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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When Woodbury Leadership Academy opened its doors in 2014 the plan was alway to become a kindergarten through eighth-grade school. However, the plan is on hold in order to guarantee that it has the students to fill its classrooms. During its April 26 meeting, the WLA Board of Directors approved an enrollment and grade configuration plan that would delay the addition of eighth grade but instead add an additional kindergarten class. "We want to have strong foundation," WLA Director Darlah Krug said. "We're looking to grow the school every year after this."
Afton City Council approved three temporary liquor licenses for the Afton Historical Museum during its April 19 meeting. The museum requested the temporary liquor licenses in order to be able to sell alcohol during the city's Strawberry Festival June 25-26, the Fourth of July Celebration, and Art in the Park Sept. 24-25. In addition to granting to the temporary liquor license, City Council also waived all associated fees.
Afton's Mount Hope Cemetery, a Victorian-era cemetery, first became a dedicated cemetery in 1855 and some gravestones date back to 1854. Additionally, the 5-acre cemetery site also has an unmarked historic burial area that pre-dates the Victorian era. Mount Hope could potentially have as many as 100 gravesites. However, only about 40 are marked. Many of the gravesites at Mount Hope are for young children who died during a whooping cough outbreak in the late 1800s. Over the years Mount Hope has become victim to overgrown vegetation, moss and toppled markers.
In front of a packed house, Afton City Council approved a conditional-use permit for a new Islamic center during its April 19 meeting. The Islamic Society of Woodbury-East Metro plans to build a 10,800-square-foot Islamic center, which will include a 4,200-square-foot multipurpose hall, which will be used for religious services, educational events, youth activities and social services. Services are typically attended by 150 to 200 people and weekend events typically serve the same size crowd, but not all the same people.
Woodbury will be saying "Hakuna Matata" this weekend. Woodbury Middle School's spring musical, "The Lion King," will open Friday at the school. "There will be lots of excitement and enthusiasm," director Lori Sager said. "It's going to be a lot of fun."
Afton City Council made a number of appointments during its April 19 meeting. City Council appointed Afton resident Annie Perkins to serve on the Middle St. Croix Water Management Organization; additionally City Council appointed Afton residents Julia Welter, Raenette Manderfeld-Pung, Darcy Gaspar, Dan Jarvis and Laurel Ross to Afton's new Branding Committee. The Branding Committee is tasked with developing a possible city slogan and logo depicting the values of residents.
Students entered Woodbury High School in grand fashion last weekend. The school’s grand march took place at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 23. During the annual event students had a chance...
Woodbury High School will be looking for a place to belong this week. WHS' spring musical, "Mother Hicks," will open Thursday. "It's a play about wanting to find a place to belong," play director Karen Seashore said, "and wanting people to accept you for who you are and your differences." The play will run through Saturday. "Mother Hicks" is set during the Great Depression and follows the journeys of three outsiders trying to find their way in the world. "There's a lot of historical stuff that's on top of some interesting characters," Seashore said.
Belinda Trudeau wasn't looking for your typical cat, she was looking for a cat that would be comfortable outside and could help with her rodent problem at her hobby farm in Hastings. "Initially I was looking for something that was a little bit more anti-social," she said. "I didn't want to get attached to it because things can happen when they're outside." Which is how she found Moby, a "working cat" from the Animal of Humane Society of Woodbury. Trudeau brought Moby home on April 6.
Many at East Ridge High School might consider science teacher Nancy Berg to have a larger-than-life personality. Last week Berg received a check just as large, as part of Farmers Insurance's Thank America's Teachers initiative. "You can just see the passion that she has," said Dustin Vogelsang, local Farmers Insurance agency owner. Vogelsang, and other representatives from Farmers Insurance, presented Berg with a $2,500 check, on April 12, to help fund East Ridge's biomedical sciences program, which is part of the Project Lead the Way curriculum.