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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St. Paul Park snowplow drivers ate takeout pizza Friday noon in the public works lunchroom after plowing city streets for eight hours after last Thursday's snowstorm. With schools and offices closed, many residents and high school students were clearing driveways and sidewalks. Public Works Director Lee Flandrich said the area got from 12 to 17 inches of snow. "Whatever it was, it was too much," he said. He, and his workers, agreed the snow had a lot of moisture. Under those conditions, it's hard to plow up patches of snow that have been driven over.
District 833 officials will host two meetings next week to get public comment on the design for the third high school, construction projects at existing schools and installation of new heating and cooling systems in district schools. Meetings will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Park High School Principal Walt Lyszak must retire at the end of the school year or be reassigned to another administrative position. "I'm deeply disappointed that the superintendent and assistant superintendent have decided to do this," said Lyszak, in an interview Monday, Feb. 26. "We've never treated people this way in this district." Superintendent Tom Nelson, in an interview the same day, said the school needs a leadership change. "The bottom line is that the decision is made," he said. "This is about expectations.
Most adults name a teacher among the list of people that have had the most influence on their lives. For one family, over two generations, that teacher is Raya Rawson, a second-grade teacher at Grey Cloud Elementary School, Cottage Grove. Kim Lemons, a former student of Rawson's whose son Bradley is now in her class, nominated the teacher as radio station KS95's Teacher of the Week.
With costly renovations needed at the current town hall, Grey Cloud Island Township residents who attend its annual town meeting March 13 will get the chance to consider changing the site of township meetings. A two-thirds vote by those attending the meeting will be needed to change the town hall meeting site, according to state law. One of the choices includes remodeling and staying in the town hall on County Road 75 and Pioneer Road that was built in the late 1940s. The windowless concrete-block building needs a new roof, according to Planning Commission Chair Cliff Rodahl who estimates i
Cottage Grove Elementary School kindergarten teacher Cindy Benjamin had no idea 28 years ago that celebrating the marriage of the letters 'Q' and 'U' on Valentine's Day would become a tradition. "Parents now expect it," she said, after the nuptials. "Some of the parents were former students in my class. "Learning the letters of the alphabet is part of the kindergarten curriculum," she said. "The marriage ceremony is one way children can remember that the letters 'Q' and 'U' are never apart in words. "The celebration is fun," she said.
Over objections from some residents, Grey Cloud Island Township officials have approved a conditional use permit for Craig Jaworski to move his deer farm from Cottage Grove to property he intends to buy in the township. At the February meeting, the town board gave Jaworski a list of conditions. Jaworski must conform to all setbacks, buy $1 million of property liability insurance, have a current state license to operate a deer farm, supply proof of adequate care by a veterinarian to the township, keep only 20 deer on the property, use "best practice" methods to dispose of deer manure and have
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, Feb.
At Park High School, the halls were alive with the sound of music last week. The school was the host for the 25th Suburban East Conference Music Festival on Monday, Feb. 5. Park students that don't participate in band, orchestra or choir got the day off but they were replaced with 1,300 students from Park, Woodbury, Hastings, Roseville Area, Mounds View, Cretin-Derham Hall, Stillwater, Forest Lake and White Bear Lake high schools. The best in their schools, students named to All-Conference status spent the day rehearsing music or listening to other schools play or sing.
The American Heart Association is calling it a national epidemic.