Vinings Hosts Ice Cream Social

The Vinings Ice Cream Social on Sunday, July 15 salutes “National Ice Cream Day” with fun for the whole family.

The event, sponsored by the Vinings Historic Preservation Society, will be held at from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Historic Pace House and Pavilion on Paces Mill Road. There are certain to be some surprises and fun for all ages is guaranteed. Come on out and bring your family and friends for a day of good old fashioned summer fun.

Admission is free to VHPS members and children under 12. Admission for non-VHPS members over the age of 12 is $5 at the door. Please park across the street in the Piedmont Medical and Fidelity Bank parking lot.

From the July 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Whitefield Student Is Chess Champ

Drew Justice, a Whitefield Academy Sixth grader, recently represented his school in the National Elementary Chess Championship held in Nashville, Tennessee.

The tournament, sponsored by the U.S. Chess Federation, draws more than 2,000 players from around the country in a four-day event that begins with a 6-round blitz (fast chess) tournament and concluding with a 7-round standard tournament. Justice had an outstanding performance in the K-6 blitz tournament, claiming first place.

Overall, Justice holds four national titles in chess: 2013 K-1 Co-Champion, 2015 K-3 Blitz Co-Champion, 2017 K-6 Bughouse Champion, 2018 K-6 Blitz Co-Champion (1st place on tiebreaks). In the 2018 regular tournament, Justice came close to securing another national title. After winning his first five matches, he played very well in round 6 to earn a draw. Then, still tied for first place going into the final round, he was outplayed by a strong opponent from California and ended the regular tournament in 8th place. There are three types of chess championships: regular (90 minutes per player), blitz (5 minutes per player), and bughouse (partner chess).

Justice is a chess “Expert” (2000 U.S. rating), and hopes to get to “National Master” (2200 rating) by the end of middle school. He has been an avid chess player since he was three years old. In addition to chess, Justice enjoys playing basketball, football, and looks forward to being in the marching band next school year. He enjoys the challenge of playing other top players from around the country, and also teaching chess to younger children at Whitefield through after school programs and summer camps.

Whitefield Academy is a Christ-centered, college preparatory school serving more than 800 students in PreK4 through 12th grade. For more information, visit whitefieldacademy.com.

From the June 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton,  and Austell, GA.

Brinker To Lead International Academy

Katrina Brinker has been selected as the new Head of School for International Academy of Smyrna (IAS) and will assume her role on July 1. Brinker most recently served as the Assistant Principal at IAS.

“We are excited that Katrina will remain an integral part of the IAS family and community,” said Cornell Longino, IAS board chair. “She is a servant leader who exhibits humility and enthusiasm. We have the utmost confidence that she will support the growth and achievement of our school.”

Brinker has been involved in education for more than 15 years. She holds both an associate of science degree in Dental Hygiene and bachelor’s degree from Indiana University; a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and an Educational Specialist degree from Indiana State University; she also has a certification in Turnaround Leadership from Harvard University.

“I am dedicated to ensuring a well-rounded, focused learning environment that will benefit all students, their families and the IAS community,” said Brinker. “Together, I believe that all things are possible.”

She and her husband, Terrance, have three children and are members of The Breakthrough Fellowship in Smyrna. Among her volunteer commitments include her participation with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Ellipsis Women’s Ministry and Fusion Couple’s Ministry.

From the June 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

King Springs Parents Create Trail To Griffin

While King Springs Elementary School teachers were busy preparing fifth grade students for their move to middle school, members of the School Council worked to pave a literal path to Griffin Middle School.

During a panel discussion with parents in the fall, the School Council determined that there was a need to fix up the walkway that connects the elementary school to the middle school. Dozens of students use the path everyday to avoid the traffic as they walk to and from school. Students also use the path during the day when walking to events like field day.

To help fund the improvements to the pathway, the King Springs School Council applied for and won a $1,000 grant from Keep Smyrna Beautiful. They used the grant funds and a small amount from the PTA to install timber edging and crushed granite along the path. They also added two-dozen shrubs and solar lights. One school family donated three Japanese maples.

