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The Fairfax County, Va., school board last week chose Daniel A. Domenech to head the 150,000-student system in suburban Washington.

The school board offered Mr. Domenech a 2 1/2-year contract at a salary of $150,000 a year to head the nation's 12th-largest school system.

The board selected him over Cheryl H. Wilhoyte, who is the Madison, Wis., schools superintendent. A third finalist, Robert E. Schiller, who is the interim chief of the Baltimore schools, took himself out of the running the day before the board was scheduled to vote.

Daniel A. Domenech

Mr. Domenech, 52, a former regional superintendent of schools in Western Suffolk County, N.Y., has been a leading candidate in recent years for the top jobs in the country's two biggest school systems. Last spring, he was one of three finalists to head the Los Angeles Unified School District. The New York City school board tapped him to head its system in 1995, but it withdrew the offer in the face of opposition from Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Most recently, Mr. Domenech was a regional president for the Dallas-based Voyager Expanded Learning, an educational products company. He takes his new post on Jan. 1.

The Fairfax County board was forced to step up its search for a new superintendent early in the school year when Robert R. Spillane left in September to work with the U.S. Department of State's office of overseas schools. Mr. Spillane had spent more than a decade with the system when the school board voted last spring not to renew his contract beyond June 1998.

North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. has tapped Phillip J. Kirk Jr. to be the chairman of the state board of education. He will replace Jay Robinson, who retired last month.

Mr. Kirk is the president and secretary of North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry, the state's chamber of commerce. Mr. Kirk was sworn in as chairman earlier this month.

Leanna Landsmann has been appointed the president of TIME for Kids, a Time-Warner Inc. publication for 9- through 12-year-old students.

Ms. Landsmann, who was scheduled to take her new post on Nov. 17, has been the head of the New York City-based educational service company, Leanna Landsmann Inc.

--ADRIENNE D. COLES [email protected]

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