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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Liberty Ridge Elementary principal Kari Lopez will take on the role of Woodbury Junior High principal as of July 1. With the departing of Principal Dennis from WJH at the end of the year in order to move to East Ridge High School, there was an empty hole that needed to be filled, and Lopez said she looks forward to being the one to fill it. Lopez said her move isn't without sadness though since she has enjoyed her time at Liberty Ridge. "I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of being an elementary principal, the staff and Liberty Ridge community have been exceptional," she said.
For the second week in a row, on Feb. 11, the Afton Planning Commission was forced to cancel another meeting because of an empty table. The public hearing, regarding a public hearing a therapeutic riding facility by the River Valley Riders, will be discussed on the March agenda since only two, Jim Fox and Richard Bend, of the seven member commission were in attendance. This was the second time the public hearing had to be reschedule because of lack of quorum. The hearing was rescheduled from Feb.
Liberty Ridge Elementary families and teachers had an enjoyable Saturday morning Feb. 7 at the Applebee's restaurant at 10150 Hudson Road when they helped themselves to stacks of flapjacks on their plates at the school's pancake breakfast. The PTA-sponsored event came about because Tina Feuer, the organization's president, thought it would be a fun event for families and teachers, and it would be a nice escape from the cold. "I thought it would be kinda fun to come up with something new and different that we haven't done before," Feuer said.
The Afton City Council took some time at a special meeting Feb. 5 to recognize those traveling to Iraq next month, particularly John Morris, who is an Afton resident. The council passed a resolution that Washington County commissioner Gary Kriesel, has been circulating. The resolution recognizes the National Guard group the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division.
Central Park became a place of patriotism Feb. 8 when the Young Rembrandts sponsored their "Armed Forces Drawing Spectacular," where children ages four to 12 came together to create gifts for soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than two dozen people, including parents, came together to draw four different "Americana" drawings, such as an eagle, a flag and the capitol building.
Synergy means "coming together and functioning as one." That is the message that "Synergy," a new Woodbury High School group, hopes to instill in students. "What I like about Synergy is it gives kids an opportunity to really discover some critical components about themselves, it lets them see in very experiential ways that they are connected to everyone else, and it fosters good citizenship," Regina Seabrook, social studies teacher and Synergy advisor, said.
It's tough to do any planning if the minimum number of commissioners don't show up for a meeting. Such was the case for the Afton Planning Commission when it was forced to cancel its Feb.
There is nothing like the mind of the child. That was certainly illustrated on Jan. 27 at the Royal Oaks Elementary Science and Young Inventor's Fair.
Students who graduate from Woodbury Junior High this year and move on to East Ridge High will see a familiar administrator at their new school next year. Current WJHS principal Dennis Roos is joining the ERHS team as the second assistant principal. He will join Matt Kraft, the other East Ridge assistant principal, starting July 1. "I look at this position as a head coach job," he said. "But I don't necessarily want to leave Woodbury." Roos said his decision to move to East Ridge was influenced by District 833's plan to transform Woodbury Junior High into a middle school.
You can't judge a book by its cover, but illustrator Susan Cornelison hopes you get drawn in by them. "You gotta get them to pick up the book off the shelves," she said. "I tend to bring kids in through the book covers by making an intriguing cover and using the right colors." Cornelison spoke to the classes at Bailey Elementary on Jan. 31 as part of "I Love to Read Month" about her love of books and illustrating.