Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dunwoody bits and pieces.

Dunwoody High School has a new principal. The circumstances of the change in leadership are not wonderful, but I feel optimistic about Mr. Swanson and the very positive impact he can have on the high school. By all accounts (friends with children at DeKalb School of the Arts), he is warm, savvy, flexible, creative in problem solving, firm, and a good communicator. 

I spent seven days in Tennessee working with the Mountain T.O.P. project and my gardens pouted. I lost a Cherokee Black tomato plant, two shrubs, all of my basil, and a hosta. This turn of events ruined the work I've been doing for the past year to "get" that I'm NOT indispensible to my family, job, and volunteer committees. I tend to over-extend myself because I worry that no one else will do or volunteer or care about something. Isn't that just a bit self-important? So I left work and family for a week of mission work, only to return to a very neglected garden. Maybe I'm indispensible after all, at least when it comes to watering and weeding.

Dunwoody Nature Center's executive director, Claire Hayes, will retire mid-2011. She will complete 11 years at the helm; a search for her successor will commence this fall. Her tenure has been so long that her personality is ingrained in every facet of the center's programs. At the same time (just about), the City of Dunwoody just took ownership of the parks from DeKalb County. As a Dunwoody resident and a member of the staff, I'm delighted by the change in park management.  It'll be interesting to see how the Nature Center evolves over the next few years.

Our neighborhood's ongoing battle with the rezoning of the property behind us has been idling while the court system slowly processes the case; recently, it has kicked back into high gear as the court date looms and the original Goddard franchise petitioners try to figure out yet another way to get the property. I do wonder . . . what is so magical about this specific location that the Goddard franchisees are willing to wait 2+ years and invest so much in the legal morass just to operate their day care behind our houses?  There are other properties in the Perimeter area that would be far more accepting of and conducive to day care operations. (We're certainly not the first neighborhood to protest this kind of rezoning . . . )

Our son is beginning his senior year in high school and just completed an intensive three-week college class that required a one-hour commute and lots of homework. He's showing some very welcome signs of independence, initiative, and pleasure in school - quite refreshing.

Dan Weber is exiting his State Senate office; Fran Millar is running for the seat. The two men share a passion for education and tireless work ethic.  I know that Dan still has many, many contributions to make on behalf of Dunwoody. I'm delighted that Fran wants to continue serving this community. He has my vote.

I'm visiting the "twin towers" in Atlanta for the first time this week as I attend the State school charter meeting. I'm keeping fingers and toes and eyes crossed that Peachtree's charter will be approved. Now more than ever, we need the flexibility (and accountability) the charter affords to serve Dunwoody's middle school students and to continue to increase the quality of the education our children deserve. Coming changes for PCMS are very exciting and reflect the principal's understanding of and compassion for the middle school student.

I finished Nora's Sweater! It's lovely and I confess, with no small bit of pride, that it was a challenging project start to finish. I still need to block it, and will do so this week. Then I'll wait for cooler weather after October to enjoy it.

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