Retired Colonel Lee Ellis - County Line Magazine
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Retired Colonel Lee Ellis - County Line Magazine

From the PublisherNthovember 11 is Veterans Day, and I can think of no better way to honorthe veterans in our community, than to feature Lee Ellis on this issue’scover. In 1967, Lee was on a mission over North Vietnam in an F4-C fighterbomber, when the plane was shot down, and he was captured. What followedfor Lee was 1,955 days as a prisoner of war. I know that when you read Lee’sstory, you will be moved by both his experience and his incredible courage.Lee, it was an honor and a pleasure to meet you and work with you on thiscover story. Thank you for your immeasurable service to our country and forinspiring others with the insight that you gained from your experience as aprisoner of war.There is also a very special History Made Easy in this issue about the men fromwhat is now Johns Creek and South Forsyth, who formed the “Warsaw Rebels”and served as Company E in Robert E. Lee’s army.In addition to serving the community in other capacities, Forsyth County CommunityConnection’s, Hands on Forsyth, connects those who want to volunteerwith non-profit organizations that need help. Read about the overwhelmingopportunities that are available to help others in our community by volunteering. Johns Creekresidents are more than welcome to contact Forsyth County Community Connection!Because he is a master of networking, many readers may already know Alan Wyatt. But if youdon’t, you’ll enjoy getting to know him and reading about his involvement in our community.Piney Grove Middle School Principal Terri North has served as a middle school principal at severalForsyth County middle schools. She has been an educator for 33 years, all of which have been inmiddle school education. You’ll surely enjoy getting to know Terri better!After working as a teacher and assistant principal at several Johns Creek schools, Tiffany Hutchensbrought her high energy level and enthusiasm to Medlock Bridge Elementary when she tookover as principal at the start of this school year. Find out more about Tiffany and the motto shebrought with her to “MOVE” the school.Drs. John and Ingrid Reyes have built their obstetrics and gynecology practice based on a philosophyof old-fashioned, personal care for each of their patients. Be sure to read more about thishusband and wife team. Pediatrician Dr. Joan Ifarinde has opened her practice in Cumming, withearly and late hours available for illness care and many other special services for her patients.All this, and so much more about our community in this issue!Enjoy the reading, enjoy the photos, and enjoy this issue of CountyLine!Respectfully,Judy Le JeunePublisher6CountyLine | November 2012 |

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!PublisherJudy Le Jeunepublisher@countylinemagazine.net678-787-3551In the spirit of Thanks and Giving, youare hereby entitled to a complimentaryhearing screening at the offices ofEmory Audiology & Hearing AidCenter at Johns Creek.Editorialeditor@countylinemagazine.netAdvertisingadvertising@countylinemagazine.net678-787-3551Graphic DesignSummertime GraphicsWritersTammy Harden GallowayKathleen KraynickCindy LombardoNicole MorganW. Cliff RobertsAngela WhalleyCover/Cover Story PhotographyMark NajjarAtlanta StudiosPhotographyTammy Harden GallowayW. Cliff RobertsDeborah Woodward, AuD,Doctor of AudiologyThe favor of a reply is requested bycalling 770-814-1260, to schedule ascreening date. Valid throughDecember 31, 2012.Emory Audiology & Hearing Aid Centerat Johns Creek provides the most innovativetreatment options to improve hearing.On-site audiology services are providedby a Doctor of Audiology, who is trainedto assess hearing disorders and determineappropriate treatment options forhearing loss.4045 Johns Creek Parkway, Suite BSuwanee, GA 30024We accept CareCredit ®On the Cover:Retired Colonel Lee EllisPrisoner of War November 1967–March 1973CountyLine is published by Sugarcane Communications, LLC. Noadvertising, editorial, or photographs in CountyLine may be reproducedwithout the permission of Sugarcane Communications, LLC. 23,380copies of this issue were delivered to all the homes and businesses inthe east half of Johns Creek and South Forsyth.CountyLine3651 Peachtree Parkway Suite 222Suwanee, GA 30024678-787-3551www.countylinemagazine.netwww.emoryhealthcare.org7 CountyLine | November 2012

