MMSD Written Statements - Ad Hoc Committee re: Renaming Memorial High School September 29, 2021 - BoardDocs

MMSD Written Statements
Ad Hoc Committee re: Renaming Memorial High School
September 29, 2021

                          What is the subject you will be
 First Name   Last Name                                          Comments:
                                                                 Beloved. Radiant. Uniting. Compassionate. Empathetic. Bruce. He was a man of
                                                                 great wisdom-- someone who embodied what it means to be a Memorial Spartan. It's
                                                                 been seven years since we lost Mr. Dahmen midway through my high-school time, yet
                                                                 his presence remains as I walk through the halls now as a coach. While my athletes and
                                                                 peers alike don't get the privilege of directly learning and growing from him,
                                                                 everything I convey is what he helped teach me. Making good decisions. Respecting
                          The proposed renaming of James
 Eric         Peterson                                           and caring for one another. Devoting your energy to become the best version of
                          Madison Memorial High School.
                                                                 yourself. Appreciating what others do for you. Holding each other accountable.
                                                                 Maximizing your time. Evoking what and whom you represent. Navigating your future.
                                                                 I strive by all of this, everywhere I go. While my athletes and peers alike don't get to
                                                                 see him every day like I used to, we're in a position to reconnect past, current and
                                                                 future students and faculty to what it truly means to be a Spartan. Bruce Dahmen
                                                                 Memorial High School would do just that.
                                                                 Committee Members: Thank you for allowing me to give my input. I am representing
                                                                 the thousands of people that petitioned for the name change to Bruce Dahmen
                                                                 Memorial High School and to also give my opinion. Having worked at Memorial for
                                                                 over 30 years myself, I understand the reputation that James Madison Memorial High
                                                                 School has. It is well known and respected in the community, the state, and very
                                                                 importantly the college community. An application from a student at JMM holds
                                                                 weight due to the rigorous curriculum needed to succeed in order to graduate from
                                                                 those halls. I would hate to see that loss of distinction if the name were to be
                          The renaming of JMM supporting Bruce
 Peggi        Dahmen                                             changed. I believe keeping the name Madison Memorial or Memorial High School
                          Dahmen or Memorial High School
                                                                 would maintain that high standard held at colleges nationwide. However, if the
                                                                 school is to be renamed after a person; there is no finer person than Bruce Dahmen.
                                                                 He spent his entire adult life building that community. Both inside those halls and
                                                                 outside in the neighborhoods. Working in the classrooms, on the playing fields/courts,
                                                                 as an assistant AP and as the building principal. He worked with all kids trying to reach
                                                                 them at any level. There are some that don’t agree, but please don’t rule him out
                                                                 because he was following board policy on expulsion. A building principal’s job is to
                                                                 maintain a building where everyone feels safe to pursue their education. Which he

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did. There’s probably not a student that went through Memorial while he was there
                                                       that didn’t hear him say, “Where are you supposed to be, get to class.” There also
                                                       probably is not a leader anywhere that doesn’t have someone who does not agree
                                                       with them on some item or another. I am not trying to diminish the value of Vel
                                                       Phillips or Darlene Hancock. Both women have remarkable backgrounds and while Ms.
                                                       Hancock was only at JMM a few years and Vel Phillips was from Milwaukee, neither
                                                       have built the trust and community Bruce has at Memorial. I believe when Thomas
                                                       Jefferson MS is renamed, Vel Phillips would be an excellent candidate since Jefferson
                                                       did not have a lifelong leader there. I also believe as this protocol trickles down,
                                                       Darlene Hancock will also become a school name. I’m hoping my husband is now
                                                       being judged by his character and not by the color of his skin and his sex. Thank you
                                                       for your time. Respectfully, Peggi Dahmen
                                                       Hello I am writing in support of renaming JMM to Madison Memorial. There are
                                                       several reasons I am in support of this, but simply stated most in the community
                                                       already refer to us as Madison Memorial. (we have Madison West, Madison East,
 Heather    Kalscheur   Renaming of Madison Memorial   Madison Lafollette and Madison Memorial) Making this simple change might also be
                                                       the most cost efficient, limiting the need to change uniforms and logos. Naming the
                                                       school Madison Memorial would also save you from having to go through this process
                                                       again someday in the future. Thank you for your time. March Onward Memorial!!!!!
