Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
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Woodbury families who live within the District 834 boundaries will be moving for the 2017-18 school year. District 834 School Board approved new boundaries during its May 12 meeting. District 834 is tasked with redrawing its attendance boundaries in order to fill its new school in Woodbury, Brookview Elementary. Additionally, Valley Crossing Community School, which previously served districts 834, 833 and 622, is being purchased by District 833, which in turn means that District 834 is tasked with finding a new home school for those students.
Woodbury High School's choir program will be celebrating the passage of time next week. The 2016 Cabaret, "It's a Matter of Time," will run May 24-26. The cabaret is a song-and-dance concert performed by all WHS choirs. "Taking a look at what we've done and not done," WHS choir director Daryl Timmer said, "a time theme just seemed to work. It's a new theme that we haven't tried it before." A total of 14 songs, performed by 180 students, will include such songs a "Timewarp," "End of Time," "Rock Around the Clock," and "For the Longest Time," among others.
Woodbury High School's cafeteria was a sight to behold last week. The annual All School Art Show as held May 19, which filled the cafeteria with student artwork. The art show featured painting, ceramics, sculpture, mixed media, drawing and everything in between. Several students also had portfolio tables set up, displaying collections of their artwork. Additionally, ceramics pieces were available for purchase as a way to raise money for the school's ceramics program. Artwork was awarded prizes by three judges during an awards banquet following the show.
Music bridges the gap between all ages recently at Valley Crossing Community School. Valley Crossing band students performed in concert on May 12, which was then followed by a joint performance with the school's Family Band, which is made up of parents, teachers, siblings and former students. The Family Band came together once again on May 19 when it performed with the band from Math and Science Academy. Visit woodburybulletin.com for a video of the Family Band performance. (Staff photos by Amber Kispert-Smith)
District 833 has announced the new principal for Woodbury Elementary, and it's a familiar face. Connha Classon, who has served at the interim principal at Woodbury Elementary since October, has...
Afton resident Robin McDowell has spent her career traveling around the world as a reporter for the Associated Press. McDowell's career has taken her to such countries at Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and most recently Indonesia. "There's no shortage of stories that's for sure," McDowell said. "There are so many stories that are important to tell." One such story took McDowell 18 months to tell. The "Seafood from Slaves" series, written by McDowell and three other AP reporters, exposed the use of slave labor by the fishing industry in Southeast Asia.
Every young artist dreams of having their artwork on display in some form. "Having your parents see it is one thing," Woodbury High School sophomore Elise Salas said, "but having others see it is something completely different." Salas and WHS junior Jenna Penticoff will definitely have the opportunity for others to see their artwork since both girls have been named winners in the 2016 Congressional Art Competition. Three pieces of artwork were chosen to represent the 4th Congressional District.
Woodbury High School 2012 graduate Joey Wiley traveled to Malaysia during his sophomore year at Gustavus Adolphus College in hopes of refocusing himself on school. "I was at a point in my life where I was ready to be done with college, I just needed a break," he said. "I needed to recenter myself." Wiley succeeded in Malaysia, in fact returning with a 3.3 grade-point average after having left Minnesota with a 2.7 GPA. "I was able to find myself in a different way," he said. "I was able to get re-energized and recharged. I was able to get my drive back."
Woodbury resident Mary Del Toro doesn't have any medical background, but that didn't stop her from traveling to China last month for a medical mission trip with the Love Without Boundaries Foundation, where orphans and impoverished children received lifesaving cleft surgeries. "I was just there to hold babies," she said. "I can be a mom to kids, it doesn't matter if they're my own or not, because it just comes naturally." Del Toro wasn't the only Woodbury resident to travel to Kaifeng, China, Woodbury resident Dr. Kathy Clinch also went on the mission trip.
With the end of the school year fast approaching, it's not just the students who are looking forward to the next chapter in their lives. Several District 833 teachers will be packing up their desks for the final time this June upon their retirement. "This is almost like my home," said Woodbury High School social studies teacher Mark Andrews, who will be retiring this year after 42 years with the district. "I've spent a lot of time here, so I'll definitely miss it." The path to education