CORE Community School was founded in 2015 by Dr. Annie Johnston-Jones and Dymond Jones. Their shared vision for CORE first took shape in 2012 when they started CORE Academy summer camp on their property in Waleska, GA. The vision expanded into a school program with two students and a small school building in Canton, GA. After two years of operation and tremendous growth, CORE Community School relocated to their current home in Woodstock.
"We teach who we are."
— Parker Palmer
Annie Johnston-Jones, Ed.D.
"Throughout my teaching career, it became increasingly clear that what I loved most about the job were the human aspects of teaching. This led me to pursue a self-designed Master’s degree from Lesley University, where I explored the importance of student self-expression and creativity. This work, in addition to my experience in the classroom, continued to shape and strengthen my philosophy of education. I recognized that not only were the human aspects of education the pieces I enjoyed most, but they were actually the ones that mattered most. I spent 13 years teaching, learning and coaching at The Howard School in Atlanta. During my time there, I earned both the “Teacher of the Year” award for my time in my middle school classroom, and “Coach of the Year” award for my time coaching volleyball and basketball. In 2018, I earned my Doctorate in Education with a focus on School Improvement from the University of West Georgia. My dissertation work was focused on the human elements of education, specifically human connection and comfort in the school environment. I have also trained in mindfulness-based stress reduction at the Mindfulness Center of Atlanta. When I’m not at CORE, I love creating art, listening to live music, playing with baby Cam, reading and writing poetry, running trail races, and practicing hot yoga."
Dymond Jones, M.S.
"I have spent my entire professional career coaching, teaching, mentoring and working to motivate people to be their best selves. My years of work in the field of health and wellness provided me the opportunity to support people of all ages and backgrounds on their journey of personal development. As Parker Palmer says, “We teach who we are,” and I take this sentiment very seriously. I believe in living with a growth mindset that enables us to continuously take risks and stretch our perspective. I am an avid outdoorsman, and believe strongly in the healing powers of nature. The natural vibrations of the outdoors keep me grounded, and I enjoy sharing this wisdom with our students and families. Competing as a college athlete and a professional martial artist was transformative for me, and has shaped my beliefs around human growth, potential, and success. My interest in human motivation and growth is what inspired me to pursue my Master’s Degree from the University of Illinois and my training from the Mindfulness Center of Atlanta. I am grateful for my dynamic professional journey, which has led me to own a martial arts gym, instruct students at Georgia Gwinnett College, work with young adult as a Vocational and Education Life Coach at Goshen Valley, and ultimately to my work here at CORE. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with our 3 kids, making music, and doing anything outdoors."