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Share your opinions, read the latest news, debate the issues facing Cobb County School District, with special focus on public schools located in East Cobb.

Brumby Elementary Named School of Excellence by National PTA

Cobb County Schools

Brumby Elementary and King Springs Elementary schools have been named 2014-2016 Schools of Excellence by the National PTA. Both schools were recognized for their achievement in building effective family-school partnerships, and were among just 170 schools nationwide to receive the two-year designation.

Both Brumby Principal Amanda Richie and King Springs Principal Linda Keeney were thrilled with the honor, and were excited to hear that their schools each would receive a National PTA School of Excellence banner.

“We have an outstanding PTA at Brumby and they have worked very hard to make parents feel welcome and included in all of the decisions that impact our school,” said Ms. Richie. “This recognition really affirms the strong partnership between our school and the community.”

The National PTA often cites the strong correlation between schools with engaged, involved families, and student success.



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Sprayberry Drama presents Dessert Cabaret


Sprayberry High’s Drama Department will host their Dessert Cabaret Fundraiser Sept 5-6.

Enjoy two nights full of songs and sweets in Sprayberry’s Theatre. Dessert service begins at 7pm and the show begins at 7:30. Stage seating with dessert buffet is only $10 and audience seating with no dessert is $6. Stage seating is limited to 60 a night so call Marc Middlebrooks to reserve your tickets (770) 578-3200 x337.

Sprayberry High School is located at 2525 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta.

Prep Roundup: Johnson Ferry wins season opener


Johnson Ferry Christian jumped ahead early in their season opener Friday, taking a three-touchdown lead at the end of the first quarter, on the way to a 34-0 victory over Greenville (S.C.) The Saints scored touchdowns in all three phases in the win.

Dewan Warbington caught two passes for 60 yards and added two rushing touchdowns for Johnson Ferry. Peter Elder was the leading rusher with 74 yards on 15 carries to pace the Saints.

Thomas Gilbert returned a punt 41 yards for a touchdown.

Defensively, Luke Jarrett had 10 tackles and a sack. Luke Chauncey had a 4-yard interception return.

Johnson Ferry will play at New Creation Academy on Friday in McDonough.

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Click HERE to read the original article.)  

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Special teams, defense prove key for Longhorns in Corky Kell win

Julien Chang’s first-quarter punt was, arguably, the play of the game, pinning Carrollton inside its own 1-yard line, and leading to a Trojan fumble and Longhorn touchdown. Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter


A 54-yard punt off the foot of Julien Chang gave Kell all the momentum it needed to beat Carrollton 20-7 Saturday morning in the Corky Kell Classic at Walter Cantrell Stadium.

Chang’s booming punt hit the ground at the 20-yard line and bounced perfectly out of bounds, inches inside the left pylon, to pin Carrollton inside its own 1. On the very next play, the Trojans’ Jarvis Terrell fumbled the ball into the end zone and Kell’s Bryson Armstrong fell on it to give the Longhorns a 7-0 lead with 27 seconds left in the first quarter.

“Sometimes, it is better to be lucky than good. That was a great, lucky bounce, but we have been working on that,” Kell coach Derek Cook said. “We told Chang he needed to be working on his angle, kicking to put the ball out of bounds inside the 10. And I was very happy for him that he was able to get it done (Saturday).”

Kell (1-0) kept the momentum rolling on Carrollton’s ensuing possession, as Michael McCain intercepted Jack Garrett’s pass on the second play of the drive to set the Longhorns up on the Carrollton 36. The Trojans (0-1) held Kell to a 33-yard field goal attempt that Chang put through for a 10-0 Kell lead.

The Longhorns’ defense allowed a mere 45 yards of total offense in the first half, and Itabari Mason recovered his own fumble into the end zone on a 2-yard touchdown run as time expired on the first half. The extra point gave Kell a 17-0 halftime advantage.

Kell’s defense allowed 199 yards of total offense in the game, with 40 coming on a desperation pass late in the game.

