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San Francisco's McAteer High School received a royal visit last week. Prince Philip, the husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, stopped in on students at the 1,300-student school to get a firsthand look at the success of the Urban Pioneers Program, which is modeled after the prince's Duke of Edinburgh Youth Awards. Prince Philip's award is given to students in the United Kingdom for their outstanding public service.

The Urban Pioneers Program was created in 1974 by teacher Wayne MacDonald to help students achieve goals in personal development, public service, physical fitness, and exploration and expedition programs, such as Outward Bound wilderness adventures. The program, with the support of San Francisco Superintendent Waldemar Rojas, has since expanded to include a science and technology component and one for English as a second language.

More than a dozen Urban Pioneer students have received congressional awards for outstanding public service, and the program's students have performed more than 2,000 hours of community service. Some 120 students are currently in the program.

Larry Smith, an education professor at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., can add himself to the list of notables interviewed by television personality Larry King.

Mr. Smith's insight on the future of public education is included in Mr. King's newest book, Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow, which was published last month.

Mr. Smith, who chairs the university's elementary education department, is featured along with two other figures from education: Richard Levin, the president of Yale University, and John Golle, the chairman and chief executive officer of the Minneapolis-based Tesseract Inc., the for-profit education management company formerly known as Education Alternatives Inc.

The Council of Chief State School Officers has named Billie K. Rollins as the director of strategic planning and communications.

Ms. Rollins most recently served as the special assistant to U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley. She will be responsible for the Washington-based Council's long-term strategic plans and manage all communications for the group.

She replaces the group's communications director, Paula Delo, who left recently to manage publications for the Washington-based American Association of Social Workers.

--ADRIENNE D. COLES [email protected]

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