People in the News

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Andy Baumgartner was named the 1999 Teacher of the Year in a White House ceremony Monday that honored all of this year's state teachers of the year. Mr. Baumgartner, 47, is the second kindergarten teacher and second Georgia educator to be honored with the national award since its inception in 1952. He has taught at the 530-student A. Brian Merry Elementary School in Augusta since 1995 and is a former speech-therapist and member of the U.S. Marine Corps. As the nation's top teacher, he is scheduled to travel and serve as an education spokesman for a year. The Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the Washington-based Council of Chief State School Officers and Scholastic Inc. of New York City.

Benjamin Canada has defeated three other candidates to become the first African-American president-elect of the American Association of School Administrators. Mr. Canada was appointed the superintendent of the 57,000-student Portland, Ore., district last year and earlier headed the Atlanta public schools. He is slated to begin his term July 1, when Joseph Cirasuolo assumes the presidency of the 14,000-member organization.

Christine Jax

Gov. Jesse Ventura has appointed Christine Jax the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning, which oversees K-12 education, early-childhood programs, and family-support services. Before her appointment, Ms. Jax was a professor of education at St. Mary's University of Minnesota and an adjunct professor of sociology at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul. Ms. Jax received a Bush Leadership Fellowship in 1996 to study at-risk African-American high school students. She is well-known for persuading the Minneapolis school board to open a school for homeless children in 1992.

Mary Ellen Maxwell

Mary Ellen Maxwell will take over as the president of the National School Boards Association July 1. Ms. Maxwell served as the president-elect of the 95,000-member organization last year and was previously the president of the North Carolina School Boards Association. She replaces Barbara M. Wheeler, who will continue to serve for a year on the NSBA board of directors as the immediate past president.

Paul Street

Paul Street has been reappointed county superintendent of the Yavapai school system in Prescott, Ariz. The 20,500-student system is made up of 23 districts covering a region the size of Massachusetts. Mr. Street, 57, returns to the post he held from 1988 until 1995, when he resigned to become an associate state superintendent for Arizona schools chief Lisa Graham Keegan.

--Michelle Galley & Meghan Mullan

Vol. 18, Issue 32, Page 2

Published in Print: April 21, 1999, as People in the News
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