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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Many consider Belwin Conservancy a great place to observe nature and the land, but next month the Afton destination will also be a place to observe the night sky. In a partnership with the Minnesota Astronomical Society, Belwin is in the process of building an observatory, which will house a 10-inch diameter refracting telescope. The observatory will be located near the education center. "It's one thing to see a picture in a book of space, but to see a live image like that, there's something special about that," Belwin director Steve Hobbs said.
This afternoon, the Afton City Council is meeting with their city attorney, in closed session, to review and discuss a proposed settlement presented to them by GJ&M Development Inc. Neither the city's, nor GJ&M's attorneys, would comment on the proposed settlement. Gordy Jarvis, who owns the Afton House Inn, filed a lawsuit against the city in 2007. Jarvis claimed that a moratorium on downtown development, which stopped his proposed Afton Center project, was illegally executed. Jarvis also alleges his development application was wrongfully ruled incomplete and thrown out by the city.
Editors Note: This is the first in an occasional series chronicling teachers' interesting summer activities. If you are a teacher who has done something interesting this summer, contact the Woodbury Bulletin at email@example.com . Quick. Think. How many countries have you been to in your lifetime? Nancy and Ryan Berg have been to more than 100. Nancy, a science teacher at East Ridge High School, and her husband have made a habit out of using summer vacations to go globe trotting.
The Stillwater Area School District's efforts to improve its students understanding of math has paid off. District 834 outperformed the state average on both the math and reading portions of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment II test. District 834 includes a portion of Woodbury and all of Afton. MCA II tests are given in April to students in grades three to eight in reading and math, in 10th-grade in reading and 11th-grade in math. The MCA II measures how proficient students are in math, reading and science.
Back in 2004 former superintendent John Regan said farewell to District 833 when he made the decision to retire from a long career in education. But retirement didn't sit as well with him as he thought it might. For awhile Regan, 63, and his wife spent time in a trailer home on the outer banks of North Carolina fishing and relaxing. "We looked at each other one day and said 'This is not what our life is supposed to be," he said. "You can't recreate your life away because then it doesn't have meaning.
Some may consider geocaching a futuristic treasure hunt, but for others it's a fun afternoon enjoying the outdoors. Woodbury Parks and Recreation Department hosted a three-day geocaching camp last week at Tamarack Nature Preserve, Ojibway Park and Ravine Regional Park in Cottage Grove. A total of 13 students participated. "I think geocaching is so popular because people love treasure hunting," recreation specialist Michelle Okada said.
Now that Keith Ryskoski will be leaving the helm as superintendent for Stillwater Area Schools, the District 834 school board will have to find his replacement. Ryskoski has been superintendent for Stillwater Area School District for five years. "We are very sorry to see Keith go," school board chair George Hoeppner said. Hoeppner and School Board Vice Chair Natasha Fleischman said District 834 plans to hire an interim superintendent for the 2010-2011 school year before beginning a search for a permanent superintendent.
It's a sunny afternoon in one of Woodbury's dozens of neighborhood parks.. Maybe you and your kids are playing on the playground or having a picnic. The next thing you know, you see a wooden house rolling into the parking lot. The structure, decorated with Sesame Street characters, is home to some summertime friends. This is the Puppet Wagon. The Woodbury Parks and Recreation Department-sponsored Puppet Wagon has been putting on puppet shows in community parks for the past 27 years.
District 833 students channeled the likes of Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein last week for District 833 Community Education's "Camp Invention" at Liberty Ridge Elementary. Camp Invention is a day-camp that has students, grades 1-6, participate in a variety of creative and inventive activities. Camp Invention was started in 1990 by Invent Now. "The goal of Camp Invention is to get kids thinking creatively, thinking outside of the box," said Jodi Hansen a coordinator for the day camp and a teacher in Worthington.
Some people may think 1950s horror and science fiction movies belong on "Mystery Science Theater 3000," but Woodbury resident Josh Craig has spent his much life recreating what he felt made those "B movies" great. "The acting isn't so great, the effects are laughable and they're just so much fun," Craig said.