Leadingfrom theHeartHaving spent 33 years in education—all ofthem with middle-school-aged students—Piney Grove Middle School Principal TerriNorth is proud to wear the nickname “Mama Bear,”embracing the school’s Grizzly mascot and her roleas its leader. Teaching came naturally for Terri.Growing up in Rossville, Georgia, near the Georgia-Tennessee state line, she was an educator from anearly age, leading vacation bible school, working asa tennis instructor and teaching swimming lessons.Pursuing a college degree was an anomaly in smalltownGeorgia in the 1970s, but education was a priorityfor Terri’s parents. Terri’s father served on thelocal school board. Her mother encouraged learning,from music appreciation classes to sending Terri andher brother on a high school trip to Europe. Thoughonly about five percent of Terri’s graduating classwent on to college, she eagerly applied to Duke Universityand graduated with degrees in Psychologyand Education in just three-and-a-half years. “I realizewhat a blessing it was that my parents found away to send me to Duke. Having a Duke degree hasgotten my foot in the door during my career. And ofcourse, my veins run ‘Duke Blue’ during basketballseason!” Terri says enthusiastically.Terri went on to earn an Education Specialist degreein Administration and Supervision from West GeorgiaCollege, a Leadership Certification from Emoryby Kathleen KraynickUniversity, and a Master’s degree in Middle GradesEducation from Georgia State University. Her teachingcareer began in North Carolina, and she latermoved to Atlanta, where she was a teacher and administratorin Fulton County for 14 years. In 1997,she was named principal of Otwell Middle Schoolin Cumming and was at the helm when the schoolmoved into a new facility in 2001. She then openedRiverwatch Middle School as principal in 2004 andbecame Piney Grove’s first principal when it was establishedin 2007.Throughout her career, Terri has taught all academicsubjects and worked with students across the academicachievement spectrum. She has enjoyed opportunitiesto travel and learn about education practicesin other states and even abroad. One of themost impactful, Terri says, was a nine-day tour ofschools in the Congo organized through the DikembeMutombo Foundation. “It was a life changing experience.I was overwhelmed by the joy with which wewere welcomed—students and teachers lining thewalkway to school and singing for us. One schoolpresented us with a basket of eggs, an incrediblygenerous gift from their small, rural community. Iwas struck by how important education was to theseparents and their children. I came home with a newperspective and a much greater appreciation for theresources we have in our schools.”8CountyLine | November 2012 |

Along with that appreciation, Terri holds high expectations.“When I’m hiring, I look for teacherswho really love middle-school-aged kids and havea passion for teaching.” Terri also looks to staff tohelp grow the number of opportunities available tostudents. “Academics are always our first priority,but we strive to create well-rounded individualsand recognize the importance of the arts, athleticsand club activities. It’s often in these middle schoolyears that kids find their true passion and it’s importantto us to help them do that,” she shares.Terri tells students, “Getting an education is oneof the best gifts you can give yourself.” She is immenselyproud of her students’ academic achievements,noting accomplishments that include placingsecond in the state MathCounts competitionand participating in the international VEX RoboticsCompetition. She is particularly pleased with thesuccess of the school’s advanced studies offerings,which are open to all students. “Though just over20 percent of our students are identified as ‘gifted,’more than 40 percent are enrolled in at least oneadvanced studies course. I’m proud that we’re ableto offer these courses and that our students takeadvantage of them.” Moreover, Terri is impressedby the kindness and compassion of the students.The school’s annual Grizzly Great Day of Giving(G3) engages more than 1,000 students in communityservice. “G3 has exceeded all of my expectations,”Terri beams. “It is such a great opportunityfor our students. It has changed lives.”CastleberryCONSTRUCTION GROUPLLCRoofing, Gutters and so much more!Re-roofs, wind/hail damage, roof repairs, metal roofi ng & roof ventilationNew gutters, gutter guards, gutter repairs & gutter cleaningWindows • Skylights • InsulationSiding • Under-deck Roofing • DecksCall now for a complimentary estimate:678-472-0474www.CastleberryConstructionGroup.comKevin CastleberryOwnerConcernedabout the High Costof College?Terri is an avid photographer, and she says thatspending a day in the mountains, camera in hand,is her therapy. Not surprisingly, Terri shares herpassion for photography with students as leaderof the school’s photography club. So, on many ofthose waterfall hikes and other outings, she’s accompaniedby a few dozen middle schoolers. Herbeagle, Brady, is also a regular companion, andTerri claims he has her well-trained.Reflecting on her role at Piney Grove, Terri says,“Not only are our teachers quite caring, they areoutstanding educators in every sense of the word.They are truly top-notch. We have great kids withbig hearts and incredible spirit. We have the benefitof involved, supportive families. I’m really fortunateto be here.”ATTENTION FAMILIESOF THE CLASS OF 2013Now is the time to contact our office. Financialaid positioning and the college admissionprocess need to begin now. The longer you wait,the more it will cost you and your student!Call Scott now at: 678.456.4227www.SmartCollegeFunding.comemail: scott.kessler@lpl.comScott Kessler, CFP®LPL Financial Member FINRA/SIPC9 CountyLine | November 2012

