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The Toledo, Ohio, schools have hired Merrill A. Grant as the district's new superintendent. Mr. Grant, the principal of the city's Riverside Elementary School, is the former chief of three urban school systems in Wisconsin, California, and Arizona. The 60-year-old administrator beat out five other candidates for the job of running the 38,000-student district, including Public Strategies Group Inc., a private company based in St. Paul, Minn. The company has managed the Minneapolis public schools since it was hired by the district in December 1993. Mr. Grant was given a three-year contract at a salary of $110,000 a year. He replaces Crystal Ellis, who will retire in November. ... Preston C. Kronkosky, the president and chief executive officer of the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, has announced that he will retire. Mr. Kronkosky has been with the Austin, Texas-based education-research organization for 28 years, the last 15 as president and CEO. He will step down in November. ... Pat Nickell has begun her term as the 1996-97 president of the National Council for the Social Studies. Ms. Nickell serves as the director of instructional-improvement services for the Fayette County, Ky., schools. The 22,000-member organization is based in Washington.

The Council of Chief State School Officers has named Wayne H. Martin as the director of the Washington-based organization's state education-assessment center. Mr. Martin, who is currently the director of the assessment unit in the Colorado education department, will begin his new job this month. ... Boston College has appointed Mary Brabeck as the dean of its school of education. Ms. Brabeck, a faculty member and former associate dean, will replace Gerald Pine, who stepped down in May to join the education school's faculty.

Chancellor Rudy F. Crew of the New York City schools will teach a course this fall at Teachers College, Columbia University. The college's newest adjunct professor of education will teach "Topics in Urban Education Policy" on Tuesday nights. Mr. Crew is the first sitting chancellor to teach at the college.

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