Florence Newell Cornell, 92, a retired teacher and principal with the D.C. public school system who was active in Adams-Morgan community groups, died Aug. 6 at the health care center of Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg.

Mrs. Cornell, who lived in Gaithersburg, was born in South Dakota. She was a graduate of the old Chicago Teachers College and earned a bachelor's degree at George Washington University and a master's degree at the University of Maryland. She taught school in Illinois before moving here in 1918.

After working a short time with the federal government, she became a teacher at Wheatley Elementary in 1921. She also taught at the old Columbia and Hine schools before serving as principal of the old Edmonds and Maury elementary schools from 1929 to 1933. At the same time she was principal of a third school, Kingsman elementary.

In 1934, she was named principal of the Adams School and in 1951 she also became principal at Oyster. She retired as principal of both Adams and Oyster elementary schools in 1959.

Mrs. Cornell was an organizer and past president of the Adams-Morgan Better Neighborhood Conference and an originator of the Adams-Morgan Demonstration Project. She was the recipient of numerous civic awards, including a 1959 community service award from the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia for her "initiative and outstanding leadership" in the Adams-Morgan area.

Her husband, Edward M. Cornell, died in 1933. She also was predeceased by a stepson. Survivors include a sister, Dorothy Newell of Fremont, Mich.; two stepgrandchildren, and two great-stepgrandchildren.