Over 500StudentsEnrolled!Challenging, Lecture-basedMath and English Classes— 1 st -12 th Grade Levels —Classes held Tuesday-Friday 5-9:30pm Saturday & Sunday 9am-6:30pmHome • Auto • LifeCommercial • BoatCall for information about ourIntensive SAT and DUKE TIP SAT ProgramsMATH INSTRUCTOR -James Chen, Ph.D. (Math)has over 10 years of classroomteaching experience.ENGLISH INSTRUCTORS -Language Arts teachers arefrom local, high-ranking highschools.Chuck AndersonJanet Kenig— Anderson Services, Inc. —For a complimentary consultationon your insurance needs, call:470-362-79403571 Peachtree ParkwayJust North of McGinnis Ferry Road• Multimedia interactive teachingenvironment• Strategies and tactics increaseproblem solving skills, criticalreading & writing skills• Competition training-Ourstudents have consistently wonRegional, State & National Competitions,including AMC, Mathcounts,and Math Olympiad.404-388-630310475 Medlock Bridge Rd., Suite 500 • Johns Creek 30097www.AlltopSchool.comGrant SpencerJOHNS CREEK HIGH SCHOOL’SWrestling ProgramWhen the season starts on November 1 st , Johns Creek HighSchool’s Wrestling Program has two goals: qualify for the StateDuals Tournament as a team and have multiple top 3 placers at theIndividual State Tournament. This is the team’s 4 th wrestling season,and its first season in the 6A classification. The lineup for this seasonincludes 8 seniors, 12 returning Varsity starters, and 2 returningState Qualifiers. “The way our talent is spread out should make us avery tough Duals team this season,” says Head Coach Chris House.“We will have an upperclassman with varsity experience in everyweight class. We also have some great senior leaders, which makesa big difference.”Leading the team is returning Team Captain and State Qualifier seniorSam Arrington. Arrington made a run in the State tournamentlast year and has hopes for a place on the podium at the end of theseason. Also returning is senior Grant Spencer, who had a record of53 wins with only 8 losses last season.Sam Arrington“I think it’s going to be a great year,” said Coach House. The teamknows what they are capable of this season, and they all want tomake sure we reach our potential and achieve our goals.”10CountyLine | November 2012 |

