The Wachovia bank at Merchants Walk in east Cobb celebrated its grand re-opening Apr. 13, with a crowd of community supporters on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. During the ceremony, Wachovia awarded $20,000 grant to the Cobb Schools Foundation to support the District’s successful Project 2400 SAT test preparation program! Superintendent Fred Sanderson, Board of Education members David Banks and Dr. John Crooks, foundation executive director Sheri Brante and Walton High School student Lawton Willingham accepted the grant from Wachovia community bank president Mindy Mercaldo shortly after the bank honored its first customer in the newly-remodeled facility.
Project 2400, a strategic partnership between the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and the Cobb County and Marietta City school districts, was created in 2006 to provide an intensive SAT preparation course for students during their junior year of high school.
Leaders from Cobb’s business and government sectors were on hand for the festivities, including Cobb Chamber of Commerce chair Rob Garcia (pictured above left), Walton High principal Judy McNeill, Cobb County commissioner Bob Ott and former commissioner Sam Olens. Garcia discussed the importance of community investment into education and praised the continued development of the Merchants Walk shopping center as a hub for commerce and community.
Walton student Lawton Willingham helped cut the ribbon marking the grand re-opening of the Wachovia branch. Willingham is one of 751 Cobb students that participated in Project 2400 in 2009, at no cost to them or their families. Of the students who took both the initial diagnostic test and the SAT, 90 percent scored higher by 10-750 points. The average score increase from the first diagnostic test to the SAT was 166 points, with an average score for all participants of 1517.