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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"Through despair and hope. Through faith and love. Till we find our place on the path unwinding in the circle, the circle of life." Even though those are words from "The Lion King," many of the sentiments — despair, hope, faith and love — ring true for a group of Woodbury residents who recently traveled to Tanzania, Africa as part of a mission trip with King of Kings Lutheran Church.
Even though a vote is coming a month late, District 834 is still moving forward with redrawing its boundaries. The boundary proposal had initially been scheduled to be discussed at the April 14 District 834 School Board meeting, but that decision was delayed due to a resolution presented to Stillwater Area Schools requesting a stay of all actions related to the district's Building Opportunities to Learn and Discover (BOLD) proposal, which includes redrawing boundaries and the closure of three elementary schools.
Woodbury High School has once again proven that it has some of the best artists in the Twin Cities. A total of 13 WHS students were selected for the 59th annual Les Farrington's Best 100 Juried Art Exhibition, which is sponsored by the St. Paul Jaycees. The students' artwork, 18 pieces total, were on display at the AZ Gallery in St. Paul last month during the exhibit. "It's a nice honor," WHS art teacher Karen Seashore said.
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...
It was seven years ago that the East Ridge High School's and Math and Science Academy's FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics teams joined forces — East Ridge had the space and MSA had the experience. "One of the ethos in FIRST is this idea 'coopertition' and nothing exemplifies that more than two teams competing against each other, but using the same shop," East Ridge lead mentor Doug Jensen said. "They make us better, we make them better."
The entire Woodbury community came out to support Feed My Starving Children this past October during the city's mega MobilePack event. The event made Woodbury resident Cheryl Jogger start thinking about what the community could do locally. "The number of people that came out of the event, who all wanted to do something to help these kids who had so little, was overwhelming," Jogger said. "So, the idea kind of translated into what if we could do a similar thing for the kids in our community who don't have what they need."
Education Minnesota has released its top 11 finalists for Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Unfortunately, Woodbury High School biology teacher Kaarin Schumacher is not among them. Schumacher had previously been named one of 34 semi-finalists. However, on April 5 Education Minnesota released names of this year's finalists and Schumacher's name was not among them.
Woodbury has its own multiple sclerosis (MS) advocate in Dawn Tuveson. Since being diagnosed with MS in 2002, Tuveson has dedicated her life to fundraising and advocating for research of MS on both the state and national level. "It really makes a difference to people with MS," she said. Tuveson was recently recognized by the the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for her volunteerism and advocacy by being awarded the Activist Volunteer of the Year Sylvie.
Woodbury and East Ridge High School students will have an opportunity to shine later this month. Both high schools will be holding their proms this month; East Ridge will hold its prom on April 16 at A'bulae in St. Paul and WHS will hold its prom on April 23 at the Landmark Center in St. Paul. "The fun of prom is all the excitement leading up to it," East Ridge prom adviser Bridget Plante said. East Ridge's prom theme this year is "Written in the Stars" and WHS' prom theme is "A Starry Night," so both schools will have a lot of sparkle.
Lake Middle School students will be presenting one juicy musical this weekend. The school's spring musical, "James and the Giant Peach," will open at 7 p.m. Thursday in the school's cafetorium. "Who doesn't love the classic story of 'James and the Giant Peach?'" social studies teacher and play director Francine Verschaetse said. "The kids have all been exposed to this, they've read the book, they've seen the movie, and now they can see it come to life in a theatrical way." The play will run April 14-16.