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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The new principals at Hillside Elementary School and Newport Elementary School share their students' anxious expectation about the coming school year. "I'm excited about what's to come," said Robin Francis, Hillside's new principal. Francis said she is hard worker and "extremely humble." Soft-spoken but firm, Francis let staff members see her leadership style when she warned them she would make mistakes. "I'm only human," she said. "I've made many an e-mail apology.
A hint of fall was in the air. About 40 youngsters were at Woodridge Park all last week for Summer Slam, the last week of the Cottage Grove Summer Recreation Program. Most of the kids have been at various park program sites throughout the summer and attended Safety Camp, Adventure Camp and other events. But last week was a time for the kids to kick back and enjoy one of the last weeks before school starts. There were the usual park games, with kickball being one of the favorites, and activities including making snacks such as Jello parfaits. On Wednesday one of the plastic wading pools u
Most of the young women who play Park High soccer leave with memories of their coach cautioning them at the end of each practice. "Have a chemical-free weekend," is Greg Juba's usual line. That, and the persistent desire to help the girls feel good about themselves, are mantras he hasn't changed since he set foot on the field with the first girls team to play soccer in School District 833. That was 25 years ago. To celebrate his longevity in the sport, past players, current players, parents, friends, coaches and administrators he has worked under filled the cafeteria Aug.
Two Grey Cloud Island Township board members are ready to throw in the towel and stop further appeals of a judge's decision to allow 300 acres from the township to be annexed to St. Paul Park. Board Chair Tom Bell and Board Member Dick Adams do not want to protest the decision at an appellate court, but Board Member Paul Schoenecker isn't ready to give up. A decision on whether to appeal was tabled until the Sept. 13 meeting.
If School District 833's $107 million referendum passes, some high school athletes will find artificial grass under their feet. Three million dollars of the referendum money would go toward new athletic field surfaces and running tracks at the district's two existing high schools, and the planned third high school. If the Sept. 12 referendum for a third high school passes, facilities would be equal at all schools, superintendent Tom Nelson said. "We are not going to create a condition where there are 'haves' and 'have nots'" said Superintendent Tom Nelson.
Last year, the Wolfpack boys soccer team ended the season one game over 500. With a nearly all-senior lineup this fall, team leaders are hoping all that experience will add up to a winning season. Anthony Williams, who graduated, was the go-to player last year when Park needed a score. "One of our young players will have to step up," said longtime Park Coach Charlie Whitbred, who will retire at the end of the school year. "We won't have a lot of scoring depth so we need to make the most of it," he said. Of 16 seniors, 11 played quite a bit last year," said Whitbred.
The only thing missing from monthly Bunco games at the South Washington Senior Center is the men. "A few joined us for a while but they couldn't stand all the noise and fun," said Betty Meyer. The games, which take place in the morning on the third Friday each month sound more like a junior high sleepover than women playing a dice game called "Bunco." Up to six tables of four players each gather to play.
There will be no fee increases for School District 833 Community Education programs in the 2006-07 school year, according to Director Ernie Pines. The budget, approved by the school board, includes a 6.9 percent increase in expenses that would have triggered a fee increase.
Lacrosse will be added to the roster of high school sports this spring if the District 833 School Board approves the proposal when it meets this week. The district won't be plowing new ground with the addition. Five other schools in the conference already have lacrosse teams, according to Phil Kuemmel, who directs sports for the south end of the district including Park High School. There is an existing boys lacrosse team in Woodbury that has "club" status because, until recently, it was not a sport sanctioned by the Minnesota State High School League.
Lori Thene said she had "no idea" that the lake in Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park had a fishing pier. After making the discovery, she decided to take advantage of it last week. Thene brought her son, Matt, and his friend, Cameron Tuthill, to the park to fish. "We used leftover sausage from breakfast for bait," she said. The boys were convinced the fish were not biting, but noticed that a group of boys on the other side of the pier were catching a lot of fish.