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Kory Johnson, a 19-year-old environmental activist who launched a student campaign against hazardous waste while in elementary school, has won the Goldman Environmental Prize.

Kory Johnson

The prize is given annually by the San Francisco-based Goldman Environmental Foundation to grassroots heroes--one on each continent--for their work to protect the environment.

Each person receives a $100,000 cash prize.

Ms. Johnson plans to put her cash award toward her education and environmental pursuits.

Ms. Johnson, the North American winner, began her efforts to champion the environment when her sister died of a heart ailment that is believed to have been caused by contaminated well water her mother drank during pregnancy.

At the age of 9, Ms. Johnson, a Phoenix resident, founded Children for a Safe Environment and led her first environmental protest: a demonstration against a plan for a hazardous-waste incinerator and dump in a poor Arizona community.

Her tenacity and hard work drew media attention, and in 1991 the state's governor canceled the project.

Since that time, Ms. Johnson has traveled nationwide to speak in support of children in minority communities whose well-being has been endangered by industrial pollution and waste sites.

Today, her nonprofit organization has about 360 members nationally.

Ms. Johnson, now a freshman at Arizona State University in Tempe, picked up her award April 20 in San Francisco.

Lorrie Shepard has been elected president of the American Educational Research Association.

Ms. Shepard, the interim dean of education at the University of Colorado at Boulder, is a national authority on K-12 standardized testing and kindergarten readiness.

She is also known for her research on test validity.

The AERA has more than 22,000 members, including educators, behavioral scientists, administrators, and directors of research, testing, and evaluation in federal, state, and local agencies.

Ms. Shepard will serve as the top officer of the Washington-based international organization for one year, beginning in 1999.

--ADRIENNE D. COLES [email protected]

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