“Our kids played really hard,” Cook said. “They didn’t concern themselves with the conditions. They just went as hard as they could as long as they could. When they peeled off because of heat or injury, the next guy went in, and there really wasn’t much of a drop-off. Very pleased with our first- and second-team effort (Saturday).”

Armstrong was able to find holes in the Trojans’ defense all day long, as he caught nine passes from Cameron Rosendahl for 108 yards. All but two of Armstrong’s catches went for a first down.

“We have been practicing a lot lately, and I think we have it down,” Armstrong said. “We just have that connection, and I am liking it.”

Rosendahl was 15-for-22 with 170 yards through the air and added 67 rushing yards on 15 carries. He said he knows where to find Armstrong on the field.

“Me and Bryson have always had a connection. It is always simple for us,” Rosendahl said. “We could close our eyes and do it.”

Mason finished with 14 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown.

Jarvis Terrell broke free of the Kell defense for a 41-yard touchdown run and the Trojans’ only points on the day. The run was one of only four plays Carrollton had of more than 7 yards.

Chang also connected on a 22-yard field goal to give the Longhorns a 20-7 lead with 2:20 left in the game.

With the win, Kell improved to 4-1 in the Corky Kell Classic, the event named after the school’s namesake, longtime Wheeler football coach and Cobb County administrator Carlton “Corky” Kell.

Kell was one of the minds behind what would become the Classic, which debuted in 1992 and was further developed by McEachern’s Jimmy Dorsey and Brookwood’s Dave Hunter following Kell’s death in 1995

The loss spoiled the Carrollton coaching debut of Ed Dudley, the former longtime Walton coach. It was the first time Dudley had coached a game in Cobb County since 2008, just before his departure for Ware County.

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Written by Matt Nascone, MDJ Sports Correspondent, August 24, 2014. Click HERE to read the original article.)

High Meadows New Preschool Playscape Encourages Learning through Play

high meadows school

High Meadows Sixth Grader McKenzie Pascal and Eighth Grader Hayden Shickler cut the ceremonial ribbon as Roswell Mayor Jere Wood and Executive Assistant to the Mayor Robyn Kenner cheer them on.

High Meadows School celebrated the opening of its one-of-a-kind, nature-based “playscape” with a special a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 20. Roswell City Mayor Jere Wood, School Founder Jody Holden, and members from civic organizations were all in attendance for the event.

From the beginning, High Meadows’ mission and curriculum have been rooted in outdoor experiential play. When planning the transformation of its preschool playground, creating a space that encouraged connection to nature, discovery, and exploration were vital elements.

The planning committee wanted to create a space for the school’s youngest students to climb, build, balance, and imagine in a space that reflected the school’s core values. High Meadows employed HGOR, a landscape architectural firm, to design the playscape based on those values. The work was completed over the summer under the supervision of Bill Kolbrener, a former High Meadows board member and parent.

“A play area for young children is much more than a place for slides and toys; it is an integral part of a child’s academic and social curriculum,” said Head of School Jay Underwood. “A well-planned play area engages a child’s imagination, creativity and thinking skills. Unlike in traditional play areas, our children balance on logs, climb on hills and boulders, and portray imaginary characters on an outdoor stage. Our Preschool Playscape encourages our youngest children to live our values of experiential and environmental education…and, of course, have great fun along the way!”

High Meadows is a private, nonprofit, coeducational, independent and nonsectarian day school for student preschool through eighth grade. Established in 1973 and located on 42 acres of meadow and woodland in Roswell, Ga., High Meadows School’s innovative, inquiry-based, integrated curriculum emphasizes love of learning, creativity, meaningful connections, and environment responsibility. High Meadows is a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School. Information at 770.993.2940 or

High Meadows School is located at 1055 Willeo Road, Roswell, Ga. 30075. For more information call 770.993.2940.

