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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Some of history's most famous and iconic figures came to life March 13 during Middleton Elementary's annual HistoryFest. The history festival is an open house showcasing fifth grade students' research on any American important in the country's history. Students presented their display boards by reciting a speech while in costume and speaking as their subject.
Students are often times compared to balls of clay that need to be shaped and molded by their parents, teachers, peers and their experiences. For one Woodbury High School student, senior Brody Steineck, he likes to do the molding and shaping -- of clay that is. "I like clay because you can do anything," he said.
A Woodbury family frustrated by the edicts of a District 833 school boundary decision are taking a stand in court. Kendra and Tim Goertzen have filed a lawsuit with the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Feb. 17 over issues stemming from the school boundary decision District 833's school board made in April 2008. "Filing a lawsuit was the last thing we wanted to do, but we couldn't get them to listen to reason," Kendra Goertzen said. The Goertzens live in the Wedgewood Point neighborhood of Woodbury, a little over a mile from Middleton Elementary.
The Afton Planning Commission had its first meeting with a quorum, the first since the group's January meeting, on March 5 with three new members, a new vice-chair and a new chair. Marcia Dahleen, Kitty Kilmer and Scott Patten took the oath of office and were sworn into their new positions and Barbara Ronningen was re-sworn into her current position. The commission also elected a new chair, Ronningen, and a new vice-chair, Patten, since Jim Fox no longer had the desire to remain on as chair. Ronningen was his vice-chair.
Greg and Heidi Case of Woodbury were like any expectant parents -- thrilled and excited for their bundle of joy to arrive. But when Heidi was 30 weeks into her pregnancy, she had a premonition something was wrong. "I just felt like something's not right and 'I just don't feel comfortable,'" she said. Heidi was right. Their baby girl, Ellery, had too much fluid in her chest cavity. There could have been a number of reasons for this, but one thing for sure was that it was serious and it needed to be addressed immediately.
Everyone has a heritage. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a culture. Woodbury Elementary is hoping to connect its students to their family history and cultures, as well as those of their classmates, through its "Multicultural Literacy Around the World" events. The kickoff event, which drew a total of 40 students, was held on March 5 and two family share days are scheduled to be held on March 10 and 13. "The idea for this program comes from our desire to learn about other people and their cultures and traditions," John Flavin, first grade teacher and event coordinator, said.
The River Valley Riders finally had a public hearing before the Afton Planning Commission for their proposed outdoor riding arena. Two earlier attempts at a hearing were both postponed because of the planning commission's failure to have a quorum of its members present. River Valley Riders is a non-profit corporation that provides horse-related activities, including therapeutic riding and driving to children and adults, by addressing needs in the areas of physical, sensory, neurological and mental health. At its March 2 meeting, the planning commission approved the group's request for a c
There are books that sweep readers into a figurative heat of battle, a scenario set on a page. In the case of several Liberty Ridge student readers, however, some books can also take one on a literal battlefield, one known as the "Battle of the Books." Liberty Ridge Elementary hosted its fourth annual Battle of the Books on March 3 when 50, 10 teams of five, fourth and fifth grade students drew their weapons of the mind and competed for victory. "Students enjoy getting together with friends and talking about the books," Betsy Hickey, co-coordinator of Battle of the Books, said.
It was a grudge match at Lake Junior High on March 5 when the teachers took on the boys' basketball team in a staff versus student fundraiser. "Activities like this are great way for the kids to see that teachers are real people and we do leave our classrooms," Logan Carstensen, student council advisor and team player said. The teachers certainly gave the students a run for their money, the final score was 81 to 75, the staff taking the title. "We actually pulled it off," Carstensen said. But that didn't stop the teachers from having a few mishaps themselves, such as falling.
Some people are word-oriented, others are image- or object-oriented. For Tim Kehoe, it's bits of several worlds wrapped into one. Kehoe is a local author and toy inventor who has spent his career bringing his imagination to life, whether in the form of inventing toys or creating a young inventor much like himself in his children's book "The Unusual Mind of Vincent Shadow." "Ever since I was young I was inventing things " he said. "It's the freedom to do whatever I want to do -- every day is a new day." Kehoe spoke to the third, fourth and fifth grade classes at St.