Published Online: June 3, 1998
Published in Print: June 3, 1998, as People

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Benjamin O. Canada

It looks as though three big-city districts will have new chiefs in time for the next school year. The Baltimore school system has tapped Robert Booker as its new chief executive officer. Mr. Booker is currently the chief financial officer for the San Diego schools. A 37-year veteran of the Los Angeles district, Mr. Booker was the chief financial and business officer there until 1992. He will replace Robert Schiller and take up his new post in the 108,000-student district in July. ... Benjamin O. Canada, the superintendent of the Atlanta schools since 1984, is returning to the Pacific Northwest, where he began his career in education. Mr. Canada has accepted an offer to serve as the superintendent of the 57,000-student Portland, Ore., district. Mr. Canada, who was also the superintendent of the Jackson, Miss., schools, spent 15 years in Seattle as a teacher and a principal. He was the only candidate Portland officials interviewed for the job, and he is expected to start in July. ... The Cincinnati school board has voted to negotiate a contract with Steven Adamowski for the district's superintendent slot. Now, Mr. Adamowski is Delaware's associate secretary of education. The board of the 48,000-student district has until June 8 to approve a contract that would have Mr. Adamowski replacing retiring Superintendent J. Michael Brandt by August.

Naomi Duncan doesn't know the meaning of the word "substitute." That's because in 56 years of teaching, she has never missed a day of school. Not one.

The Marble Hill, Mo., art teacher was happy to see another school year pass with her record of perfect attendance still intact.

"I didn't have to miss a day, and I didn't want to," said the 74-year- old, who teaches at the 1,000-student Woodland R-4 School.

Ms. Duncan has been teaching at the junior-senior high school for 44 years, and she doesn't have any intention of quitting.

Ms. Duncan is not quite sure how she remained healthy throughout the school year, but she said she has been lucky not to have had any major illnesses.

Her determination may have stemmed from the fact that during her days as a student, she never missed a day of school.

After a few years without any absences as a teacher, she said, maintaining her attendance record became a challenge. "I wanted to see how long I could keep it up."

--ADRIENNE D. COLES & LINDA JACOBSON

Vol. 17, Issue 38, Page 5

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