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BACK-TO-SCHOOL GUIDE INSIDE: One-stop source for information on the new academic year in Prince George’s The Gazette SERVING NORTHERN AND CENTRAL PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY COMMUNITIES DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Thursday, August 8, 2013 25 cents No plan yet for struggling club Adelphi school targets leadership turnover Youth programs might be hurt if city doesn’t help, official says n BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU STAFF WRITER A Laurel task force created to find solutions for the city’s financially ailing Boys & Girls Club concluded its work, with members divided on what direction to take. The club president warned of dire consequences if the city cannot help with funding. “The main part of the building will be shut down if things aren’t realized from this task force,” club president Levet Brown said during the task force’s final meeting July 30. Brown said previously that it costs $68,000 per year to maintain the club’s 60,000-square-foot fa- cility, which includes the Phelps Center west wing, the 100-year-old historic central building that once was Laurel High School, and the attached gymnasium. The club, which offers athletic and after-school programs, provided services to 3,353 children in and around Laurel last year, according to Brown. Brown said that without city financial support, the club will be forced to close the central portion of its building and operate out of the west wing to reduce operational costs. Brown said the change could hurt plans for programs housed in the main portion of the building, such as a new performing arts program. The task force of community members and club leaders was launched in April after the club’s financial woes were brought to the See CLUB, Page A-8 GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE Sheena Hardy, the new principal of Cherokee Lane Elementary School in Adelphi, is the fourth principal the school has had in the past six years. Focusing on ‘the long haul’ BY ERIC GOLDWEIN STAFF WRITER After more than 20 years in Prince George’s County public schools as a student, teacher and administrator, Sheena Hardy of Laurel said she has graduated to her dream position. Hardy, 31, is the new principal of Cherokee Lane Elementary, a kindergarten through six-grade school in Adelphi. Hardy, Cherokee Lane’s fourth principal in six years, said she wants to bring consistency to the school. “I definitely hope to be here for the long haul,” Hardy said. Hardy is taking over for former principal Nichole Jackson, who was principal from 2011 to 2013. She left after last year due to personal reasons, according to county schools spokesman Max Pugh. Jackson could not be reached for comment. During Jackson’s tenure, Cherokee Lane’s overall reading proficiency scores dropped from 92 percent to 85 percent, according to, a Maryland School Performance website. Its overall math proficiency scores dipped slightly from 82 percent to 81 percent. Despite the drop, the school’s reading and math proficiency scores met or exceeded county and state averages as they had prior to 2011. Hardy said she grew up in Lanham and attended Rockledge Elementary in Bowie, Thomas Johnson Middle School in Lanham and Suitland High School in District Heights. After graduating from Towson University, she taught at Seat Pleasant Elementary School. She said she then received a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at McDaniel College in Westminster, before working as an assistant principal at William W. Hall Elementary School in Capitol Heights. Hardy returned to Rockledge as an assistant principal in 2011, where she said she got to work with her former second-grade teacher, Carole Pippert, who was there as a retired substitute teacher. Hardy said she still calls her “Ms. Pippert.” “I’m an elementary girl at heart,” Hardy said. Pippert could not be reached for comment. Kimberly Seidel, Rockledge principal, said Hardy effectively communicated with students and teachers. See SCHOOL, Page A-8 Gazette part of $250M sale to Amazon founder n Newspapers will continue as usual for now BY AGNES BLUM STAFF WRITER Readers of The Gazette can expect to continue hearing the familiar thump of the weekly newspaper hitting their driveways after the planned sale of parts of the Washington Post Co. to founder and CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos. “This is exciting news. We won’t see any immediate change,” said Ann McDaniel, a senior vice president at the Washington Post Co. who started her career as a journalist. “There’s always a future for compelling, accurate journal- ism at the community level.” The sale, announced Monday and expected to be completed in 60 days, ends the Graham family’s four-generation ownership of the flagship Post newspaper. In addition to The Gazette and the Post, the $250 million deal includes the Express newspaper; Southern Maryland Newspapers; the Fairfax County Times in Northern Virginia; the Spanish-language El Tiempo Latino newspaper; the Robinson Terminal Warehouse and the Post’s adjoining printing plant in Springfield, Va.; the Comprint printing plant in Laurel; and several military-base publications. Bezos, whose tech-savvy busi- See SALE, Page A-8 Hyattsville celebrates crime awareness, diversity n Focus of combined events unclear for some BY ERIC GOLDWEIN STAFF WRITER Hyattsville residents said they enjoyed the city’s community celebration Tuesday, even if they weren’t sure whether it was a crime-awareness event or an international festival. This year, city officials combined National Night Out, an annual event promoting crime-prevention efforts and collaboration between police and residents, with the International Street Festival to save money. Critics of the plan worried the international festival’s efforts to celebrate the city’s diversity would be lost in the nationally celebrated National Night Out events. Raja Nadarajah of Hyattsville said he enjoyed the combined event, although it felt like a smaller version of the International Street Festival. He said he did not attend National Night Out in past years. “It doesn’t matter what it is. You have these things, the kids enjoy it,” Nadarajah said. The international festival had been held for 15 years and attended by more than 1,000 people until it was discontinued in 2011 due to scheduling challenges, Councilwoman Paula Perry (Ward 5) said. In past years, Hyattsville bud- SPORTS RECRUITING SCENE ALL ABOUT AAU College recruiters spend more time on teams than they do high school. B-1 geted $18,000 for the International Street Festival; however, the city faced a $1.27 million loss in revenue from property taxes and decided to add money to the police department’s budget to host a combined event instead. “I am not happy this year that we even had to combine it. But I also know that National Night Out is a very big deal to the community. So you’re caught between what do you do or don’t do,” Perry said when the council decided to combine the events. Perry and other council members who had expressed concerns said the event turned out well. “I thought that the staff did an See HYATTSVILLE, Page A-8 Automotive B-9 Calendar A-2 Classified B-9 Community News A-4 Entertainment B-1 Opinion A-9 Sports A-10 Please RECYCLE TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE Hyattsville Police Chief Douglas Holland is dropped into a dunk tank Tuesday during a combined celebration of National Night Out, which promotes crime-prevention efforts, and the International Street Festival. MUNICIPAL SCENE Advertising Supplement Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1889690

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