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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For three Woodbury High School students the 2008 election is going to be extra memorable -- despite the fact that they didn't have the opportunity to vote -- because they will be attending the 2009 Inauguration and an inaugural ball for President Barack Obama on Jan. 20. Sophomore Kiera Eaton, freshman Ben Gotz and junior Heather Mohr will be in Washington, D.C. to be part of the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference as members of the National Youth Leadership Forum. "I'm hoping to come away from this with a bit more understanding of politics.
It's a new year and a new City Council for Afton, who met for the first time at a special council meeting on Jan. 5 to make some necessary decisions before they could start serving the city. Before the Council could even begin discussing the agenda, Mayor Pat Snyder and Council member Bill Palmquist had to first be welcomed into the Council by taking the oath of office. The first major decision of the new year that mayor Snyder brought before the Council was changing the start time of the regular council meetings from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
"C" is for "cookie" -- and it's also for "cash." That is what Woodbury Elementary students are hoping to raise with the "Cookie Dough Fundraiser" which had its kickoff event on Thursday, Jan. 8. This is the second year that Woodbury Elementary has taken on this fundraising opportunity. Last year, students raised $8,000.
The last month has seen the findings of WSB & Associates' hydrologic study bounce back and fourth between the Afton City Council and the Afton Planning Commission and it has finally come to a stop. The study was originally presented at the December meeting of the Commission before being passed onto the Council because of uncertainty of what steps to take with the information.
The District 833 Kids Club program has cleared a major hurtle now that it has received accreditation from the National AfterSchool Association. Kids Club is a child care program before or after school in each elementary building and provides care to children k-6. Children can participate in a variety of activities such as arts, crafts, games, science, computers, physical activities and quiet time. Currently there are 1,500 students enrolled in the Kids Club program at all district elementary schools.
Every boy has likely had dreams of becoming a superhero, and now they have an opportunity to make those dreams come true with the mother-son Superhero Training Camp, offered through Community Education, on Jan. 17 at the Woodbury High School Activity Center. "It's just a fun opportunity to do something fun with your kid," youth programs coordinator Sue McKeown said.
The curtain has dropped, at least for awhile, on a fine arts center that would be attached to the new East Ridge High School. The delay was caused when fundraising being done by the Arts Connection organization fell short of the project's needed $2.5 million price tag. The group currently has $1.9 million raised. Art Connection head Michelle Witte said the delay will not hinder their ability to open the arts center. "It's going to happen, it's not an 'if,' it's just a 'when.' It just takes time," she said.
Woodbury resident Dr. William Kriva was no stranger to having a case of the Mondays; during the 12 years he worked as an engineer he didn't like going to work.
Normally robots and seventh graders aren't in the same sentence, but Lake Junior High's Bot Squad, as part of Lego League, are working on changing that stereotype with their award winning robot, Robi. "Robi our robot is probably amazing," Rowan Calkins, 13, said. FIRST Lego League is a nation organization which sees students competing in the design and demonstration of functioning robots. Each year the robots must perform a different mission, this year the robot performed snow removal tasks.
This marks the first year that the Woodbury Chamber Commerce has added an outstanding pre-school educator to their annual awards, and the recipient of the new award is Emily Prendergast, 26, from the Primrose School. Prendergast has been at Primrose since May.