February Aha! Lunch & Learn with Tom Bass & Jake Hill

by Audra H. Anders for The Aha! Connection

Nice view of the parking lot. From L-R Tom Bass, Peggy Smith, Audra Anders, Jake Hill

Peggy and I invited Coach Bass and Coach Hill to lunch at North Italia on Tuesday.  Both men have coached my sons over the years so I’ve known them for awhile but I wanted to introduce them to Peggy since her oldest will be attending DHS as a 9th grader next year.  In case you don’t know our guests….they both work at Dunwoody High School.  Tom Bass is the Principal and 
Jake Hill is the newly promoted Assistant Principal (over Athletics and Discipline)

Here’s what/where we Ate for lunch….

I chose North Italia because it is personally one of my fave places.  The gentlemen had not been there and were happy to check it out!  The food is amazing…our waitress was lovely…the atmosphere is bright and open and it’s easy to have an audible conversation in their big booths! 

Peggy, Tom and Jake loved the White Truffle Garlic Bread!  It was so good we forgot to take a photo of it before it was all gone.  All three would highly recommend this appetizer.  It smelled heavenly!

White Truffle Garlic Bread – Photo borrowed from Yelp

Here’s what we randomly discussed at lunch….

St. Catrick’s Day Madness

Mark your calendar for March 16 from 7-11pm at Bar(n) for St. Catrick’s Day Madness!  This annual fundraiser is to garner support for arts, academics and athletics … last year the event was 80’s themed and had over 400 people attend.  I was there and it was a BLAST!  I loved seeing the MULTIPLE generations of DHS parents, students, teachers and staff.  The school plans to do something similar every year and this year are combining March Madness and St. Patrick’s Day.  There will be an awesome event T-shirt and everyone is encouraged to wear the event shirt, green or sports attire.  The Family Truckster band will be there all night and another surprise performance is in the works!  The goal is to get parents and the community involved in the support of Dunwoody High School!  Anyone can come! 

  • Where: Bar(n) Restaurant – We will have the entire restaurant and outside will be covered by tents as well
  • When:  March 16th from 7-11
  • Why: 2nd Annual Wildcat Community Event and Fundraiser “St. Catrick’s Day Madness”
  • Who: Everyone is invited
  • Costs: $50 per person (includes 1 beer or wine ticket) if bought before the event…$60 per person at the door.

Purchase tickets here
Event on Facebook here
Dunwoody Alumni page here 

A Current Challenge at DHS 

Engaging the large Hispanic population and getting them ingrained in the fabric of the school and community is an ongoing initiative as over 750 students are ESOL.  DHS hosted a fall family night which was well attended.  There will be an International Night in March.  Any ideas for highlighting diversity at DHS and/or engaging the Hispanic community?    Comments on this post are open!


DHS stopped using lockers due to Covid (crowding at lockers = germs spread).  They found students got to classes quicker and are less apt to have troublesome issues in the hallways when kids aren’t loitering around banks of lockers.  Students have a computer and no longer lug around several heavy textbooks.  Most sporting equipment doesn’t fit in lockers so are stored by the Coaches.  Each class has a set of books in the classroom.  Lockers can be offered on a case by case basis if needed.  

Block Scheduling

Block is better!  The Anders family agrees!  Here’s why:

  • There are more opportunities to take more classes.  
    • Traditional Scheduling is 7 classes x 4 years = 28 classes.  
    • Block scheduling is 8 classes x 4 years = 32 classes.   
    • Strong students can take more AP’s and/or Dual enrollment classes
    • Struggling students have time to make up classes without falling behind
    • The kids can choose more electives.
    • Students can choose more than one pathway
  • Only two core classes per semester (four classes total per semester).  This helps balance the workload.
  • Only having to focus on four classes per semester allows more time after school for sports, jobs, activities, etc.  
  • There’s time to add ROAR (Raising Of All Rigor) to everyone’s schedule every day.   ROAR is 35 minutes every day and allows time to study, catch up, prepare or just mentally decompress.  

Breakfast with Bass

Principal Bass invites a group of approximately 25 seniors (alphabetically throughout the year) for breakfast on Wednesdays to chat, check in, ask about their best moments at DHS, find out what teachers/staff have reached them, etc.  Relationships and really knowing the students is vital to him as Principal. 

AHA! Wants to Help Spread DHS News to the Community

We encouraged Bass and Hill to share sports, camps plays, events, etc with us so we can encourage the community to attend.  Coach Hill has already sent us next week’s home sports games and we’ve added the March DHS Chicago play production to our calendar plus several DHS summer camps have already posted with us!   

Questions…comments…feel free to comment on this post!

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