Where is your passion to serve the community? Weare here to help you figure that out. Visit us on theweb at to find projects andopportunities happening right in your backyard eachday. Here are just a few of the ways that you canget CONNECTED today!Want to work with kids? Become a mentor withMentor Me North Georgia, coach and inspire girlsthrough Girls On The Run, cheer on local Olympianswith Special Olympics, or come out for a day tojudge senior projects at Forsyth Academy and helphigh school students gain the skills they need to besuccessful beyond the classroom.Care about the environment and the preservationof our county? Learn to monitor the health of ourwaterways and keep our county clean with KeepForsyth County Beautiful, or become educated onhow you can make a difference through organic gardeningand sustainable living with Cedar Hill EnrichmentCenter.Have you heard about nutrition and hunger issuesfacing our county, state, and nation? Join the noperson hungry movement! You can help by signingup to collect, sort, and distribute food with severalorganizations. Do you have a culinary flare? JoinMeals By Grace each week in the kitchen and helpprovide a warm, lovingly prepared meal for a familyin crisis.Do you love those big events that make ForsythCounty really feel like home? Join us for the NationalBBQ Cup each fall and other large events that putour county on the map! Help us show some warmsouthern hospitality and volunteer for a variety ofjobs from serving bbq to helping visitors find theirway through the fairgrounds.All of these opportunities are listed on our websiteat If you’re not quite surewhere you want to get CONNECTED, call our officetoday and our staff will help you find the best fit foryour time and what you care about. Volunteering isfun and we want to make sure you love it as muchas we do!Contact us at 770-205-1701 or registerto volunteer today at www.connectforsyth.orgNow Enrolling~ ages 18 months through 6 years ~Excellence in early educationPrepared and nurturing Montessori environmentAMI Certified lead teachers all with 15 + years of experienceENRICHMENT PROGRAMS:Chinese • Yoga, Fitness & Health* • Art • Music • Cooking • Spanish**Also included in the curriculumStop in for a tour, call or send an email.Open 7am – 6pm all 6450 E. Johns Crossing, Johns Creek 30097 www.johnscreekmontessorisog.org13 CountyLine | November 2012


16CountyLine | November 2012 |

equired to belong to the ROTC for at least two years. Completing the first commitment,Lee continued on in ROTC, applied for and was accepted into the pilot’s program. Duringhis third and fourth year, he began to live his lifelong dream of flying planes. By thetime he graduated UGA, Lee had already attained his pilot’s license. Just three days aftergraduation from UGA, Lee entered the 53 week Air Force pilot training school at MoodyAir Force Base near Valdosta. “This program was extremely challenging and intense,”said Lee. “Every day, we spent six to seven hours learning to fly either in the air or onflight simulators, three to four hours learning in the classroom, and studied at night.” Atthe completion of the program, Lee passed both his flying and written tests and, alongwith his commercial license with instrument rating, he received his Air Force wings. Hisassignment: F4-C Phantom fighter bomber. The pipeline: Southeast Asia.Lee was stationed in Victorville, California as he prepared to leave for the war in Vietnamthat was continuing to escalate. During practice and training, he flew at a speed of 500miles per hour at an altitude below 500 feet. “I was doing what I always wanted to do,”said Lee. “I had a purpose. I was getting ready for war.”In July 1967, Lee arrived in Da Nang. His first night there, a rocket attack sent himand his four roommates into a revetment—a protective area made with walls of sandbags. The assignments for duty were either one year or the completion of 100 missions(flights) over North Vietnam. With four months of duty completed, Lee had over 50 missionsbehind him and was over half way to returning home. As a young pilot, Lee mostlyflew the rear seat behind a Captain or a Major. On November 7, 1967, Lee was in the rearseat, with Captain Ken Fisher flying, on a mission to destroy the Quang Khe ferry thatwas used by the North Vietnamese to transport weapons and supplies. They had just releaseda payload of bombs when Lee felt the plane flip and heard a horrifying sound thathe identified as the plane breaking up into large pieces. The plane was on fire, reelingout of control, and upside down. Realizing that he had to eject, Lee knew that it was toodangerous to do so with the plane upside down and that the time to eject was quicklyrunning out. Then, he felt the movement of the cockpit flipping upright, and in the next2.5 seconds, Lee experienced the complex ejection procedure that he had practicedrepeatedly with a simulator during training. This time, he was falling to the ground in aparachute, with militia fire directly below him. “I could hear the frantic voices speakingVietnamese and the continual sound of gun shots below me,” recalled Lee. “My trainingkicked in, and after checking over my parachute to make sure everything was in place, Iactivated my beeper that sent out a signal with my location. I looked down and could seethat I was coming down about 300 yards from the river, so I tried to steer my parachuteto move me to land in the water. I didn’t make it, and as I hit the ground, I was immediatelysurrounded.” In training, Lee had been taught that his best chance to escapewould be at this moment. He drew his revolver, motioned for his would-be captors tomove back, and fired a round above their heads. Their response was to point their riflesdirectly at him. “Why they didn’t cut me down right then, I’ll never know,” said Lee. “Ican only assume God had other plans for my life.” Lee surrendered and this defining momentwas the first of the next 1,955 days that he would live as a prisoner of war. Movedfrom location to location, from village to village, Lee’s first long-term destination was theHoa Loa Prison, referred to by POWs as the “Hanoi Hilton.” Lee, Captain Fisher, who wasalso captured when landing on the ground, and two Marines were moved into a 6.5’ by7’ cell that they were imprisoned in for the next nine months. “On two walls of the cell,there were two wooden platforms, one on top of the other, for us to lie down on, with16” of space in between. We were discouraged from talking out loud and not allowed tocommunicate with other cells. We spent 23 hours and 45 minutes a day in the cell, onlyleaving to wash up or to pick up our meal twice daily. The food was a bowl of pumpkinsoup with either a piece of bread or a bowl of rice. There was no heat. Our only commu-18CountyLine | November 2012 |

