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.
- Member for
- 1 year 10 months
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.
After spending five years as a member of the United States Army, Woodbury resident and musician Mathew Griswold, 26, made his triumphant return to the stage on Dec. 29 at the Fine Line Music Café in Minneapolis. Griswold's performance is a pre-release party for his newest album release, Lets Do It, which will be officially released on Jan. 20. "Every time I get up I really strive to make that personal connection and I hope they can use an experience that I've been through, or any insight that I have gained," he said.
Bryan Moore, 19, of Woodbury, comes from a hockey upbringing, both of his older brother play hockey, while is father is the hockey coach at St. Mary's University, Moore on the other hand has taken a different approach to his life goals. "My dad pushed us all into skating lessons, but I didn't want to play hockey, so I started figure skating," he said. "I kind of took the artistic route from the beginning." Moore said he received minimal teasing from his brothers and classmates and his family has become very accepting of his artistic ambitions.
Jodi Weinfurter said she never pictured herself as a teacher, in fact she went to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for nursing, but when she decided to take an education class her freshman year, she just fell in love with it. "I was able to work in the classroom with kids and I absolutely fell in love with it," she said.
The 500-page draft Environmental Assessment Worksheet on the Afton Center project has been given the green light by the Afton City Council at the Dec. 16 meeting to move forward with publication and public review. The Afton Center planning application concerns a proposal by the company GJ&M to construct 48 luxury condo units and 12 retail spaces over three city blocks in downtown Afton. The EAW is a detailed assessment of all of the environmental the proposed project would have on the community. The EAW was first presented to the city council at its Nov.
While most children and teenagers are busy making up their Christmas lists, a group of Woodbury teens are spending their holiday season helping those in need. "Teens 4 Charity" is made up of 12 "board members," the ones that operate the organization and help organize the monthly charity projects, and their individual groups of three to six additional teens. Their latest endeavor is adopting a family made up of a grandmother, a 2-1/2 year-old-girl and a 20-month old boy for the holidays, through the East Metro Women's Council in Maplewood.
Middleton Elementary School raised nearly $6,000 to purchase gifts for its adopt-a-family program this year. In the past, only third grade teacher Liz Brown's class conducted a similar effort. This year, however, the program went school-wide. "We kind of went all out," Brown said. Middleton students raised the money needed to purchase gifts by asking for donations from both family and friends of students, as well as staff members. "This is all our own deal," Brown said. "It is so much better to give than to receive."