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Commissioner of Education Ruth Randall of Minnesota, a key advocate of Gov. Rudy Perpich's school-choice programs, has resigned her office effective Jan. 5. Ms. Randall, who announced her departure last week, will become a full professor of educational administration at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

She will be succeeded by Tom Nelson, director of state relations for the University of Minnesota. He is a former state senator with extensive experience as a school administrator and teacher.

Miles Myers, president of the California Federation of Teachers, has been named executive director of the National Council of Teachers of English, effective April 2, 1990.

Mr. Myers, who is also associate director of the Bay Area Writing Project, a nationally recognized effort to improve the teaching of writing, will succeed John C. Maxwell, who has served as the council's executive director since 1981.

As president of the teachers' union, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, Mr. Myers played a role in the recent merger of two teachers' unions in San Francisco.

One of his top priorities at the ncte, he said in a statement, will be to address what he called the "mismatch" between effective teaching methods and the knowledge measured on standardized tests.

William P. Morris, superintendent of the Monroe County Intermediate School District in Monroe, Mich., has been elected president-elect of the American Association of School Administrators.

Mr. Morris, a member of the association's executive committee, will assume his one-year term March 15. At that time, Erling Clausen, superintendent of the Berkeley Heights, N.J., schools, will become president of the organization.

Paul Jung, superintendent of Community Consolidated School District 62 in Des Plaines, Ill., was elected to the one-year term of vice president. John Duncan, superintendent of the Simi Valley, Calif., schools, and Wayne Blevins, superintendent of the Alief Independent School District in Alief, Tex., were elected to three-year terms on the aasa executive committee.

The new officers, who were elected by mail-in ballot, also will assume their new duties on March 15.

After six months of anonymity, Gil Braun, a 1933 graduate of Webster (S.D.) High School, recently stepped forward to reveal himself as the donor of $500,000 in matching funds for a new school building.

Last February, a local lawyer got in touch with Arnie Anderson, the superintendent of Webster public schools, to tell him that a graduate of the school would make a $500,000 donation if the superintendent could come up with a worthwhile proposal.

The superintendent's proposal for a new building to ease overcrowding in the elementary and high schools was accepted in March. Last month, the school board hired an architect and voted to borrow $700,000 in matching funds from the South Dakota Department of Education's capital outlay fund.

Mr. Braun, now a resident of Edina, Minn., had kept his identity concealed because he wanted to "make sure the board would take action to come up with the money," Mr. Anderson explained. The benefactor wanted to do something for Webster, but, Mr. Anderson said, "he wanted the community to make a commitment, too."

After graduating from the high school in 1933, Mr. Braun eventually started Braun's, a chain of women's clothing stores, which he sold in 1986.

The National Education Association recently honored Nellie Gonzalez, a special-education teacher at Englewood Elementary School in Orlando, Fla., as the union's official two-millionth member.

"Believe me, today America needs every bit of the strength of two million united educators to meet the challenge American education must face," Keith B. Geiger, president of the n.e.a., said at a recent ceremony in Orlando. "More than ever before, the future prosperity of America depends on our schools."

The n.e.a., founded in 1857, reached 500,000 members in 1953 and one million members in 1967.

John Erickson is Oregon's new superintendent of public instruction.

Mr. Erickson replaces Verne A. Duncan, who resigned Nov. 15 to become dean of education at the University of Portland.

As interim superintendent, Mr. Erickson will serve until January 1991, when an elected successor will take over the post. He has said he will not seek the position.

Mr. Erickson had been superintendent of schools in Lincoln County since 1985.

Richard C. Kunkel said last week that he will leave his job as executive director of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education to become dean of the college of education at Alabama's Auburn University.

Mr. Kunkel took the helm of the national accrediting body in 1984, following a period of widespread criticism of ncate for being "weak" and arbitrary in its evaluations. Under his direction, the organization underwent a comprehensive redesign that has had the effect of toughening up its accreditation process. (See Education Week, Sept. 27, 1989.)

"I came here to do a job with the redesign, and we've got it pretty well in hand," Mr. Kunkel said. "Now it's time for somebody else to pick up."

Mr. Kunkel assumes his new post on Jan. 1. He said the organization's executive board hopes to conclude a national search for his successor next spring. Donna M. Gollnick, ncate's deputy executive director, will be interim executive director.

Vol. 09, Issue 14

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