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Being the coach of a boys' high-school basketball team has given Debbie McIntosh more than just the chance to show six-foot forwards how to do the "pick-and-roll." It has also thrust her into a media spotlight that shows no sign of dimming.

Since taking charge of the varsity squad at Prospect Heights High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., last year, Ms. McIntosh has turned a losing team into one said to have a chance of winning the state championship.

After her story was covered by the local press, Ms. McInstosh's media profile did a "fast break" last fall, when CBS's "60 Minutes" program aired a segment about her.

Since then, magazine writers, Hollywood producers, and book publishers have put a "full-court press" on Ms. McIntosh. In the next few months, she and her team will be the subject of stories in Ebony, Parade, and Sports Illustrated's youth magazine. She also is continuing to look over the movie and book offers that have poured in.

Quick action by Suryanarayana Chittilla, a chemistry teacher at Durham High School in North Carolina, saved his students from possible serious injury.

But Mr. Chittilla's bravery may also have led to the loss of much of his own eyesight.

During a class late last month, some water accidently got into a vial of sodium metal, forming a potentially explosive mixture. Mr. Chittilla grabbed the vial and raced for the nearest exit. Just as he reached for the door, however, the vial exploded.

Mr. Chittilla is being treated at the Duke Medical Center for severe burns to his face and eyes, and the chances for a full recovery are still uncertain, said Barbara Ellis, principal of the high school. However, Mr. Chittilla has blurred vision in one eye and doctors are reporting some signs of improvement, she said.

In recognition of the teacher's "very heroic effort," the school has established a fund to assist him and his family, Ms. Ellis noted.

Vol. 08, Issue 21

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