The Princeton Review ranked Oglethorpe University in three of its top 20 lists: Professors Get High Marks (20), Best College Theater (17) and Race/Class Interaction (10). Oglethorpe is the only Georgia institution that was included in those categories in the most recent book. The Princeton Review surveyed 122,000 students at 371 top colleges in 2008-2009 to rate their schools on dozens of topics and report on their campus experiences.
The U.S. headquarters of Pyramid Approach to Learning has opened in Atlanta. Founded by Dutch educator Dr. Jef J. van Kuyk, the learning method was adopted in the Netherlands in response to a wave of immigration in the early 1990s. The Netherlands continually places in the top 10 education systems in the industrialized world. Van Kuyk thinks the work of improving scores begins in preschool and revolves around more complex thinking. The Pyramid Approach to Learning that van Kuyk brings to the U.S. is a training program for early-childhood professionals. www.pyramidprinciples.com.
Capping the restoration of a community park destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans’ St. Roch neighborhood are a new baseball diamond, dugout and bleachers, as well as uniforms and equipment for the neighborhood’s young players. This is the second phase of the St. Roch Park rebuilding project undertaken by Atlanta-based Swett & Crawford, the nation’s oldest independent wholesale insurance brokerage. The company provided both capital and “sweat equity.” Earlier this year, Swett & Crawford employees invested more than 2,000 hours of labor in a single day to rebuild a place for neighborhood children to play. During the initial phase, 262 Swett & Crawford employees built fences, poured concrete, moved dirt, assembled playground equipment and set a collage of hand-decorated ceramic tiles in cement to wish the neighborhood well.
One Georgia Bank grew its small-business loan volume faster than any other bank in the state as of June 30, processing more than $11 million in loans approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration. This places One Georgia Bank in the front of the pack, with its nearest competitor behind by more than $1 million in dollar volume. SBA approved 14 7(a) loans for One Georgia Bank totaling $11.2 million through June 30 for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, 2008, and ending Sept. 30, 2009.\
Taylor Yarbrough, an interior commercial and residential designer with more than 20 years of experience, has opened his own firm, G. Taylor esign+Consulting Inc. Yarbrough most recently worked for Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates as an associate in charge of its interiors department for 15 years. He has extensive experience in commercial interior design, having worked on, among others, the headquarters of Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation in New York City, First Union/Wachovia in Charlotte, N.C., various Disney buildings in Orlando, Fla., and multiple high-rise residences throughout the world.
Enyiaanise Beauty Bar is now open in Virginia Highland at 842 N. Highland Ave., Suite 3. The full-service salon offers monthly promotions, licensed stylists, an esthetician and a nail technician. For more information, call (404) 733-1000 or find them online at www.enyiaanise.com, Twitter and Facebook.
The Chinese Shaolin Center Intown celebrated its fifth anniversary in Virginia Highland with an open house and party over the summer. Instructors and students shared their experiences with prospective students. Everyone enjoyed the games, refreshments and impromptu demonstrations. www.shaolincenter.com.
Ray Sorrell Travel/Exclusively Cruises has moved back to Virginia-Highland at 1409 N. Highland Ave. Suite L. The full service vagency handles air, cruises, tours, Europe and exotic locations. (678) 733-8445.
Atlanta Activewear is now open in Virginia-Highland at 996 Virginia Ave. Owned by three sisters, the store carries men’s, women’s and maternity athletic apparel. www.atlantaactivewear.blogspot.com.