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The National Association of Secondary School Principals named Elaine C. Sullivan the 1998 Principal of the Year last week.

Ms. Sullivan, the principal for the past 12 years at Hernando High School in Brooksville, Fla., was selected from 53 principal-of-the-year award winners representing each state, New York City, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Dependents Schools. The award was announced in Washington.

In an interview last week, Ms. Sullivan said she has made a "big commitment" to Hernando High. She is a graduate of the school and also was teacher, guidance counselor, and assistant principal there.

"I'm proud," Ms. Sullivan said of her selection. "It says a lot about my community, which supports people who are doing a good job."

As principal of the 1,350-student school, located about an hour north of Tampa, Ms. Sullivan has implemented interdisciplinary school improvement teams, a teen-parenting program, and a dropout-prevention program.

Ms. Sullivan received $10,000 as a part of her award from the Reston, Va.-based association. She plans to use it for staff development and for the school's "Homecoming 2000."

Superintendent Curman Gaines of the St. Paul, Minn schools, announced last week that he is leaving the 45,000-student district.

Mr. Gaines, 58, who has headed the system since July 1991, will step down June 30 to take a position with an undisclosed private-sector company. Mr. Gaines, who started as a teacher, has been with the system for 28 years... Superintendent Mark Myles of the Duluth, Minn., schools has announced he will step down when his contract expires in June.

The board of the 13,000-student system last month voted unanimously to extend Mr. Myles' contract.

His tenure included controversy last spring over his decision to bring the for-profit Edison Project in to run two Duluth schools.

Mr. Myles, 54, who has served in his job since 1994, has not disclosed his future plans.

--ADRIENNE D. COLES [email protected]

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