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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Woodbury High School 2012 graduate Joey Wiley traveled to Malaysia during his sophomore year at Gustavus Adolphus College in hopes of refocusing himself on school. "I was at a point in my life where I was ready to be done with college, I just needed a break," he said. "I needed to recenter myself." Wiley succeeded in Malaysia, in fact returning with a 3.3 grade-point average after having left Minnesota with a 2.7 GPA. "I was able to find myself in a different way," he said. "I was able to get re-energized and recharged. I was able to get my drive back."
Woodbury resident Mary Del Toro doesn't have any medical background, but that didn't stop her from traveling to China last month for a medical mission trip with the Love Without Boundaries Foundation, where orphans and impoverished children received lifesaving cleft surgeries. "I was just there to hold babies," she said. "I can be a mom to kids, it doesn't matter if they're my own or not, because it just comes naturally." Del Toro wasn't the only Woodbury resident to travel to Kaifeng, China, Woodbury resident Dr. Kathy Clinch also went on the mission trip.
With the end of the school year fast approaching, it's not just the students who are looking forward to the next chapter in their lives. Several District 833 teachers will be packing up their desks for the final time this June upon their retirement. "This is almost like my home," said Woodbury High School social studies teacher Mark Andrews, who will be retiring this year after 42 years with the district. "I've spent a lot of time here, so I'll definitely miss it." The path to education
East Ridge High School and Math and Science Academy both had strong showings during the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics World Championships, which was held April April 27-30 in St. Louis. The East Ridge Robotic Ominous Raptors (ERRORs) placed third overall in their division. The MSA Fighting Calculators ranked 24th out of 75 teams in their division. The FIRST robotics competition tasks teams with building a robot within six weeks that can perform a number of different tasks. This year's competition was called "Stronghold."
Woodbury fifth grader Vince Owen is well on his way to catching them all. Owen is the Minnesota Pokémon champion after winning the state Pokemon Trading Card Game tournament on March 26. "It was really fun," he said. Vince will next compete at the Midwest Regional Tournament and the Kansas City Regionals in May before competing in the National Championships in July. If Vince wins at the national tournament, he can advance to the World Championship, where he has the chance to win $25,000 and a trophy. Playing Pokémon
The tiny rural town of Afton may be best known for its proximity to the St. Croix River, but it's also home to some great food and great wine. Probably considered the crowned jewel of quaint village is the Afton House Inn, Minnesota oldest operating hotel. It was in 1976 that Lakeland residents Gordy and Kathy Jarvis decided to embark on a new venture when they bought the Afton House Inn, located at 3291 St. Croix Trail South. The property, which was built in 1867, had only 12 rooms and two small dining areas presented a challenge for the young couple.
Woodbury Middle School sixth graders RJ Altman and Ryder Sitcawich might soon be making history through their love of history. Altman and Sitcawich placed second at the National History Day's Minnesota regionals competition, which was held May 1 at the University of Minnesota. By placing second, Altman and Sitcawich will next advance to the national finals, which will be held this June at the University of Maryland. "I'm not sure what's going to happen," Altman said, "but it sounds pretty fun." "It's almost like a dream," Sitcawich said.
Think back, what is your favorite memory? How about your worst memory? Do you ever wish you could forget your bad memories? East Ridge High School's spring play, "Still Life With Iris," talks about the importance of memories, both good and bad and how they shape who you are. "The basic message is how important your memories are to you," play director Marcie Berglund said, "Also that nobody's perfect and perfection is boring." "Still Life with Iris" will open Friday at the Loft Stage.
Park fee waived Afton City Council approved waiver its park reservation fee for the Afton Area Business Association during the April 19 council meeting. The Afton Area Business Association requested the park fee waived in order to hold its weekly Afton Farmers Market in Town Square Park. The park reservation fee is normally $100. The Afton Farmer's Market is held every Thursday evening. Temporary liquor license granted
People may say you can never go home again, but that's not the case for Woodbury Leadership Academy's Director Darlah Krug. Krug returned to WLA in February as the new director after having helped found WLA in 2012 when the school received approval from the Minnesota Department of Education. "The decision to come back for me was an easy decision to make because my heart is in this school," she said. "It's exciting to be able to return to where I started, it's like coming home." A passion for education