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atlanta high schools

Last week saw a spike in reports of protests on Atlanta area high school campuses. Students are participating in a sit-in in Fulton County schools, DeKalb athletes are threatening to take a knee at football games and Gwinnett students are skipping class to join prayer circles – all protesting racial inequality and incidents of police violence.

So far, school officials appear to be treading carefully. DeKalb and Fulton County's school systems say they support students' political expression as long as it's not disruptive.

Gabbie Watts / WABE

This story is part of WABE and American Graduate's Advancing Atlanta: Education series. For more stories, click here.  

This past weekend, students from seven different high schools – Grady, North Atlanta, Brookwood, North Gwinett, Union Grove, North Springs and Riverwood – gathered at the High Museum of Art for Art Throwdown.

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s section in the Atlanta Public Schools archive
Brenna Beech / WABE

Martin Luther King Jr., Margaret Mitchell, Johnny Isakson, Jasmine Guy. They all have something in common, a common connection. Can you guess what it is?

They all graduated from the Atlanta Public Schools system. And they’re not alone. Atlanta Public Schools has turned out many students who have gone on to do great things, changing the world in some way, climbing to the top of their fields in sports, music, politics and business.

Here are just some of the many well-known alumni who have called Atlanta home and graduated from the city’s school system.

Dan Raby/WABE News

As a new school year begins, some students aren’t just changing grades; they’re changing schools.

Brothers Collin and Sean Lynch are both making that kind of transition this year. Collin will start kindergarten in Fulton County. He has an idea of what’s ahead.

“I bet kindergarten’s not going to have that much painting,” he says.

He’ll also take the bus for the first time. His mom, Melissa Lynch, says it’s a transition for her too.