A chance to help a Warrior in need

By , January 12, 2013

NAHS Foundation community, many of you may remember Coach Daryl Aftel, longtime Northside and North Atlanta athletics coach and a “man for all seasons.” He mentored many of us along the way, in the gruff way that those who know him surely remember. The letter below came to us from Class of ’92 Warrior Jenny Stone, whose brother suffered from a disability made just a little bit easier by Coach Aftel’s mentorship. If you can help Coach Aftel, be sure to use the link below to make donations directly.

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“Hi there and Happy New Year to you! I am sending messages to everyone I can think of that has a connection to Northside, North Fulton and North Atlanta that may be able to help Coach Darryl Aftel.

The situation is that Darryl is in a bit of a dire situation with regards to his health- he was diagnosed with kidney disease and may need to be added to the transplant list. As a result of his failing health, he is having to leave (essentially abandon) his condo and move into an apartment in Virginia near his sister. In order to meet his immediate needs, I am hoping we can come together to make individual donation gifts to help him with the cost of the move, deposits and rent on an apartment, and the like. The moving expenses alone are around $1,600 and then the deposits and first month’s rent are an additional $2,000, I believe. He, then, needs to come up with additional funds to cover his insurance deductible of $4k.

This is close to the “worst case scenario” for him; no family here that can swoop in to help him and because of high medical bills, very very limited financial resources.

If you are able to help him with a donation, and can get money, a fuel card, a grocery card, etc. to him before the moving truck comes (which is on the 21st) you can send it to him directly at:

Darryl Aftel
1814 Ashborough Road
Condo B
Marietta, GA 30067
(*After the moving truck comes on the 21st, I will get an updated mailing address for him in Virginia.)
Home: 770-426-6879

Additionally, a donation site has been created:
http://www.gofundme.com/1sgzog

I feel just so sad for the state he’s in. As you know, Aftel was a HUGE part of my brother’s life and was one of the few sources of constant joy for Hank. I wish I could just write a check to him for a million bucks. But, until that day, I will try to reach out to all the resources I can.

I will keep you posted on additional fund raising efforts we work on in the upcoming months. Thank you so very much for all you can do to assist.

Jenny Stone
Class of 1992″

NAHS Foundation Issues Official Statement

By , October 8, 2012

To: Erroll B. Davis, Jr. – Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools From: Trustees – North Atlanta High School Foundation
CC: Atlanta Board of Education
Date: October 8, 2012

We wish to express our disappointment with respect to last Friday’s “forced removal” of North Atlanta High School’s (NAHS) administrative leadership team during a critical leadership transition.

We support the appointment of Principal Dr. Howard E. Taylor and respect the need for him to choose his own administrative team. However, we question how the removal of the current administrative team supports a successful transition. Does the “interim replacement” team possess the expertise to assist Dr. Taylor relative to this month’s IB Certification? Do they possess the experience to help manage the construction of and move to a new facility? Will the interim staff, chosen by APS, not by Dr. Taylor, have the knowledge to guide him with respect to the faculty, students and families?

The use of security personnel, abrupt transfers and dismissals imply criminal or ethical issues that shake confidence and damage the reputation of North Atlanta in and outside our community. We know these dedicated administrators and our neighbors and believe they deserve better.

Strong communities like ours are built on mutual trust. Unfortunately, last week’s actions did little to reinforce this principle.

The Foundation’s objective is to help NAHS achieve recognition as the “the Best High School in the Southeast.” We appreciate we may not have all the facts, but absent compelling evidence to the contrary, we recommend the immediate reinstatement of the administrators.

We look forward to hearing from you tomorrow night and ask you come prepared to address these concerns and share specifics as to how these most recent actions will help Dr. Taylor and our students.

Café at Pharr turns 20

By , April 16, 2012

This year Johnny Liu, the owner of Café at Pharr, will celebrate the 20th anniversary of a restaurant in which he literally grew up.

Liu’s parents, Mike and Shirley, established the business on Pharr Road in Buckhead in 1992, first as a bakery then transitioning to a café the following year.

Cafe at Pharr owner Johnny Liu plans to take his family business into the future after celebrating the establishment’s 20th anniversary.

Liu fondly recalls the now-closed original location where he and his sister, Jenny, while too young to work, would occasionally be unhelpful by throwing dough at one another.

Then, as a student at North Atlanta High School, Liu learned to bake bread.

“The deal was, if I got a car, I’d have to work weekends and bake bread before school,” he said. “Everyone thought it was so cool. I’d show up at high school with fresh-baked croissants.”

