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Nebraska Board Appoints New Education Commissioner: Douglas D. Christensen, now the deputy commissioner of education in Nebraska, has been appointed to the top post in the state education department.

The state board of education last month tapped Mr. Christensen to replace Commissioner Joseph E. Lutjeharms when he retires next March.

Mr. Lutjeharms has been the state's chief school officer since 1982.

Although Mr. Lutjeharms and state groups representing teachers and administrators lauded the appointment, some Roman Catholic educators--whose schools are approved or accredited by state officials--criticized the board for choosing a replacement so quickly and for not conducting a broad search.

The Lottery Lesson: A principal at a Maryland school who won $18 million in the state lottery says he does not plan to leave his school days behind. It was the third-largest jackpot ever in the Maryland lottery.

Jeffrey Kimble, the principal at New Windsor Middle School in New Windsor, bought two $5 lottery tickets for random-generated numbers at a local convenience store using the change from the purchase of a bag of barbecue charcoal, according to state lottery officials. Mr. Kimble had played before, but he had never purchased more than one $5 ticket.

Mr. Kimble told lottery officials that he and his wife, who teaches at a school in a nearby city, plan to continue working.

They are not likely to go on a spending spree, they said, but they might use their annual checks of $200,000 to remodel their house.

Superintendent Re-Elected: The superintendent of public instruction for Oregon, Norma S. Paulus, has been re-elected to a second four-year term. She won last month's election with 60 percent of the vote. By winning with more than 50 percent she avoided a runoff election in November.

Her two opponents had supported proposals to repeal the Oregon Educational Act of the 21st Century--comprehensive school-restructuring legislation that was approved in 1992. Her new term begins next March.

Urban League Chief: The National Urban League last week named Hugh Price, a senior officer of the Rockefeller Foundation, as its new president and chief executive officer. Mr. Price succeeds John E. Jacob, who is retiring after more than 30 years with the league, the past 12 as the group's president.

At the Rockefeller Foundation, Mr. Price was responsible for education initiatives for at-risk youths, and he oversaw a program to increase minority opportunities.

The Urban League is a nonprofit, community-based social-service and civil-rights group. It was founded in 1910 and is based in New York City.

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