John Palmer



John Palmer has been in the Walton High School cluster since 1999, directing the band at Dickerson Middle School for 17 years, and at Walton since 2016. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Furman University, a Master of Music Education degree from Louisiana State University, and an Education Specialist degree from the University of Georgia. Prior to coming to Cobb County he taught for three years at South Effingham Middle and High Schools in Guyton, Georgia.

Under Mr. Palmer’s direction, the Dickerson Middle School was invited to perform at the Music for All Southeastern Regional Concert Band Festival (2015), the Music for All National Concert Band Festival (2010, 2014), the Georgia Music Educators Association Annual Convention (2006, 2016), and the University of Georgia Middle School Band Festival (2002, 2009, and 2013).

Mr. Palmer has served as an adjudicator for GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluations and as a guest conductor for several GMEA Honor Bands and collegiate band clinics.  Mr. Palmer’s professional associations include Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the Georgia Music Educators Association, and National Band Association, Phi Kappa Lambda, the National Association for Music Education, Kappa Delta Phi, the Georgia Association of Educators, and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators. He has received six Citations of Excellence from the National Band Association, and was elected to Phi Beta Mu in 2008.

Outside of band, Mr. Palmer is a vocal advocate for public education and for teachers and state employees. He lives in Marietta with his wife, Elaine, and their two children, Rebecca and Jack.

Chris Johns

Assistant Director


Mr. Johns was formerly the Director of Bands at Dacula High School, and previously he served as Assistant Band Director at Starr’s Mill High School and the Assistant Band and Orchestra Director at Lanier Middle School. Mr. Johns holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Columbus State University and a Master of Music Education Degree from the University of Georgia. Additionally, Mr. Johns is currently on brass staff for the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps where he serves as a low brass technician.

Under his direction, the Symphonic Bands at both Dacula High School and Starr’s Mill High School received superior ratings at Large Group Performance Evaluation, and the Dacula High School Marching Band was awarded two Silver Division Champion awards in GMEA contests in addition to numerous high class and contest placements.

Mr. Johns is an active clinician in Georgia and has arranged and written music for numerous bands that have competed in the BOA, WGI, and GMEA contest circuits. He also formerly played trombone with the Tara Winds, an Atlanta-based community band, and was a member of the 2009 Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps from Allentown, PA. Mr. Johns’ professional affiliations include the Georgia Music Educators’ Association, the National Band Association, and the Music Educators’ National Conference.