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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The 2011 Washington County Fair is still almost six months away, but Washington County 4-H is already planning ahead for 2012. Dan Dolan, president of the Washington County Agricultural Society, made a presentation during the Feb. 15 Afton City Council meeting requesting support for Washington County 4-H. "4H is very dear to my heart," Dolan said. Currently, Washington County 4-H is working on fundraising, seeking out grants and donations and seeking support for 2012, which is why Dolan came to Afton City Council.
There's an abundance of knowledge-based competitions out there for students, but one competition really gets to the root of the matter. The International Brain Bee has high school students answer questions about the brain. "The brain is the key to the human body," East Ridge High School student KC Preska said. A total of five East Ridge students competed in the state Brain Bee competition Feb. 9 at the School of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota. The top 30 students in the state competed.
In just two weeks, Afton resident Mille Porslid will be embarking on a four-month expedition to Alaska, but another task will be gnawing at the back of her mind: where is she going to live? Porslid, who currently houses 19 sled dogs on her property, has only one month to find a new home for her dogs since Afton City Council rejected her proposed kennel ordinance amendments. The topic of Porslid and her dogs was brought up during the Feb.
Ann Haering's fight has come to an end. The East Ridge High School senior, and Woodbury resident, lost her battle with leukemia on Sunday, Feb. 20. "My best memory of Ann will be when she could just be herself in between when she was sick," said Samantha Greeley, an East Ridge senior and friend of Haering's. "I'll remember when she could just have fun with us." Haering's family could not be reached for comment. A visitation for Haering will be held on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at St. Ambrose of Woodbury Catholic Church. Haering's funeral will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at St.
Armed with a comb, medicated mousse and a light, the Lice Finders are here to help. Woodbury resident Jina Saueressig and her sister Tonya Potter, of Stillwater, have developed a business that aims to help families work through the horrors of head lice. "Unless you go through it, you really don't know what lice is like," Saueressig said. Lice Finders, which started in November 2010, has the sisters responding to calls from distraught parents dealing with lice. The services include checking heads and taking care of an infested head.
It's an average day at East Ridge High School. Students go to classes, teachers lecture. But in Nancy Berg's biomedical sciences class, it's a whole different ballgame. Inside Berg's classroom, students are in the process of creating HeLa cells, a cancerous cell strand that has been used in every aspect of scientific research for the past 50 years. Berg's biomedical sciences class is just one example of the big Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum push that is taking place nationally. District 833 held its second annual "STEM Career Day" on Feb.
With the promotion of Afton Assistant City Administrator Sara Irvine to the city administrator position, the question becomes what happens to current Interim City Administrator Ron Moorse. Afton City Council terminated Moorse's contract during a special meeting on Feb. 8. "Thank you Ron," Mayor Pat Snyder said. "You've done a great job." Even though Moorse will no longer act as city administrator, council members are looking at possibly hiring Moorse as a government affairs consultant for a trial three-month period.
Students at Valley Crossing Community School followed the yellow brick road right up on stage for its production of "The Wizard of Oz." "'The Wizard of Oz' is an American classic," performance coordinator Suzy Wirta said. It's hard to find someone who hasn't heard of 'The Wizard of Oz.'" A total of 75 students performed in "The Wizard of Oz" on Friday and Saturday. Valley Crossing performed the play with help of two actors and directors from the Prairie Fire Children's Theatre.
The Washington County Fair is still almost six months away, but Washington County 4-H is already planning for the 2012 fair. Dan Dolan, president of the Washington County Agricultural Society, made a presentation during the Feb. 15 Afton City Council meeting requesting support for Washington County 4-H. "4H is very dear to my heart," Dolan said. Currently, Washington County 4-H is working on fundraising, seeking out grants and donations and seeking support for 2012, which is why Dolan came to Afton City Council. City Council approved a $500 contribution.
The District 834 School Board finally reached a decision on the new elementary school attendance boundaries at its Feb. 10 meeting. Of the five options presented, the School Board approved the red option at last Thursday's meeting as the new boundaries for the Stillwater Area School District. District 834 began work on revising its attendance boundaries in October as part of its Vision 2014 since the district currently has two elementary schools -- Lake Elmo Elementary and Rutherford Elementary -- that are overcrowded.