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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Upon hearing that the Cottage Grove Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation is producing a second deck of playing cards featuring local history, some people want to know what will be on them since the first deck had a lot of history. The answer is easy, according to committee members. The new deck will feature all the information that people told members they forgot to include in the first one. The ACHP met last week and discussed the new deck, which has been in the offing since the first deck was debuted several years ago.
South Washington County Schools officials gave local lawmakers a big wish list for the upcoming legislative session. School officials asked lawmakers to get rid of the ban on starting school before Labor Day, modify state tests, help the district gain the Crosswinds school in Woodbury and promote early learning. Attending the Jan. 10 meeting were Sen. Susan Kent and Reps. JoAnn Ward and Andrea Kieffer, all of Woodbury. Reps. Dan Schoen of St. Paul Park and Denny McNamara of Hastings also attended. Sen.
On first glance the South Washington County Schools budget for 2013-14 looks a lot like the current budget. Spending is up slightly, and, if nothing changes, there would remain a $6.1 million deficit. But there are complications this year.
The South Washington County School Board is poised to set class sizes for 2013-14. Now board members just need to agree on where to set them. Even though the district's fund balance is projected to be below the amount the board traditionally has maintained, board members were not receptive to increasing class sizes by one student to save $1.4 million and increase the fund balance. Dave Bernhardson, assistant superintendent for elementary education, and Keith Ryskoski, assistant superintendent for secondary, said they would put together a plan for an increase that wouldn't negatively affect
Park High School's outstanding athletes are honored by having their pictures in the hallway by the school's gym. It's only fitting, then, that the school's new Wall of Fame for honored scholars be located across from the library and media center. The wall was dedicated last week by Principal Kerry Timmerman, who is carrying on the work of previous principal, Dr.
Lori Kugel is living the dream. Creating the winning logo for the 2013 Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest is just one more thing to cross off her "bucket list," she said. Kugel knew that if her logo won, that she'd be invited to be grand marshal for the Strawberry Fest parade. "I love parades," she said. "I stand on the curb to get some of the candy thrown from the floats. I don't take any from the kids and often give them my candy.
More than 10 years ago, after an interesting meeting of the South Washington Heritage Society, a woman sitting in front of me turned to her friend and said, "Someone should write this stuff down." "But I've been writing it down," I said to myself. South Washington County is rich in history. I love history, so it was a good match that I should write about it. I write about the people and places that happened in our past, especially Cottage Grove, but I've also written history stories about St.
Maggie McGowan was doing her homework after school last Thursday at Cottage Grove Elementary School Kids Club, a before- and after-school program in all School District 833 elementary schools and Valley Crossing School. McGowan, a second-grader, said there's no single thing she likes best about Kids Club. "I like all of it," she said. "The people are nice here." Her friend, Helena Yiangou, was sitting with McGowan reading a book. She enjoys the time she spends in the school's computer lab.
Katy McElwee-Stevens is headed back to the South Washington County School Board. The District 833 School Board on Friday picked McElwee-Stevens to fill an open seat on the board, putting her in a similar position to when she was appointed to serve for two years beginning in 2006. McElwee-Stevens, of Newport, was picked following interviews with her and four other candidates: Daryl Parks and Jonathon Hunt, of Woodbury; and William Thermes and Rick Goecke, of Cottage Grove. She will fill a seat left vacant when Leslee Boyd resigned late last year because her husband took a job in Oklahoma.
South Washington County Schools' general levy will increase slightly next year. The District 833 School Board earlier this month set the final levy for 2013 at $54.06 million, an increase of 1.2 percent -- or $634,775 -- over the 2012 levy. The total district budget for the next school year is $220.7 million, but the state pays 82 percent of that total amount and sets taxing policies for school districts, according to Aaron Bushberger, district finance director. State funding has not kept up with inflation, he said.