nication with the outside world was a loudspeaker broadcast of propaganda, three timesdaily. At night, they broadcast more propaganda from ‘Hanoi Hannah,’” recalled Lee.After nine months at the Hanoi Hilton, Lee was moved to a facility in Son Tay. Two yearslater, pressure from the US populace for better treatment of POWs increased, and theymoved to a new camp where the POWswere allowed to spend some time outsideeach day, and the conditions weresomewhat improved. After two years ofcaptivity, Lee was allowed to write aletter home to his parents. From thatpoint forward, he was able to sendand receive a letter every few months.Though Lee’s parents had been notifiedthat he was on the ground alive, it wasanother eighteen months before theyreceived word that he was alive in captivity.By spelling out his name with hishands, Lee had been able to communicatewith a POW in a cell across thecourtyard from him at the Hanoi Hilton.This prisoner was released early andbrought back information on where Leewas being held and that he was alive.Moved to numerous locations over theyears, when the bombing resumed inearnest in 1972, Lee and half the POWswere moved to a camp a few milesfrom the border of China. On January23, 1973, four days prior to the signingof the Paris Peace Accords that led to Lee and several hundred other remaining POWsbeing released, Lee and his teammates were sent back to Hanoi, but this time, it was towait for his release. They were all given a copy of the protocol for release and knew that,as the US withdrew, they would be sent home in no more than 90 days.“Every day as a POW was a battle,” said Lee.“We worked hard to keep a sense of communityand team work among ourselves andlooked up to our leaders.They were the oneswho kept us focused while we underwentruthless treatment; they were the ones whowere tortured before us and set an exampleof how to face adversity with courage.”Back in the US, following three months of R & R, Lee reported to a base in San Antonioto complete the 33 hours of training he needed to re-qualify. His follow-on assignmentwas to Moody AFB GA, where he met his future wife, Mary. They have been married for38 years and have four children. Prior to retiring from the Air Force, Lee commanded theROTC program at UGA, making a full circle of his career.“Every day as a POW was a battle,” said Lee. “We worked hard to keep a sense of communityand team work among ourselves and looked up to our leaders. They were theones who kept us focused while we underwent ruthless treatment; they were the oneswho were tortured before us and set an example of how to face adversity with courage.What I have lived with since those 1,955 as a POW, are the lessons that I learned onhow to live honorably, how to face pain head on and do the right thing, and that withcourage, you can do anything.”Retired Colonel Lee Ellis is a motivational speaker and a leadership trainer for Fortune500 and other companies. He recently published his book, Leading with Honor: LeadershipLessons from the Hanoi Hilton. The Forward was written by Senator John McCain,who was in captivity with Lee at the Hanoi Hilton and was released in the same groupwith Lee.19 CountyLine | November 2012