More than a dozen school volunteers and the King Springs principal, Dr. Cindy Szwec, worked together to beautify the path.

From the June 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

WellStar Vinings Heath Park Opens Surgery Outpatient Center

The final piece of the new WellStar Vinings Health Park fell into place with the opening of the Outpatient Surgery Center in April.

The 20,000 sq. foot surgery center includes 17 private prep and recovery rooms, three operating rooms and three procedure rooms.

The new center will also provide onsite treatment and testing, pharmacy and pathology support and   a private patient discharge elevator.

“Tonight is special because it another event in the yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of Cobb Hospital allowing us to serve our community closer to home,” said Callie Andrews, President of WellStar Cobb Hospital.

The Vinings location opened in September of 2017 as the third Health Park in Cobb. A fourth will open in Cherokee County in February.

Dr. Bill Mayfield, WellStar chief surgical officer, “what we have done here, is that we have reinvented the future of surgery.”

The new facility is “designed for patient safety, patient experience and patient flow. (The center is) packed with technology and connected by one electronic medal record.”

“Opening our Vinings Health Park Outpatient Surgery Center will allow us to meet the growing demand for outpatient care in the local market,” said Joe Brywczynski, senior vice president of WellStar Health Parks Administration & Development. “This addition allows us to offer a variety of outpatient medical services and procedures to patients close to home, in one location for increased convenience.”

The addition will create 25 new jobs, increasing the total employment at the Vinings Health Park to more than 175 team members.

From the May 2018 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Campbell Is Now Cobb’s Largest High School

Campbell High School opened the school year with some 2,957 students enrolled, making it the largest high school in Cobb County.

“We are bursting at the seams,” said Principal Jeannie Walker. Rooms that had been converted from classrooms to other purposes have been reconfigured as classroom space to accommodate new staff, she said. With some no-shows after the first day’s count, the student population is at 2,800 “but that continues to grow, and will do so again after Labor Day,” a school spokesman said.

Campbell had 2,664 enrolled in March, and by August 1 had increased nearly 10 percent. North Cobb was the largest school in Cobb in March’s count with 2,851.

“We’ve got more bodies crammed into the same space,” she added. The classrooms were built in the 1960s and are not as adaptable as newer construction.

Campbell has added 6.5 new teaching positions for the upcoming year and has 38 new employees.

“The Spartan staff is strong and keeps appositive attitude” she said.

“Campbell High School exceeded the previous year’s performance in all areas on the end of course test last year,” said Walker. Not only did they have the highest SAT, ACT & CCRPI gains for 2016, they achieved a 93 percent IB diploma rate and 92 percent of the seniors enrolled in 2017 graduated on time.” Other notable Campbell accomplishments are listed on page 9 of this issue.

Other changes coming to the school include a new football coach who arrived in the spring and will lead the Spartans on the field this fall. Kyle Adkins comes from Pope High school. His wife April is also a teacher at Campbell.

Parking space will also be an issue this school year as construction of a new gymnasium has removed a parking lot in front of the Nash Gym. It is expected to open in January.

The reduction in parking will be felt during sporting events and open houses and only seniors will be allowed to park on campus.

From the August 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Celebrate Mableton Day On May 13

The annual Mableton Day celebration is set for May 13 at the Mable House Amphitheatre complex.

“We are excited to kick off the 12th Annual Mableton Day Celebration,” said Albert McRae III, Chairman of the Mableton Day Coalition. “It’s the time of year we meet exciting non-profits, businesses, and volunteers that serve and believe in the Mableton community the same as we do.”

The day kicks off for the Mableton Day 5K & Kid’s Fun Run at 8 a.m. Following the 5K race is the Mableton Jr. 1-mile Fun Run.

5K entries are limited to 500 runners and the Fun Run is set for 100, so make it a priority to register online now. Online registration though May 6 at www.mabletonday.com/5k-race. Race day registration is $35

The day’s festivities continue through 4 p.m.

