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Madison Metropolitan School District

Memorial High School Renaming Proposal

Proposal to Rename James Madison Memorial High School

The Ad Hoc Citizens’ Renaming Committee met four times over three months and will now hold a public hearing on Wednesday, September 29, beginning at 5 p.m. to hear input from the community on four names they want to recommend to the Board of Education. Members used various tools to evaluate each of the names and to assign ratings that helped them bring them forward analytically and through the course of their deliberations. They also decided earlier in the process to keep the word ‘Memorial’ in the name.

All the information is available to the public via BoardDocs.

Public input will continue through this web page. When the transition is made to the Board of Education Work Group and Regular meeting agendas, there will be opportunities for additional public appearances.

We invite you to submit a written statement or register to speak at the upcoming public hearing on the four names. The public hearing will be held on Wednesday, September 29, beginning at 5 p.m.

  • Written statements specific to the public hearing will be accepted from Monday, September 27, at noon through Wednesday, September 29 at 3 p.m. Please visit the Board of Education Virtual Meetings page to see the detailed instructions for how to submit a written statement. 
  • Registrations to speak will be accepted one hour prior to the start of the meeting ending at 5 p.m. Please visit the Board of Education Virtual Meetings page to see the detailed instructions for how to register to speak. Board of Education policy allows for three-minute statements for those who register one hour prior to a public hearing where public appearances are on the agenda. This is not a dialogue but an opportunity for anyone who registers to make a three-minute statement.

The following four names are the subject of the public hearing portion of the next meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee:

  • Darlene M. Hancock Memorial High School
  • Memorial High School
  • Vel Phillips Memorial High School
  • Bruce Dahmen Memorial High School

Once the public hearing is finished, the Committee may deliberate again or set the next meeting date in which to discuss the public input and finalize their recommendations that will then move on to the Board of Education.

We are using our typical channels of communication to get the word out -- including our newsletters, website, Facebook and Twitter, etc.

Targeted communications went out to the Memorial student body and the Memorial community at large, including members of the Parent-Teacher-Student Organization .

We continue to seek your feedback via the following web form.

Feedback Form

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Process and timeline

Per School Board Policy (6700), the public has a minimum 30-day window to comment on the recommendations and submit additional proposals. The 30-day window to submit proposals for Memorial ended on April 23, 2021.

renaming process flowchart

Download this process flowchart.

Board of Education Role:

  1. Appoint a Citizens Naming Committee. The Citizens Naming Committee shall consist of twelve individuals and a chairperson appointed by the Board President and approved by the BOARD OF EDUCATION. Each Board Member may recommend up to five names to serve on the Committee, and the Board President shall select Committee members from these names. The BOARD OF EDUCATION shall strive to ensure that the Citizens Naming Committee is representative of the District as a whole.

  2. The chairperson will be selected by the President of the BOARD OF EDUCATION.
  3. Establish a date by which the work of the Citizens Naming Committee must be completed.

*Proposal Criteria:

  1. What individuals/groups are proposing the name? What is the proposed name?
  2. Madison Metropolitan School District schools may be named after a prominent national or local figure who is deceased, a locally significant geographical site, a place of local significance, or an idea or concept which represents a broadly respected civic virtue. Into which of these categories does the proposed name fall?
  3. If the proposed name is a prominent local or national figure who is deceased, describe why this person is considered prominent. “Prominent” is defined as “widely and popularly known.”
  4. If the proposed name is a prominent local or national figure who is deceased, what is the significance of the person specifically to the Madison Metropolitan School District that it should choose to name a school for this particular person over others of similar prominence?
  5. If the proposed name is a locally significant geographical site or a place of local significance, what is the significance to the Madison Metropolitan School District? For what reason would the Madison Metropolitan School District choose to name a building for this particular geographical site or place of local significance?
  6. If the proposed name is an idea or concept which is a broadly respected community value, what is the significance of this idea or concept to the Madison Metropolitan School District? For what reason would the Madison Metropolitan School District choose to name a building for this particular idea or concept?