August 2017

This time of year reminds me of the commercial where the child is dragging his feet in the school supplies aisle while the parent is joyously riding on their shopping cart.  It’s a funny take on, Back to School Time. It is also a time to appreciate what exceptional schools we have in our City. I know that I am not alone in my belief that Johns Creek is truly blessed to have some of the best educators, school administrators, and staff of public and private schools in the nation.  

I have watched my two 14-year-olds flourish in our school district, which makes me optimistic looking ahead toward their high school years and beyond; confident in knowing they are prepared for the future.  

The public schools that serve Johns Creek are a part of a larger school district that has, in recent years, produced the highest ACT scores in the nation, as well as the most National Merit Scholar recipients.  Our exceptional private schools continue to join ranks as some of the most accomplished in the State and nation. It takes an enormous amount of dedication and drive to ensure our young people receive a top-notch education and are offered extracurricular activities that are both high quality and meaningful to their development.

The educators that serve the schools within Johns Creek have received district, state and national recognition.  Their focus toward the support of the whole child from early ages through high school is especially impressive.

As an independent government body, our schools, both public and private are essential to a healthy community.  As Mayor, it is incumbent upon me, our City Council and staff to create an equally healthy city in which to live, thrive and succeed.  The reputation Johns Creek as earned as a premier residential community is directly linked to the strong reputation of our school system.  It is one of the top reasons families and businesses from various locations, both domestically and internationally, choose to relocate to Johns Creek.

The schools are notable for their amazing run of achievements over the years. They’ve been named: Schools of Excellence, Blue Ribbon schools, Governor’s Cup Schools, and AP Honor schools. They’ve been listed among U.S. News and World Report’s top 100 High Schools, Newsweek’s Top 500 High Schools, Washington Post’s Best High Schools, and Siemen’s Award for Advanced Placement. They have been state or area champions in nearly every sport, including football, baseball, lacrosse, volleyball, soccer, swimming, cheerleading, cross country, clay targets, tennis, golf, as well as robotics, debate, mock trial and chess. They’ve produced hundreds of Governor’s Honors finalists, National Merit Scholars, and won top honors or placement in state and national contests for languages, visual arts, music, writing, even stock market competitions. WOW! They truly embody the City’s motto of “Be the Exception.”

While our educators, coaches, and support staff tirelessly work to provide our young people a strong academic, athletic, and social foundation, it should be noted that our parents remain impressively engaged in the process as well.   

Parent-Teacher-Student Association participation is exceptionally high. Our parents have high expectations for their children, their schools, their City, and themselves. They attend meetings, games, concerts, and plays. They support extracurricular activities, volunteer, and encourage responsible behavior. 

Our students are also important contributors to our City. The City Council regularly recognizes our Eagle Scouts and Girl Scout Gold Star Award recipients for their projects that benefit the community. Our young people routinely volunteer at food banks, shelters, and perform other valuable public services. They give up their time, they raise money for their favorite charity or cause, participate in mission trips, and in turn, they learn lifelong lessons about the virtue of being a part of something bigger than oneself. These are lessons that inspire us all. 

As I have said many times, our young people may not be 100% of our population, but they are surely 100% of our future. We should all be proud to support our youth at every level of their growth.

Each year I am excited about the year ahead and the opportunities our students have to advance their education and their life experiences. Let’s continue as a community to support 
our schools, our students, and each other.  Also, please be alert for the growing numbers of students that walk and bike to school, and be patient with all of our new student drivers.  Remember, we were once in their shoes.   

Thanks for all you do and welcome back to school!