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Sunday, November 30, 2014

I had the pleasure of participating in the Fulton County Schools Principal for a Day Program in conjunction with the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.   Principal Jimmy Zoll welcomed me to Autry Mill Middle School on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014.    We attended staff planning meetings discussing the pilot program incorporating computer portals for the students and staff.   They will be using Google’s education program in 2015.   The students use technology to study and complete assignments; therefore, giving them an insight to useful business tools.  
Lynn Riley, Georgia Revenue Commissioner,
Principal Jimmy Zoll, & Pam Santoro

Assistant Principal Abbey May,
Principal Jimmy Zoll and
Assistant Principal Mimi Gamel

The media center has been totally redone with moveable tables and benches plus two flat touch screen TV’s.   Here’s the link to the media center: .   If you click on a section of the media center, it will give you more details on this cool center.
Media Center at Autry Mill Middle School in Johns Creek, Georgia

The Science class used and egg in a beaker of vinegar to demonstrate the transfer of molecules in and out of a cell.   The vinegar dissolved the shell and was absorbed into the egg causing the egg to expand in size.  After all the measurements were taken, they cleaned the beaker out and filled it with corn syrup.   I didn’t get to see the results of this, but since the corn syrup had larger molecules than the vinegar it should absorb the vinegar out of the egg.   I imagine the egg got smaller.   In one classroom, the teacher had everyone link hands to show how easily some particles could transfer in and out of cells.  Another Science class rooms had a lizard in it.     Being a little scared of the lizard, I stayed in my seat a good distance from it.

We observed health classes, math classes, social studies classes and environmental science incorporated in a legislative study.   The students are working with Lynn Riley, the new Georgia Revenue Commissioner, to draft a bill to send to the capital on water conservation on the Chattahoochee River.  

The media center was the cool place for lunch for the students of the month for each grade level plus their friends.   The cafeteria was social and loud, but very organized.   Students helped make sure all was spotless when their class left the area.

The chorus, band and orchestra were practicing hard.   They demonstrated what I saw in the entire building:   energy, enthusiasm, progressive thinking, and very tech savvy. 
Centennial High School Choir
Chelsea Burney Choral Director
Chattahoochee Nature Center

Autry Mill Middle Schools is expanding on the rear of the building to handle the increase in student population.   After attending the reception for Principals of all the Fulton County Schools and their Principals for the Day, I learned that Chattahoochee High School is being renovated and the front will look different next year and Taylor Road Middle School is also expanding.     The Chattahoochee Nature Center hosted the reception on November 19th sponsored by Georgia Power, Carole Parks Catering and the Chattahoochee Nature Center, HNTB Corporation, Farmers Insurance Group – Perry Agency, First Citizens Bank – Peachtree Parkway, and American Family Insurance – Lee Dawkins Agency. 

Centennial High School provided the music “Bella Voce” led by Chelsea Burney, Choral Director.   Chris Nelson, Executive Director of the Chattahoochee Nature, welcomed everyone.   Paul Anderson, Chairman GNFCC Education Committee, gave opening remarks.   Jeff Petrea, Area Manager from Georgia Power Company was the presenting sponsor.   Dr. Robert Avossa, Superintendent of Fulton County Schools, unveiled the Principal for a Day video and spoke about our great schools.  

I highly recommend participating in this wonderful program.   It really shows the strength of our schools, students and future leaders. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Milton High & GNFCC Job Shadowing at Harry Norman Realtors

Last Friday, February 7th, I was pleased to participate in Milton High School’s job shadowing program in cooperation with the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.   Two Milton High seniors, Megan Ragghianti and  Hannah Guzman, met me at the Harry Norman Realtors North Fulton Office in Alpharetta.   Megan and Hannah quickly learned that a realtor has to be flexible; my original plan for  the day changed soon after they arrived.   Originally, we were going to meet and tour the office then  preview homes in the Alpharetta, Milton, and Lake Lanier areas; but my client needed to revisit a house in the Doublegate Subdivision in Johns Creek to decide whether to put in an offer on it.  

After meeting at the office, Hannah, Megan, and I went and put a sign back up on 6.5 acres in Dawsonville.   We didn’t get to check on the Chestatee Shores property  because we needed to get to Johns Creek during my client’s lunch hour.   We showed the house which had a glorious kitchen, but my clients were not sure about it.  My clients timed the drive to GA-400 and decided it was too long of a trip.  We went to lunch at Jason’s Deli near our office then went back to meet the Harry Norman Realtors staff (Marketing, Listings, Closing, Reception and Realtors).   
Megan Ragghianti, Pam Santoro, & Hannah Guzman
at Harry Norman Realtors - North Fulton Office
Alpharetta, Georgia

Throughout the day, Hannah and Megan asked insightful questions.  All in all, they got a glimpse of life as a Realtor and I learned more about the prom, high school classes, and trips to colleges.   

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 Remodeling Trends

The top 5 home remodeling trends for 2014 are:  modern kitchens, brass accents with a face lift, updated resort style bathrooms, vibrant colors (orange, yellow and turquoise plus green flash, lemon zest, nectarine and rouge red), and sustainable materials.   To read the entire article, go to 2014 Remodeling Trends.

2014 Housing Market Predictions from the Experts

Here's a good article by Realtor.Com experts on their 2014 Housing Market Predictions:

1. Inventory Should Gradually Stabilize and Return to Traditional Seasonal Levels
2. More Homeowners Are Likely to Return to Positive Equity
3. Mortgage Rates Are Expected to Rise
4. Foreclosure Activity Is Expected to Slow
5. Further Declines in Home Affordability Are Expected

Click on the link for the entire article, 2014 Housing Market Predictions from the Experts.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Best Home Sales in the Past Seven Years

NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun, stated that 2013 had the best home sales in the past seven years.   Housing prices should have a modest increase in 2014.   To read the entire article, follow this link Pending Home Sales Edge Up in November.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

For under $30 A Temporary Window for a Screened In Porch in Atlanta

I have a screened in porch with 13 large windows, 1 small window and a screen door. Tony and I got estimates on putting in real glass and plastic windows that ranged from $3,000 to $5,000!  Way too high for the few months that we need it from the cold in Atlanta.   After going to Home Depot, Lowe’s and Wal-Mart, Tony found our solution.   It’s called a Duct Window Kit with clear plastic that shrinks to the window frames or screens etc.   It is really made for indoor windows, but we tested it this past week in heavy rain

 The kit includes double sided tape which you fit to the frame or the screen.  You then cut the sheets of plastic a little wider than the area you taped.   Once you attach the plastic to the double sided taped area, you use a hair dryer or heat gun to shrink the plastic to the frame.   This insulated the porch just enough for us to turn on our outdoor heater, creating an additional warm party space for our house.   We left the small window open for ventilation, but may cover it come Spring as the temporary coverings should keep out the heavy pine pollen.    We completed the entire project using only 2 boxes for just under $30.