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DOW NAMES PREMIER EDUCATOR

 DOW NAMES PREMIER EDUCATOR
 MIDLAND, Mich., May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dow Chemical Company


(NYSE: DOW) continues its commitment to education through the creation of its Premier Educator Award. President and CEO Frank Popoff presented the award at the annual stockholders' meeting today in Midland.
 Erlinda V. Griffin was named the first recipient of the award. She is principal of Ezequiel A. Balderas Elementary School in Fresno, Calif. Popoff presented Griffin with a $5,000 check to be given to Balderas Elementary in her name to be used for the purchase of library books. The award itself is a custom-designed walnut box that cradles a crystal Steuben apple.
 The Dow Americas Education Task Force, which consists of members from the United States, Canada and Latin America, developed criteria for the award that would exemplify the type of educational leadership we need to assure our schools and students meet world-class standards. The award honors an educator who is:
 -- innovative and visionary;
 -- empowers and is respected by peers;
 -- takes risks, persistently pursues goals, and is a catalyst for change;
 -- builds broad, community-based coalitions made up of parents, students, business people, educators, and other community organizations; and
 -- always focuses on students and their success.
 "Erlinda Griffin is a terrific example of what is going right in American education and what can be accomplished when one has vision and adheres to the principles and practice of quality performance," Popoff said. "She is a caring, risk-taking educational leader who is helping prepare the next generation."
 He added that though the odds are against her success -- the majority of her students are recent immigrants and come from economically deprived families who speak little or no English -- she refuses to accept the odds and instead she and her staff play on the strength and potential of each individual student.
 Balderas is No. 1 in student attendance for the Fresno Unified School District and has a close to 90-percent parental participation rate. Griffin calls her students "Linguistically Gifted Persons" rather than the official state term of "Limited English Proficient." Parent meetings are divided into primary language groups to maximize comfort, understanding and dialogue. The school uses cross-age tutoring, multi- age grouping triads, extended-day program with primary language teaching, language and literacy classes for parents, hands-on science and an integrated curriculum approach, site-based management, accelerated learning, and a myriad of other programs and strategies.
 Balderas has 1,100 ethnically diverse preschool through sixth-grade students.
 Griffin's philosophy on education is one that calls for all people to be life-long learners. She was born and raised in the Philippines, studied foreign service, was recruited as a missionary to teach Quechua and Aymara Indians in South America, and after three years moved to Fresno to finish her college education. Griffin became a teacher in the Fresno area and decided to devote her career to serving language minority and educationally deprived children and parents. She has served in a number of teaching and administrative positions and was appointed principal of the newly built, year-round Balderas Elementary School in the spring of 1991.
 During the past year, Griffin has led a highly motivated team of business leaders, including managers from Dow's Fresno plant, staff, parents, volunteers, university personnel, and other community groups in forging a vision and strategic plan for Balderas that positions the school as a model for the rest of the country.
 The Dow Americas Education Task Force decided that it is imperative for business to recognize and encourage what is going right in education in North America, as well as working for reforms in areas that need improvement or, in some cases, a total renaissance.
 After examination of current and potential education program involvement, the Task Force has developed a vision and elements for emphasis in education by the company.
 "Dow will continue with current programs, but new programs will be evaluated against the additional criteria to ensure a consistent emphasis, such as, Dow people involvement as well as money, and a priority on early intervention," William Cornelius, director of Education Initiatives and chair of the task force, said.
 The vision states Dow wishes to be: "Leaders in Catalyzing Coalitions for Educational Excellence." The emphasis will be on student literacy, coalitions, and educator development.
 As stated in the Education Declaration signed by Popoff in July of 1992, "Education is the key to resolving many of the social ills of our nation as well as keeping competitiveness alive. The results of education are long-term and far-reaching and so must be our commitment."
 -0- 5/14/92
 /CONTACT: Michelle Morris of The Dow Chemical Company, 517-636-1325/
 (DOW) CO: The Dow Chemical Company; The Dow Americas Education Task Force ST: Michigan, California IN: CHM SU:


SM -- DE033 -- 0387 05/14/92 15:58 EDT
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Date:May 14, 1992
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