DEBORAH GIST – THE COMMISSIONER OF RIDE

Deborah A. Gist, who taught and served directly in schools for more than a decade early in her career, began her service as the Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education on July 1, 2009.Previously, she served as State Superintendent of Education in the District of Columbia, beginning in June 2007. As the first state superintendent of education in the District, she was responsible for transitioning all state-level education functions to the newly formed office of the state superintendent of education and for putting into effect the accountability systems of the federal No Child Left Behind education law.

As state superintendent of education, Gist created new, progressive educator-certification polices for teachers and school administrators, allowing school districts and nonprofit organizations to apply to certify educators, and she enacted new standards for teacher-preparation programs to improve quality, expand opportunity, and encourage innovation. Gist worked with the first state board of education in the District to transition its role to that of a policy-setting body during its first year of existence, and she developed many important state-level education policies, including standards for health and physical education, world languages, arts education, and early-childhood learning.

Before taking on the role as State Superintendent, Gist served for three years as the state education officer in the District. In that role, she restored the confidence of Congress in the Tuition Assistance Grants program, resulting in a federal funding increase of more than 100 percent for a program that now serves more than 5,000 college students in the District each year. She also oversaw dramatic improvements in much-maligned child-nutrition programs in the District, including the Summer Food Service program, which was subsequently named the best-performing summer-food program in America for four consecutive years.

Gist began her career in education 21 years ago, as a teacher in the Ft. Worth, Texas, elementary schools, where she focused on literacy education and applied learning. She later taught in Tampa, Florida, where she founded and directed a center on environmental education and later conceived, designed, and initiated Hillsborough Reads, which served families in 108 elementary schools in Hillsborough County. She won “Teacher of the Year” honors at her schools in both Ft. Worth and Tampa.

In addition to spending 10 years serving directly in schools, Gist was a senior policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Education. She advised the secretary and deputy secretary on top issues, analyzed proposed policy initiatives, and conducted research and feasibility studies. Gist also served as the marketing and development director of the Discovery Creek Children’s Museum, in Washington, and she later worked for the Office of the Mayor, in Washington, as the executive director of the office on volunteerism and service programs, Serve DC. While in Washington, Gist served as a volunteer mentor and a board member for Mentors, Inc.

Gist earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, where she was also selected as a Kennedy Fellow and received the Littauer Fellowship for academic excellence and community service. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in early-childhood education from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Arts in elementary education, with an emphasis in curriculum, from the University of South Florida. Gist became a certified public manager, following successful completion of a joint program with the District of Columbia government and the George Washington University. In 2008, she completed a fellowship with the Broad Academy for Superintendents, which prepares talented leaders to take on executive leadership roles in urban education.

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BARACK OBAMA – FIRST AFRO PRESIDENT OF AMERICA

Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961 to a Kenyan father and an American mother. Obama’s parents, Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham met while studying at the University of Hawaii. Obama spent his early years in Honolulu before moving to Indonesia at the age of six. Obama’s parents separated when he was two years old. His mother later married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian. The family moved to Jakarta in 1967.

After staying for four years in Indonesia, Obama returned to Honolulu to study at the Punahou school. He studied at the Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years before moving to the Columbia University in New York City. Obama graduated from the Columbia University in 1983 with a major in Political Science and a specialization in International Relations.

After his graduation, Obama worked at the Business International Corporation and the New York Public Interest Research Group. In 1985, he moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer. Later, in 1988, Obama joined the Harvard Law School. He went on to become the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated from the law school in 1991.

Barack Obama met Michelle Robinson in 1989, whom he married in 1992. Michelle and Barack have two daughters. Obama played several roles professionally between 1993 and 2004. He worked as a lawyer for the law firm, David, Miner, Barnhill & Galland. He also worked as a part-time lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School from 1993 to 2004; he taught constitutional law at the law school. Obama also served as a board member at the Woods Fund of Chicago, a philanthropic organization.

In 1996, Obama was elected to the Illinois senate. He was elected again in 1998 and 2002. In 2000, he lost a primary for the United States House of Representatives. In 2003, Obama was appointed the chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee. Obama became a United States Senator in late 2004 to become the fifth Afro-American Senator in history. He secured 70% votes.

In 1991, while being in-charge of a voter registration drive in Chicago, Obama began writing a book of memoirs that was later published in 1995 as Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Obama wrote another book later that was published in 2006. The book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream went on to become a part of the New York Times Best Seller list.

Once elected into the state Senate of Illinois, Obama took deep interest in reforms and policies, making and changing some consequently. He initiated the requirement of mandatorily videotaping interrogations in cases of homicide. He enthusiastically participated in creating the Earned Income Tax Credit program for state, meant for helping people in the low-income groups. He went on to initiate reforms in the fields of healthcare and childcare. An interesting law that came into being because of him was the law to monitor racial profiling. It became mandatory to note the race of the drivers that are detained by the state police.

Following his election into the United States Senate, Obama showed extreme interest in immigration reforms and border security improvements. He became a co-sponsor of the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act; the act was introduced by John McCain, his Republican rival who ran for the United States Presidential post. A year later, Obama also favored another security bill that later became the Secure Fence Act.

Obama, in association with Tom Coburn, brought the Coburn-Obama Transparency Act into being; the act made the government expenditure transparent via a website called the USAspending.gov. Also, in association with the Republican, Richard Lugar, a Lugar-Obama program went on to make additions to the existing Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction concept. In 2007, Obama, in association with Senator Russ Feingold, brought into being the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act. He later introduced the Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007. Last year in February, he declared that he will be running for the post of the President of the United States. He has showed his dislike to negative campaigning. Obama has been advocating an end to the war in Iraq, a universal health care mechanism and increased energy independence as his most important agendas in his manifesto.

