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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Once upon a time, the Woodbury Royals hosted a ball for all the fairest princesses and princes in the land. Everyone's fairy godmother dressed them in their best, but when the clock struck 12, the night became a memory for a lifetime. It was a fairytale come true for all those students who attended Woodbury High School's Prom on May 9 at the Crowne Plaza in downtown St. Paul. For a feature story and photos about Woodbury High School's prom, see the May 13 Woodbury Bulletin print edition.
Nature is a work of art and what better way to create your own work of art than with elements found in the natural world. Crosswinds East Metro Art and Science school will be hosting its first Art in the Arbor Festival on May 9. "It's focus is on springtime, the arts, and the environment," Lia Reich, the family involvement coordinator at Crosswinds, said. "The whole event is going to be outside, given the weather cooperates." In cooperation with the city of Woodbury, the Art in the Arbor event will host a variety of creative activities for visitors.
Reading is the cornerstone of education, without knowing how to read, students may struggle in other areas as well. This is why helping students achieve their reading goals is something that the schools are working hard at continuing. District 56 State Sen. Kathy Saltzman (DFL- Woodbury) visited Woodbury Elementary on April 30 to speak about why various reading programs are so important. "Reading is a science, it's not just a natural thing," she said.
With spring in full bloom, communities lining the Lower St. Croix River -- Afton in particular -- are awaiting an expected surge in tourism that is approaching. These same communities, however, are also anticipating some problems looming on the horizon for the scenic waterway. The Lower St. Croix River has been placed on the "American Rivers' 2009 Most Endangered" list, a designation due to recent developments in the river communities.
In these trying times everybody is trying to pinch their pennies, and one of the ways to save money that is repeatedly overlooked is consignment shopping. In the past, consignment shopping for "used" clothing has developed a sort of stereotype of being "low class" or "troubled." But Woodbury resident Kelly Stransky is working hard to dispel that myth with her store "Upscale Consignment." Upscale Consignment is located at 2170 Eagle Creek Lane in Woodbury. "There is a difference between a thrift store and a consignment store," she said.
The Afton City Council approved a change to the makeup of the planning commission at its April 21 meeting when they approved an amendment to the ordinance to change the requirement for a member of the business community to simply an "at-large" representative. Council member Peg Nolz first made this proposal at the council's Feb. 17 meeting when they were appointing the new members to the planning commission.
It's that time of year again, when District 833 families get the chance to taste a bit of everything South Washington County has to offer. The South Washington County Schools Education Foundation's Taste of South Washington County Extravaganza will come to Woodbury High School on May 5. "We really want to not only raise funds for the Education Foundation, but also be an opportunity to build a sense of community," foundation executive director Patti Bitney Starke said. The Taste of South Washington County Extravaganza was started in 1998 when the education foundation was born.
If you're a witch, you would be wise to stay away from Woodbury High School on April 30-May 2 because you may just get swept up into a witch hunt. WHS will be presenting "The Crucible," Arthur Miller's Tony Award-winning drama about the Puritan purge of witchcraft in old Salem during the famous Salem witch trials. For the detailed feature story and photos about the WHS production of "The Crucible," see the April 29 Woodbury Bulletin.
Pets are always there for their owners, but now they need someone to be there for them. Over the last year, the number of pets having to be surrendered to the Animal Humane Society or rescue organizations has skyrocketed because of inabilities to care fully for their families, let alone their pets, in the poor economy. This is why AllBreed Obedience and Behavioral School has started a food drive to help collect pet food to donate to both Christian Cupboard and the White Bear Lake Area Food Shelf.
Families came out in full force for the Liberty Ridge Elementary and Royal Oaks elementary school carnivals held on April 18. Both carnivals offered a lot of the same fun for its students, including a variety of carnivals games with prizes, an assortment of food, moon bounces, silent auctions and face painting. For the detailed feature story and photos from the two schools' carnivals, see the April 22 Woodbury Bulletin.