J. Troy Earhart, Rhode Island's commissioner of elementary and secondary education since 1983, has announced he will retire Sept. 1, two years before his contract expires.
Mr. Earhart, 57, said he wanted to give newly elected Gov. Bruce G. Sudlun and his appointees to the board of regents the opportunity to choose a new state chief.
Before taking the Rhode Island job, Mr. Earhart was superintendent of the Foxboro, Mass., schools for 10 years.
Four teachers have been named finalists in the National Teacher of the Year program, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and Encyclopaedia Brittanica.
They are: Beatrice Kramer Volkman, a special-education teacher and arts facilitator at Old Shell Road School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Mobile, Ala.; Shirley A. Hopkinson, a prekindergarten teacher at Brightwood Elementary School, Washington, D.C.; Shirley A. Rau, a 12th-grade English teacher at Nampa (Idaho) High School; and Rae E. McKee, a reading teacher at Slanesville (W.Va.) Elementary School.
The winner will be honored during a ceremony at the White House in early April.
The American Association of School Administrators has named four finalists for its fourth annual National Superintendent of the Year award.
They are: James Elliott, Maine Township High School District, Park Ridge, Ill.; Gerald Hester, District 81, Spokane, Wash.; Carol Grosse, Alhambra School District, Phoenix; and Spike Jorgensen, Alaska Gateway School District in Tok.
The winner will be announced March 1 at the association's annual meeting in New Orleans.