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Students at a Georgia elementary school had one person in mind when they raised more than $4,000 for the fight against cancer: their principal.

Jack Christmas has been battling cancer since the beginning of the school year. The 53-year-old principal's return after missing months of school inspired his students to action.

Teachers and many of the 680 students at St. Mary's Elementary School in St. Mary's joined an American Cancer Society walk-a-thon last month. They raised $4,540, more than any other group in southeast Georgia's Camden County.

Mr. Christmas and other cancer survivors kicked off the 24-hour relay with the initial lap around the local high school's quarter-mile track. With each lap, his school's team earned money from pledges.

"I was overwhelmed by the response from faculty, students, and parents," Mr. Christmas said.

Students also raised money over three weeks by paying 50 cents for the privilege of wearing hats to school. Teachers paid $5 to wear blue jeans.

For his part, Mr. Christmas promised to shave his head if his students in grades 3-5 read 10 books each.

He kept one tiny detail from the children--his chemotherapy was causing him to lose his hair anyway--and the students read more than 3,000 books.

Caroline McCullen, a teacher at Ligon Magnet Middle School in Raleigh, N.C., has been named the Technology and Learning 1996 National Teacher of the Year. The award is sponsored by Microsoft Corp. and Technology and Learning magazine. ... Jos‚ Franco has been named the director of EQUALS, a national and international math program that promotes equity and family involvement. The program, based at the University of California at Berkeley, serves K-12 teachers and parents. Mr. Franco, who joined the group in 1991, replaces program founder Nancy Kreinberg, who is retiring.

--Adrienne D. Coles

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