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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Over the last 10 years, the students and staff at Woodbury High School have had a dear friend in an unlikely staff member -- the parking lot security guard.
Afton Town Square Park was alive with art and fun last weekend, Sept. 26-27, for the 31st annual Afton Art in the Park. Around 50 vendors, selling products ranging from homemade jellies and jams to jewelry to metal work to paintings, were on hand for the hundreds of people to walk around and enjoy. One vendor, Simply Nuts & More from excelsior, has been participating every year at the event because of the beautiful community and the fun atmosphere, said owner Sheila Johnston. "We've been coming every year," Johnston said.
Woodbury High School showed off their Royal pride during their homecoming last week, Sept. 21-25, with a variety of school spirit activities and events. Kicking off the week was the homecoming royalty coronation -- Profit Idowu took the crown for king, and Gina Bruno is this year's queen. Throughout the week students showed off their WHS school spirit by participating in a variety of different spirit days -- jersey day, 80's day, safari day and super hero day -- where students dressed up according to the theme.
In the coming weeks, Afton may be moving forward with a study into the feasibility of designing municipal wastewater services for downtown Afton. Currently, Afton functions under on-site wastewater treatment systems. The Afton City Council discussed the study and the proposals they received during a work session on Tuesday, Sept. 15 immediately preceding the regular meeting where it was also discussed.
The Afton City Council had to face the results of a lawsuit the city settled this summer at the council's Tuesday, Sept. 15 meeting when it voted to approve a co-pay and deductible of $114,702.88 to the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust now that the case developers had against the city has been settled. "We certainly knew that there were legal fees accruing in the defense of these lawsuits and only got the final numbers on the FOC lawsuit last week," Mayor Pat Snyder said. The lawsuit was settled in June after two years of litigation.
The Cedar Bluff Homestead saga may reach a conclusion within the next month. The Afton City Council was scheduled to discuss the proposed development during its Tuesday, Sept.
Afton Art in the Park has been a popular fall-time activity for the past 31 years since it gives people the opportunity to enjoy the artistic talents of the vendors, but also enjoy all of Afton has to offer. "They make an event day out of it," said Kathy Jarvis, one of the organizers from the Afton House Inn. "They go to the park and look at the art, maybe stay here over night, have dinner at one of the restaurants in town and visit some of the local shops -- they can really make a whole event day out of it, not just an hour thing." The 31st Annual Afton Art in the Park will be Sept.
The hours of studying that the students and teachers have put in at Minnesota Math and Science Academy has paid off in a big way; the school has been designated a blue ribbon school by the U.S. Department of Education for their continued superior student achievement. "The award is about the achievements of the students and teachers," MSA director Paul Simone said.
The Woodbury Royals, the East Ridge Raptors and the Park Wolfpack all came together last Friday for the Freshman Frenzy dance at Woodbury High School. The dance, which took the form of a sock hop, followed the Woodbury-Park football game and was sponsored by the WHS Link Crew as a fundraiser to help the group recoup costs. "The thing that really stuck out to me was how excited everyone was to see all of their friends they may have been separated from," said Chris Dease, a teacher and Link Crew advisor at Woodbury High School.
The long awaited opening of East Ridge High has finally arrived, and everyone is wondering how did it go? The Woodbury Bulletin recently sat down with ERHS principal Aaron Harper to discuss the first week of school. Woodbury Bulletin: What was the first day of school like? Aaron Harper: It was just running around being crazy and all the emotion attached to it -- kind of all that rolled up into one. It was emotional, it was draining, super exciting, energizing, crazy. But also trying to take a moment to live in the moment and realize that it's a special day.