Madison Hogan headshot

Cobb Life Magazine Editor Madison Hogan

Welcome to 2022. Here, we look forward to a new year, a bright future and any challenges that may come our way. After the last two years of the pandemic, I’d say we’re ready for anything. We’ve seen so much; we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve sighed and we’ve cheered. So here’s to a fresh start and a Happy New Year!

I’m happy to introduce the Cobb Life Magazine 2022 List Edition. Each January, Cobb Life has showcased a group of talented individuals who make Cobb County succeed. Last year, we recognized 20 business professionals in their 40s.

For this year’s list, I wanted to acknowledge a group of people who have been tested through the trials of the pandemic, who are essential to our community and are often overlooked: teachers. I’m sure, whether you’re a former or current student, or a parent with children in school, chances are there’s a teacher who made a difference in your life.

For me, there’s more than one. Had it not been for my teachers — Mrs. Prescott, my third grade teacher who submitted my story about a sad, lonely Christmas tree to a local writing contest and was the first teacher to recognize my talent for writing; Mr. Herrin, who encouraged my writing in newspaper club in eighth grade and agreed to read my “novel” at the time; and Mrs. Sanford, who was my guide in creative writing my junior and senior year, who pushed my creative boundaries and encouraged me to pursue a career in writing — there’s no doubt in my mind, I would not be a writer today. As a former Cobb County School District student myself, I knew there were plenty of teachers who have done the same for other kids.

The teachers in our list this year were nominated online by you, the reader. All nominated teachers were notified of their nominations and asked to fill out questions. All are winners, but those with the most inspiring and interesting answers were selected to appear in the magazine. To my surprise, one of my own former teachers was nominated: Ms. Jennifer Dawson.

I can remember entering her classroom — her world — of social studies in the early mornings at Lost Mountain Middle School as a timid sixth grader. It was my first honors class, and challenging at that. To this day, I can still remember that first day of school when Ms. Dawson explained to the class why we were to address her as Ms. Dawson, not Miss or Mrs. I found this so enlightening, as no teacher had ever taken the time to explain that distinction to me before. Ms. Dawson was my first experience with a creative thinker as a teacher. As a creative myself, it was refreshing to know there was an adult who thought like I did, who asked questions of the world and had something I hadn’t seen before — passion. It radiated into her work and clearly I’m not the only person to think so; the same year I entered Ms. Dawson’s classroom, she was awarded the title of Cobb County Teacher of the Year.

Special thanks are in order for all of you who nominated teachers, and for all teachers everywhere. You’ve adapted, you’ve overcome and you’ve taken on the difficult challenge of educating in the midst of uncertainty. Thank you.

In addition to our teachers, I hope you’ll take the time to check out our other stories in this month’s edition.

When I first heard about Kensli Ahoure, a 3-year-old chef, I thought, “There has to be a typo here.” I was making mud pies at that age. But Kensli is getting to work in the kitchen, having already mastered omletes and other dishes in a short span of time. If you’re feeling festive and want to test your own mixing skills, check out our recipes on champagne toasts with a new twist. You can impress your guests with these new recipes and by the time the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s, they’ll be begging to know your secret.

Since this is a January-February issue, I wanted a nice, local love story to carry you into Valentine’s Day. I hope the tale of husband and wife duo Anthony Berry and Tina Burger Berry, their love for one another, their family and their pop-up market will warm your heart during these winter months.

For you book worms and Braves fans alike, we have a new author Q&A feature with Carole Townsend, the author of the MDJ-produced “Major League Deal: How the Braves Came to Cobb.” It doesn’t hurt that the Atlanta Braves are the new World Series Champions. And of course, as with every issue, we have the latest and greatest on TV shows to binge, movies to watch and books to read in January; pictures from social events from around Cobb and the hottest lifestyle news you need to know.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we did putting it together. Happy New Year!

— Madison Hogan

Cobb Life Editor

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