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MBCA schedules Fall Open House

MBCA Mt Bethel Christian Academy logo

Meet the MBCA Head of School, Jim Callis, explore classrooms and learn more about Mt. Bethel Christian Academy at the first Open House for the 2015-16 school year on Thursday, November 13 at 10 a.m. The Academy now offers bus transportation to Smyrna, MBCA’s Upper School and Dunwoody/Sandy Springs. Plan now to attend to learn more about MBCA’s Lower School, Middle School and Upper School. For more information, please contact the Academy at (770) 971-0245 or visit

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Fifth Grade Writing Scores Hold Steady


The Fifth Grade Writing Assessment was administered to 8,061 students in March 2014, requiring fifth graders to write a  composition on an assigned topic. Trained evaluators score each student paper based on the four domains of effective writing: Ideas, Organization, Style, and Conventions. The test results are designed to help students, teachers and parents understand specific areas where students may need to focus their efforts to improve writing skills during middle school. Student composition skills are  evaluated again during eighth grade and assessed prior to graduation with the Georgia High School Writing Test.

The scale score range for the Grade 5 Writing Assessment is 100 to 350, and scores are reported in the following performance levels: Does Not Meet (100-199), Meets (200-249), and Exceeds (250-350). Summary data for the Fifth Grade Writing Assessment by may be found on the Cobb School District’s website, The above chart displays the scores of East Cobb Schools.


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Mt. Bethel Christian Academy Opens Upper School


With the addition of a new Upper School campus, Mt. Bethel Christian Academy becomes the first and only faith-based, K-12  independent school in East Cobb. On April 30, 2014, Mt. Bethel finalized the acquisition of 32 acres near the corner of Post Oak Tritt  Road and Holly Springs Road. The site had been owned by the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, which had operated it as a preschool and athletic recreation facility for several decades.

Mt. Bethel Christian Academy was founded in 1998 by a church whose East Cobb roots go back well over a hundred years. Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church has been a mainstay of the community since 1840. In its first sixteen years, Mt. Bethel Christian Academy has grown from a starting class of twenty-five kindergartners to 540 students in grades K-8th. And now, with the addition of an Upper School campus serving grades 9-12, the school is poised to grow further still.

Enrollment growth at the Upper School is planned in two phases. Phase One allows for a total of 160-180 students. Phase Two, which will require the addition of new classroom space, will push enrollment to a maximum of 450 students – approximately 110 per grade level. Applications for the Class of 2018, Mt. Bethel’s founding class of freshmen, are being accepted now for enrollment this August. To accommodate families moving into the area or those who may be considering a school change, enrollment will continue into the fall as space permits.

College-preparatory in its approach, Mt. Bethel’s Upper School curriculum is designed to challenge students with honors and AP courses offered in all core subjects. Students will be guided through the rigorous curriculum by expert teachers. The founding faculty of the Upper School are deeply experienced, certified educators who welcome the opportunity to form deep, impactful relationships with students.

For students interested in athletics, the new Upper School campus abounds with opportunity. The expansive facilities include tennis courts, swimming pool, cross country course, indoor and outdoor gymnasiums, fully equipped fitness center, baseball field, and  activity field. In addition, the campus features a two-acre pond which will be used for recreation as well as experiential learning as it is incorporated into the science curriculum.

Over the course of a high school career, the typical student will spend nearly 5,000 hours in direct contact with his teachers and coaches. Outside of their parents, these relationships may well be the most important in a student’s life. Mt. Bethel faculty take seriously their responsibility to be Godly role models for students who are being prepared academically, physically and spiritually to leave home, move on to success in college, career and community.

To learn more about Mt. Bethel Christian Academy, visit or contact Jackie Grasty, Director of Admission at 770-971-0245.


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PTAs Welcome a New School Year

Anne Davidson

Photo by Julia Curran Photography

Welcome to the 2014-15 school year. This year the theme for the East Cobb County Council of PTAs (ECCC PTA) is “Together We Touch the Future.” As parents, as PTA volunteers, as teachers, as administrators and as a community, together we strive to help our children to grow and to learn.

