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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2013 bridge inspections approved Afton City Council approved the city's 2013 bridge inspections during its July 16 meeting. Bridge inspections are required every year by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. There will be a total of five bridges included in the 2013 bridge inspections at a cost of $852 per bridge for a total cost of $4,260. Facility plan approved Afton City Council accepted a wastewater facility plan during its July 16 meeting.
Students in District 833 headed into the kitchen last week. District 833 Community Education held an advanced culinary skills class July 15-19 at East Ridge High School. The cooking class was part of Community Education's "Kids in the Kitchen" course offerings. During the class, students in grades 5-12 learned the skills for making food from scratch. Some of the dishes the students made during the week included decorated cookies, handmade pretzels, homemade pasta and a peach pie.
East Ridge High School continues to bring its students into the digital age. The school was chosen as one of 50 from across the United States to pilot a new course, computer science and software engineering, as part of its Project Lead the Way engineering program. The course will go into effect for the 2013-2014 school year. Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a national provider of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum and professional development.
Liberty Ridge Elementary's Kids Club program took an art project and added in a cause last week. On Friday, students in Kids Club, a summer and after-school program, created items to be donated to the Animal Humane Society in Woodbury. Brandi Cole, summer supervisor for Kids Club at Liberty Ridge, said the goal is to donate 200 decorated ping pong balls, for dogs, cats and rabbits to play with, and 50 to 75 fleece blankets for the animals to sleep on.
Woodbury met the "The Music Man" last weekend. "The Music Man," produced by Woodbury Community Theatre, opened Friday on the Loft Stage at East Ridge High School. The popular play tells the story of con-man Harold Hill who goes from town to town selling band instruments by convincing citizens that he can teach them to play in a magnificent marching band, but skips town before the instruments arrive. However, Hill's stop in River City -- the setting for the play -- involves a romance that he didn't count on with a local librarian.
Back in 2011, Meghan Jacobson Laura Ruiz-Colon and Sonia Sabade, all of Woodbury, were struggling to come up with a topic for their Girl Scouts Gold Award project. "It was something we thought about constantly," Ruiz-Colon said. The three then-high school seniors ultimately decided on a project that their Girl Scout troop leader had suggested - interviewing war veterans and recording their stories. "We were all interested in history," Ruiz-Colon said. "Our generation forgets about the true heroes, so we wanted to take this opportunity to show our gratitude."
A group of East Ridge High School students experienced everything theater has to offer last month. The cast of East Ridge's One Act play, "The Big Meal", traveled June 24-30 to Lincoln, Neb., for the International Thespian Festival -- an annual theater conference that features high school theater performances, workshops and classes, a student leadership program, auditions for college admission and thespian scholarships, music and theater writing programs and the National Individual Events Showcase (NIES) competition.
Woodbury resident Erik Steen started writing and drawing as far back as he can remember. "Writing is like no other feeling," he said. " It's almost like a dream that I have control over." But, as it usually goes, life got in the way and Steen stopped writing for quite some time. That is until his sons found some old character drawings he had made.
Woodbury has its own "toddler" in a tiara. New Life Academy second grader Grace Nester, 7, was named the National American Miss Minnesota Princess last month at the DoubleTree Bloomington Hotel. "When they read the first runner-up's name, I was like 'Oh no, she's not going to win anything,'" Grace's mother Deona said. "You just don't expect it. But, when they read her name I jumped and started screaming 'That's my baby!'" Grace, however, said she could sense what was coming.
When students typically think of rockets, catapults and even parachutes its usually associated with a video game or movie. But for a group of District 833 students, those three inventions...