Entertainment for Mableton Day is full of experienced professional, local and new entertainment, school performances, and special guests. The schedule includes a Salute to the Armed Forces, local awards, and ends with the Community Spirit Awards and Trophy ceremony. Past Mableton Day crowds have enjoyed live bands, cheerleaders, solo performances, Chinese dancers, cloggers, ballet, and melodies of jazz, contemporary, hip hop, country, blues and much more.

Whether jumping on inflatables, testing fitness through hoops, learning safety tips, playing old fashioned games, creating pieces of art work, or just relaxing, the Kids Corner is a fun place for children to play and learn.

Demonstrations by accomplished artists will be presented throughout the day. You can watch a potter turn clay into a cup or bowl. See a landscape emerge from watercolors or charcoal pencils. The artists are happy to talk about their art with visitors.

The 8th Annual Mableton Day Car Cruise-In features classic cars from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is registration fee. However, registration is still required, either before the event or on Mableton Day, if space is still available. This show is for fun for everyone with an emphasis on exposing our youth to American automotive history.

For more information on any of these events, email admin@mabletonday.com or call Albert at 678-524-9026.

From the May 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Candlelite Concerts Planned

The season is set for the 2017 Candlelite Concerts, presented by the South Cobb Arts Alliance at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre. Admission is free with plenty of covered seating and room on the lawn, too. Pack a picnic dinner and enjoy an evening of music in one of the best outdoor venues in the metro area.

Tables that seat six people are now on sale for $216 for the entire season or $60 for a single concert. (Sorry, no refunds.) Parking is free for all attendees. Gates open at 7 p.m.; performances begin at 8 p.m.

The line-up for this summer includes:

  • May 20 – Domino, the Van Morrison tribute band.
  • June 17 – Peter Karp and the Roadshow Band, American blues.
  • Aug. 19 – Soulhound, groove-oriented R&B, soul and greasy funk of the late sixties and seventies.
  • Sept. 16 – Red Head Diamond, smooth California-style 70’s rock, such as Linda Ronstadt’s greatest hits, as well as favorites by Fleetwood Mac.

The Amphitheatre is located at 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton. Call 770-819-3285 with any questions or to reserve a table today!

From the April 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Austell Churches Set Good Friday Service

Want to deepen your Easter Sunday experience this year? Rewind to Good Friday and gather with folks from across our community for the annual Seven Last Words service at Austell Presbyterian Church.

Seven local pastors will share their insights on the last seven words spoken from the cross. This year they include Rev. Michael Martin (Austell First United Methodist), Rev. Clarence Ellerbee (Causey Chapel Baptist Church),Tim Ridgeway (Austell First Baptist), and Rev. Tracy Carter (Bethsaida Baptist Church). Also preaching will be Rev. Debra Stewart (Smith Chapel United Methodist), Rev. Malcom Lewis (Beacon Hill Baptist Church) and Rev. Spencer Haygood (Orange Hill Baptist Church).

It begins at 12 noon and continues until 3 p.m. on April 14. This special service (presented in partnership with Sweetwater Mission), is designed so you may come and go or stay for the entire three hours.

Austell Presbyterian Church is located at 5895 Love St. in Austell. Call 770-948-2822 for more information.

From the April 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.

Theatre Project Presents ‘Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’

Anderson Rothwell of Roswell plays the part of Joseph in the Theater Project presentation.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” will be presented by The Theatre Project this spring at the Mable House Amphitheatre.

This high-energy musical, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, is based on the coat of many colors story of Joseph from the Old Testament. The play follows Joseph, the father’s favored son; as he is sold into slavery by his jealous brother and taken to Egypt where he becomes second in command to Pharaoh and eventually reunites his family.

The musical journey is a kaleidoscope of colorful dance numbers and memorable music.
Performances for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” are scheduled for Friday, April 21 at 7 p.m.; Saturday April 22 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday April 23 at 5 p.m. at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton.

Advance tickets are $8 per adult 13 years and older general admission, and $60 per table (6 seat limit). Children 12 and under are Free. Tickets can be purchased from Ticketmaster.com, the Mable House Arts Center or the Amphitheatre Box Office. For more information please call 770-819-3285.

From the April 2017 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.