                                                       Here is my statement that I want the committee making this decision to read. Thank
                                                       you. Dear MMSD, I never knew Bruce Dahmen personally. I know his kids, Tyler and
                                                       Justin. I can say without question that, from the moment I met them, they have always
                                                       treated me with dignity and respect. More than that, they make everyone around
                                                       them feel like family. If you ever visit their place of business, they represent hard work,
                                                       dedication and kindness. If Bruce’s character is any way a reflection of his kids, then he
                                                       must have been a great man. I know what Bruce Dahmen meant to the Madison
                                                       Memorial community. In addition to hearing stories from Tyler and Justin, I play in
                                                       Bruce’s golf outing every year. To see the outpouring of support for a great cause is
                                                       inspiring. I hear stories about how Bruce impacted alumni as a coach and a teacher. I
 Eric       Rajala      Renaming the high school       hear about how Bruce traveled all over the country to support alums as the
                                                       participated in college and pro sports long after competing at Memorial. He made a
                                                       long term investment in every kid that walked through the doors of Madison Memorial
                                                       High School, and never asked for anything in return. All over the city of Madison, we
                                                       have streets and government buildings named after people who have never lived in
                                                       Madison. What if we took pride in the people who have helped build this great
                                                       community? When I think about the possibility of changing the name of the high
                                                       school, what better than the namesake of a person who impacted generations of
                                                       Memorial alums, and even continues to impact those alums since his untimely
                                                       passing? What better way to bring honor to a place of education, than to name it after
                                                       a person who dedicated his life to the students who walked its hallways? To me, this is
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an easy choice. It’s a layup. Pun intended. The new name should be Bruce Dahmen
                                                          Memorial High School. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Eric
                                                          I am and MMSD graduate (Madison West ‘84) and mom of 4 - 3 JMM graduates and
                                                          one JMM junior. This school has always been, since the 1980’s and probably since the
                                                          school opened over 50 years ago, known as JMM or Madison Memorial. I strongly
                                                          believe that changing the name will have a negative effect on the statewide identity of
                                                          the school. Changing then name of a high school is far different than changing an
                                                          elementary or middle school name, which has been done to numerous Madison
                                                          schools and which I support. But this renaming will alter the high school’s entire
                                                          identity and its history - which is a big deal to alums, current students and staff. The
                                                          school’s identity is JMM. We are known statewide as JMM. Sports teams have
                                                          uniforms with JMM on them (very expensive to replace). The welcome center added
                                                          that giant sign that reads “James Madison Memorial High School” a few years ago.
                                                          #wearejmm! Has any thought or consideration been given to the expense of this name
                     Renaming of James Madison Memorial   and identity change? If we could retain the initials JMM that would be ideal! At a
 Anne       Murphy
                     High School                          minimum, I firmly believe it should remain Madison Memorial - just like “Madison
                                                          West,” “Madison East,” and “Madison Lafollette.” Unless we change our city name,
                                                          Madison is part of the name and is our statewide identity. With respect the other
                                                          proposed names - I adore Bruce Dahmen and he is worthy of recognition - but I think
                                                          “Dahmen Memorial” is such a drastic change to our school’s identity that frankly, as
                                                          the consummate JMM fan, he may not have supported. And Hancock and Phillips are
                                                          amazing people of color from our community - but again, those names would
                                                          drastically alter our school’s identity and legacy. I agree that recognition of the racist
                                                          history of James Madison is appropriate to address the concerns of those who feel
                                                          marginalized. He is an historical figure who was flawed and was an unfortunate
                                                          product of his times. But I don’t think enough consideration has been given to how this
                                                          proposed identity change will affect the school community and it’s being rushed
                                                          through. Please consider retaining JMM or at least Madison Memorial. Thank you.
                                                          I am writing regarding the name change of Madison Memorial. I think that the school
                                                          should be named for Bruce Dahmen. Bruce was an advocate for many, a friend to all,
                                                          an educator that stood up for all kids and educators , supported them personally and
                                                          academically. He met people “where they were” and found a way to get the best out
                                                          of them and believe in them. He was so proud of Memorial and the students and made
 Susan      golz     Naming of madison memorial           a big school in a big city feel like a small community .My kids and thousands of others
                                                          lives were better, safer and happier because of Mr. Dahmen . He encouraged all to
                                                          “make good decisions” and I hope that is what happens today that we make a good
                                                          decision and re name the school Bruce Dahmen Memorial High School for a man who
                                                          truly was a tireless and dedicated teacher and leader to countless young people and
                                                          their families.
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I am writing to support the renaming of Memorial High School. I am in favor of any of
                         Citizens' Ad Hoc Committee relative to    the new names, including Darlene M. Hancock Memorial High School, Vel Phillips
                         Renaming Memorial High School,            Memorial High School, and Bruce Dahmen Memorial High School. Black students and
 Jess       Draws
                         Review and Ranking of Proposed List of    community members deserve to be represented as leaders and role models in
                         Names                                     Madison, and I think renaming Memorial is a good step in that direction. Please
                                                                   rename Memorial.
