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Jaime Fauver plans to go into politics when she graduates from college. So far, the 18-year-old from Florence, N.J., is ahead of schedule. Last month, she won a seat on her local school board.

Over the past year, the Florence High School senior and class valedictorian has worked with a student group that helped pass the school board's 1995-96 budget.

After attending the board's meetings during that process, she decided to seek a larger role in the process.

"I wanted to change things for next year's students," said Ms. Fauver, who ran on a platform of cutting taxes and administrative costs and improving curriculum and discipline for the 1,550-student school district south of Trenton.

Ms. Fauver said that when she started her campaign, people didn't believe that an 18-year-old could serve on the school board. "But I just got out and met the people," she said.

Her campaign paid off. In the April 16 election, Ms. Fauver received 854 votes, enough to win won one of three seats up for grabs on the nine-member board.

The young politician said last week that she's nervous and excited about her new office, and ready to start fulfilling her campaign promises. She already has some ideas to raise money to meet school needs without raising taxes.

Ms. Fauver said she will enroll in the fall at Trenton State College. She plans to commute to school so that she can attend board meetings in Florence.

Cissy Lacks, the Missouri teacher who was fired for failing to censor her students' creative writing, has received the PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award.

The award is given by the New York City-based PEN American Center, an association of writers that defends freedom of expression. Actor Paul Newman presented Ms. Lacks with the award and $25,000 last week at a ceremony in New York. His nonprofit company, best known for its salad dressing, is a sponsor of the award.

Ms. Lacks, who taught at Berkeley High School in St. Louis, was fired in October 1994 for allowing her students to use profanity as part of a creative-writing project. Ms. Lacks has challenged her dismissal with a lawsuit. (See Education Week, June 21, 1995.)

--Adrienne D. Coles
acoles@epe.org

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