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MICHELLE SHEARER ’95, a public high school science teacher, was honored May 3 as the national Teacher of the Year, joining President Obama, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and state honorees at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden. Shearer has spent much of her career teaching Advanced Placement chemistry in public schools, including the Maryland School for the Deaf and Urbana High School in Frederick, Md.

In her remarks, Shearer spoke about the most recent “pep talk” that she’d given to her students, reminding them that they are “problem-solvers” as they prepared to take their AP chemistry exams. Obama responded: “I think you can see why Michelle is Teacher of the Year.   I think I’m going to send her up to Congress to give them a pep talk.”  

LOCOMOTIVES   Three Princeton alumni will take new roles in academia July 1. At Brown University, MARK S. SCHLISSEL ’79 will become provost, the university’s highest academic officer; PAUL SCHIFF BERMAN ’88 will become dean of the George Washington University Law School; and at Wagner College in New York City, LILY MCNAIR ’79 will be the provost. ... JOHN BEER ’91’s debut collection of poetry, The Waste Land and Other Poems (Canarium Books), was awarded the 2011 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. ... President Obama has nomi­nated Alameda County (Calif.) judge YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS ’87 to be a federal judge in San Francisco, where she would be the first Latina on the Northern District of California bench. ... Pulitzer Prize-winning political columnist GEORGE F. WILL *68, along with three others, in April received the Common Wealth Award of Distin­guished Service. ... ED WAGNER ’61, a professor at the University of Wash­­ington School of Public Health, this month will receive the 2011 William B. Gra­ham Prize for Health Services Research, a national award. His research has im­proved care for frail seniors and patients with chronic medical ­conditions.