                                                                   I believe that the school should be renamed. In my opinion, the best option is
                                                                   Memorial High School because although we had the James Madison Memorial High
                                                                   School Name, many people, including parents and students, refer to the school as
 Ana        Alvarado     Memorial Renaming                         Memorial High School. It’s also a shorter name for the school and we would still have
                                                                   part of the original name that has been here for decades. The school initials would be
                                                                   MHS, which sounds kind of cool. Although it’s not JMM, our school name won’t longer
                                                                   represent someone who owned slaves in the past.
                                                                   I feel as if the best option would be to simply call the school Memorial High School.
                                                                   The reason why I made this decision is because even if the school is named after
                                                                   someone, the students that attend that school rarely know what the person did in
                                                                   order to be named after this school, if you’re going to name the school after someone
                                                                   it should be taught in the school so that they have a general understanding of why it’s
                                                                   named after that person in the first place, this applies to all of the schools that have
                         I will be addressing the name change of
 Donte      Buckingham                                             some person that did something for the community and have thousands of students
                         James Madison Memorial High School
                                                                   attending the school and have no clue who the school is stapled after. Changing the
                                                                   school to ‘Memorial High School’ will be the most simple and effective way to change
                                                                   the school's name, considering everyone also calls the school ‘Memorial High School’
                                                                   anyways. The energy and arguing that will go into changing the name to something
                                                                   named after someone isn't worth it considering no one will know who they are and
                                                                   why the school was named after them.
                                                                   I fully endorse renaming James Madison Memorial HS to Bruce Dahmen Memorial HS.
 Mike       Zach         Renaming JMM                              Coach Dahmen cared for Memorial and the Memorial community almost as much as
                                                                   his own family. Do the right thing.
                                                                   I have included this as a written statement in the event that I am not able to sign up to
                                                                   speak. Between work and childcare, I’m unsure that I will be available during the sign
                                                                   up, though I hope to, in which case this written statement can be disregarded. My
                                                                   name is Tyler Dahmen. My dad is Bruce. I could let you all know about his accolades
                                                                   and all of the people he helped, but you have already heard that info hundreds of
 Tyler      Dahmen       Memorial High School Renaming
                                                                   times. I want to let you know why Bruce Dahmen was Memorial High School and why
                                                                   Memorial High School is Bruce Dahmen. My Dad spent so much time at Memorial
                                                                   that many said it was like a second home to him. Truly, it was probably just our home.
                                                                   As a kid, I remember my brother and I playing on the steps in the Red Room or visiting
                                                                   the dozens of reptiles on display in Upper B Wing. I remember Dad helping custodians

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like Jack Fiorello sweep the floors or clean up the gym, I remember us all helping
                                                             custodians like Dennis Listenbee with loads of laundry. I remember my Dad assisting
                                                             various teachers and staff with many tasks from copying, to organizing, to cleaning.
                                                             The staff was like uncles, aunts and grandparents to my brother and I. The entire
                                                             school was like family to my Dad and Mom. My Dad was ALWAYS at Memorial helping
                                                             everyone with everything that he could, from sun up to sun down. He literally gave his
                                                             life to Memorial. Many of the people and things mentioned above are long gone from
                                                             Memorial. Memorial has changed in many ways since it opened its doors in 1966. That
                                                             is another thing that my Dad did. He helped transition Memorial from what it WAS to
                                                             what it IS. As the school grew in population, he helped institute the neighborhoods to
                                                             make the school more connected. As the school became more diverse, he got the
                                                             Parade of Nations set up at Homecoming to celebrate the diversity of the school and
                                                             community and model inclusivity and togetherness. At times when there were issues
                                                             with fighting and other illegal activity, he offered enough discipline to keep everyone
                                                             safe, while still attempting to offer a second chance to those in need whenever he was
                                                             able. Memorial went through huge transitions over the years and my Dad was a
                                                             champion and leader in helping to make it the wonderful place that it is today. My
                                                             Dad gave all he had to the students, staff and community of Memorial. I think that it
                                                             would be very appropriate to name the school after him. It would mean a lot to my
                                                             family, as well as the thousands of people who’s lives he has bettered. It would also
                                                             serve as a great lesson to future students and community members about dedication
                                                             and compassion. Thank you! Tyler Dahmen
                                                             I oppose the renaming of James Madison Memorial High School. I understand that
                                                             James Madison was a slave holder and the angst that causes students, especially black
                                                             students. However, Madison as a person was much more complex than that. He was a
                                                             pillar if not the lynch-pin of the Unites States as a federal republic. Without Madison,
                                                             the United States would have likely remained a decentralized confederation or broken
                           Renaming James Madison Memorial
 Ronald     Trachtenberg                                     apart into regional countries, in all probability resulting in the more extensive
                           High School
                                                             spreading and duration of slavery. Madison was a poison pill to slavery. If the goal is
                                                             to erase all reminders of slavery, the school symbol, the Spartan, has to be replaced.