Obama has surprised his critics by raising enormous amount of money through his campaigns. In January this year, his campaign raised 36.8 million US dollars, the highest amount raised ever in the Democratic primaries. In the first six months of his campaign last year, 58 million US dollars were raised, breaking earlier records. Following a series of hate mail sent to Obama, the US Secret Service instated special protection for Obama. “Fired up! Ready to go!” is a cry doing the rounds at Obama’s campaigns. Barack Obama has been voted as 44th president of the USA. He won the election battle against John McCain. He is the first afro-american president. Obama has been dubbed as the most liberal Senator in his political life. In his personal life, he plays basketball and claims to be a good poker player.

During his presidential transition, President-elect Obama announced that he would retain the incumbent Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, in his Cabinet. On February 27, 2009, Obama declared that combat operations would end in Iraq within 18 months. His remarks were made to a group of Marines preparing for deployment to Afghanistan. Obama said, “Let me say this as plainly as I can: By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.” The drawdown is scheduled to be completed by August 2010, decreasing troops levels from 142,000 while leaving a transitional force of 35,000 to 50,000 in Iraq until the end of 2011. The plan is to transition the mission of the remaining troops from combat operations to counter-terrorism and the training, equipping, and advising of Iraqi security forces.

The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to U.S. President Barack Obama “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the award on October 9, 2009, citing Obama’s promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and a “new climate” in international relations fostered by Obama, especially in reaching out to the Muslim world. Obama is the fourth U.S. President to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, after Theodore Roosevelt (1906) and Woodrow Wilson (1919)—both of whom received the award during their terms—and Jimmy Carter (2002), who received the award 21 years after leaving office.

Checkout the ASCII Art of Barack Obama in the below link. Please use Lucida Console font to view the art in Notepad. Before that in Notepad go to Format and Uncheck the Word Warp and then Go to Font and Reduce the Font Size to 3 to 4 pt. Use only Lucida Console Font.

http://www.4shared.com/document/RQPZWts3/Barack_Obama.html

HOWARD HUGHES – THE AVIATOR

Howard Hughes’ father, Howard Hughes Sr., made his fortune by designing a drill bit that could drill through hard rock. Before this new bit, oil drillers weren’t able to reach the large pockets of oil lying beneath the hard rock. Howard Hughes Sr. and a colleague established the Sharp-Hughes Tool Company which held the patent for the new drill bit, manufactured the bit, and leased the bit to oil. Though he grew up in a wealthy household, Howard Hughes Jr. had difficulty focusing on school and changed schools often. Rather than sitting in a classroom, Hughes preferred to learn by tinkering with mechanical things. For instance, when his mother forbade him from having a motorcycle, he built one by building a motor and adding it to his bicycle. Hughes was a loner in his youth; with one notable exception, Hughes never really had any friends.

When Hughes was just 16-years old, his doting mother passed away. And then not even two years later, his father also suddenly passed away. Howard Hughes received 75% of his father’s million-dollar estate; the other 25% went to relatives.

Hughes immediately disagreed with his relatives over the running of Hughes Tool Company but being only 18-years old, Hughes could not do anything about it because he would not legally be considered an adult until age 21. Frustrated but determined, Hughes went to court and got a judge to grant him legal adulthood. He then bought out his relatives’ shares of the company. At age 19, Hughes became full owner of the company and also got married (to Ella Rice).
In 1925, Hughes and his wife decided to move to Hollywood and spend some time with Hughes’ uncle, Rupert, who was a screenwriter. Hughes quickly became enchanted with movie making. Hughes jumped right in and filmed Swell Hogan but quickly realized it wasn’t good so he never released it. Learning from his mistakes, Hughes continued making movies. His third, Two Arabian Knights won an Oscar.

With one success under his belt, Hughes wanted to make an epic about aviation and set to work on Hell’s Angels. It became his obsession. His wife, tired of being neglected, divorced him. Hughes continued making films, producing over 25 of them.

In 1932, Hughes had a new obsession — aviation. He formed the Hughes Aircraft Company and bought several airplanes and hired numerous engineers and designers. He wanted a quicker, faster plane. He spent the rest of the 1930s setting new speed records. In 1938, he flew around the world, breaking Wiley Post’s record. Though Hughes was given a ticker-tape parade on his arrival in New York, he was already showing signs of wanting to shun the public spotlight.
In 1944, Hughes won a government contract to design a large, flying boat that could carry both people and supplies to the war in Europe. The “Spruce Goose,” the largest plane ever constructed, was flown successfully in 1947 and then never flown again. Hughes’ company also developed a chain feeder for the machine guns on bombers and later built helicopters.

By the mid-1950s, Hughes’ dislike of being a public figure began to severely affect his life. Though he married actress Jean Peters in 1957, he began to avoid public appearances. He traveled for a bit, then in 1966 he moved to Las Vegas, where he holed himself up in the Desert Inn Hotel. When the hotel threatened to evict him, he purchased the hotel. He also bought several other hotels and property in Las Vegas. For the next several years, hardly a single person saw Hughes. He had become so reclusive that he nearly never left his hotel suite.

In 1970, Hughes’ marriage ended and he left Las Vegas. He moved from one country to another and died in 1976, aboard an airplane, while traveling from Acapulco, Mexico to Houston, Texas. Hughes had become such a hermit in his last years that no one was sure it was really Hughes that had died, so the Treasury Department had to use fingerprints to confirm the death of billionaire Howard Hughes.

Checkout the ASCII Art of Howard Hughes in the below link. Please use Lucida Console font to view the art in Notepad. Befor that in Notepad go to Format and Uncheck the Word Warp and then Go to Font and Reduce the Font Size to 3 to 4 pt. Use only Lucida Console Font.

http://www.4shared.com/document/UggAmih_/Howard_Hughes.html