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Twenty Medina, Ohio, students in grades 6 through 10 will travel to the Soviet Union next month to enroll for a two-week period at Moscow's English School No. 6. Twenty Muscovite students will return the visit in June, as part of an exchange program arranged by Medina school officials during a recent trip to Moscow. The program is designed to promote a greater understanding of the complexities of achieving lasting peace between the two superpowers, they said.

The Ohio educators are planning to hold a "youth summit" when their visitors arrive, during which students from both countries will develop a plan for world peace that will later be presented to the leaders of both countries.

J. Jerome Harris, superintendent of Community District 13 in New York City for the past 13 years, has been chosen to succeed Alonzo Crim, the popular superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools who is retiring this summer.

During Mr. Harris's years in New York City, student test scores in the predominantly black, low-income District 13 improved substantially. Atlanta school board members said they were also impressed with the cleanliness, discipline, and student and staff attitudes they observed during a visit to Mr. Harris's district.

In an interview last year, Mr. Crim said he planned to teach in the education school at Georgia State University in Atlanta after his retirement. He and his supporters are currently raising funds to establish an endowed chair at the university that will be named in honor of Benjamin E. Mays, the noted educator and civil-rights leader.

William T. Randall, superintendent of the Creighton school district in Phoenix, Ariz., has been named Colorado's new commissioner of public education.

His appointment was announced on Dec. 18 by the Colorado state board of education.

Mr. Randall had held the Arizona post since 1983, taking a year off in 1984 to be an education advisor to former Gov. Bruce Babbitt.

His achievements, according to Colorado officials, include the establishment of an aggressive staff-development program, career ladders for teachers, and the passage of a $20-million bond issue to renovate badly deteriorating school buildings in the district.

He will assume the $78,000-a-year post on Feb. 1, succeeding Calvin Frazier, who retired in August after a 14-year tenure.

Four of the country's top public-school teachers have been selected as finalists for the 1988 Teacher of the Year award.

The four were chosen from among the 50 State Teachers of the Year and two jurisdictions by a panel of education officials.

The winner of the title, to be announced in the spring, will be presented with a crystal apple--the symbol of excellence in teaching--at a White House ceremony in April.

The finalists are: Addie Rhodes Lee, a business-education teacher at Rogers Area Vocational Center in Gardendale, Ala.; Lorraine (Sammie) Crawford, a social-studies teacher at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska; Donna Kenney Moffat, a prekindergarten teacher at Buffalo Public School No. 80 in Buffalo, N.Y.; and Terry Weeks, a geography/history teacher at Central Middle School in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The Albuquerque, N.M., school board has voted 5 to 2 to begin searching for a new superintendent when Lillian Barna's contract expires in June.

Saying she was brought in as an "outsider," Ms. Barna said that efficiency moves she was authorized to make by the board members who hired her--all of whom have been replaced in subsequent elections--may have influenced the decision.

Ms. Barna, who came to the district in January 1985, formerly served as superintendent of the San Jose, Calif., schools, where she recommended that the district file for bankruptcy when the legislature refused to appropriate funds for previously negotiated pay raises for teachers.

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the daughter of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, last week said she would not run for Congress next year because she wants to spend some time developing a youth community corps through the Maryland Department of Education.

Ms. Townsend, a Democrat, was defeated by Helen Delich Bentley, a Republican, in a 1986 bid for a House seat in Maryland.

As the Maryland education department's new director of community services, Ms. Townsend said she planned to create a program to involve young people in various service activities, such as combatting illiteracy, visiting nursing homes, and helping to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

But she stressed that her political career was not over. "There will be other races to run," she said.

A Brooklyn, N.Y., businessman says he plans to modify a controversial proposal he made last month: to give $1,000 to each of up to 100 young women who remain virgins until they are 19 years old.

Rather than asking that all of the recipients submit to medical examinations to prove their virginity, John LaCorte now says he will "trust in the honesty of the girls" when he holds a lottery next June to distribute the awards. He adds, however, that "two or three" of the winners, chosen at random, may be asked to submit some form of verification.

In an interview last month, the Sicilian-born businessman also said he had formed a committee of parents to decide how best to distribute the money.

"We're trying to motivate girls to retain their self-respect and revive the traditions and family values that I grew up with," said Mr. LaCorte, who is 78.

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has elected its first black president.

Keith Johnson, a board member for the past three years, will serve until a new board takes office in March and has said he will seek re-election this spring, when 6 of the panel's 11 members will be new.

Vol. 07, Issue 15 & 16

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