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Matthew W. Prophet Jr., now superintendent of the Lansing, Mich., school system, has been named by the Portland, Ore., school board as the district's next superintendent.

Mr. Prophet, 51, will replace James J. Fenwick, who has served as the district's interim superintendent since June 1980. The new superintendent is expected to begin overseeing the 52,000-student system on April 1.

Mr. Prophet received his doctorate in educational supervision from Northwestern University in 1972. Prior to that, he was a colonel in the U.S. Army and chief of individual training at the Fifth Army Headquarters at Fort Sheridan, Ill.

Several more states have announced the names of their candidates as the annual Teacher of the Year contest progresses toward the naming of the national winner.

Names of state winners were sent last week to the Council of Chief State School Officers, one of the competition's three sponsors, and the names of the four finalists will be announced on Dec. 9. The national winner, who is to be named in April, will travel to Washington to receive the prize, a crystal apple, in a ceremony at the White House.

An informal sampling of states suggests that the teachers of the year are a diverse group with one common characteristic: excellence.

In Illinois, Carol Schaddelee, a sixth-grade mathematics teacher at Gompers Junior High School in Joliet, was named state teacher of the year on Oct. 30. Virginia's winner is Gaye T. Adegbalola, a middle-school science teacher at Walker-Grant Middle School in Fredericksburg. Ms. Adegbalola also was selected this year to develop academic programs for gifted and talented students.

Other state winners include:

Laurie Ann Jones, who teaches third grade at Tendoy Elementary School in Pocatello, Idaho.

John Demsey, a teacher of chemistry, physics, and mathematics at Leesville High School in Vernon Parish, La.

Reno Taini, a teacher of environmental education at Jefferson High School in Daly City, Calif.

David Bernard-Stevens, who teaches economics, American government, and international studies at Papillion High School in Nebraska.

Michael Shoemaker of Freedom High School, one of Wisconsin's four teachers of the year, has been selected to represent his state in the national competition. The three other winners are Thomas Hurley Jr., who teaches at Washington Junior High School in Green Bay; Marilynn Wood of Tess Corners School in Muskego-Norway; and Joan Wiegand of Marcy Elementary School, Hamilton-Sussex.

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