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The Felegy Legacy

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Edward M. Felegy was the quintessential educational leader.  From his remarkable talents in the domains of problem-solving and decision-making to the rich diversity of the contributions he made throughout his career, Mr. Felegy's 37 year tenure in Prince George's County Public Schools was marked by a deep level of commitment, inspiration, and sincere dedication to all students and staff.   

Mr. Felegy was best known for his knowledge of the history, operations, and interconnections that characterize this school system, that was, at the time, the 17th largest in the United States.  He received wide public acclaim for his expertise as an administrator capable of navigating the intricate waters of a school system's financial complexities during times of crisis.  Similarly, he was unique in the scope of the responsibilities and roles he had assumed during his remarkable history with Prince George's County Public Schools.  

Most significantly, Edward M. Felegy had exhibited what Ernest Hemingway once called "grace under pressure," a heroic capacity for establishing calm, balance, and equanimity during times that seemed singularly devoid of those qualities.  His years of service as the Superintendent of Prince George's County Public Schools (1991 - 1995) included such remarkable legacies as the nationally recognized Equity 2000, Partnerships for Minority Student Achievement, the ATLAS and Challenge School Programs, the College Board Pacesetter Program, Reading Recovery, and the continuation of the Magnet and Miliken School Programs.   

It was under Felegy's leadership that the school system continued its nationally recognized commitment to equity.  One of his legacies to the system and to the citizens of Prince George's County was his contribution to the development of a plan that provides an alternative to the two-decade, court-ordered desegregation process, with a focus on neighborhood schools and high levels of achievement for all students.   

Edward M. Felegy's history in Prince George's County Public Schools reflected a virtually unparalleled talent for assuming leadership in all facets of systemic operations.  In addition to his remarkable leadership as superintendent, Mr. Felegy provided outstanding service as Deputy Superintendent (1985 - 1991), Assistant Superintendent for Administration and Personnel (1978 - 1985), Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools (1976 - 1978), and Director of Pupil Services (1973 - 1976).  

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PGCPS Elementary Honors Choir performing at the Annual Edward M. Felegy Honors Concert at the Kennedy Center 

It was in his interaction with staff and students, however, that Mr. Felegy's humanity, warmth, and instructional talents were most evident.  As an elementary principal from 1964 to 1973 at Thomas Addison and Yorktown, Edward M. Felegy was known for the quality of leadership and support for staff and students.  His love of the arts, particularly music, was manifested in his playing classical music at the beginning of the day over the public address system.  The Kennedy Center Concert, a 40 year-old tradition for students in Prince George's County Public Schools, was renamed in 1996 to honor Edward M. Felegy for his love and support of music.  In addition to setting a soothing and nurturing tone, this unique aspect of his leadership reflected the creative and frequently acknowledged ways in which Mr. Felegy elected to share himself and his personal interests with the staff.  This same kind of warmth and personal attention to detail was evident in his other roles within the system, including his work as a Pupil Personnel Worker (1962 - 1964), and his experience as a classroom teacher (1958 - 1962).    

Mr. Felegy was the recipient of a host of acknowledgements and honors during his tenure with the Prince George's County Public Schools, but the respect and admiration awarded him by significant groups within the system were best typified by his award as "Leader of Leaders," presented to him by the High School Principals Leadership Committee. Recognition for his unique gifts by organizations beyond the school system included his 1994 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Leadership in the field of Arts Education.