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Mildred M. Winter, the creator and director of the acclaimed Parents as Teachers program, has won the 1995 Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in Education. She is scheduled to receive a $50,000 cash prize and a medallion in a ceremony on Nov. 8.

Ms. Winter, of St. Louis, Mo., built the program on the philosophy that "parents are children's first and most influential teachers." Since its creation in 1981, it has become a national model for programs that link families with schools.

Parents as Teachers helps parents of preschool children form partnerships with educators to reduce the number of children who need special or remedial education when they enter school.

The program has grown from a test project in a handful of Missouri public schools and now serves more than a quarter-million families in 43 states and five countries.

The Dana Awards are given annually by the New York City-based Charles A. Dana Foundation in recognition of innovative ideas.

The Connecticut school board has unanimously chosen Theodore S. Sergi to be the new state education commissioner. Mr. Sergi, an 18-year veteran of the state agency, has served as the acting superintendent since Vincent L. Ferrandino left last year to head the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The board gave Mr. Sergi a four-year contract on Oct. 5. He will earn $106,000 a year. ... Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld has named Michael J. Sentance the state's secretary of education. Mr. Sentance took over the position on an interim basis when Piedad F. Robertson resigned in July.

A. Richard Pitcock has been named the president of the American Association of School Personnel Administrators. The Sacramento, Calif.-based association, which promotes leadership through professional-development activities for educators nationwide, named Mr. Pitcock at its annual convention this month. Mr. Pitcock is the assistant superintendent for the Mount Lebanon, Pa., schools. ... Robert Atwell, the president of the American Council on Education, has announced that he will leave his position in December 1996. Mr. Atwell, 64, has led the Washington-based organization, which represents colleges and universities, since 1984. "Twelve years in this kind of role is long enough for anyone," Mr. Atwell said in a statement announcing his resignation.

--Adrienne D. Coles

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