Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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Five District 833 School Board seats are up for reelection this fall, and 10 people have applied to fill the spots. Candidates could apply for one of two two-year terms or three four-year terms. Those in the primary for the remaining two years of Carrie Olson's term include: Tracy Brunnette, incumbent, Cottage Grove; Leo Wasescha, Woodbury; and Karen Buckeye, Woodbury. There will be a primary election for that seat Tuesday, Sept. 11, and the top two candidates will go onto the general election. Katy McElwee Stevens, Newport, is running for the remaining two years of Al Olson's term.
Aaron Harper is going to need a new set of keys, but he will have to wait until East Ridge High School is built before he gets them. Harper's been chosen as the first principal of the new high school being built in Woodbury. This week, he is turning over his key to the principal's office at Oltman Junior High School in St.
Filing for the District 833 School Board opened July 3 and will close at the end of the business day on Tuesday, July 17. Because two board seats were filled by appointment, two two-year seats are up for election. Alberder Gillespie, of Woodbury, was appointed to serve out the term of Carrie Olson, who resigned to take a job in the district's transportation department.
It can no longer be called "the new school" or "the third school." The name is now East Ridge High School. The District 833 School Board approved it Thursday night, May 24, as the name of the school being built on Bailey Road and Pioneer Drive in Woodbury. East Ridge had one more vote than South Washington. East Ridge High School is expected to open in the fall of 2009. The board voted on four names submitted by a 15-member naming committee that also included River Valley, Union and South Washington.
School District 833 English Language Learners in grades three through eight and 11th-grade had some trouble with on-line state math tests this week. District Technology Director Al Lindquist said Thursday, April 26, that he expects a software problem to be cleared up. The glitch affected 277 students not yet proficient enough in the English language to take a written test.
Special to the Bulletin School District 833 officials are planning community meetings to discuss the issues surrounding the construction of a new high school and additions to existing ones, and there are plenty of issues to discuss. Attendance boundaries, start and end times, and what will happen to seniors in the first year of the transition are still to be decided. The new high school, planned to open in 2009 at Bailey Road and Pioneer Drive in Woodbury, might open without seniors, according to Superintendent Tom Nelson, who presented a program to the Cottage Grove Lions Club on Tuesday,
Efforts are underway to correct a missing piece of curriculum in School District 833 elementary school classes, according to District Curriculum Director Becky Schroeder. The art curriculum had not been in line with state requirements for 18 months, she said. Schroeder was at Royal Oaks Elementary School in Woodbury recently to see how the school is incorporating art into the existing day. All district elementary schools were able to hire an extra teacher this year. Schools, with the principal and teacher site teams, could choose the areas of need in their schools.
In somewhat of a surprise move, the District 833 School Board, on a 5-2 vote, picked an 80-acre site on Bailey Road and Pioneer Drive, next to the Bielenberg Sports Center in Woodbury for a new high school Thursday night. Only one board member, Marsha Adou seemed 100 percent convinced the site is better than the other choice, a 120-acre site, more centrally located in the district, at Dale Road and County Road 19 in Woodbury.
School District 833 officials did not choose a site for a third high school at its Thursday night meeting as expected. A decision was postponed until Thursday, Nov.
School Board Member Carrie Olson resigned Tuesday night, effective Nov. 17, one day after the site for a third high school is expected to be decided. Olson, in the first year of a second term, is taking a position in the district's transportation department coordinating bus routes, she said.