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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Teachers teaching students how to be teachers? That's the setup of the new course "Teacher Cadet" at Woodbury and East Ridge high schools. The program is designed for students who want to explore a career in teaching said WHS teacher Regina Seabrook. "It's really a neat course because it grounds students in educational theory and practice," said Seabrook who runs the program at WHS. This is the first year that the Teacher Cadet program has been offered at the two high schools. Park High School will be incorporating the program next fall.
As recent as one month ago, Alyssa Wynn never dreamed she would be singing on Broadway anytime soon. But on March 1 the East Ridge High School sophomore performed at B.B. King Blues Club in New York City as part of the "Rockers on Broadway" concert. Wynn performed in a group of one dozen students from around the country, who participated in a series of workshops called Broadway Dreams.
Students at 5 Star Dance Studio followed the Yellow Brick Road all the way to Minneapolis last weekend. The group appeared in the Orpheum Theatre's production of the "Wizard of Oz" as the munchkins. The production was featured for one weekend only from March 26-28. See the March 31 print edition of the Woodbury Bulletin for the full story.
It was an interesting night at the March 16 City Council meeting. Not only did Afton approve the Cedar Bluff development - the city's first clustered-housing development - as well as its 2008 Comprehensive Plan, but council members Peg Nolz and Randy Nelson actually voted the same on a controversial item. Learn more at the Woodbury Bulletin's Area Voices news blog, Beyond the Beat .
Twenty eight of the state's 87 counties will be fighting rising flood waters in some fashion over the coming days and weeks. Washington County is one of them. Last Monday Gov. Tim Pawlenty issued an executive order to allow state agencies to provide local governments state-funded help. Counties on or near the Red, Minnesota and Mississippi rivers are included in the declaration. Within Washington County the city of Afton declared a flood emergency Tuesday in the wake of rising waters of the St. Croix River. Afton declared a flood emergency during its March 16 city council meeting.
History came alive for Middleton Elementary fifth graders Friday when the school held its annual "History Festival." During the event, fifth grade students set up their poster boards, most in costume, and gave presentations on a variety of different historical figures -- including Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart, Benjamin Franklin, Lucille Ball and even Michael Jackson. "They look forward to this all year," Middleton fifth grade teacher Heather Bestler said. For more on this story see the Wednesday, March 17 print edition of the Woodbury Bulletin.
Being a deejay might look like a lot of fun from the dance floor. But for Tim Dao piecing together the perfect music set is a challenging art. "There's really a science to being a deejay -- if you don't pull it off right, you just have a gap there in between the music," said Dao, a 2009 Woodbury High School graduate, who is pursuing a career as a deejay while he studies music technology at Inver Hills Community College.
The Afton 2008 Comprehensive Plan is finally on its way to the Metropolitan Council for review after three years of discussions. The Afton City Council approved the 2008 Comprehensive Plan at Tuesday's meeting. Cities across the metro are required by state statute to update their comprehensive plans every 10 years and submit the draft document over to the Metropolitan Council for inspection. Afton was one of five cities that had not submitted its plan to the Met Council.
After over a year of discussions, changes and disagreements, the Afton City Council finally approved the final plat for the Cedar Bluff development at Tuesday's meeting. The project, which would be Afton's first clustered-housing development, will include 25 individual housing lots, with an average lot size of 2 1/2 acres, individual septic systems and a 70-acre conservation easement with the Minnesota Land Trust to preserve open space. The initial development agreement, which saw 36 lots with an average lot size of 3/4 acres, and a communal septic system, was approved in 2006.
Lynne Jonell decided she was going to become an author in sixth grade after she read "A Wrinkle in Time." "I've been writing pretty much my whole life, but after I read ("A Wrinkle in Time") I said to myself 'That's what I want to do -- I want to write books just like this for kids like me,'" she said. "I want to write about ordinary kids who stumbled into amazing adventures." Jonell, a Plymouth resident, visited Red Rock Elementary March 11 to talk students about what it's like to be an author. "It's just a privilege to be able to write," Jonell said.