When a New Hampshire high school decided to do something about its dropouts, an administrator drew on his Marine training. "Humor and caring can get men to do just about anything," says Ed Boyle, a former major and assistant principal at Londonderry High School. His wife, an instructor at the school, fell right into step, and troubled students are more likely to get a hug and a kiss than a rap on the knuckles. Now, instead of suspending rule-breakers, the school puts them into a program conducted by Carroll Boyle in which, in addition to their regular schoolwork, they participate in discussions on values, problem solving and what to do to take control of their lives. Most of all, they get concerned attention. "The hugging doesn't bother anyone. The worst kids in school get hugged and they don't mind," said 16-year-old Dan L'Etoile, a veteran of the program. As a result, the high school now has a dropout rate averaging about 1.8% in a state with an average rate of 5.37%. "The kids react very positively. Once they know we are concerned about their well-being, they'll put up with anything," Carroll Boyle says.
--He took yet another gamble and won, but then that's pretty much the life story of poker ace Gentleman Jack Keller, who gave up cards this summer to join a friend's stock options business. He says the decision to retire from cards was originally made for the sake of his children, but options trading hasn't been without its winning hands. "I don't want my sons to grow up to be poker players," says Keller, 44. But the former world poker champion, who made $1 million in eight years as a professional gambler, has also netted $50,000 in trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Keller said the other traders teased him at first, but none of the remarks bothered him. "I've sat across the table from some real bad guys--I mean some REAL bad guys--who didn't like losing," he said. "They called me every name in the book. And these kids thought they could intimidate me." Keller and his wife, Gloria, have two sons, Jack, 13, and Scot, 11.