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 students over at the Minnesota Math and Science Academy will be heading into their time machine to travel back to the 1950s. MSA will debut its new musical, "Bye Bye Birdie," Feb. 18 at the Maplewood Community Center. "'Bye Bye Birdie' is a really fun show," said Cozy Hannula, who is playing Rosie in the play. "I love the whole 50s era costumes." "Bye Bye Birdie" tells the story of rock-and-roll superstar Conrad Birdie, who gets drafted into the army, devastating his female fans.
For the first time since 2008 Afton officially has a city administrator. Afton City Council promoted Assistant City Administrator Sara Irvine to the city administrator position at its Feb. 8 special meeting. Irvine, who has worked in Afton for the past year and a half, started as administrator on Monday. Irvine, of Mound, takes up the city administrator position after the city has had a string of interim administrators since February of 2008 when then-Administrator Shelly Strauss resigned.
All attention is on Woodbury High School cheerleading coach Alison Hoffman as she walks her cheerleaders through their newest routine for the upcoming pep fest. However, one cheerleader, senior Emily Nielsen, focuses her attention elsewhere -- on her interpreter. Because you see, Nielsen is deaf. "It's a little different having a cheerleader who's deaf," Hoffman said.
Lake Middle School eighth grader Chloe Williams has talent. Williams won Lake Middle School's first-ever "Lake's Got Talent," talent competition today in the school's cafetorium. Williams, who performed Beyonce's "If I Were a Boy," walked away with a $100 shopping spree to any store in Woodbury. "I'm not sure if I want to spend it on shoes or on electronics," she said.
On Monday the sound of music could be heard drifting through the halls of Woodbury High School. WHS was home to the 11th-annual Suburban East Conference Music Festival on Feb. 7. "The students are all excited to be able to welcome people," WHS band director Brent Comeau said. "They have a sense of pride that it's in our house." The music festival was such a large event that WHS students were given the day off.
Millions of people watch dancing shows every week from their couch. The Primrose School of Woodbury is hoping local families will get up and give dancing a try themselves. The Primrose Schools Family Dance Off, which kicked off Feb. 1 and runs through March 19, asks families from all Primrose facilities to videotape themselves dancing together. The videos will then be uploaded to the Family Dance-Off website and voted on. The dance-off, which is in its second year, received about 150 submissions last year.
Susan Paul has been a familiar face within the halls of Hill Murray High School for the past 20 years as the school's principal. "I love working with kids and helping them figure out who they are in a safe environment -- I like helping them figure things out," she said. "It's all about helping them grow in their faith but not in a way that preaches to kids." Even though Paul said she loves her position as principal and working with students, she said she is ready to take a different path. On Jan.
It was five years ago when Woodbury resident Steve Salazar first picked up a guitar. Now, Salazar, 20, is playing shows around the Twin Cities and is in the process of recording his debut album. "I never dreamed I would be here five years ago," he said. Salazar describes his style as acoustic pop in the vein of John Mayer, Jason Mraz or Jack Johnson. A natural fit Salazar, currently studying marketing and music at the University of St.
Lego Land, at the Mall of America, is a popular destination for many elementary and middle school students, but a spot to pick up supplies? One of Math and Science Academy's FIRST Lego League teams, the Surfing Elements, took a field trip to the play zone to pick out everything they needed to build their robot. "All you need to build something is a good idea and a box of scraps," seventh grader Zack Hagstrom-Skalnek said.
Very few times are high school students given their say, but one instance is the tri-annual Minnesota Student Survey. "The survey lets kids have a voice," said senior community health specialist Cathy Mackiewicz, with the Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment. "This attempts to capture what these kids are experiencing, what's going on in their lives, what's going on in their world.