In 1998, Liu’s parents were ready to sell the business and retire.

Liu, then a recent high school graduate, said he was ready to run the café despite knowing the challenges.

“They took everything to open [the café],” he said. “It was hard-earned money because they were doing odd jobs to support the business. I was definitely proud as a kid my parents owned it.”

Flash forward to today, and Liu is preparing to open a sixth location of the café in May in Vinings.

Other locations include Peachtree Road, Miami Circle and Chastain Square restaurants in Buckhead, a Westside café on Chattahoochee Avenue and the new Baci Restaurant & Bar by Cafe at Pharr in Brookhaven.

Liu attributes the success of his business predominantly to the café’s customers, some of whom he met as teenagers and who now bring in children of their own.
“Also, we don’t try too hard,” Liu said. “We’re very simple and we don’t try to be something we’re not.”

Carlton Davis and her daughter Louise Cook, both Buckhead residents, enjoy that simplicity.

“The thing about their food is it’s consistent. You know what you’re getting,” Davis said. “Everybody’s friendly. They know what our order is and they always bring me my tea with extra lemon.”

They both favor the celery chicken salad sandwich on wheat which Cook, now a student at the University of Georgia in Athens, says she looks forward to during every visit home.

“We literally meet here every time. We just say, ‘I’ll meet you at noon,’ and we both come here,” Cook said. “I think it’s the perfect combination of comfort food and healthy food, so you’re satisfied without feeling guilty.”

Liu says he is scoping out a location for one final Café at Pharr, either in Dunwoody or Virginia-Highland.

Afterward, he plans to focus on other ventures and is in the early stages of opening a crawfish restaurant in Buckhead.

By Gloria Love
glove@neighbornewspapers.com

By , February 7, 2012

A Message From NAPPS

The mission of North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools (NAPPS) is to support and promote the North Atlanta cluster of eight schools, in our local community and beyond. In furtherance of that mission, we have been meeting with local Board of Education representatives, PTA presidents and leaders from every school in the cluster to discuss the APS demographic study and its preliminary draft recommendations for our community. While each school has its own specific concerns, our entire cluster is committed to four basic principles:

1. The complete vertical integration of our International Baccalaureate curriculum, in place at every cluster school, should be maintained.
2. All high school students in the cluster should be located on the new North Atlanta High campus.
3. The diversity of our middle school and high school is an essential part of our children’s education and should be maintained. The diversity of families and neighborhoods gives each elementary school its own special character which also should be maintained.
4. Natural boundaries, traffic patterns, and logistics determine neighborhoods and should be considered as part of any rezoning within the cluster.

We believe these principles should guide our community, and APS as a whole, as we work together to meet the needs of each and all our students. For example, maintaining vertical integration of the curriculum means no child will be forced to move into or out of the IB stream. Locating all high school students on the new campus means the longrange site plan will be modified to anticipate future capacity needs. Maintaining the current diversity of each cluster school means students will not be segregated by race, ethnicity, or economics. Considering natural boundaries and logistics means no neighborhood will be rezoned across a major highway or industrial area.

We are privileged to have strong, committed parent leaders at every school in our cluster. We thank them for their gifts of time and energy, and we applaud their spirit of cooperation and mutual support. We commend these four principles to the NAPPS community, the Board of Education, APS administration, and the community at large, as we join hands to address concerns across our community and city for the benefit of every student.

CRCT scandal only makes our work harder

By , July 7, 2011

The results of the state investigation released Tuesday showed no evidence of changed answers, test-tampering or coverup at North Atlanta High School or any of the eight schools in the North Atlanta cluster. This came as no surprise. But, the state report still was a bitter disappointment to our Foundation and anyone else with a stake in the success of our city schools. In addition to enriching our students’ educational experiences, the mission of our Foundation, and others like ours across the district, is to build support for our community schools. The North Atlanta High School Foundation was founded on the idea that every community needs thriving public schools. Unfortunately, this week’s news only reinforced negative perceptions that undermine our city  schools’ true potential.

That said, positive change for APS starts with honest assessment, no matter how brutal it may be, and the state’s report provides that in abundance. As a Foundation, our mission remains unchanged. We are proud of the students of North Atlanta. We are proud of the faculty of North Atlanta. And we are proud to be part of a cluster of public schools filled with faculty who showed integrity every step of the way. Ultimately, APS will overcome this challenge. In the meantime, we will redouble our efforts to support North Atlanta High School’s leaders, teachers and students on the road to becoming the best public high school in the Southeast.

