Where, oh where, is Mrs. Lind-Sherman?
That's the question Martin Luther King Elementary School students in Seattle will be trying to answer for the next three months in the absence of Jan Lind-Sherman. The 1st-grade teacher, who won $8 million in the state lottery two years ago and has continued teaching since then, packed her bags last week and headed for Australia--the starting point for a three-month sabbatical.
Before her departure she gave her students an assignment: track her down using hints she will leave for them on the Internet's World Wide Web.
Students will be able to log on to the computer network to check for clues from the exotic places she'll visit. She plans to keep in touch using a laptop computer, video camera, and electronic mail.
"Because of our technology, she knew that students could do some interacting," said Euhania Hairston, the principal at King Elementary. "She came to us with the idea and we all said yes."
Mrs. Lind-Sherman's idea is a sort of real-life version of "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" a children's computer game and television program in which youngsters track the main character while learning about geography along the way.
As with the game, students who track Mrs. Lind-Sherman will need to apply their geography skills.
Using hints--verbal and graphic--the students will try to locate Mrs. Lind-Sherman from among the places she plans to visit, including Britain, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Poland, Sweden, and Thailand.
Along the way, the students will learn about the flags, anthems, and landmarks of many of those places, Ms. Hairston said.
In addition to financing her global tour, Mrs. Lind-Sherman has used some of her lottery winnings to set up a scholarship fund for students she has taught during her six years at the school.
Students worldwide will be able to join the global hunt for Mrs. Lind-Sherman this month on the World Wide Web at http://www.eduhelp.com.
Cleveland Hammonds Jr., the superintendent in Birmingham, Ala., has been chosen to head the St. Louis school system. Mr. Hammonds, 60, will take over the 43,619-student district in July. He replaces David J. Mahan, who is retiring.
--Adrienne D. Coles