William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009.
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Some of Peggy Elsasser's biggest fans are also the smallest. Chaysen, 4, wants to be a hockey player like his dad was in college. Bright-eyed Clara will remind you that she is 4-1/2. Addy, who turns 2 in July, likes to see how high she can go on the swing set. The three are playmates at Little Helpers Child Care, the daycare center that Elsasser runs out of her Woodbury home. June 21, they got to visit the Washington County government center, where their grownup friend was honored as a 2016 Family Child Care Provider of the Year.
The big kid pushed the smaller one to the gym floor at Math and Science Academy in Woodbury. Other students watched from the bleachers as the kid picked himself up and bully high-fived a friend. After a couple of awkward beats, one kid stood up and confronted the bully. "Cut!" called director Karl Demer. The scene was repeated several times. When given the cue, the student actors reentered the gym, where the bully, Zack Hagstrom-Skalnel, 17, again shoved Riley Kane from behind.
More than 80 runners from Woodbury took to the streets of Duluth last Saturday for the 40th annual Grandma's Marathon. Pretty it wasn't: marathoners braved humidity, cramps and baking pavement as temperatures climbed to near 80 degrees. By 11:30 a.m., as many of the mid-pack runners were grinding up Lemon Drop Hill near mile 22, race officials had put up the black flag, signifying a high risk of heat stress.
Kyle Zins was not only last in line at last Thursday's graduation at Valley Crossing Community School, he was also the final sixth-grader of the final sixth-grade class to graduate. Dressed in a purple "Class of 2016" T-shirt, Zins, 12, stood at the end of the line of some 90 graduates, waiting his turn to mount the steps to the stage and shake hands with Principal Lela Olson. Changes are in store for the school, whose unique approach to learning includes multi-age instruction and use of an "open classroom" model.
Honks, hugs, cheers and tears mingled last Thursday as students and teachers said goodbye to Middleton Elementary School for the summer. Blake Vo, 6, apparently couldn't wait to start his summer, as he was one of the first students to board his bus. While most District 833 schools ran the final bell last Friday, students at Middleton, Grey Cloud and Bailey elementary schools go out a day early so that District 833 staff could prep the buildings for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) replacement later this summer.
The school year ended last Thursday for students at Bailey Elementary School. While most District 833 schools ran the final bell last Friday, at Bailey, Grey Cloud and Middleton elementary schools got out a day early so that District 833 staff could prep the buildings for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) replacement later this summer.
Luke Macke knows how to return a favor. The 9-year-old had a wish — that money collected by his fourth-grade class at Liberty Ridge Elementary be donated to Make-A-Wish, the nonprofit that helps seriously ill children live out a favorite fantasy. "It brings hope to kids," Luke said. "My brother got a wish."
Darlah Krug has ended her short tenure as executive director at Woodbury Leadership Academy, the charter school she helped found in 2012. In an end of year update sent to families earlier this week, the board of directors at the charter school said that Krug had resigned, along with manager of operations Becky Kullman and office manager Dekontee Lombel.
The threat posed by prowling thunderstorms last Friday night did not stop hundreds of walkers, volunteers, spectators and supporters from turning up at East Ridge High School track for the annual Relay For Life. The dusk-to-dawn walk raised more than $155,000 for the American Cancer Society. Perhaps more importantly, it allows survivors to tell their stories and to encourage others still fighting the disease. Survivor Bridget Olson, 20, the daughter of co-chairman Dave Olson, lit the torch to begin the event. Olson's wife and mother-in-law also beat cancer, he said.
Sequels can be dicey propositions, but not when it's Cottage Grove's very own film festival. The Cottage Grove Arts Commission is accepting submissions for the second annual Films in 5 Festival, which returns Oct. 1 to the Park High School auditorium. The competition is open to the public, who are invited to enter original films, videos or cartoons five minutes or less in length. All genres and formats are welcome, so long as they observe the bounds of good taste. Entry fee is $5.