, gatherings and food trucks. The Commons would include an amphitheater and space for outdoor sports and activities. Many residents attending the session expressed concern about funding, park safety and traffic. Residents of the MeridianBuckhead condos, joined by General Manager Edward Jarrett, expressed concerns about possible tax increases from the park project. Some CID board members have had similar questions about costs, feasibility and whether it is appropriate for the CID to


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Top, a rendering of the “Gardens” area, looking south from Peachtree Road. Above, the “Commons” area, looking south from PATH400. To see larger versions of these renderings, go to

design such a park. No funds for the park are in place. The CID hopes to seek money from both the public and private sector, including federal, state and city money. As for traffic, the CID hopes to use materials that can be created offsite and installed to minimize traffic on one of the metro area’s busiest roadways. No additional parking would be created for the park, with hopes that visitors would use

existing parking lots for evening and weekend events. The CID is accepting public input on the park proposal, and its board eventually will vote on whether to move ahead with further design and construction. That could happen as early as the board’s October meeting, according to the CID website. For more information and a full presentation of the park proposal, see buckheadcid. com.

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Ultimately, it’s your experience that matters. To be sure, we’re proud of our 28 years of experience in senior living. But, to us, what really matters is your experience at our communities. We do everything with that idea clearly in mind. So, go ahead, enjoy yourself with great social opportunities and amenities. Savor fine dining every day. And feel assured that assisted living services are always available if needed. We invite you to experience The Piedmont for yourself at a complimentary lunch and tour. Please call 404.381.1743 to schedule.

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Saturday, Oct. 1, 1-2 p.m. Capitol City Opera’s Outreach for Children presents “The Billy Goats Gruff,” a 40-minute opera set to music by Mozart, Rossini and Donizetti, which takes a familiar story and adds an anti-bullying message, promoting kindness. $10 per person. Show ideal for pre-K through 5th grade. Church of the Atonement, 4945 High Point Rd., Sandy Springs, 30342. Visit: ccityopera. org or call 678-522-4338 for tickets or for further information.

Thursday, Sept. 22, 1-4 p.m. Friends of the Dunwoody Library hold a book sale, with opening hours for members only. Free admission. Public is welcome from 4-8 p.m., and also on Sept. 23 and Sept. 24 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26 is Bag Day, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. Call 770-512-4640 with questions.

JAZZ NIGHT Saturday, Oct. 1, 8-10 p.m. Oglethorpe University presents an evening of jazz, blues and funk with pianist Joe Alterman, featuring the Jazz Orchestra Atlanta. General admission, $20 at the door and online. Conant Performing Arts Center, 4484 Peachtree Rd., NE, Brookhaven, 30319. For details, go to:, email: or call 404-504-3435.

ZYDECO T Saturday, Oct. 1, 8-11 p.m. Atlanta’s hometown Zydeco T plays classics sung in Creole French, contemporary standards and original material. No partner necessary. All ages welcome. Food for sale. Free dance lesson 7-8 p.m. $18; $5 students; $14 active military. Dorothy Benson Center, 6500 Vernon Woods Dr., Sandy Springs, 30328. Visit:, call 877-338-2420 or email: info@aczadance. org to find out more.

WARBIRD WEEKEND Saturday, Sept. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. A squadron of World War II fighter aircraft descends upon DeKalb-Peachtree Airport! Program celebrates 75th anniversary of the American Volunteer Group, nicknamed the “Flying Tigers.” Free admission. Parking, $10. Continues Sept. 25, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. NOT an air show; display, rides and history only. 2000 Airport Rd., Atlanta, 30341. For additional information, go to: or call 404202-9348.

PLAY GOLF Tuesday, Sept. 27, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Play some golf and support the Riverwood International Charter School’s Junior football program. Shotgun start followed by lunch at 12 p.m. $125 per player; $500 foursomes; lunch only, $50. North Fulton Golf Course, 216 West Wieuca Rd., Atlanta, 30342. Register or see details: Call Rob Drew at 404-317-2800 with questions.

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SEPTEMBER 16 - 29, 2016

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 10 a.m. Check out the 57th annual American Association of University Women’s Book Fair at Perimeter Mall. Event runs during mall hours, and continues through Oct. 2. Thousands of gently used books at bargain prices. At Macy’s court, 4400 AshfordDunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30346. Call Sylvia Goodyear at 404-313-0063 or go to: to learn more.

LEARN SOMETHING! DOMINIC CROSSAN Friday, Sept. 23, 6:30-9 p.m. Sandy Springs Christian Church welcomes Dominic Crossan, an Irish-American Biblical scholar, author and speaker on Friday for one lecture, dinner and book signing. Continues Sept. 24, 9 a.m.-1 pm., with two lectures and breakfast. $40 for three lectures; $50 for lectures and meals. 301 Johnson Ferry Rd., NW, Sandy Springs, 30328. Register by calling 404-2562582 or going to:

PLANTS & ANIMALS Saturday, Sept. 24, 10-10:45 a.m. Naturalist Megan Clark leads a class on the adaptation of

plants. Geared for youngsters ages 4-12. Participants spend time outdoors and learn about nature. Includes a hike, investigation and games. On Oct. 1, learn about animals. Dress for the weather. Early session for ages 4-6; 11-11:45 a.m. for ages 7-9; 12-12:45 p.m. for ages 10-12. $5 per class. Lost Corner Preserve, 7300 Brandon Mill Rd., Sandy Springs, 30328. Register: Call 770-730-5600 for further information.


Food Trucks! Festivities! Flicks! 6:00 PM • Movies start at Dark Thursday, Sept. 29, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The Dorothy Benson Senior Center hosts its annual Health Fair. Check non-fasting cholesterol and glucose, blood pressure, BMI, coronary risk, osteoporosis, cancer risk. Free. For those 55 years and older. Call 404-613-4900 to schedule an appointment. 6500 Vernon Woods Dr., Sandy Springs, 30328.

TINNITUS SUPPORT Saturday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Dr. Sara Propes presents “Living with Tinnitus,” which explores how tinnitus impacts lives and how to continue actively participating in daily activities. Free. Family and friends welcome. To learn more, contact Erica: Dunwoody Branch Library, in the Meeting Room, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30338.


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Out & About | 17

Sandy Springs United Methodist Church Activities Center Lawn 85 Mt. Vernon Highway & Sandy Springs Circle Bring blanket, lawn chair, picnic, or buy food on-site... then enjoy a fun-filled evening watching movies on a giant 30-foot outdoor screen. 404-256-9091

September 23 - 25, 2016

Bring your friends and family to enjoy a weekend full of exciting Greek dancing, delicious food and pastries, Cathedral tours, children’s activities, cooking demonstrations along with fantastic shopping and so much more!

