P. O. BOX 2120

March 21, 1997


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Christa McAuliffe Fellowship Program

  In 1986, Congress initiated the Christa McAuliffe Fellowship
  Program in honor of the late Sharon Christa McAuliffe, the
  teacher who served as an astronaut on the Challenger Space
  Shuttle. In accordance with the regulations governing
  implementation of the Christa McAuliffe Fellowship Program,
  the Virginia Department of Education has received a grant
  from the Council of Chief State School Officers State
  Leadership Center in the amount of $31,000 per candidate to
  support the activities of two Virginia fellows. 

  Two candidates will be selected as Christa McAuliffe
  Fellows, one representing the 1996-1997 school year and one
  for the 1997-1998 school years.  Both Fellows will implement
  their programs during the 1997-1998 school year. The intent
  of the fellowship  program is to encourage outstanding
  teachers to continue their education through sabbaticals of
  study, research or academic improvement, the development of
  research projects or professional development strategies,
  the design of learning technologies for classroom use, the
  development of innovative programs, the design of
  partnerships with the business community or consultation
  with or assistance to other school divisions or private
  school systems.

  Two fellows and two alternates will be selected to
  participate in the program during the 1997-1998 school year. 
  The fellowship is intended to cover up to 12 months of
  academic study or to implement a special project.
  Application information regarding the Christa McAuliffe
  Fellowship Program is enclosed.  Should you have teachers
  who are interested in applying for a fellowship award,
  please have them complete the enclosed application and mail
  ten (10) copies on or before April 30, 1997, to: Sandra P.
  Aldrich, Comprehensive System for Personnel Development
  Specialist, Division for Compliance, Department of
  Education, P. O. Box 2120, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120.

  Your support of this program is encouraged and appreciated. 
  If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact
  Sandra Aldrich at(804) 225-2096 or e-mail


  Enclosures:  A hard copy of this memo and its attachment
               will be sent to the superintendent's office.

  c: Public School Principals
     Accredited Nonpublic Schools