New elementary school named for influential administrator
BY T. CARTER ROSS — The name confusion will soon be over for the New Hyattsville-Area Elementary School, which is at 6110 Editors Park Dr. but also borders Nicholson Street in West Hyattsville. On Thursday, June 26, the Prince George’s County Schools Board of Education will vote to name the school after Edward M. Felegy, who served as Prince George’ County Public School System (PGCPS) superintendent from 1991 to 1995.
Felegy spent 37 years working for PGCPS, started as a teacher at Seat Pleasant Elementary School in Capitol Heights, and then moved into administration to rise through the ranks to principal and deputy school superintendent.
According to the motion to name the new school after him, “Mr. Felegy focused on improving student performance in mathematics, science and recruiting more minority educators. During extreme budgetary times, Mr. Felegy methodically distributed unpopular spending cuts to avoid teacher layoffs and to restrict the impact on classrooms. He also worked to protect arts education programs.”
New elementary school is slated to have a creative and performing arts theme, which will give in-boundary students access to specialized arts education. Felegy had a long association with arts in the public schools, and the school system’s annual honors concert, the Edward M. Felegy Concert, is named after him.
A community panel that helped select the new school’s name provided the school board with three names for consideration in order of preference: “Nicholson Street Elementary School,” “Edward M. Felegy Elementary School,” and “Dr. Maya Angelou Elementary School.”
Recent PGCPS school-naming trends have tended to favor national figures such as Barack Obama Elementary and Rosa L. Parks Elementary, but other schools have been named for past school system officials, notably Nicholas Orem Middle School, which is next door to the new elementary school. The middle school was named for Nichoals Orem Sr., who served as PGCPS superintendent from 1921 to 1943.
Editor’s Note: T. Carter Ross was the City of Hyattsville’s representative to the community panel.