A Master ofNetworkingby Cindy LombardoAlan Wyatt is a charismatic business leaderdevoted to his family and community. He haslived in Johns Creek since 1998 with his wife,Judy, and their three sons. During his years as aJohns Creek business owner, Alan networked withother small business owners and helped to unitethe Johns Creek business community. He servedas president of the Johns Creek Business Associationin 2011 and remains a board member. He alsoserves on the boards of the Johns Creek Chamber ofCommerce, the Johns Creek Arts Center, the JohnsCreek Small Business Exchange, and local charityJust One Angel.Alan was not always the master of networking thathe is today. He was a shy child who grew up withhis three older sisters in a small town outside ofPortland, Oregon. He enjoyed outdoor activities includingdownhill skiing, fishing and hunting. “I grewup on a seminary campground. My dad was a fireand-brimstoneminister,” Alan explained. Moneydidn’t come from preaching, so Alan’s father alsoworked in a grocery store, and his mother was abookkeeper. From the time he was twelve-yearsold,Alan worked with his dad as a janitor in a medicalclinic in the evenings. The family home also hada licensed kitchen where his mother made cheesecakesand other desserts, which his father sold tolocal restaurants.Alan’s high school guidance counselor advised himthat an $11.64 per hour job at the docks was agood future. Instead, Alan headed to Calvin Collegein Michigan, his first journey east of the Rockies.It was a time to reinvent himself from a shy child,and college forced him to meet new people. Followinghis interest in helping and teaching people, Alanmajored in Education and minored in Psychology.Throughout college, he worked in a picture frameshop where he learned the sales component and realizedhis desire to work in small business.After graduation, Alan returned to Oregon. For ayear, he worked with his mother in her cooking business.“I didn’t take any pay, but I was resourceful. Icalled the local radio station and won a lot of movietickets,” he said. Alan also won the chance to entera kite flying competition, which landed him kneedeep in a river, blocking boat traffic and winning anall-expense paid trip to Japan. Over the next severalyears, Alan worked at various entrepreneurial jobs.Through friends, he met Judy, and after six monthsof organizing get-togethers that included her, hegained the courage to ask her out. They recentlycelebrated their 20 th anniversary. Four years aftergraduating from college, Alan started a fourteenyearcareer with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. His role asregional vice president brought him to the Atlantaarea.20CountyLine | November 2012 |

In 2005, he followed his entrepreneurial dream andopened a furniture store in Johns Creek. “Entrepreneursare fatally optimistic. You know the odds areterrible,” Alan said. On the positive side, he added,“Entrepreneurship gives you the freedom to makeyour own decisions and the opportunity to buildsomething. I was doing things in my furniture storethat other small furniture companies weren’t doing:social media, blogging, Facebook, tweeting.” Alancompares the Johns Creek business community toMayberry. “I liked the connections I made. I was ona first name basis with the Mayor and City Councilmembers. I knew people in the police department.”When Johns Creek had no central meetingplace, Alan invited organizations to hold events athis store. “Soon, I was asked to run a networkinggroup. Then, I was invited to be on the board,” hesaid. His leadership roles grew from networking andhelping out where he could.As the new housing market plummeted and thearea became less transient, fewer people boughtfurniture. Alan continued to build relationships andfoster connections between businesses and acquaintances,even as his own business faltered. “Itwas hard not to feel like a failure,” Alan said. Hesoon realized that his years of networking forgedmore than superficial ties. “After I closed my businessin January 2012, I had my George Bailey momentfrom It’s a Wonderful Life. The communitycame to my rescue. I didn’t advertise the closing ofmy business, but people came to buy things, to helpme move. People were reassuring. In two weeks, Icleaned out the store,” Alan said.Today, Alan is a history buff, barbeque connoisseur,fan of the Oregon Ducks, and still feels pangs ofshyness when asked to emcee a gala. He continuesto enjoy outdoor activities but calls himself a“sportsman’s buddy.” He explains, “I can’t call myselfa hunter, because I just walk through the woodscarrying a gun.” Alan’s networking credentials recentlyled him to a new career as Director of BusinessDevelopment for National Custom Facility Constructionand Management Services, where he willcontinue to build his business relationships.Primary Care& Medical Weight Loss• Women’s Health• Men’s Health• DOT Physicals• Work-Related Injuries• Sports Physicals• DiabetesDuluth3460 Summit Ridge Pkwy.Suite 504• Complete Physical Exams• Diet & Weight Management• High Blood Pressure• COPD and Asthma Care• Menopause & related problems• Urgent Care(Minor Emergencies & Acute Care)Call to schedule your• Thyroid• Hormonal Problems• Heart Problems• Sleep Problems• Arthritis Care• Vaccinationsloganville155 Lee Byrd hoursMonday - Fridayand every otherSaturdaySaima Syed M.D.Board CertifiedInternal Medicine21 CountyLine | November 2012

