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 word "robot" often brings with it some distinct connotations and images, whether it's picturing the giant robots from "Transformers" or Bender from "Futurama." But for Woodbury High School students, robots represent a chance to invent and innovate. "Whenever you mention the word robot, students just think that's cool in and of itself," Lance Hovland, WHS technology education teacher, said.
Afton resident Mille Porslid and her 19 sled dogs will be taking off for Alaska at the end of February for a four-month expedition with the non-profit education organization GoNorth Adventure Learning. However, when Porslid and her dogs return in the spring, they may be without a home. The Afton City Council at its Jan. 18 meeting denied approval of a proposed amendment to the city's kennel ordinance, which would allow for Porslid to house her dogs on her property. The amendment failed on a 4-0 vote.
As the old saying goes, "behind every great man is a great woman." A similar phrase is true over at Woodbury High School -- behind every great principal is a great office coordinator. Nancy Anderson, the WHS office coordinator, spends her days dealing with any teacher-related issues, handling scheduling and planning for various events, taking care of the principal's calendar, handling payroll, taking calls from parents and supervising after-school sports, all the while dealing with any unplanned duties or issues. "I work on interruptions all day long," Anderson said.
Staying calm in the face of a bully can be a challenging thing for students, but Liberty Ridge Elementary is being proactive in giving its students the tools to deal with bullies. The school kicked off an anti-bullying poster project on Jan. 13 following an anti-bullying performance. "Is this a one shot, one day thing or is it something that is constantly present," principal Mike Moore said.
The City of Afton and GJ&M Develomplment Inc. returned to court Jan. 13 at the Minnesota Court of Appeals. GJ&M's lawyers filed an appeal in April 2010 requesting a new jury trial. GJ&M, a development group, alleges the city, a former mayor and a former city administrator acted wrongfully in handling a development application for a condominium and retail project. During the initial jury trial, which concluded Dec.
How many little boys have superhero bed sheets or pajamas? How many little boys have drawers and closets filled with action fingers and comic books? How many little boys idolize Superman, Batman, Spiderman or even Iron Man? Probably more than can be counted. Superhero fans had a chance test their super skills, in their best superhero disguise, during District 833 Community Education's Superhero Training Camp on Jan.
Afton resident Mille Porslid is still barking up the wrong tree, at least in the minds of several residents and some of the Afton Planning Commission members. The Afton Planning Commission held a public hearing on Jan. 3 for a proposal to amend the city's kennel ordinance. "This was the first meeting I felt that everything was on the table," Porslid said. "At least now there's a desire or willingness to really look at this." The Planning Commission recommend denial of the ordinance, not because of changes, but because of certain requirements missing and improper language.
Most fourth- and fifth-graders probably have not seen the world, but that hasn't stopped them from knowing all about its geography. Fifth-grader Angad Cheema took the gold at Bailey Elementary's annual Geography Bee on Jan. 13 in the school's media center. "I was excited to win," Cheema said. "Geography is just something that I like for some reason." Cheema walked away with a certificate, a medal and a trophy. He will advance to the next level of competition, a written examination to determine state competitors. The top 100 competitors will be eligible to compete in the state competition.
Making friends in school is something many students struggle with. Valley Crossing Community School taught its students the valuable lessons of friendship and social interaction during two separate performances, produced by CLIMB Theater, on Jan. 6. "We really believe the social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum because they need to feel good socially in order to learn," Valley Crossing teacher Heather Bovee said.
High school students today live in a fast paced world with classes, sports, activities and jobs. One Woodbury High School activity, however, is hoping to get students to slow down and take time to knit. "Knitting is a closet activity, it's a stress free activity," WHS teacher Rachel Nicholas said. "You can just sit down in a mindless way and just knit." The WHS knitting club meets a couple times per month before school on Fridays. The first-time group has about 20 members. "For a new club to have this many kids, is pretty fantastic," Nicholas, who is the knitting club advisor, said.