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A national organization that promotes gay and lesbian rights has honored a former Salt Lake City high school student whose proposal to form a support group for homosexual students sparked a huge debate earlier this year.

Since her graduation in May from the city's East High School, Kelli Peterson has become a spokeswoman for the rights of gay young people as she prepares to enter college early next year.

This month, she was awarded the 1996 Lambda Liberty Award from the nonprofit Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a New York City-based nonprofit group.

In February, Ms. Peterson's proposal to form a club prompted the Salt Lake City school board to ban all noncurricular clubs, and the state legislature passed a measure in April that forced school districts to ban student clubs that discussed sexuality as well as those that promoted bigotry or encouraged criminal conduct. ("Bill Bans Some Student Clubs, Limits Utah Teachers' Speech," April 24, 1996.)

James Harris has begun his new job as the superintendent of the Buffalo, N.Y., public schools. The district is the second largest in New York state, with 50,000 students. Mr. Harris, 49, will be paid $125,000 a year. He is the former superintendent of the North Chicago, Ill., public schools, where he had served as chief of the 4,200-student district since 1994.

The American Association of University Women has named Janice Weinman its new executive director. Ms. Weinman is a senior executive at the College Board. The national nonprofit association, based in New York City, seeks to aid students in the transition from high school to college and also administers the SAT college-entrance exams. Washington-based AAUW is an advocate for education and equity for women and girls. ... KIII Communications Corp., which acquired Channel One from Whittle Communications in 1994, has named a new management team at the television network, which airs news programs in 12,000 schools across the country. New York City-based KIII named Ed Winter, the former president and chief executive officer of KIII, as the chairman of the Channel One Network, and David Tanzar, a former chief operating officer at KIII, as its president and CEO.


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