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The Indianapolis school board has named Shirl E. Gilbert as the new superintendent of the state's largest school district. Mr. Gilbert, 45, is the first black to head the city's schools succeeds James A. Adams, who left to head the Lee County, Fla., schools last year.

A deputy superintendent for the past 7 three years, Mr. Gilbert had also been a finalist for the superintendent jobs in Charlotte, N.C., and Kansas City, Mo.

John A. Murphy, superintendent of the Prince George's County, Md., schools, has City school board.

The offer from Kansas City came after Mr. Murphy had announced that he had accepted the superintendency of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., schools. He will, begin that job July 1.0

A spokesman for the 35,000-student Kansas City district said the school board did not offer the post to its other finalist, Franklin Smith, who is the superintendent in Dayton, Ohio. Instead, the spokesman said, the board will continue its search.

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