Let’s be frank: Education is no strong suit for the city of Atlanta, still reeling from a massive school cheating scandal. Nor, for that matter, do schools garner bragging rights in the state of Georgia, which consistently ranks low on standardized tests and graduation rates. So it was with some trepidation that we decided to focus the third annual Atlanta Magazine Groundbreaker Awards on education and learning. But as our reporting team looked at success stories—from preschool classes to post-doc research—we found reasons for optimism.
The eleven members of Groundbreakers, class of 2014, contribute to making us collectively smarter, and serve as examples to their peers.

Who inspires you?

Vote for the 2014 Groundbreaker of the Year

Voting is open from September 1–30. The winner will be announced at a special ceremony on October 9.
    Choose one for this year's Groundbreaker of the Year award.

2014 Nominees

  • SACS-accredited Fugees Academy now serves 100 kids from twenty countries.
  • Illustration by Studio Muti
  • When boys are absent, "we see confidence to speak up," says Principal Termerion McCrary Lakes
  • Echo the beagle is trained to encourage early readers.
  • The ArtsBridge-funded Hensley Awards recognize high school theater.
  • Illustration by Studio Muti
  • Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore
  • Photograph by Dustin Chambers
  • Image courtesy of IS3D
  • Odyssey programs combine classwork with hands-on experiences like forensics labs and video production.
  • Illustration by Studio Muti