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Gov. James S. Gilmore III of Virginia has tapped Paul D. Stapleton as the new state schools chief.

Mr. Stapleton has served as the superintendent of the Charlotte County, Va., schools for the past 11 years. He was named the state's superintendent of the year in 1996, and that same year was selected as the state public school administrator of the year by the Virginia Association of Partners in Education.

During his tenure in the 2,300-student Charlotte County district, Mr. Stapleton implemented a model technology program and a school-to-work transition program. He replaces Richard T. LaPointe, who was named by Mr. Gilmore's predecessor and fellow Republican, George F. Allen.

The nation's largest teachers' union, the National Education Association, has tapped Kate Mattos as its new director of communications. Ms. Mattos brings 20 years of media-relations experience to the 2.3 million-member union, whose headquarters is in Washington. She most recently held the position of managing director of Osgood, O'Donnell, and Walsh, a communications and strategies consulting firm in Washington.

Previously, she worked for four years, from 1986 to 1990, at the nation's second-largest teachers' union, the American Federation of Teachers. The two unions' presidents recently announced a plan for merging their organizations.

Ms. Mattos took her new post at the beginning of the month.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has named John A. Thorpe its executive director.

John A. Thorpe

Mr. Thorpe comes to the Washington-based Council from Queens College of the City University of New York, where he was senior vice president and provost, as well as a mathematics professor. The NCTM has more than 110,000 members and works to improve K-12 math education. Mr. Thorpe is scheduled to take his new position April 13. ... The U.S. Department of Education's office of special education and rehabilitative services has named Curtis Richards to the post of deputy assistant secretary. Mr. Richards, the chief consultant to the California Assembly's budget committee, will be the No. 2 official in the office, which oversees federal programs for 5.7 million students with disabilities.

--ADRIENNE D. COLES [email protected]

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