Admission Hours: Friday, Sept. 23rd 5 pm – 11 pm Saturday, Sept. 24th 11 am – 11pm Sunday, Sept. 25th 11 am – 7 pm

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Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation 2500 Clairmont Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30329

18 | Out & About ■

Fill up on local food festivals Tuck in your napkins and loosen your belts. Food festival season is here, with everything from Greek to kosher barbecue on the menu, along with the massive Taste of Atlanta fest. The following is a guide to some major regional food festivals serving up goodies in coming weeks.

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Friday, Sept. 23, 5-11 p.m. Enjoy Greek food specialties, as well as music and dancing, shopping, a children’s tent and cathedral tours. $5 admission; those 12 and under, free. Continues Sept. 24, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sept. 25, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Free parking and shuttle buses nearby. Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 2500 Clairmont Rd., Atlanta, 30329. Questions? Visit: or call 404-633-5870. Sunday, Sept. 25, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sample barbeque from more than 25 competing teams, and watch local first responders face off in the eats arena at this 4th annual event. Live music. Free admission. $1 tasting tickets. Brook Run Park, 4770 N. Peachtree Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. For additional details, visit: or call 770-580-3897.

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Saturday, Oct. 1, 5-9 p.m. Try food and drinks from some of Chamblee’s best eateries, groove to local bands and peruse crafts from local vendors at this 10th annual event. Free admission. $1 tasting tickets. Park at Chamblee Plaza; trolley service to event at Peachtree Rd. and Broad St., 30341. To learn more, go to: or call 770-986-5010.

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Out & About | 19

and amateur teams, in addition to live music, adult beverages, a kids’ zone and cornhole. Tickets, $10-$20. Kids under 12, free. Pets allowed on leash. No outside food or drink. Brookhaven Park, 2660 Osborne Rd., Brookhaven, 30319. For information, visit: or call 404-456-4655.

Visit us today to find out how to qualify for a



Saturday, Oct. 22, 12-7 p.m. Taste dishes from more than 90 metro Atlanta restaurants. Check out cooking and bartending demonstrations, a silent auction, as well as a Family Food Zone and a VIP Grand Tasting Experience. Continues Oct. 23, 12-6 p.m. General admission, $25; VIP, $75. No pets. Midtown at Tech Square, Atlanta, 30309. Find out more: or call 404-875-4434.

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South Fork Conservancy starts capital campaign, paths get $500k The South Fork Conservancy is kickphilanthropist Diana Blank has visiting off a $2 million capital campaign ed the urban green space. “She saw long with the announcement of a $500,000 ago what a difference this very generous grant for an “iconic” pedestrian bridge grant might make.” and other improvemenets linking BuckKey South Fork supporters heard the head and DeKalb County trails. news at an August 18 event hosted by capThe conservancy creates trails along the South Fork of Peachtree Creek, which runs between Buckhead and Emory University. Its plan is to link into the PATH400 and Atlanta BeltLine trails. The cities of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs have plans to plug into those trail networks. In addition, Brookhaven’s planned Peachtree Creek Greenway park and trail system, on the creek’s North Fork, would SOUTH FORK CONSERVANCY connect to the South Fork sysThe walking bridge on the Cheshire Farm Trail crossing tem as well. In August, the conservancy Peachtree Creek under the new Ga. 400 flyover ramp. announced that the Kendeda Fund has pledged $500,000 toward the ital campaign co-chairs Billy Hall and capital campaign, called “Revealing the Joni Winston. Creek.” The conservancy’s current open trails “You have to experience the South include the Confluence, Cheshire Farm Fork Trails to really grasp their imporand Meadow Loop trails in Buckhead, tance,” said South Fork co-founder Saland Zonolite Park in DeKalb County. For ly Sears in the press release, noting that details, visit


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22 | Public Safety ■


Police Blotter / Buckhead From police reports dated Aug. 21 through Sept. 3. The following information was provided to the Buckhead Reporter by the Zone 2 precinct of the Atlanta Police Department from its records and is presumed to be accurate.

R O B B E RY „„1000 block of Chattahoochee Ave. NW

SEPTEMBER 25, 2016 1:30pm - 5pm

The Foundry at Puritan Mill




– On Aug. 24 in the evening, a woman left her vehicle running while getting money from an ATM. A male suspect attempted to steal the vehicle. The victim was able to fight the suspect and get him out of the vehicle. He then fled. „„3500 Castlegate Dr. NW

– On Aug. 26 during the day, a man said that while he was on the street a male suspect approached him in a black sedan. He said the suspect jumped out of the car, put a gun to his head, and demanded he surrender his belongings. The victim handed over his wallet containing his driver’s license, debit/credit cards and $120 cash. The suspect then fled. „„1000 block of Huff Rd. NW – Aug. 26

in the morning, a woman said she was walking to the entrance of her building when a black four-door sedan pulled up next to her. A male suspect approached and snatched her purse. The purse contained credit/debit cards, a driver’s license and $20 cash. Several witnesses were on the scene that were able to describe and verify the incident. „„700 block of Holmes St. NW – On Aug.

27 in the morning, the victims said they were walking back to their apartment when they were stopped by a silver fourdoor sedan. Several suspects demanded the victims surrender their wallets after the suspects pointed a gun. The victims gave the suspects what they demanded. Officers responding to the area observed a vehicle matching the description of the getaway car and attempted to pursue it, but it was able to evade pursuit. 1300 block of Northside Dr. NW – On Aug. 27 in the morning, the victim told police he was sleeping in his vehicle when a male suspect approached. He said the suspect pointed a gun at him and demanded that he surrender his cash. The victim said he fled the scene and the suspect stole his iPhone 6. „„

„„1800 block of Cheshire Bridge Rd. NE

– On Aug. 27 in the morning, a victim said he was walking when he was approached by a male suspect. The suspect threated him with what he believes was a knife. The suspect then took the victim’s phone and money. The suspect fled the scene. „„1100 block of Woodland Ave. NE – On

Aug. 28 in the morning, a man said he was assaulted by an intoxicated friend. The victim said when he arrived at the location his friend began to attack him. He said he left, and when he returned the following day, the suspect hit his windshield with a metal object and demanded the money he was owed. The victim said he did not owe the victim any money, but gave him $20. The vic-

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SEPTEMBER 16 - 29, 2016

Public Safety | 23

tim had visible injuries and lacerations as a result of the incident.

“tired of her.” He then left.

„„2000 block of Bolton Rd. NW – On

Aug. 26 in the evening, the victim said he approached a vehicle that was loitering in the area of the business. He told the suspect that he needed to either leave or enter the business. The suspect said he wasn’t going to leave and that the victim couldn’t make him. The victim said he called the police. The driver became argumentative and called the victim names. The victim said as he tried to write down the vehicle’s tag the suspect attempted to run him over. Surveillance cameras were observed in the area.

