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Four teachers have been named finalists in the 1998 National Teacher of the Year program, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and Scholastic Inc.

The finalists are: Ruth Ann Gaines, a drama teacher at East High School in Des Moines, Iowa; Darla Mallein, an 8th grade American-history teacher at Emporia Middle School in Emporia, Kan.; Carolyn Foster, a 3rd grade teacher at R.M. James Elementary School in Portales, N.M.; and Philip Bigler, a humanities and American-history teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va. President Clinton is scheduled to announce the National Teacher of the Year at a White House ceremony in April.

Edward F. Reidy Jr., the deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Learning Results Services for the Kentucky Department of Education, has been named the program officer for education at the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Mr. Reidy will manage the foundation's portfolio of grants awarded in the area of K-12 reform and restructuring.

He succeeds Kent McGuire, who has been nominated by President Clinton to become the assistant secretary for educational research and improvement in the U.S. Department of Education.

The Pew Charitable Trusts, based in Philadelphia, supports initiatives such as the New Standards project, the Pew Forum on Standards-Based Reform, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

The foundation awarded more than $8 million in education-related grants last year. ... Indianapolis school officials and state and local leaders gathered Jan. 6 to dedicate the LaShonna Bates Family Aquatic Center, named for a local 4th grader who was murdered four years ago. Indiana Gov. Frank L. O'Bannon and Indianapolis Mayor Steve Goldsmith were among those present for the opening of the center, which is intended to provide a safe haven for children and offer recreational facilities to the community.

The building will be used weekdays by the Indianapolis school system for instruction, and it will also serve local youths in the evenings and on weekends.

--ADRIENNE D. COLES [email protected]

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