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Wesleyan School Celebrates 25 Years in Peachtree Corners- Mack Family



Four families share their stories

Walking through the grounds of Wesleyan School, it feels more like stepping onto a college campus. For those unfamiliar with the school, it may be surprising to learn that Wesleyan is actually a K-12 private college-preparatory nondenominational Christian school with an enrollment of 1,171 students.

Chris Cleveland, who has served as Head of School for nearly 20 years, describes Wesleyan as many do — a family. The Wesleyan family is made up of teachers, community members and, of course, students and their families.

The Mack family

Athletics were a big factor when it came to the decision for another family to send their two sons to Wesleyan. Audria and Chris Mack had been exploring their options and trying to find a fit for their two academically and athletically gifted sons for years before they stumbled onto the Wesleyan campus.

Charles and Audria Mack on Robinson Field (Photo by Isadora Pennington)

One day, the two were having lunch at a Wendy’s down the road when they saw a number of students filtering in on their lunch break. Curious about what nearby school the students might be from, the two drove through campus after their meal. The next day, they brought their oldest son, Charles, and showed him around to see what he thought of the school.

(Left to right, the Mack brothers. Jordan Mack with Chris Cleveland. Charles Mack.)

“The minute I drove him on campus he said, ‘Yep, this is where I’m going. This is where I want to go,’” recalled Charles with a laugh. “I was like ‘Son, hold on just a second, let’s find out all the ins and outs.’ And so we inquired a little bit more. But I don’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t gotten admitted here because he was already sold. That’s how we got here.”

Prior to attending Wesleyan, the Mack brothers had tried several other schools, mostly private Christian institutions in and around Atlanta. Living in Lithonia, the decision to enroll Charles and, later, his younger brother Jordan at Wesleyan was not taken lightly. For the Macks, it was of utmost importance to find a school that could provide excellence both in academics and athletics.

“We were willing to drive to Macon every day to pick them up if need be. We discussed that; we didn’t care if it was in South Carolina, if that’s where they needed to be that’s where we would take them. We were going to make sure that they got there if it was the right fit, that’s the main thing,” said Charles.

Fortunately for Charles and Audria, Wesleyan was just a bit closer to their home than South Carolina. A 21-mile drive from their driveway to the campus, this decision was made even easier when Charles was able to drive himself to school. When Jordan eventually enrolled as well, the two brothers would carpool to and from school. Both were active in football, so they had a number of extracurricular activities extending beyond the end of the school day.

It is clear from speaking to the Macks that they have always strived to provide the very best they could for their two talented sons. Despite the distance and cost of tuition, they prioritized not only finding an elite school, but also allowing them to have a say in which school they attended. As luck would have it, Wesleyan was a perfect fit for both boys who excelled and thrived during their years as students.

Since graduating, both Mack brothers received full scholarships to schools of their choice, a fact that Audria attests is in large part due to the excellent education they received at Wesleyan. “I think academics prepared them for the next phase, which was college. That’s what we were looking for. We were ready to make any trade-off to put them into this type of setting.”

During their time at Wesleyan, Charles and Jordan flourished on the football field, and thanks to close relationships with their teachers, they learned time management and gained personal development skills that continue to benefit them in their careers.

Today, 26-year-old Charles is a Graduate Assistant football coach under Bronco Mendenhall at the University of Virginia in Richmond, his alma mater. He was a four-year letter winner as a defensive back and played in 50 career games, posting a career-high 70 tackles in 2016 as a senior. He is also currently pursuing his master’s degree in social and philosophical foundations of education.

Jordan, now 23, also went to UVA and is a two-time ACC All-Academic Team member and a three-time ACC Academic Honor Roll selection. He just departed the NFL over COVID concerns and subsequently took a job at the College Football Playoffs in Irving, Texas.

“For me, personally, I think they take more time listening to the kids’ individual needs here,” Charles said. “Because of their experience here, I feel like they were able to communicate better with the world.”

“They know that they have choices,” Audria added. “We wanted them to understand that, yeah, we are your mom and dad, and we may want things to go one way, but we want to put you all in a good setting and a good position in life so that you can succeed.”

