The main concourse at Baden Elementary School and the auditorium at Charles H. Flowers High School will soon bear new names in honor of current and former principals.
The Prince George’s County school board gave final approval Thursday to two resolutions honoring Jerry Keeney, a nearly 20-year veteran of the county school system who served as principal of Baden Elementary for three years, and Helena Nobles-Jones, who will retire this spring after 12 years as the first principal of Flowers High in Springdale.
Keeney, who died in 2011, left two paintings — one of the original 1912 Baden school building that housed the first agricultural high school in the county, and another of the school’s newer facility built in the 1960s next to the first site with space for a library and community center — to the school in his will, and these will be displayed in the hallway that will bear his name, said school board member Donna Hathaway Beck (Dist. 9).
“He has a lot of legacy in that section of the county,” said Beck, who sponsored the resolution for Baden Elementary, which is located in her district.
A dedication ceremony, which Keeney’s widow is expected to attend, will take place May 31 at the school, Beck said.
“The Baden community is very dedicated to historical remembrance and remembering the foundation that built such a great community and school,” Danielle Goddard, the school’s principal, wrote in an email to The Gazette. “We are delighted to be a part of such an event.”
Dozens of students, teachers and parents from Flowers attended an April 26 board meeting expressing their support for naming the school auditorium in honor of Nobles-Jones in recognition of her work creating what they called “a mecca of excellence” at the school, which opened in 2000.
Her name will adorn the outside of the auditorium using 12-inch letters costing $100 each, totaling $1,800 to install the 18 characters in Nobles-Jones’ name, schools Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. told the board.
Board members also preliminarily approved a measure to honor Regina C. Williams, a former Rosaryville Elementary School principal who died in 2007 in a car crash on her way to the Upper Marlboro school, by naming the school’s media center in her honor. A final vote is scheduled June 14.
There will be a minimal cost, perhaps $100, associated with the plaque that will name the concourse at Baden Elementary, Beck said. A plaque for the media center at Rosaryville Elementary would cost about the same amount, she said.
“The community wanted to honor [Williams] … but wanted to give it some time,” Beck said of waiting five years after Williams’ death to propose naming the media center after her. “This gave it some time to cure.”