Sept. 1 in the evening at a Metro PCS store, a man told police a male suspect entered the store and said, “This is a robbery,” and told everyone to get on the floor. The suspect was given two Metro PCS bags with $600 in them. The male fled the location. Surveillance footage captured a picture of the suspect. Latent fingerprints were collected and submitted as evidence.

AG G R AVAT E D A S S AU LT „„1900 block of Moores Mill Rd. NW – On

Aug. 21 in the morning, the victim said that he was involved in a dispute with a male at the location. He said he believed the suspect may have been under the influence of drugs. While the victim was at the location the male entered the residence and began acting belligerent. He attempted to fight the victim and threw a brick at him, striking him in the chest. The suspect also attacked the victim with a weed eater. The victim said that the suspect fled when he called 911. He believes the suspect may have been jealous because they had both dated the same woman. „„3500 block of Piedmont Rd. NE – On

Aug. 26 in the evening, the victim said that while watching a movie, she and the father of her child started to argue. She said she asked him to leave. He cocked a gun and pointed at her, saying he was

„„1900 block of Piedmont Cir. NE – On

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„„2600 block of Lenox Rd. NE – On Aug.

30 in the morning at an apartment, a man said he was in a verbal dispute with the arrestee. He said that they had been arguing and that the altercation turned physical. The victim said that the arrestee threw objects at him striking him in the face. A witness said that the two had been arguing and that the arrestee threw the first object. The victim had visible injuries from being struck.





surgery procedures.

„„2000 block of Bolton Rd. NW – On Aug.

31, a woman told police she saw a man inside her vehicle in a parking lot. She said her friend approached the male while he was in the driver’s seat. She said that as he confronted the male he pulled a handgun on him. The suspect then fled the scene in a getaway vehicle. The vehicle was left unlocked. Latent fingerprints were recovered and turned in for analysis.


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ATL A N TA PO L ICE A RREST SUSP EC T IN B U CKHEAD AND BR OOK H AV EN BURGLA RIES, H OME INVASIO NS Atlanta police have arrested a man suspected in a Buckhead home invasion and two burglaries in which police said he used a replica AK-47 assault rifle. Antwain Wolfork, 21, of 1431 Blyss Ave. NW, was apprehended by the APD’s Fugitive Unit in the early morning hours of Sept. 8 and has been charged with one count of home invasion and two counts of burglary with intent to commit a felony. “It was discovered that he used a very detailed, but fake replica of an AK-47 to commit these crimes,” according to an APD press release. Wolfork also faces charges in a violent Brookhaven home invasion on Aug. 3 in the 1700 block of Clairmont Way in which he shot the suspect in the arm. APD Public Information OfA man who used a replica AK-47 assault rifle has ficer Carlos Nino said Wolbeen arrested in connection with a Buckhead home invasion and two burglaries. fork faces charges of aggravated battery, armed robbery, burglary and possession of a weapon while committing a felony. “The way we tied him to the Atlanta incidents was through physical evidence found in his home,” Nino said. He declined to say what the evidence was. Nino said the Brookhaven suspect matched the description of the Buckhead suspect who could be seen on surveillance cameras in Buckhead. BH





24 | ■

Publisher’s Note / Introducing Atlanta Senior Life Did you know that 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 every day? I didn’t realize that so many members of the “Woodstock generation” were signing up for Medicare and Social Security already! That got us thinking about a local publishing opportunity geared toward this burgeoning segment of the population. With that in mind, we are pleased to announce that Springs Publishing LLC, parent company of Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown, has acquired the local edition of Senior News of Georgia and will relaunch it as Atlanta Senior Life. The new monthly publication’s target audience is the flourishing 65+ active senior population, which is the metro area’s fastest-growing age group according to the Atlanta Regional Commission.

started the Brookhaven Reporter in 2009 and the Dunwoody Reporter the next year; Atlanta INtown was acquired in 2013. Combined free circulation for the Atlanta Senior Life will be similar in format to bi-weekly Reporter our other papers, with crisp graphic design and Newspapers and Steve Levene high quality, full color printing. It will have an the monthly Atlanta Founder & Publisher initial circulation of 20,000 copies, distributed to INtown is 97,000 Springs Publishing LLC selected locations where active seniors live, work, copies. volunteer and play in the north metro areas of Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties. Look for the inaugural issue of Atlanta Senior Life in October around your community or find the first Atlanta Senior Life represents our sixth digital edition online at community-oriented paper since the company was launched nearly 10 years ago with the Sandy As always, I welcome your feedback; please email Springs Reporter and Buckhead Reporter. We me at Atlanta’s 65+ population is a large and diverse market, with active adults who have the means and motivation to enjoy their lives. Atlanta Senior Life will provide these readers with fresh, timely and engaging information focused on where they live.

Coming in October: A new way to reach active seniors TECHNOLOGY

Tablet Tips


page 10

Sen | Atlanta ber 2016



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aSeniorLi om/Atlant



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By Thoma Special





65+ % 89


is the fastest-growing age group in metro Atlanta

Projected increase in metro Atlanta’s 65+ population between 2010 and 2020 Net worth of 65+ households is 2.5 times the national average

Number of Baby Boomers in the U.S. who are turning 65 every day

For advertising and editorial information, call 404.917.2200 ext. 111


Published by Springs Publishing LLC

6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225

Sandy Springs, GA 30328

Phone: 404-917-2200

Fax: 404-917-2201 BH


Fall 2016

EDUCATION GUIDE Theater offers a part in ‘the ultimate group project’


Sam Reed, left, a student at The Galloway School in Sandy Springs, rehearses for “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged,” in the school’s Chaddick Theater on Sept. 8. PHIL MOSIER

For some local high schoolers, plays really are the thing

Farm-to-cafeteria: Schools provide fresh local produce for lunch



It says something about a high school class when a fire alarm goes off and nobody races gleefully for the door. Pace Academy theater teacher Sean Bryan said his “entire class moaned in great frustration” when a fire drill sounded during a recent acting class. His students were

doing their daily warmup — mimicking the leader of the moment in interpreting music through movement. “They were frustrated because they were having a blast,” Bryan said. On top of that, darn it, they had to put their shoes back on. See FOR on page 2

Here’s some food for thought: For thousands of metro Atlanta schoolchildren, the proverbial apple-a-day may come from just around the corner, thanks to a national farm-to-school initiative. In fact, healthy produce on the school lunch menu could be sprouting from as

close as a school garden that students help maintain and harvest, within a few hours’ drive on a Georgia farm or a stone’s throw regionally, in Florida or North Carolina. Since 2011, the school nutrition programs in the DeKalb and Fulton systems have participated in the National Farm to See FARM on page 14

TURNAROUND STRATEGIES Challenges for public schools

FAILING SCHOOLS Gov. Deal proposes state takeover

BACK-TO-SCHOOL COSTS Expect to pay more

Page 8

Page 9

Page 16

2 | Education Guide ■

Curious. Caring. Collaborative. in five languages.

