The National Education Association still has some work to do in boosting its president's profile among Washington's in-crowd.
When the TV quiz show "Jeopardy" featured a week of "D.C. Power Players" last month, the name Bob Chase didn't ring a bell for one program's media-celebrity contestants: Wolf Blitzer, the White House reporter for CNN; Arianna Huffington, a conservative political analyst; and movie director Oliver Stone.
Under the category of "Lobbyists," for $400, panelists were given this answer: "Bob Chase, the president of this teachers' union, has a regular column in The Washington Post."
Mr. Blitzer buzzed in with "What is the American Federation of Teachers?"
Host Alex Trebek then gave the other panelists a shot, and neither came up with "What is the NEA?"
Kathleen Lyons, a spokeswoman for the nation's largest teachers' union, said she wishes she'd introduced herself to Mr. Blitzer when she saw him at a recent Washington function.
He isn't likely to confuse the two national unions again, though. Ms. Lyons has since "sent him some Bob Chase stuff."
Eleven years ago, 4th and 5th graders at Venice Elementary School in Venice, Fla., put messages into bottles, sealed them with wax, and dropped them into the ocean. One of the students was 9-year-old Grayson Morris.
Last August, an airport security officer found Mr. Morris' bottle on a beach in the Bahamas. He got in touch with the elementary school in October, and Mr. Morris, now a 20-year-old mechanical engineering student at Rice University in Houston, received word that his bottle had been found.
Mr. Morris said he finds it "pretty hilarious" that someone found his bottle, which he'd long forgotten about. The message in the bottle read: "How about peace throughout the world?"
Marie Naple, the teacher who launched the project 11 years ago, said her current 5th graders asked if they could also do a bottle project. But, she added, "things have changed so much since 1986. The kids now are concerned about the environment." She's creating a class project for her students to find out if it's legal to launch bottles into the ocean.
--ANN BRADLEY & MARY ANN ZEHR