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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Simon guards the halls at all South Washington County middle and high schools armed with nothing but his nose. Simon is a narcotics dog with the Washington County Sheriff's Office. Officer Keith Anderson, of the investigations division, takes Simon into the schools to perform random narcotics sniffs of lockers, classrooms and even the parking lot.
Woodbury's history is slowly slipping through its fingers with more and more historical buildings disappearing, and the older generations forgetting or passing away. The Woodbury Heritage Society hopes to preserve Woodbury's heritage with its many initiatives and projects. "More and more people are interested in learning something about their past -- it's important to get back to your roots," Woodbury Heritage Society president John Seemann said.
Cottage Grove resident Marcie Berglund is a familiar face to a lot of the theater community since she is heavily involved with middle school productions, the Woodbury Community Theatre and now even the high school plays. Berglund has been involved with the Woodbury Middle School plays, as well as the Woodbury Community Theatre play, both acting and directing, for many years. This year she will be adding East Ridge High School to her resume. Berglund is directing the ERHS spring play, "Government Inspector," which opens May 6.
Pictures speak louder than words. The old adage rings true for Molly Gallahue. The Woodbury Middle School eighth grader recently had her illustrative work included in an art show in Baltimore, Md. "I was pretty excited when I found out about this," Molly said about the feat.
Jon and Karen Seashore will be celebrating an important anniversary next week. But it's not a wedding anniversary. The couple will be directing their 70th show at Woodbury High School when the spring play "Hold Me" debuts Thursday, April 29. The first show the Seashores directed was "Arsenic and Old Lace," in 1978. "At the time we had no idea what was in store," Jon Seashore recalled.
The Afton staff has finally become whole - just in time for interim city administrator Jim Norman's departure at the end of the month. During last night's meeting, the Afton City Council approved the hires of both a deputy clerk and an interim city administrator. The new Afton deputy clerk will be Stillwater resident Kim Linner who will bring with her experience as a former building inspector for the city of Woodbury, an architect and as a former Grant city council member. Linner will be paid $20 hour for a 30 hour week.
Every year, the students at Lake Middle School have asked theater director Robin Bartell if they can do "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" for the spring musical. And every year Bartell has said 'no.' "To be honest, we have a very small stage, and the set (for the Willy Wonka production) is so big," Bartell said.
If you ever went to middle school, odds are you were witness to bullying in one way or another. Maybe you had things whispered about your behind your back. Or maybe you were the one doing the whispering. Or maybe, you were just watching the bullying without taking action. "Bullying is a problem in every school; it's a problem with everybody," said Lake Middle School sixth grade counselor Jodi Danielson. Danielson and other school staff are working to take steps toward stopping bullying in the school with the creation of a Bullying Prevention Committee.
The city of Afton is still talking wind turbines as its planning commission continues to work on developing a wind energy ordinance.
There are plenty of events that celebrate elementary through high school students -- graduations, school carnivals, award ceremonies -- but what about early childhood education students? That's where the 'Week of the Young Child' (WOYC) comes into play at St. Ambrose Catholic School. St. Ambrose of Woodbury Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) will be celebrating the WOYC April 12-16. "Not all centers do celebrate it, but it's basically a celebration of, or recognition of, the importance of quality early childhood programs," ECEC director Anne Huber said.