Isadora is a writer, photographer, and designer living in Avondale Estates, GA. She has worked in print for the past decade and has been published in the Atlanta INtown, Oz Magazine, Atlanta Senior Life, and the Reporter Newspapers.

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UPCCA Extends Deadline For Annual Scholarship



UPCCA Scholarship

The United Peachtree Corners Civic Association is back this year with its annual Community Service Scholarship. After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the organization to make changes in the process, the organization is back to the original award of $1,000 each for two high school seniors who reside in Peachtree Corners and have made the commitment to volunteer outside of school hours during their high school years. 

“Every year, the committee weighs several factors, community service, extracurricular activities and things like that,” said UPPCA President Matt Lombardi. “We’re looking for students who personify our community values.”

Last year’s winner used the scholarship money to purchase a 3D printer and made mask clips that helped secure masks that had to be worn during the nationwide mask mandate, said Lombari adding that it’s that kind of selfless act that makes the awardee stand out.

“And it doesn’t matter what kind of secondary education they’re pursuing,” said Lombardi. “It can be a four-year university, a vocational school or whatever works for the recipient.”

The deadline this year has been extended to May 31 to give students an opportunity to “get back to normal.”

Last year UPCCA awarded three $1,000 scholarships and has toyed with the idea of increasing the amount.

“But we don’t want to be competitive with other non-profits in the area,” said Lombardi.

While the pandemic made it necessary for the award presentation to be held outdoors, this year it will be a Peachtree Corners Baptist Church.

Any high school senior who resides in the 30092 ZIP code is eligible to apply, regardless of where they attend school.

Scholarship application process:

• Complete the Online Scholarship Application. The online application includes areas to upload your documentation for the essay and service activities. 

• Write and/or video a 300-word essay about community service work that had the greatest influence and why. 

• Include a listing of all community service activities participated in while in high school.

The winners will be chosen strictly on their participation in community service.

For more information: In order to qualify for one of the two UPCCA scholarship, you must live within Peachtree Corners and/or be a member of the UPCCA. Click here for information on becoming a member of UPCCA  or contact UPCCA President Matt Lombardi at 770-548-2989.

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Chabad Enrichment Center In Peachtree Corners Hosts Groundbreaking Ceremony



A special groundbreaking ceremony for the new Chabad Enrichment Center will be held at the corner of Spalding Drive and Crooked Creek Drive this weekend in Peachtree Corners.

“For the past two decades, the Chabad Enrichment Center has provided a safe place to support, uplift and connect people in the community,” Rabbi Yossi Lerman said. “We are delighted to break ground for the building of our new Center, in the heart of Peachtree Corners.”

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 22. Local dignitaries, community leaders and the general public are invited to honor this special event.

The Chabad Enrichment Center of Gwinnett is committed to providing every Jew the opportunity to celebrate joy through programs that nurture connection, belonging, cultural fulfillment and spiritual growth.

For more information contact Rabbi Yossi Lerman at (678) 595-0196 or rabbi@chabadofgwinnett.org. Or go to www.chabadofgwinnett.org.

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NHS Foundation Gala Raises Over $114k Toward Student Success



Hall of Fame inductee Corey Richardson with his family.
Hall of Fame inductee Corey Richardson with his family. (photos courtesy of NHS Foundation of Excellence)

Norcross High School Foundation for Excellence held its annual gala fundraiser recently at Atlanta Tech Park. With over 300 guests in attendance, it was truly a community-wide event. The night was filled with delicious food and drinks and more importantly great fundraising for Norcross High School. Over $114,000 was raised which will be used to ensure the success of all students at NHS!

56 families accepted the Foundation Challenge this year, and eight local businesses sponsored the gala. Foundation Challengers included parents and grandparents of current students, alumni and community members who know that great schools and great communities go hand in hand.

Since 2001, foundation supporters have raised over $2.6 million. These funds go directly back to the school to fund programs that support excellence in arts, academics and athletics.

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