Shelvie A. McCoy, D.C. schools administrator

Correction: An earlier version of this obituary included an incomplete list of Dr. McCoy’s survivors and misspelled the names of her daughter Kelli McCoy Burkett and her sister Beverly Brooks. The article has been corrected.

March 12

Shelvie A. McCoy, a D.C. Public Schools administrator for more than 20 years who had a leading role in efforts to prevent substance abuse, died March 4 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. She was 76 and a District resident.

The cause was cardiac arrest, her daughter Doxie McCoy said.

Dr. McCoy developed a citywide substance-abuse and violence-prevention program in 1990 for DCPS. As director of substance-abuse-prevention education, she worked with several city schools that were declared Drug Free Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. She also developed programs in special education and language services for the school system.

Shelvie Anne Lee was born in Washington, and she graduated from Dunbar High School in the city in 1955. She worked for 10 years as a medical technician at the National Institutes of Health before receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech pathology and sociolinguistics from Federal City College, a precursor of the University of the District of Columbia. She received a doctorate in speech pathology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1982.

Before working for the D.C. school system, Dr. McCoy established the Brookland Union Nursery School in 1967, which provided pre-kindergarten education and day care. She retired from the school system in 1998, but she was called out of retirement in 2000 to serve as interim director of public charter schools for a year. She worked as a consultant to several D.C. charter schools in special education, compliance and monitoring. She also consulted with UDC in adult education and family literacy.

Dr. McCoy volunteered as a tutor and counselor for D.C. children. She did community service through the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and was a member of the board of trustees of Ideal Academy Public Charter School.

Survivors include her husband of 60 years, Samuel McCoy of Washington; four daughters, Andrea McCoy Johnson of South Orange, N.J., Doxie McCoy and Shari McCoy, both of Washington, and Kelli McCoy Burkett of Bowie, Md.; her mother, Helen Bell of Washington; two sisters, Sandra Thomas of Laurel, Md., and Beverly Brooks of Washington; a half-sister, Tracy Lee Stapleton of Beltsville, Md.; a brother, Frank Bell of Silver Spring, Md.; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

— Hoai-Tran Bui