There is nothing more important than our children. We want their education to prepare them to thrive – as individuals, at work, within their family and as part of their community. A high quality education is indispensable in an increasingly competitive world – and our efforts to support education are essential for our children’s success and critical to the vitality of our families, businesses and communities. With our efforts we will make a difference – and we will touch the future. The ECCC PTA is made up 35 local PTAs,  whose volunteers offer their time, energy and skill to support our teachers and principals – who do their best, every day, to give our children an excellent education. The ECCC PTA and our local PTAs provide programs that enrich the student learning experience. East Cobb PTAs contribute funding to enhance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum, to expand the  offerings in media centers and to provide access to reading and math software that supplement academic progress. PTA family  engagement efforts reach out to involve parents in their children’s education. Our legislative teams educate our community about issues that impact education quality – and this fall, they will be actively providing nonpartisan voting information and reminders about the November election.

Our membership teams have developed an impressive portfolio of business partners who offer useful discounts and benefits to PTA members. The PTA Reflections program presents students a chance to demonstrate talent in the arts – through writing, drawing, painting, photography, dance, music and other genres. Our PTAs celebrate and embrace the diversity in our communities, encourage community service, facilitate programs to enhance environmental education and share best practices on health and wellness.

East Cobb PTA organized activities – such as fall fairs, fun runs, class picnics, multicultural events, field days and school dances – cultivate a spirit of family and community. We invite you to join us – our local PTAs, the ECCC PTA, the 9th District PTA, the Georgia  and National PTAs – to support our schools, to strengthen our children’s educational success and to improve our children’s opportunities for a better future. Our PTA members are parents, grandparents, students, teachers, school administrators and community and business partners. We have a shared goal that our children receive a high quality education so that they may reach their fullest potential. Let’s work together to make that reality. Together we touch the future – for every child, for every family, for  every community. “Every Child. One Voice.”

Written by Anne Davidson, the 2014-15 president of the East Cobb County Council of PTAs (ECCC PTA). She lives in Sibley Forest with her husband, Matt Njaa, and her two boys, Matthew (10) and Nate (9), who attend Sope Creek Elementary School. Anne is a  volunteer for the ECCC PTA, the Sope Creek Elementary School PTA and in her community. 



Photo courtesy Walton Band

The 2014/2015 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association President, Richard Chinen and his wife, Kimberly, will visit the Walton Marching Raider Band at the Band’s annual Dress Rehearsal on August 16, 2014, 8pm, to formally welcome Walton as one of 20 marching bands chosen to make the historic 5-mile journey down Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard on Thursday, January 1, 2015.

Walton’s Band, Directed by Mr. Mike Back and Assistant Director Jeff Pollock, will march into Raider Valley at this season’s premier Full Dress Rehearsal. Upon arrival into the stadium, the Marching Raider Band at 200 members strong, including the Color Guard/Dance Company, and led by Drum Majors – Katherine Roddy, Gina Kim, Elizabeth Frickey, and Rachel Cornell. The Band will perform this season’s marching program entitled “Compass Rose.”

On Saturday evening of his whirlwind August visit, Mr. Chinen will be welcomed to Walton’s “Raider Valley “ stadium by Cobb County Commissioner Bob Ott, Cobb County School District (CCSD) Post 6 Board Member Scott Sweeney, Christopher Ferrell CCSD Supervisor of Instrumental Music, Walton High School Principal Judy McNeill and Walton High School Band Director Mike Back with Assistant Director Jeff Pollock.

The evening’s festivities will include Mr. Chinen’s presentation of the traditional Rose Parade flag to the Walton Marching Raider Band along with the Band’s personal invitation to march in the 2015 Tournament of Roses® Parade. The flag represents the band’s prestigious participation in the 126th Rose Parade. Another highlight of the evening will include the drawing of the winning raffle ticket for a 7-night cruise with Holland America Cruises which students sold tickets for throughout the summer in order to raise funds to pay for the trip to Pasadena.

Please plan to join the Walton Marching Raider Band as they welcome the Rose Parade President and local politicians and dignitaries at Walton’s Stadium, known as “Raider Valley”, located at 1590 Bill Murdock Road, Marietta at 8pm, on Saturday, August 16 as they perform this year’s show, entitled “Compass Rose.”

For additional information on Walton High School’s participation in this internationally famous event, please contact Michele Reale at or Lisa Frits at or visit the band’s web site


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