Around Town 32

Westlake Principal Alexandra Bates Named Principal of the Year for Fulton County

Alexandra Bates is a focused, innovative, collaborative leader whose life’s purpose has been to ensure that each student reaches his or her maximum potential. Her focus on rigorous classroom instruction, student data, and professional development have yielded positive student learning outcomes. Her record is stellar, making Westlake a beacon from which other high schools borrow ideas. As principal of Westlake High School she has made a meaningful impact- 1st ever National Merit Finalist, increased the graduation rate by at least 5 points each year, increased the CCRPI score to be the lead school in the South Learning Community (SLC), but also surpassing schools in the north end of Fulton’s district, created structures and protocols to ensure Westlake focus is on student development, and by building the capacity of teachers and leaders with the building. As an assistant principal at Westlake High School, she made a tremendous impact in the areas of teaching and learning. As the administrator serving the math, science and magnet departments, some of her most noteworthy accomplishments include: targeted professional development, 29% increase in GPS Geometry score, a 27% increase Physical Science scores, and increases in AP Calculus. Additionally, she played a vital role with the Come West 8 program and Westlake’s recently accepted International Baccalaureate application for candidacy.

Before coming to Westlake, she was identified as an exceptional educator by Columbia University’s Teachers College and Teach For America (TFA) which led to her receiving a principal fellowship. As a Data Support Specialist, Mrs. Bates had a tremendous impact on student achievement by facilitating data driven professional development and increasing the visibility, utilization, and analysis of students data in all content area which lead in double digit gains for the schools that she served.

In addition to her work in schools she contributes to the educational community as an advocate for students as a member of the TFA Teacher Leadership Development (TLD) Advisory Council, Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), and National Council of Teacher of Mathematics. Mrs. Bates also contributes to the development of new leaders through Columbia University Teachers College as a leadership coach for their Summer Principal’s Academy.

Bates, a native of New York, is in her 16th year of service as an educator. She began her career as a classroom teacher in elementary, but also spent some years as a middle school math teacher. Mrs. Bates attended Boston College earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in sociology, human development and theology and then a Master’s Degree from Regent University in curriculum and instruction. She also earned an Education Specialist Degree from Columbia University. Bates believes that educators have the responsibility to ensure that students are empowered to achieve at the highest levels regardless of the obstacles. It is her passion and life’s work to accomplish this goal. The resilience, integrity, and courage she has developed in the 16 years of education have prepared Mrs. Bates to be a reflective and proactive leader.

Mrs. Bates is honored and pleased to continue the tradition of scholarship, excellence, and service at Westlake High School as its Principal.

Shannon Way Renamed Studio Way 
in Union City

Union City Mayor Vince Williams and City Council has given final approval  to renaming the street leading to Atlanta Metro Studios as Studio Way.  The unanimous decision during their Regular Session meeting in June officially changed the name of Shannon Way to Studio Way. The City has welcomed the development with open arms and is looking forward to hosting large-scale film and television productions in its community. Atlanta Metro Studios is led by partners Ed Richardson and Brian Livesay.

A Lady Named Pearl Holds Graduation for Leadership 
Academy Summer Camp

A Lady Named Pearl’s Leadership Academy recently had a 2 – Day Summer Camp. The camp’s focus was to improve posture, increase confidence, and learn etiquette, with the utilization of modeling and leadership training. News Personality Tacoma Perry, visited the camp, and talked to the girls about the importance of having S.M.A.R.T. Goals. Yasmine Clement of Giorgio Armani Beauty talked to the girls about the importance of skin care. Celebrity Stylist, Teaira Blount (Styled by Teaira) talked to our students about what every girl should have in her closet.

The camp ended with the girls doing a presentation on overcoming obstacles, and staying focused on their goals. Both the girls and their parents raved about the camp: “Thank you Pearl for bringing out the best in [my daughter]! She has definitely become more confident, articulate and poised since coming to your Modeling & Leadership Academy, said Lillian Blades. Student De’ Anna Liz stated, “Thank you for helping me gain confidence in what I do and pushing me to achieve greatness. You have given me confidence in my walk and myself.”

Gearing Up for Dragon Boats – 
Free Practice Session Saturdays 
in Fayette County in August

In conjunction with the Peachtree City Rotary Club 9th Annual Dragon Boat Races and International Festival in September, there will be free Dragon Boat crew practices on the second Saturday in August. The public is invited, whether you plan on entering a boat or not. The next practice will be Saturday August 13 at 3:00 p.m. at Lake McIntosh. All paddles, life jackets, and boats are provided. Wear boating clothes, sunscreen, and “wettable” shoes. Normal water safety rules (no practice during threat of thunder storms) will apply. It’s challenging and fun!  If you’d like to come earlier, they will be training/practicing Steering and Coaching. Paddlers are needed for that, too – no experience necessary.  For more info, visit More on this in our sister publication Fayette County Lifestyle.

GELC opens My Brother’s House Shelter

Georgia Educational Learning Center, Inc. was awarded a 3-year grant in 2015 by the Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families and the Family and Youth Service Bureau to operate a Runaway and Homeless Shelter for youth (ages 10-17) in the Atlanta Metropolitan area.  The Shelter leadership staff includes the Executive Director Dr. Genola Johnson, Shelter Director Mike Daniels and Shelter Manager Kimberlee McGinty.

The shelter, affectionately called “My Brother’s House,”  provides 4 residential beds and is staffed 24-hours a day.  My Brother’s House was opened in March 2016 as a resource for male youth who are experiencing homelessness with a focus on increasing their safety, well—being and self-sufficiency. The staff implements essential intervention strategies that are trauma-informed in all aspects which supports young people to facilitate healing and recovery and includes engagement or reunification with families when it is appropriate. Youth residing at the shelter are given opportunities that can help them to reach positive developmental milestones and become healthy, productive adults that will enhance their skills, competencies, and existing strengths.

Editor’s Note:

In June’s Men of South Fulton feature, there were a couple of errors in the portion of the article on Zedrick Carter. He is 40 years old, not 42. He is a certified fitness and sports performance trainer that specializes in training individuals and athletes of all sports spiritually, mentally and physically in natural body development and muscle endurance building to reach top peak performance in their fitness goals and respective sports. He doesn’t teach any specific sport. His company Precision Athletic Corps is located right here in South Fulton at 4826 Fulton Industrial Boulevard SW Atlanta, GA 30336.

“My goal is to bring a strong health and fitness awareness to the South Fulton community through my Precision Athletic Corps Fitness Bootcamps,” he says. “I believe partnerships with many of the South Fulton schools, businesses, community subdivisions, County Recreational Department and other South Fulton County Government Departments we can develop a more health and wellness minded community.”

Zedrick Carter’s wife Tanetta’s company is Precision Auxiliary Corps and she does the same but for young ladies in competitive baton and flag twirling, dance and tumbling.

Bert’s Big Adventure is Now Accepting Applications

Bert’s Big Adventure, a nonprofit organization that provides a magical, all-expenses-paid, five-day journey to Walt Disney World® for children with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families, is now accepting applications and nominations for children to join the magic on their 2017 trip! In order to qualify, children must be between the ages of 5 and 12, be diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness, and have never been to Walt Disney World®. The family must be struggling with financial hardships and live in the radio listening area of The Bert Show, a nationally syndicated morning radio show based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Bert Show can be heard on All the Hits Q100 – 99.7FM.  All applications must be submitted by Friday, October 13, 2016. For more information see