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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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.
A series of payment shifts to public schools by the Minnesota Legislature that began in 2009 helped to shore up a state budget deficit but caused delayed payments to school districts. Because of a recently announced state surplus, the payment formula is returning to near normal due to a state law that puts schools first in line to get paid when there is a surplus. South Washington County Schools didn't have to resort to short-term borrowing during the payment shifts but lost interest on some money that would have been invested, according to Aaron Bushberger, district finance director. The n
Kings, presidents, actresses and chiefs are people they never expected to discover they are related to. The wall outside Michelle Jorissen's classroom at Cottage Grove Elementary School is covered with old photographs and family trees after her class finished their take-home project in which they asked their parents and grandparents about their ancestors. They had no idea what they would discover. At the end of their social studies unit on ancestry, the second-graders found links to their past including kings, professional golfers and an American president. Their ancestors came to America
Two more players in the bidding to take over Crosswinds School in Woodbury are in the same boat as South Washington County Schools: None of them has a precise plan for future of the school, according to East Metro Integration District board members. EMID board members, representing 10 member school districts, said in November the district can't afford to continue operating Crosswinds, a school for grades 6-10, and Harambee, an elementary school in Maplewood for grades K-6. The schools were built in 2003 with a specific focus on programs that integrate students from racially diverse St.
First-grader Matisse Moore has a Christmas plan. He's not going to let his family even see their presents until the holiday arrives. Amber Wiersgalla, also a first-grader, didn't agree.
They weren't like any math classes I had. That's a good thing. In my math classes, when they called it "arithmetic," there was at least one kid the rest of us hated. When the teacher asked a question, this guy would raise his hand immediately with the answer. Also, after my first day in algebra, I cried on the way home. I had never heard any of the vocabulary words my teacher was using.
Those who visit the Park Grove Branch Library on Wednesday evenings might notice that the group of women sitting on chairs among the book stacks aren't reading. The "Yarn Gang," as they call themselves, are knitting and crocheting for charity, something they have done for 12 years. Last week, the Yarn Gang held an open house to give a year's worth of work away, just in time for the holidays, to groups that, in turn, give the handmade wares to clients and needy people. This year, Guardian Angels Catholic Church near Woodbury, the Tubman Shelter for battered women and their families, New Life
Oltman Middle School was a sea of purple Tuesday morning to honor the arrival of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder. Ponder arrived through the pool door at the front of the school with students and staff lining the hallways. Ponder and students exchanged high-fives all the way to the first and second hour language arts classes taught by Paul Pressnall. Seventh-grader Cala Boesel was the reason for Ponder's visit.
More than 700 people attended the annual Breakfast with Santa event on Sunday morning. Hosted by the Cottage Grove Lions Club, the event is held at Cottage Grove VFW Post 8752. Children were not "all snug in the beds," but dressed up, with an occasional Santa hat, to see the Jolly Old Elf.