RIVER TRAIL MIDDLE SCHOOLChosen to Perform at 2013 Music for All National Festivalby Angela WhalleyThe River Trail Middle School (RTMS) Symphonic Band,under the direction of Angela Reynolds and JenniferCompton, has received the honor of being selected to performat the 2013 Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis,Indiana, March 14-16, 2013.renowned music educators, fellow musicians and others.In addition to their performance, the band members willbe taking part in various music master classes led by toprenowned music directors, facilitating both an educationaland inspirational experience.The RTMS Symphonic band is comprised of 80 of theschool’s top performing seventh and eighth grade students.The band, demonstrating a national caliber of musicalperformance and artistry, was one of only four middleschool bands to be chosen out of an amazing pool of applicantsfrom around the nation. The students will have aunique opportunity to shine on a national stage in front ofThe band will be involved in various fundraising effortssuch as a dessert sale, spirit nights at local restaurants,and corporate business sponsorships, over the comingmonths, in order to cover the cost of the trip. For moreinformation, please contact Angela Whalley at 678-577-3515 or email: Community Magazine forJohns Creek & South ForsythThis issue of CountyLine was mailbox delivered to 23,380 homes and businesses in Johns Creekand South Forsyth. With editorials about people who live, work or own a business in these communities,CountyLine is read and kept by those who receive it. The mailbox delivery, interestingand informative editorial, and high quality printing all assure that those who get CountyLine, keepCountyLine, giving the magazine an incredibly extended shelf-life. Your ad will be seen over-and-over.CountyLine The Community MagazineTo inquire about advertising in • 678-787-355122CountyLine | November 2012 |

self-professed people person, Tiffany Hutchens never meetsA a stranger. Her bubbly personality and enthusiasm serve herwell in her role as principal of Medlock Bridge Elementary. Butthis seventeen-year veteran of the Fulton County School System,Georgia native, and former student of the Cobb County SchoolSystem says, “I played school like all children do. But I don’tthink I ever thought about being a teacher or a principal.”As a college student at Kennesaw State University, Tiffany tooka job working in a preschool. “It was there that I realized that Iwanted to work with children.” The former business major graduatedwith a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and continuedher education with a Master’s degree in Education Leadershipfrom the University of Georgia.On theMOVEat Medlock Bridge ElementaryHer teaching career began at State Bridge Crossing Elementary,teaching third and fifth grade before moving into the EarlyIntervention Program. There, she realized that she wanted tohelp more students and their families. Her career continued as ateacher at Abbotts Hill Elementary for five years before she becamean assistant principal, a position she held for eight years. “Iloved being an assistant principal, but the opportunity to becomeprincipal of Medlock Bridge Elementary came up, and I really believein the vision of Fulton County Schools Superintendent Dr.Robert M. Avossa.” She credits Dr. Roytunda Stabler, principal ofAbbotts Hill Elementary, for allowing her teaching skills to evolveand enabling her to find her own voice as an educator. “It is wonderfulto work under a leader who allows you to develop your ownstyle of leadership. She trusted in my abilities.”Now, Tiffany takes her leadership skills to Medlock Bridge Elementarywhere they celebrate the diversity of their student body,not only ethnically, but also in abilities. From inclusion classes toteam-taught classes, and from a special needs Pre-K to an autismclass, there are situations available to ensure the success of eachstudent. Having her sons in the same school system gives Tiffanyinsight into the concerns of the parents of her students.text and photography byTammy Harden GallowayMedlock Bridge Elementary is nestled in the edge of a neighborhood,which gives it a small town, community feel. It is this feelingthat attracts people to move into the school’s district. “Parentshave many choices when it comes to education these days,be it home schooling, private school, or public. So, for someoneto choose your school and to move into your district, that’s huge.”Tiffany makes herself visible to her students and their parents. “Ilove to walk the halls and talk with the students. I will stop a childand ask them how it’s going.” She wants to know the studentspersonally. Upon hearing that a student was wearing a new redand black jersey in honor of spirit day, she sought him out to admirehis shirt. These casual one-on-one interactions have positiveeffects on the students. They see her in various settings aroundthe school doing different things from carpool duty to busing thecafeteria tables. “I won’t ask anyone to do a job I wouldn’t be24CountyLine | November 2012 |