For some local high schoolers, plays really are the thing

A Continued from page 1

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Pace began offering Upper School acting classes for the first time with Bryan’s arrival last school year. It joins other local high schools in taking theater far beyond the realm of just an after-school activity. Theater programs are growing at some area schools, despite education’s love affair with STEM, a curriculum that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math. Schools such as North Springs Charter High School have jumped on the “Picking Up STEAM (STEM+ A for Arts)” train, with Travis Chapman working as their full-time coordinator on the trending national initiative. STEAM recognizes that technical success requires creativity and critical thinking skills best developed through exposure to the arts, Chapman said. Theater, for example, is the ultimate group project. “There are so many tasks to be done to get to the final product, which is opening night,” Bryan said. “We have technical students, musicians, actors, assistant directors ... Everyone can’t be Dorothy [in the “Wizard of Oz”], but we still need to find a crystal ball for the Wicked Witch of the West.” Megan Cramer, the new Upper Learning theater teacher at The Galloway

School, has worked as associate artistic director of New York City’s 52nd Street Project, a nonprofit that connects inner-city kids with theater professionals. She said students have told her theater enhanced their presentation skills and taught them a lot about themselves and others. “The students can come together to work on a project and be able to present it to human beings in a space and in a moment that they share together,” Cramer said, “That’s so rare right now.” And it’s valued. Upper Learning students can earn class credit for working on school shows, she said. David Gay, a 25-year teacher in his second year at Dunwoody High School, said his theater classes prepare students who want to become professionals, but offer something for everyone. “You can act, build a set, work on a light board or a sound board,” Gay said. “For some people, this is an outlet where they find acceptance, community and family.” Raina Williams was feeling her way as a new freshman at Pace last year when a friend talked her into auditioning for the musical “Legally Blonde.” “I froze and I freaked out,” Williams said. “I didn’t even go back the next day for

Myron Parker, North Springs Charter High School

Celine Lagrange, Riverwood International Charter School

“Honestly, I never intended to join my school theater department because I didn’t think it would benefit me in my film career. But after getting involved in the classes, I’ve learned that theater is the foundation of any form of acting. Through three years of active participation in the productions, I’ve obtained many skills I would never have been able to develop on my own, and have learned how to appreciate the craft on a much deeper level.”

“I enjoy taking part in theater for more than the fact that I love acting. In the beginning of my high school career, I was too scared to perform in front of others. Thanks to my experiences in theater my freshmen year, I grew more confident. Now I keep returning to perform at my high school because of all the friends I’ve made. Returning for a new production is like attending a family reunion.”

Education Guide | 3

SEPTEMBER. 16 - 29, 2016 ■

NEW CHILD CARE CENTER NOW OPEN Bright Horizons® at Buckhead is a new child care center serving children 6 weeks through 5 years old. We offer Infant-Kindergarten Prep programs in addition to back-up and drop-in care. The center is accepting enrollment in all programs. Contact us to learn more!

State of the art facility with Movement Matters Zone and STEAM Lab


Curriculum developed for the individual child LEFT AND ABOVE PHOTOS, JAMES BARKER PHOTOGRAPHY; RIGHT, PHIL MOSIER

Passionate and nurturing teachers

A: Riverwood International Charter School Theater members pose with the “Lend Me a Tenor” script.

Bright Horizons at Buckhead 3565 Piedmont Road NE, Building 3, Suite T-100 Atlanta, GA 30305 404.467.9628 |

B: Riverwood’s Chip Carter, left, and Joe Virgin rehearse for the show.

2015 Bright Horizons Family Solutions, LLC


C: Theater instructor Megan Cramer, center, directs Ellie Kaufman during “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged” rehearsal at The Galloway School on Sept. 8.

the second part of the audition.” Somehow, Bryan saw potential behind the panic and cast Williams in non-speaking roles in that musical and others. She’s also worked props. “I just fell in love with the singing, dancing and the whole backstage thing of being in musicals,” Williams said. “There are costume changes, props that need to be distributed, managers keeping you on task. It’s like magic. I don’t know how it happens.” Williams has landed her first speaking role in the play “A Piece of My Heart,” the production to be staged at Pace this fall, and said theater has helped her manage stress. “Anyone can do theater and everyone should,” she said. “It has made me a happier person because it’s kind of an alternative way to express how I feel. It’s really like, for

Raina Williams, Pace Academy “I do theater because I simply can’t stop doing theater. When I decided to become involved in theater last year, I pictured us running around the stage as wild animals or meditating to get into to character. But theater is not that abstract concept I had in my mind; it’s about portraying human emotions in the most realistic way possible. Once I realized the simplicity of it, theater became the avenue for my emotions. Having that release has made me a happier person and that — and the fact that it’s fun — is why I do theater.

potential. realized.

C me, uplifting.” Bryan said theater also forces students to develop empathy as they step into another character’s perspective. Jon Tyler Owens, who teaches theater at North Springs Charter High School, reflected on the intimacy of live theater. “When you’re in a room with a good actor of a good company of actors, it can be a transcending

watch your child do good things • Beginners (3-year-olds)

Continued on page 4

through 8th grade

Lawrence Nieves, The Galloway School

• Extended-day program available

“I’ve never seen a group of kids so singlehandedly devoted to helping create a show. From costuming, to stagecraft, lighting, directing, choreography and more, students all want to help, and Galloway provides the ability to try whatever we want.”

• Preparation for Atlanta’s top high schools

• Respectful, collaborative learning environment

• Welcoming Christian atmosphere

Sarah Packman, Lovett School “By the end of a production, you are like a family with the other performers and you get to share that with the audience.”

open house November 5, 2016 9:30 a.m.- noon

404.228.0709 3110-A Ashford Dunwoody Rd. Brookhaven, GA 30319

4 | Education Guide ■

For some local high schoolers, plays really are the thing

D Continued from page 3

In July, students explored Glacier National Park during an Isdell Center for Global Leadership (ICGL) study tour. Photograph by Pace teacher Gus Whyte


We think Connecting learning to life at every level.

experience,” Owens said. “It can be kind of a game changer about how you view experiences, without the filter of a lens, which adds a separation.” Theater changed the game big-time for Galloway senior Isabella Swaak, who said she used to be “super shy.” “I felt like an outcast. I was taller than everyone, not as skinny as everyone,” she said. But after playing a sassy role in “The Little Mermaid” years ago, Isabella worked to take on some of the traits she admired about her character. She learned to love her body and became more self-confident, she said, stepping away from a recent rehearsal for “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).” At Dunwoody, Gay almost can’t talk about theater without bringing up DHS’ competitive speech team, which he started. “I tell students (speech) will change you,” said Gay, a “Triple-Diamond coach” in the

