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The superintendent of Seattle public schools, Donald Steele, announced this month that he will resign at the end of the school year.

Mr. Steele, dubbed the "singing superintendent" after he cut a record with the country singer Tammy Wynette to provide funds for the school district's college-scholarship fund, has joined the staff of the Seattle-based Pacific Institute, a firm that specializes in international corporate education.

Mr. Steele, who has been Seattle's superintendent for two and a half years, will be replaced by Robert Nelson, deputy superintendent of the school system.

Donnis H. Thompson, Hawaii's superintendent of education, was fired this month on the eve of a threatened statewide strike by 42,000 public employees, including teachers.

At a Feb. 15 meeting, the board of education voted 7 to 6 to fire Ms. Thompson, who had held the superintendency for two years, because of "an irreparable breach of confidence" and a series of deficiencies in planning, according to Kay Jones, public information officer for the board.

Francis Hatanaka, district superintendent for Central Oahu, was appointed acting superintendent, effective immediately, at a special session of the board on Feb. 18. Mr. Ha-tanaka will serve in that position until the next board, which will be elected in November, chooses a new superintendent, Ms. Jones said.

The statewide strike by a coalition of four public-employee unions--including the 9,100-member Hawaii State Teachers Association--was averted last week by an 11th-hour settlement reached by negotiators half an hour before picketers were scheduled to go on strike.

Kai Erickson, the executive secretary of the Arkansas Education Association, has resigned from his post to join the Washington-based National Education Association.

Mr. Erickson's announcement came in the wake of controversy over Gov. William Clinton's proposed education-reform package, which calls for statewide mandatory teacher- and administrator-competency testing.

According to an aea spokesman, Mr. Erickson's resignation decision was made last summer and was not in reaction to the Governor's testing plan, although both the aea and the nea are strongly opposed to it.

Robert L. Maddox, liaison with religious groups for former President Carter, has been named executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a nonprofit group often active in school-related issues.

Mr. Maddox, currently the pastor of Mayfield Road Baptist Church in Arlington, Tex., succeeds W. Melvin Adams. Mr. Adams acted as interim director during the past year and a half.

A North Judson, Ind., physical-education teacher this month successfully concluded her three-year legal battle to become Indiana's first female coach of a high-school boys' athletic team.

Maureen Hight had filed suits against the North Judson School Corporation's board of trustees on the grounds of sex discrimination after she tried twice to gain the position of baseball coach and was de-nied an interview. The suits were brought in U.S. District Court in South Bend and Pulaski Circuit Court in Winamac.

A settlement was reached out of court in which the school board agreed to pay half of Ms. Hight's legal fees and three years' of back pay for the coach's job at North Judson-San Pierre High School. The remainder of the fees will be paid for by the Indiana State Teachers Association.

"I'm very optimistic about the team," Ms. Hight said. "I think we'll work together well."

A Newark, N.J., man who pleaded guilty to charges of theft by deception for simultaneously holding a full-time teaching position and a full-time job as a police investigator was fined $1,000 and given three years' probation by the New Jersey Superior Court.

Gerard M. Simons, 53, had worked for the past six years as a staff member of the audio-visual services center of the Newark public schools, where he was responsible for maintaining audio-visual equipment and instructing school personnel on how to use it, according to Louis C. Rosen, general counsel for the Newark Board of Education. Mr. Simons had worked in the system for 20 years as a tenured teacher; he was scheduled to retire in June.

Mr. Simons's double life was discovered in December by Prentiss Thompson, the school system's secu-rity director, who had worked for the prosecutor's office and recognized Mr. Simons' name.

Two weeks before the sentencing, Mr. Simons had received a form letter from school officials commending his "exceptional attendance" record in the $30,000-a-year job.

Beauty Baldwin, 41, will become the first black female school superintendent in the state of Georgia, effective July 1.

Ms. Baldwin has been appointed to head the 1,380-student Buford school system in Gwinnett County.

She is currently the principal of Buford Middle School and president of the Georgia Association of Middle School Principals.

Vol. 03, Issue 23

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