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Old-Fashioned Medicine in Our CommunityOld-fashioned medicine is alive and thriving! ModernOb/Gyn, a private Obstetrics and Gynecology practice,established by husband and wife team Drs. John andIngrid Reyes, is a tribute that personal, one-on-one attentionbetween a doctor and a patient can still be found inthese challenging times for health care. “We never wantour patients to feel as though they are a number in asystem. At our practice,we treat you like a friendor a family member,”says Dr. John. As moremedical practices trendtoward larger “megagroups,”Modern Ob/Gynworks hard to stay trueto the philosophy that“old-fashioned” medicinestill has a place intoday’s system.Modern Ob/Gyn was establishedwith the promiseand the goal of providingcare for patientsas though they are family.Being a husband andwife team, Dr. John and Dr. Ingrid, as they are known totheir patients, have a unique ability to constantly pay attentionto this philosophy. “We treat our patients basedon the question, ‘How would I want my mother or my sistertreated?’” says Dr. Ingrid. “We really value educatingour patients so they understand their medical issues, whycertain treatments are better than others, and what theiroptions are for treatment.”“When patients come to see us, we commonly hear aboutexperiences at other practices where they had no personalconnection with their providers and felt like a number. Especiallyin Ob/Gyn, such a personal field, it is so importantto emphasize the individual connection between thedoctor and the patient. That’s what we enjoy most in ourpractice—developing the relationships with our patients,”says Dr. Ingrid.Dr. John and Dr. Ingrid are particularly proud of the feedbackthey’ve received from their patients. “Comments like‘highly recommend,’ ‘great experience,’ ‘truly wonderfulpeople,’ are all so rewarding to hear. It makes all our effortsso worth it,” says Dr. Ingrid.Established in October 2010, Modern Ob/Gyn has quicklybecome an integral part of our medical community. Asthe first surgeons to perform da Vinci robotic surgeriesat Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Dr. Ingrid and Dr. Johnpioneered the implementation of this fast-growing servicein our community. Patients benefit from robotic surgery byhaving less risk for complications, short overnight hospitalstays, faster recovery times, and minimal pain. ModernOb/Gyn dedicates its gynecologic practice to minimally invasivesurgeries and is an experienced leader in our communityfor robotic gynecologic surgery.Dr. John and Dr. Ingrid also practice obstetrics. “This isa real joy for us. To be able to see someone struggle toconceive, help her achieve pregnancy, and then to carefor her during that pregnancy, and deliver the baby! It’samazing,” says Dr. Ingrid. “One of the unique benefits ofour practice is that you always know your doctor. You willget no surprises at the time of delivery. It is either myselfor Dr. Ingrid who will deliver your baby. It’s a very personaltouch that sometimes is missing in other larger practices,”says Dr. John. Modern Ob/Gyn provides exclusive,attentive prenatal care, and they deliver at Emory JohnsCreek Hospital as well as at Northside Hospital Forsyth.Dr. John knows the importance of the family impact onpatient care. He comes from a family of six Ob/Gyns, includinghis father, who modeled the philosophy of “oldfashioned”medicine. Altogether, Dr. John’s family hasdelivered over 20,000 babies! Dr. John and Dr. Ingrid alsohave two young children of their own.Drs. John and Ingrid Reyes are accepting new patient appointments. Their office is located at Emory Johns Creek PhysiciansPlaza, 6335 Hospital Parkway, Suite 204. You can visit their website to learn more at, or calltheir office to schedule your appointment at 404-446-2496.30CountyLine | November 2012 |

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The faster the recovery,the faster you’re backEmory Johns Creek Hospital offers the latest in minimally invasive surgerythrough its da Vinci robot, helping you get better faster and back on the road.Robotic surgery offers:• Minimally invasive procedures,including bariatric surgery, routineand advanced gynecologic surgeries• Reduced blood loss• Lower infection risks• Faster recovery times• Shorter hospital stays• Reduced pain and scarringFor more information, call 678-474-8200or visit | November 2012 |

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