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 Afton City Council had a brief discussion over the proposed updated park dedication ordinance during its Oct. 19 meeting. During the discussions, Afton City Council members discussed possible revisions with Afton Planning Commission chair Barb Ronningen during her Planning Commission report.
After the Nov. 2 election, there will a few new faces seated on the District 622 School Board. Six candidates -- Rich Bennett, Amy Coborn, Marc Cove, Arnie Curiel, Robert Martin and Chuck Myers -- and one incumbent -- Mark Wheeler -- are vying for the three open school board seats. An eighth candidate, Michelle Yener, had initially filed but has since dropped her candidacy. Current School Board members Scott Duddeck and Cathy Miller chose not to file for re-election.
Mark Wheeler Age: 58 Occupation: IT architect Residence: Oakdale Family: married, two sons Civic Involvement: District 622 School Board from 1991-2010; Wheeler currently serves as vice-chair Reasons for running for School Board: Wheeler said he decided to run for re-election to his third term on the District 622 School Board because of where the district currently is. "I thought, given the challenging times, the district was going to need by experience," he said.
Chuck Myers Age: 47 Occupation: Unemployed Residence: Maplewood Family: One daughter, two sons Civic Involvement: Various committees at St. Paul College Reasons for running for School Board: Myers said he decided to run for election to the District 622 School Board because he has the time. "I'm at a point where I want to give back to the community," he said. Platform: The major issues that Myers said he is concerned with for District 622 include the budget, the levy and potential for cuts within the district.
Robert Martin Jr. Age: 45 Occupation: Partner in startup business, Anywhere Chair LLC Residence: Maplewood Family: Married, one daughter Civic Involvement: Member of District 622 Citizens Finance Committee, participant in the District 622 Public Engagement Forum, member of the Maplewood Planning Commission, vice-chair of the State Council on Black Minnesotans. Reasons for running for School Board: Martin said he decided to run for election to the District 622 School Board because he saw it as a chance to get involved.
Arnold "Arnie" Curiel Age: 38 Occupation: Assistant professor at the College of St. Scholastica School of Education Residence: Oakdale Family: Married, two sons, one daughter Civic Involvement: None Reasons for running for School Board: Curiel said he decided to run for the District 622 School Board because he currently has three children attending school within the district. "I want to make sure as we move toward the district my kids are still going to get a quality education," he said.
Marc Cove Age: 40 Occupation: Banker Residence: Oakdale Family: Married, two sons Civic Involvement: District 622 School Board from 2002-2008, co-president of the Oakdale Business and Professional Organization from 2001-2003, director of the 622 Communities Partnership, co-founder and co-president of Co Action Academic Resources Reasons for running for School Board: Cove said he decided to run because of the many economic challenges facing the district.
Amy Coborn Age: 41 Occupation: Stay at home mom, former elementary school teacher Residence: North St. Paul Family: Married, two sons Civic Involvement: Member of the District 622 Citizens Advisory Committee on Curriculum from 2007-2010 and member of the District 622 Citizens Finance Committee Reasons for running for School Board: Coborn said she decided to run for election to the District 622 School Board because it would be the next step in her involvement with education.
Rich Bennett Age: 54 Occupation: Retired Residence: Maplewood Family: Married, two adult daughters Civic Involvement: Former member of the Maplewood Parks and Recreation Board Reasons for running for School Board: Bennett said he decided to run for election to the District 622 School Board because he has had two daughters go through the district and has been watching the district since the late 1980s.
Four District 834 School Board members -- Natasha Fleischman, Natalie Fedie, Scott Papke and George Hoeppner -- are hoping to continue their work. All four incumbents are running for re-election.