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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Valley Crossing Community School officials announced Thursday that the school will be discontinuing its alternate calendar option. Principal Mary Anderson said the decision was made because of financial reasons. "I have decided, due to financial constraints, that Valley Crossing will be going to one calendar," Anderson said. The school could not afford the financial implications of running two different calendars, she said Students enrolled in the alternate calendar option begin school mid-August and go through mid- to late- June, with two three-week vacations throughout the year.
Students at Red Rock Elementary are taking up their knitting needles for the after school program "Red Rock Knits." The program kicked off its seven-week curriculum on March 3. Red Rock media specialist Carla Petersen leads the group and said she's noticed a youth movement in knitting. "I've been a knitter since I was a kid and I've just noticed that there's really a lot of interesting knitting around the country and around the world right now," Petersen said.
The Woodbury Community Theatre's production of "Mame" hit the stage on March 6 with a upbeat and comedic show. Bulletin staff writer Amber Kispert got a chance last week to check it out. What did she think of the performance? Find out at "Beyond the Beat" blog
After roughly three years of intense work, the Afton's comprehensive development plan will likely be approved at the Afton City Council's March 16 meeting. Afton is currently one of five Minnesota cities, out of 189, that have yet to submit an approved comp plan to the Metropolitan Council. The Met Council recently notified Afton officials that it will not reimburse the city for the second part of its $15,000 payment for the costs associated with development of the comp plan. "I think its unfortunate that we're being penalized by the Met Council," said Afton Mayor Pat Snyder.
Belwin Conservancy has worked to preserve and restore the 1,400 acres of land in Afton to provide a scenic and peaceful getaway for nature enthusiasts. However, until recently there was one small piece missing. The Wilson Tract is an 8-acre parcel -- adjacent to the Kettlekamp Prairie, which connects the north and south partitions of the conservancy -- that Belwin had not previously been able to acquire. Belwin finally acquired the land at the beginning of month by purchasing the land for $265,000.
For the second year in a row, Five Oaks Community Church has been transformed into a packaging facility for a Feed My Starving Children packing event. Kicking off on Thursday, March 4 and running through Sunday, March 7, 2,000 volunteers will work towards packing 400,000 meals to be sent to starving children in Haiti. The 400,000 meals is enough to feed 1,096 children for a year. Read the full story about the Feed My Starving Children event in the March 10 print edition of the Woodbury Bulletin.
I hate you truly. Truly I do. Everything about me hates everything about you. The flick of my wrist hates you. The way I hold my pencil hates you. The sound made by my tiniest bones were they trapped in the jaws of a moray eel hates you. Each corpuscle singing in its capillary hates you. Those are just some of the emotionally charged words that Woodbury High School junior Shellie Erdman will utter when she recites "Hate Poem" by Julie Sheehan at the Poetry Out Loud state poetry recitation competition at the Fitzgerald Theater Monday, March 8.
A group of New Life Academy fifth graders got a taste last week of what the "real world" might be like when they participated in a simulation program called BizTown in Maplewood. The event is put on by an organization called Junior Achievement. Lake Middle School sixth graders also participated in BizTown recently. During the BizTown simulation, which is designed for grades 4-6, students are assigned a job that they will have, a list of responsibilities they will have as employees and citizens, work with money and they get to see a community at work.
After a somewhat frustrating meeting last month, the Afton City Council and developer Len Pratt came together for a work session Tuesday, Feb. 23, to discuss several of the concerns facing the council. The council was scheduled to vote on the final plat on Feb. 16, but postponed the decision in order to address further questions and concerns. Prior to the work session, Pratt had sent an e-mail to the council outlining, and addressing, many of the concerns he felt the council had expressed.
With politics heating up for the upcoming election season, East Ridge High School has become a ground for debate with dueling student groups -- the Young Republicans and the Young Democrats. However, even though the groups may share very different opinions and political views, members say they don't let that get in the way of school. "We know most of the people in Young Republicans as friends, so we kind of have these friendly debates on a daily basis in our classrooms," said Laura Peters, president of East Ridge Young Democrats group.