Reed Stewart, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School “I started out in theater because I wasn’t very competitive in sports and I wanted to be involved in a community that included people from other grades. I fell in love with theater from the first rehearsal because it was an environment that I could truly be myself. I wasn’t afraid to act silly and let go because I was and still continue to be surrounded by people that accept me for who I am. I have never been an outspoken person or a public speaker, but on stage I am able to overcome my fear of public speaking and step into a character for hours at a time. “


D: Dunwoody High School Music Director Mark Lamback, at piano, leads the school’s theater group through rehearsal of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” on Sept. 8. E: From left, Steff Rinzler, Isabella Swaak, top, Derrick Bass, and Cole Smith, right, practice during “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged” at The Galloway School on Sept. 8. F: Natalie Peek and Carlos Obregon get into character for Riverwood’s upcoming “Lend Me a Tenor” production. G: Chloe Kahn sings during rehearsal for Dunwoody High School’s play opening Oct. 20. H: Abby Vogelsang gives it her all in front of other Galloway theater students.

Blake Rosen, The Weber School “There is nothing as cathartic as live theatre. Engaging in an ensemble in every show makes me feel accepted for who I am, and working with the cast and crew at my high school provides unforgettable memories and learning experiences I will keep with me for the rest of my life.”


Education Guide | 5

SEPTEMBER. 16 - 29, 2016 ■



H National Speech & Debate Association. Senior Patrick Clinch joined the team last year and became a national qualifier in the finals for humorous interpretation. Clinch is one of the leaders of Dunwoody’s improv troupe, which performs monthly. He said theater has been a great way to burn off some of his pent-up energy, and it has made him feel confident about his ability to present and perform before audiences. “It can be difficult to be in high school, where there are a lot of social stratifications,” Clinch added. “Theater brings people together in a very unique way.” At North Springs, which has magnet programs in math/sciences and visual/ performing arts, Owens teaches an acting track and Joel King teaches a technical theater track. They stage three main productions a year. Their program’s motto: “We don’t do high school shows. We do professional shows with high school students.” They always do understudy shows of their productions, exposing more students to audiences. One of these shows became a defining moment for North Springs senior Myron Parker, who plays a slave named “Miles” in the PBS series “Mercy Street.”

Emily Brothman, North Springs Charter High School “The theater program offers me an opportunity for self-expression that I am not otherwise provided in school. The performing arts are truly amazing because they not only allow people to challenge their creativity and become open to new ideas, but also have fun while doing so.”

Parker said he started high school as a cocky film actor who didn’t think theater could do much for him. He signed up after he heard other actors talking about its benefits. By junior year he was getting lead roles in school plays “and not thinking about it hard,” Parker said. So he was stunned after he auditioned for a part in Henrik Ibsen’s play “Hedda Gabler” to find that not only was he cast as an understudy, it wasn’t even for a lead part. “I was very much devastated,” Parker said. “It was a really humbling experience.” But Parker said he “sucked it up,” and plunged into his character, “decoding” Ellert Lovborg until he understood him completely. In the end, the understudy show was “one of the most powerful performances that I’ve ever seen,” Parker said. “People in the audience were crying. That’s an experience I think I’ll take throughout my entire life.” His theater teacher, who studied Shakespeare in the United Kingdom as a Fulbright scholar, had always said he never wanted to teach high school students. But Owens’ need for a job coincided with an opening at North Springs five years ago. After a “horrible” first year, Owens said he has grown to appreciate a job he doesn’t plan to leave anytime soon. “There’s something really special about watching these kids develop,” he said. “Sometimes they make me so mad, but sometimes they make me so proud I’ve got tears in my eyes.”

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Natalie Peek, Riverwood International Charter School “Theater is the art of catharsis. To be submerged in a character allows one to learn about the human experience. Riverwood’s theater has always been a safe space at our school, with the actors, tech and our director. At the end of the day, it’s incredibly fun.”

love of learning starts here

6 | Education Guide â–

Celebrating the Present, Preparing for the Future At Trinity, students get to savor their childhood while also acquiring a deep academic foundation and developing responsibility, leadership, and a strong sense of self. Everything we do is designed to help children ages three through Sixth Grade flourish.

Local High School Theater Fall Playlist Pace Academy

The Westminster Schools

Trinity School is a magical place. Come see for yourself. Trinity School Open House Dates: 2016 October 26 | 9:30 AM November 15 | 9:30 AM December 8 | 9:30 AM

Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. and Sept. 23 at 4 p.m. in the Pace Academy Fine Arts Center, 966 W. Paces Ferry Road NW.

in Kellett Theatre at the Broyles Arts Center on the Westminster campus Tickets: Free

Tickets: Free

2017 January 18 | 9:30 AM Reserve your spot today: 404-231-8118

Oct. 28-29 at 7 p.m. in Kellett Theatre at the Broyles Arts Center on the Westminster campus Tickets: Free

Nov. 10-12 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 13 at 2:30 p.m.

Riverwood International Charter School

in the Pace Academy Fine Arts Center, 966 W. Paces Ferry Road NW. Tickets: $20 adults; $10 students

North Springs Charter High School


Oct. 6, 7 and 8 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. in the school auditorium, 5900 Raider Drive NW Tickets: $15 adults; $10 students

Galloway School Sept. 29, 30, Oct 1, 6, 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. (understudy show) on the North Springs Main Stage Theatre, 7447 Roswell Road


Parent Education Series, 2016-17 Swift School welcomes parents and community members to engage with top experts and school staff to become proactive and informed - as we educate our students to realize their full potential. Workshops are free, but registration is required.

A holistic education for students with dyslexia

Tickets: $15 adults; $8 students Oct. 14 and Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 16 at 2 p.m.

Cyber Safety Tues., Oct. 4, 2016; 8:30 a.m.

in the Chaddick Center for the Arts on campus

21st Century Skills/ Competencies Tues., Nov. 1, 2016; 8:30 a.m.

Tickets: $10

Dunwoody High School

Executive Functioning & Working Memory Tues., Jan. 10, 2017; 7 p.m. Understanding Assessments Tues., Feb. 7, 2017; 8:30 a.m.

