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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District 833 showcased its young workforce last month. The District 833 Job Fair was held March 22 at East Ridge High School. During the event, high school students were able to talk with a number of employers — such as Target, Dairy Queen, Mall of America, Davanni's and even branches of the military — about part-time, summer and ongoing jobs. The job fair was the third in a three-part work education series, offered through the Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce; previously students participated in resume' writing and mock interviews. (Staff photo by Amber Kispert-Smith)
Thinking about the people who live and work in a nursing home is something that not a lot of seventh graders take the time to do. "When I was in middle school I didn't think about the nursing home," said Alex King, a nurse at Woodbury Senior Living, "that was a weird scary place." Lake Middle School seventh grader Henry Galles showed last week that he's not a typical middle school student, by taking the time to say "thank you" to the staff at Woodbury Senior Living.
For the past five years the Islamic Society of Woodbury-East Metro has been holding worship services in a 2,500-square-foot office space along Commerce Drive in Woodbury. However, as the congregation has grown, it soon discovered that it needed a larger place of worship, one that it can call its own. "We believe that they need a place where they can not only get religious education but get together with others of their same faith," said Irfan Ali, spokesman for the Islamic Society. "Come pray or play."
Woodbury Community Theatre will be bringing a little music to the Black Box Theatre next month. “A Little Night Music,” a musical by Stephen Sondheim, will open at 7 p.m. Friday, April 8. “It’s always been one of my personal favorite shows,” said Cyndi Sturtz, the show’s director. “It’s a very mature, very adult musical with absolutely stunning music.” “A Little Night Music,” which is set at the turn of the last century, interweaves a tangled web of former and current lovers among the upper crust elite of Sweden and features the Sondheim classic “Send in the Clowns.”
SavATree will officially be calling Afton home. Afton City Council approved a conditional-use permit for SavATree to build its new headquarters in the city's industrial zone during its March 15 meeting. SavATree, a tree, shrub and lawn company, will build its new Minneapolis-St. Paul headquarters on a 5.9-acre site along Hudson Road. "We look forward to having you in Afton," Mayor Dick Bend said. SavATree
Afton Art in the Park will be coming to the city Sept. 24-25, and again this year it will cost less for the Afton Area Business Association to put on the event. Afton City Council agreed to waive its park reservation fee for the event during its March 15. The city charges $100 to rent out Town Square Park, where the event is held. The item had initially been included on the consent agenda, which typically includes routine items that are approved in one motion. However, Council Member Joe Richter pulled the park reservation fee item for further discussion.
Afton's staff is being rewarded for its hard work. Afton City Council approved pay increases for all staff during its meeting on March 15. Office Assistant Deb Meade, Public Works Director Ken Johnson and all seasonal staff received 2 percent pay increases. City Administration Ron Moorse received a 4.5 percent pay increase. City Clerk Kim Swanson Linner received a 7 percent increase after City Council decided to restructure her position from deputy clerk to city clerk.
Now that District 834's new elementary school, to be located in Woodbury, is becoming a reality, it's time for figure out what students will help fill the school. District 834 School Board reviewed four attendance boundary proposals during its March 10 meeting. District 834 is tasked with redrawing its attendance boundaries in order to fill its new school in addition to finding new schools for students currently enrolled at Withrow, Marine and Oak Park elementary schools, which School Board voted to close earlier this month.
For some students at Woodbury High School weekdays begin as early as 7 a.m. and those with afternoon activities might not get home until well into the evening. For students who spend more than 12 hours at the school, finding something to reenergize them in the afternoon is a must, which is where the District 833 After Burner program comes in. After Burner, which is offered through District 833 Nutrition Services, allows students to purchase healthy snacks and light meals in the cafeteria after school from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Woodbury resident Maria Rella left Cuba when she was 10 years old and didn't look back. Until now that is. "I don't have joyful memories of Cuba, so I blocked everything out because there was nothing to remember that was good," she said. But I've always wanted to go back because I'm a family person, so I wanted to reconnect with my family, and I also wanted to see more of the island where I was born." Rella, who works as the office manager at Woodbury Peaceful Grove United Methodist Church, traveled to Cuba Feb. 8-23. Growing up in Cuba