Here is an excerpt from the official media statement issued by NAPPS via NAPPS chair and NAHS Foundation trustee Cynthia Briscoe Brown:

North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools (NAPPS) is gratified that authorities found no evidence of changed answers, test-tampering, or coverup at any of the eight schools in our cluster (two teachers were cited for possible improper reading of test questions). However, we are deeply disturbed about the systemwide results of the CRCT investigation. We expect our teachers and administrators to be models for the kind of adults we want our children to become: people of honesty and integrity who understand that true success comes to those who try hard and give their best in every endeavor. We applaud the vast majority of APS employees who choose to follow the right path, and we deplore the actions of the small percentage who made bad choices. We trust and expect that Interim Superintendent Davis and the Board of Education will act swiftly and fairly to impose appropriate consequences for all inappropriate actions.

As parents and citizens, we have a responsibility to assist every child in Atlanta Public Schools who did not receive sufficient instruction and attention to master the academic material. We commit to use our best efforts to help provide every affected student with all the academic and emotional support they need to achieve genuine success in school and in life. We look forward to continuing our partnership with APS administration, the Board of Education, and all the dedicated teachers and staff who truly care about our children and work hard each day to help every one fulfill their potential.

What will you do to move North Atlanta forward?

Robotics Team makes news

By , June 10, 2011

Recently the Foundation helped fund North Atlanta’s first robotics team, the Warbotz. It was money well spent. Check out this WSB-TV story on their early success in national competition.

Site for new school announced!

By , February 15, 2011

In case you missed it, the APS board voted last night to purchase the IBM site on Northside Parkway, finally making public the best kept secret in north Atlanta. Read more in today’s AJC article, which quotes Foundation trustee Cynthia Briscoe Brown, and below is a message from school board member Nancy Meister to the Warrior community. APS estimates 18 months to two years to completion; in the meantime, the Foundation is focused on achieving our mission in the here and now. Help us by making a donation to our new Warrior Fund today!

District 4 Constituents,

Tonight, the ABE authorized the APS Administration to move forward with a Purchase and Sales contract, for the acquisition of land for the “new” North Atlanta High School.  The property is located at 4111 Northside Parkway. This location is 3.6 miles north of the current North Atlanta High School, and offers so much from a land/opportunity perspective.

The process has been very involved, many sites were considered, and  I am quite pleased with the Administration’s recommendation.  A 56 acre property, such as this, will allow the district to stay ahead of the anticipated growth. The proposed location will allow for athletic facilities such as a football practice field, soccer field, softball field and baseball field. Long term, I would anticipate the property to allow the district to expand athletic facilities and other opportunities.

The Administration will be engaged in a critical and aggressive due diligence process over the next few months.  I look forward to ensuring that all stakeholder feedback is heard and input is addressed.

Nancy Meister

District 4 ABE

Help us with a gift to The Warrior Fund!

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By , February 4, 2011

Thank you for being part of a growing community of parents, alumni, business leaders and friends who realize that North Atlanta High School has incredible potential and recognize the critical importance of community support when it comes to creating a world-class public high school.

With this in mind, we are proud to announce the launch of The Warrior Fund!

Through your tax-deductible gift to this new fund, you can directly support the Foundation’s work and help us give North Atlanta students the richest educational experience possible. With your support, we will achieve our mission to make North Atlanta the best public high school in the Southeast.

Make your secure online donation to the Warrior Fund now >

Or, simply mail a check payable to the “North Atlanta High School Foundation Warrior Fund” to:

North Atlanta High School Foundation
Attn: Treasurer
PO Box 52122
Atlanta, GA 30355

North Atlanta tops in Atlanta Magazine’s best schools list

By , January 20, 2011

The January issue of Atlanta Magazine includes the publication’s annual lists of Atlanta’s best high schools and North Atlanta fared very well. We were ranked as one of Atlanta’s Top 10 schools in three different categories: Math & Science, the Arts, and Sports.

Top Math & Science schools were selected for having “advanced math and science classes that range beyond traditional AP studies,” and the magazine noted that nearly all of their top picks also have robotics team (read about North Atlanta’s here).

It’s no surprise that North Atlanta would be picked as a top program for Fine Arts. The school’s Center for the Arts has long been a poster child for excellence in arts education, offering study in dance, music, theatre and the visual arts, including the opportunity to complete the full International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.

The magazine’s choices for top schools in the Sports category, including North Atlanta, all offer 14 or more varsity sports. You can thank the Booster Club for much of the athletic program’s success. Go Warriors!

The Foundation salutes all the faculty, staff and students who have put North Atlanta High School on all of these “best of Atlanta” lists. Congratulations and thanks for everything you do.

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