300 Grimes Bridge Rd. Roswell, Georgia 678.205.4988

Dec. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 at 7:30 p.m. on the North Springs Main Stage Theatre, 7447 Roswell Road, and Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. (understudy show) in the Black Box Theatre on campus Tickets: $15 adults; $8 students

Oct. 20, 21 at 7 p.m. in the Dunwoody High School Auditorium

Education Guide | 7

SEPTEMBER. 16 - 29, 2016 ■

Marist School


Atlanta International School

Morning & Afternoon Brookhaven Shuttle

Change lives...change the world


Before Care Oct. 20 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Woodruff Auditorium on campus Tickets: $5

St. Pius X Catholic High School

Nov. 2, 3 and 4 at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 and 6 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Lademacher Performing Arts Center Tickets: $20 for adults; $15 for students

Atlanta Girls’ School K-12 Admissions Event Information can be found at

Oct. 20, 21, 22 at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. in the Msgr. Terry Young Center Auditorium on campus Tickets: $7 Nov. 10, 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. in the Tom King Theater

Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Msgr. Terry Young Center Auditorium on campus Tickets: $7 February 16-18, 24 and 25

The Lovett School

in the Tom King Theater

Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School Oct. 27, 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. in the Woodward Theater on campus Tickets: $10

Nov. 10, 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. Nov. 10, 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. in the Hendrix-Chenault Theater on campus Tickets: $10

Weber School

in the Fine Arts Building on the HIES campus. Tickets: $10

Holy Spirit Preparatory School

My History, My Power, My Legacy Nov. 6 and 7

Nov. 10, 11 and 12 at 6 p.m.

at The Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road , SW Atlanta

in the Upper School Auditorium at 4449 Northside Drive

Tickets: $10; free for students

Tickets: $10

Sources: Various schools

GAAn B’Ahava One of Ahavath Achim Synagogue’s new weekly Sunday programs as a part of the new religious school, Kesher@AA Two and three year-olds will develop their love for Jewish learning as they are empowered to explore, create, and dream through interactive learning methods. Gan means garden and is a place where our littlest sprouts get to grow their roots and begin their Jewish learning. Ahava means love and is the ethos of our early learning center at AA, guiding everything we do. For information on how to enroll, visit www. under Lifelong Learning or contact Robyn Faintich, Director of Education, at rfaintich@

8 | Education Guide ■

“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.” PERKINS+WILL

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen at MLK Jr. Middle School.

Dr. Maria Montessori

Turnaround strategies

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

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

An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers

Superintendent Meria Carstarphen outlines challenges to come for Atlanta Public Schools BY COLLIN KELLEY Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said she expects the 2016-17 school year to be one of the system’s most challenging as it continues to rebuild from the cheating scandal and faces some of its facilities being taken over by the state for underperformance. When residents go to the polls in November, they will vote on creating the Opportunity School District (OSD), which would allow the state to take over chronically failing schools. There are more than 20 APS schools that fall into that designation. Carstarphen promised last year that she would make aggressive moves to transform APS, which include shuttering some schools and putting others under the management of charter school groups. She said that pay parity for educators, facility quality, security and working to turn around the overall culture of APS was part of the strategy. One thing is for sure: APS is not going back, but forward. “Perhaps the major problem with APS in the past is that it was not child centered, but adult oriented,” Carstarphen said. “There was so much bureaucracy, so much politics. We lost our core purpose.” Since her arrival two years ago, Carstarphen has spent much of her time on the job “rebuilding and fixing problems that were never addressed,” including a $30 million proposition to arrive at pay parity for teachers. Replacing teachers and administrators with the best and brightest has been a hallmark of Carstarphen’s time at APS. She said it’s all part of rebuilding APS’s integrity. “You can’t talk about the future if you don’t fix the past,” Carstarphen said. Carstarphen said she is hopeful that recent comments by Gov. Nathan Deal will keep APS schools out of state hands if the OSD measure passes. “Gov. Deal said meeting achievement targets is the fastest way to get off the OSD radar, but if a school district is showing progress, that might also prevent a takeover.” However, Carstarphen is also realistic. “We’re not going to hit those targets immediately,” she said. “You can’t make a 30-percentage point gain in test scores without cutting corners, and we’re not going back to those days.” Another significant change for APS is the creation of its own police force. Carstarphen said the police department was another component of shifting the culture at APS. “The idea is to rethink a school model that goes beyond physical safety and adds a component of emotional safety,” Carstarphen commented. “The concept is that the officers are not only enforcing laws, but counseling and mentoring children as well.” The new APS police force has a chief of police and 68 officers, who have been trained specifically by grade level, and will work with students to prevent bad behavior and decisions before they happen. “If we want to break the pampers to prison pipeline for black and brown kids, which is really an issue in APS, we have to have people who do the preventive work so the bad decisions never happen,” Carstarphen said. “I don’t want our kids to fear the police, I want them to respect police. They need to have a school environment where the police are seen as an ally and not an enemy.”

Education Guide | 9

SEPTEMBER. 16 - 29, 2016 ■

Voters to decide whether state should take over ‘failing’ schools BY DONNA WILLIAMS LEWIS Voters across Georgia soon will decide whether the state should be allowed to take control of chronically failing public schools. Under a proposed constitutional amendment on November ballots, schools that receive an “F” rating from the state Department of Education for three years in a row could be temporarily assigned to a new “Opportunity School District” (OSD). Already, there is a list of schools eligible for state takeover under Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed plan. It currently includes 127 Georgia schools from 21 school systems. Two schools along metro Atlanta’s northern arc are on the list — DeKalb County’s Montclair and Woodward elementary schools, both lo-

state the authority to more effectively provide support and to remove barriers to students’ success. A group called Georgia Leads on Education is promoting the measure with a video that says it “preserves quality education for kids in good schools and creates new educational opportunity for less fortunate children who need it most.” But the amendment is vigorously opposed by some major teacher and parent organizations. The Georgia Association of Educators calls it a “serious executive over-reach by the governor,” saying the OSD threatens the stability of local schools and undermines local control of the community. The Georgia PTA sys the amendment is flawed

Montclair Elementary School in Brookhaven, considered a chronically failing school, is on the list for a state takeover.

cated in Brookhaven. Overall, about half of the schools eligible for takeover are in metro Atlanta, with 28 in DeKalb County, 22 in the city of Atlanta and 10 in south Fulton County. Several state charter schools in Atlanta and DeKalb are also on the list. Some schools on have closed or merged with others since the list was published. Deal’s proposal would allow the state to add up to 20 failing schools to the OSD each year, with a cap of no more than 100 schools in a district at a time. The state could share or completely assume management of the schools, convert them to charter schools, or close them. The OSD plan, developed after a study of similar programs in Louisiana and Tennessee, says the district would be led by a superintendent who is appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. The superintendent would report directly to the governor. The OSD or OSD charter school governing board would decide whether school employees would keep their positions. Employees not retained after the takeover would continue as employees of their local boards of education, which would decide whether to keep or release them. Dean’s proposal says it would give the

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and doesn’t address the core of the problem of low achievement. “It is unclear if this amendment is designed to improve education for Georgia’s children, or designed to convert more schools to charter schools with for-profit management companies,” PTA leaders wrote in a letter to elected officials. “While we firmly believe that the state should provide assistance to our children in struggling schools, the root cause of many issues in education is poverty.” All of the currently takeover-eligible schools have high rates of poverty, according to the state. Brookhaven’s Woodward and Montclair elementary schools have an additional challenge in meeting state guidelines. Most of the children at both of schools are in the system’s ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) program. Schools on the state’s takeover-eligibility list scored below 60 on a 100-point scale for three consecutive years on the qualifying measure, the College and Career Ready Performance Index. OSD schools would stay in the district for no more than 10 years and would be removed if they perform above the failing level for three consecutive years. After leaving the district, the schools would return to local control.


