When 10-year old Larry Champagne III took the wheel of a runaway school bus, he wasn't thinking about fame. But the 5th grader's daring rescue of about 20 fellow students has made him a hero.
The youngsters were on their way to Bellerive Elementary School in suburban St. Louis on Oct. 3 when the bus driver collapsed. Using driving tips learned from his grandfather, Larry brought the bus to a stop.
Since then, he and his school have been bombarded with calls and requests for interviews from the news media, and Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan paid a visit to the school last week.
"We appreciate the media taking time to recognize Larry for a good deed," Ken Russell, the principal at Bellerive, said last week.
Mr. Russell said the bus driver, who apparently had suffered a stroke, was in serious condition last week at a local hospital.
Larry was unavailable for an interview last week, but the principal said his student has taken sudden fame calmly. "He's in perspective."
Curman L. Gaines, the superintendent of the St. Paul, Minn., schools, has won the 1995 Richard R. Green Award from the Council of the Great City Schools. The award given by the council, which represents 47 of the nation's largest urban districts, recognizes outstanding contributions to urban education.
It is named for the New York City schools chancellor and former Minneapolis superintendent who died in 1989.
"The award has special meaning for me," Mr. Gaines, who knew Mr. Green in Minneapolis, said in a statement. "My passion for urban education is a result of my association with Dr. Green." . . . Thomas A. Shannon, the executive director of the National School Boards Association, has announced he will retire in June. Mr. Shannon, 63, has headed the organization since 1977. He said in a statement that he intends "to stay actively engaged in advancing the American institution of representative governance of the public schools."
--Adrienne D. Coles
Vol. 15, Issue 07