When you visit, you will see…

● our 1:6 average teacher/student ratio. ● confident, engaged learners. ● small groups of children working

together and learning in new ways.

● smiles on our students’ faces. ● care in our teachers’ guidance. ● the acquisition of lifelong skills in

everything we do.


10 | Education Guide ■

Education Briefs




Student Visit Days: starting 9·20·16 Family Information Nights: 10·6·16 and 11·8·16 Rise Arkin, Director of Admissions 404-917-2500 ext. 117 ·

Galloway School Middle Learning Principal and long-time softball coach Sarah Armstrong threw the first pitch at the school’s new baseball and softball facilities.



After The Galloway School abandoned its controversial effort to build a new softball complex in Sandy Springs, the school this summer struck a deal with Pace Academy to buy softball and baseball facilities on Warren Road in north Atlanta. “Our purchase of the Warren Road property fulfills the needs that we have at this time for additional athletics facilities to support softball and baseball,” Galloway spokeswoman Claire Horn said in an email. The complex at 2465 Warren Road includes a field and practice facilities for softball and baseball, and is located near the existing Galloway sports complex on Defoors Ferry Road, the school announced. Galloway opened its new sports complex on August 17 with a win by the varsity softball team, who beat North Atlanta High School 9 to 1. Last year, Galloway proposed building a softball facility on High Point Road in Sandy Springs, but the plan met strong opposition from neighbors. In January, Galloway withdrew the proposal. Pace says it will use the money from the sale to build new, state-of-the-art softball and middle-school baseball facilities at its Riverview Sports Complex, located at 5700 Riverview Road in Cobb County. Construction of the new facilities should be completed by late winter 2016, the school said in a press release.


Fulton County Schools received a new technology designation that recognizes its leadership in student privacy Continued on page 12

Education Guide | 11

SEPTEMBER. 16 - 29, 2016 ■

We are proud of our Vision for 21st Century Learning! In Atlanta, AJA is the only Jewish Day School offering preschool - 12th grade. Our Interdisciplinary Dual Curriculum and Learner-Driven Education model actively engages the children to reach their academic goals. We encourage:

Creativity and Innovation Collaboration Communication Critical Thinking & Problem Solving For a personal tour and to learn more about our wonderful school, please contact Erica Gal, Director of Admissions—404.520.9296 /


spirit, pride, & community


12 | Education Guide ■

SAINT FRANCIS SCHOOLS Providing an exceptional college preparatory program

Education Briefs

SAINT FRANCIS SCHOOL OFFERS: S.A.I.S. / S.A.C.S. Accredited  No Religious Affiliation  SB 10 Eligible  Challenging College Preparatory Curriculum  AP, Honors, Traditional, and Support Courses  Small Class Size and Low Student/ Teacher Ratio  Study/Organizational Skills  Wilson Reading System® 

ROSWELL CAMPUS Grades 1 - 8 (770) 641-8257 x51

Ms. Ellen Brown, Director of Admissions

UPCOMING TOURS Grades 1 - 5 Oct. 19 Nov. 9 Dec. 5

Grades 6 - 8 Oct. 18 Nov. 9 Dec. 6

 

     

Intensive Writing Approach S.T.E.A.M., Robotics, Broadcasting, and Video Google Apps for Education Laptops Required After School Homework Hour GHSA Sports Program Football and Equestrian Bus Service Available

Continued from page 8 protection and data security. Awarded by CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking), the Trusted Learning Environment Seal identifies school systems that demonstrate a commitment to ensuring the privacy and security of student data. “Fulton County Schools is pleased to be named among the nation’s top leaders in this important area,” said Serena Sacks, the school system’s chief information officer.


MILTON CAMPUS Grades 9 - 12 (678) 339-9989 x33

Mr. Brandon Bryan, Admissions Coordinator

UPCOMING TOURS Oct. 13 Dec. 1 Jan. 12

Saint Francis Elementary and Middle Schools | 9375 Willeo Road | Roswell, GA 30075 Saint Francis High School | 13440 Cogburn Road | Milton, GA 30004

Steven R. Turner Jr. and Rev. Ricardo Bailey, below

Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School has named a new associate head of school and a new head chaplain. Steven R. Turner Jr., the new associate head of school, was formerly associate head of school for curriculum and instruction, and the middle school division head at Notre Dame de


Sion School in Kansas City. The new head chaplain, the Rev. Ricardo Bailey, comes to Holy Innocents’ from The Westminster Schools, where he taught Sacred Scripture and The Modern Civil Rights Movement. He was previously a Roman Catholic priest in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, and also served as the chaplain of Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell. Bailey was formally received as an Episcopalian priest in 2013.


The Piedmont School of Atlanta has moved onto Oglethorpe University’s historic Brookhaven campus. The Piedmont School serves high-achieving children with autism and other learning and social challenges.


Riverwood International Charter School’s Band and Orchestra Boosters received a $6,000 grant from the Sandy Springs Society.

spiritually academically



The Sandy Springs Society has awarded a $6,000 grant to the Riverwood International Charter School Band and Orchestra Boosters. The grant provides specialized music instruction for band and orchestra students as well as for the purchase of a wireless microphone system. The grant will provide support to the growing music program.

athletically culturally artistically


Come Feel the Difference at an Upcoming Open House LOWER AND MIDDLE SCHOOL Main Campus (JK-8)

UPPER SCHOOL North Campus (9-12)

November 10, 2016 – 10 a.m. January 11, 2017 – 10 a.m. February 2, 2017 – 10 a.m.

October 16, 2016 – 2 p.m. November 12, 2016 – 9 a.m. January 12, 2017 – 9 a.m. • 770-971-0245 •


Seven students from North Springs Charter High School won national recognition this summer at the Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference in Atlanta. More than 9,300 high school students from across the U.S. and other countries took part. North Springs students Ohad Rau, Barnett Buchanan, a team of Sophie Frostbaum, Tanaka Chipere-Chitiyo and Morgan Tatje, Jordan Robinson and Vincent Dukes claimed honors.

Education Guide | 13

SEPTEMBER. 16 - 29, 2016 ■

Be Amazed. By and Beyond the Education. In a rapidly changing world, The Davis Academy is committed to preparing students for the future. From age 4 through eighth grade, our students grow through project-based learning, entrepreneurship and global experiences. When they discover the fun in learning, it inspires them to explore, share and learn more. The results are powerful.


But don’t take our word for it. Come see for yourself! Schedule a private tour today or join us for

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.

an upcoming event or parent information session. Call 678-527-3300 or visit us online at

Now accepting applications for the 2017-2018 school year. To learn more and register for an admissions tour, visit

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14 | Education Guide ■

Farm-to-cafeteria: Schools provide fresh local produce for school lunches Continued from page 1


Developing young men and women of honor, faith, and wisdom with the character and intellect to thrive in college and in life.

OPEN HOUSE Saturday, Nov. 12 Kindergarten, 1:00 pm Sunday, Nov. 13 Grades 1–5, 1:00 pm Grades 6–8, 3:30 pm Wednesday, Jan. 25 Grades 9–12, 6:30 pm The Lovett School practices a nondiscriminatory admission policy. Financial aid is available.

School Initiative, where students get to experience fruits and vegetables that are grown locally or regionally. Whether featuring regionally grown produce each month, setting up raised garden beds or potted plants on school campuses, or learning about agriculture and the food journey in the classroom, metro Atlanta schoolchildren are getting a better understanding of nearby food sources and healthy eating choices. “‘Farm to School’ is a national initiative that connects school students to local farmers,” said Joyce R. Wimberly, executive director of School Nutrition Services, DeKalb County School System, in an email. “This program supports the department’s mission to promote lifetime wellness to DeKalb County students and staff by serving meals that are high quality, nutritious, enjoyable and economical.” National interest in farm-to-school efforts has been increasing, according to the USDA’s Farm to School Program page. In 2013-2014, school districts responding to the department’s Farm to School Census purchased almost $800 million in local food from farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food processors and manufactur-


Cheri Mills, center, teaches students at Woodland Elementary School in Sandy Springs about acquatic gardens on Sept. 5.

ers, a 105 percent increase over the amount of local food bought in the 2011-2012 school year, when the first such census was conducted, the government organization said. Nationally, 42 percent of school districts responding to the 2015 census have farmto-school programs in place (as of the 20142015 school year) with another 16 percent having plans to start in the future, according to the website. In Dunwoody, Austin, Chesnut, Dunwoody, Kingsley and Vanderlyn elementary schools, Peachtree Middle School and Dunwoody High School take part in the Farm to Table program. In Brookhaven, Cross Keys High School and Ashford Park, Montclair, Montgomery, Kittredge and Woodward elementary schools are on board. And in Sandy Springs, all 11 schools in the city are involved in the program, according to the Fulton County school district. “The program has been very well received,” Wimberly said. “Success is measured by the number of students and staff that try the highlighted Farm to School item each month. Students look forward to the monthly items and the opportunity to taste-test different foods.” Students aren’t just learning about where their food comes from. Ruth Taylor, coordinator, School Nutrition Program at Fulton County Schools, said some schools take field trips to local farms so kids can actually see for themselves, or incorporate agricultural lessons into the curriculum. At schools with gardens, students are actually involved in maintaining and harvesting produce, further making a connection between the source of their food and the meals on their plates. DeKalb County purchases produce from a local produce vendor. Wimberly said seven different farms were used in school year 2015-2016 to supply the Farm to School produce — apples from Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge; strawberries from Mathews Farm in Baxley; peaches from Taylor Or-

Education Guide | 15

SEPTEMBER. 16 - 29, 2016 ■

SEIGAKUIN ATLANTA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Japanese-English Bilingual School    

3 year olds—6th Grade Absolutely no prior knowledge of Japanese needed for children 5 and under Christian Values After School available until 6:00 PM Japanese students are world-renowned for their high test scores, discipline, and level of academic achievement. At Seigakuin, your child will learn more than just a second language. They will be educated according to the curriculum set forth by the Japanese Ministry of Education—the very same curriculum that has led Japan to the top of the world in academic success.

5505 Winters Chapel Rd, Atlanta, GA 30360 TEL: (770) 730-0045 Facebook:


Aila Courtenay, a second grader at Woodland Elementary School, inspects her Swiss chard that is ready to plant. The school offers a STEM environmental science program, which includes 23 raised garden beds, fruit trees and an acquatic garden containing tilapia.

chards in Reynolds; squash, cucumbers, peppers and cabbage from Moore & Porter in Thomasville, and from Baker Farms and JR Baker Farms, both in Norman Park; and broccoli and kale from Spring Hill Farms in Tifton. Featured produce from Georgia farms in Fulton County schools during 2015-2016 included hydro bibb lettuce from StoneCreek Hydroponics in Hartwell; kale from Herndon Country Farms, Vidalia; cabbage from Southern Valley Fruit & Vegetable, Norman Park; Georgia blueberry juice from Southern Press & Packing in Blackshear; and Georgia cucumbers from Southern Valley in Norman Park. Fulton County schools also get produce from farms in North Carolina and Florida. In the DeKalb system, some Brookhaven/Dunwoody area schools have gardens, including: Chesnut Elementary; Montgomery Elementary; Dunwoody Elementary; Austin Elementary; Peachtree Middle; and Ashford Park Elementary.

Forty Fulton County schools have their own gardens, including Heards Ferry Elementary School and Woodland Charter Elementary School. Taylor said the initiative also includes animal and dairy. On the nutrition program side of the lunch table in Fulton, Taylor said there’s encouragement to work with cafe managers to partner with the school gardens. “In that way we can feature those things and incorporate those in school menus,” she said. “Students can see it from start to finish,” Taylor said. “They’ve held the plant, they grow it, they nurture it, harvest it. They see the cafe at workers prepare it,” Taylor said. “What we know is, when you have that experience as a student, you’re so much more likely to want to try that fresh fruit or vegetable. You see that complete cycle for those students. Anytime we can get that experiential learning, we see that impact on the students.”

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16 | Education Guide ■

Back-to-school costs are rising

Source: Huntington and Communities in Schools

R i v e r s i d e M i l i t a r y A c a d e my

T h e B es t i n B o y s E d u c a t i o n f o r 1 0 9 Year s ! Since 1907 Riverside Military Academy has remained one of the nation’s preeminent college preparatory academies educating young men in grades 7-12.

The 2016-17 Corps of Cadets consists of over 500 cadets from 26 countries and 30 states. Call today to schedule your personal tour of our beautiful 206-acre campus.       

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Year-round enrollment 15:1 cadet/teacher ratio AP/Honors Programs 14 varsity sports Performing and visual arts programs SACS/SAIS Accredited Worldwide Alumni


091616 Buckhead Reporter  
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