                                                             While the Spartans were fierce warriors, they were slave holders, raped their female
                                                             slaves, forced the male off-spring into the army, and killed the female off-spring. Not
                                                             exactly the school symbol you want. History is rarely one sided.
                                                             I stand in support of Mya Berry who bravely brought this issue forward. I second her
 Kira       Rama           Renaming Memorial School
                                                             suggestion of renaming the school Vel Phillips Memorial High School.
                                                             I think we should be named Memorial High school because that’s what everyone calls
 Isabella   Yang           Memorial Renaming                 us. No one calls us James Madison Memorial. Plus we don’t have to be named after
                                                             anyone. We still have diversity, school sprites , and pride.

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I think that this is a good way for the committee to address the concerns regarding the
                       The name change for James Madison
 Tashari    Edmond                                         previous and current's students desires to change the school name because of the
                       Memorial High School
                                                           history of the person behind it.
                                                           I think the school should not be changed because James Madison was one of our
                                                           presidents and did a lot of good things for our country and back then everyone owned
 Parker     warne      the JMM name change                 slaves. I know just because everyone owned slaves doesn't make It ok. He's still
                                                           important to our country's history. But if it has to be changed I would say just
                                                           memorial or bruce dahmen.
                                                           I'm writing on behalf of my family and many others who support Madison Memorial's
                                                           name change to Bruce Dahmen Memorial High School. As an alumni and former coach
                                                           at Memorial I firsthand saw the impact that Bruce had on the lives of all students (race,
                                                           gender, ethnicity, background, sexual orientation, etc.) that attended Memorial. As a
                                                           white male Bruce didn't just talk about equity/equality, he lived it out every single day
                                                           by his actions. In my opinion his legacy and impact on the school supersedes any other
                                                           person that has step foot in Memorial. This was seen when the school gymnasium,
 Brian      Diebling   Renaming Memorial High School       cafeteria and auditorium were filled to the brim by thousands of people who
                                                           celebrated his life on Sunday, February 16th 2014. Bruce didn't just work at Memorial,
                                                           he treated every single student, teacher and administrator as his family. He lived at the
                                                           school building and on the courts/fields. To quote former memorial principle and
                                                           superintendent Pam Nash "Bruce understood that students who are valued, hugged,
                                                           fed, encouraged, challenged, and truly educated, have a real shot at becoming
                                                           whatever they wish to be,". Bruce's name and legacy deserves to live on and I don't
                                                           think there is anybody more deserving to have the school named after them.
                                                           I’m Justin Dahmen, the son of Bruce. Our family has been truly overwhelmed by the
                                                           outpouring of community support to rename the school Bruce Dahmen Memorial High
                                                           School. As you know, there was an online petition to rename the school after my
                                                           dad… It reached over two thousand signatures in just a few days. There have also
                                                           been pages of written support submitted to your committee. And, thousands of likes,
                                                           shares, comments, and retweets on social media, which I think deserves highlighting
                                                           and attention as social media serves as an accessible platform to reach and represent
                                                           the broad based diverse voices of community support. I have included comments that
 Justin     Dahmen     Memorial High School Renaming       can be found on social media, by people who either haven’t had the time or are unable
                                                           to comment to the committee. Bruce Dahmen Memorial or Memorial High -Marco J.
                                                           Patton Bruce was a man of integrity and really cared about every student who
                                                           attended Memorial. I was far from a model student and he still stood in my corner and
                                                           made sure I was given every opportunity to succeed. -Grant Snider I loved Mr.
                                                           Dahmen! He really cared about the students. -Lola Hall Not a more deserving name
                                                           for a respected man who gave it all for all students. -Rod Waelti No brainer and I
                                                           didn’t even go there. -Ernest James Bruce was a steady voice of reason and inclusion.
                                                           His compassion towards students and dedication to Memorial are unmatched. He has
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become a symbol of our beloved school. I am a strong advocate of the school being
                                                       renamed in his honor. -Tim Wartinbee Left the school but will always love this man.
                                                       Even before highschool he always had my back. -Christian Redman Easy decision and
                                                       the most meaningful person to Memorial’s history on that list. -Matt Kelliher Rename
                                                       Memorial High School in honour of the great principal. -Tim Maymon Should
                                                       definitely be named after Bruce, he WAS memorial. He impacted everyone’s lives. -
                                                       Xiomara Grow This is a fitting tribute to a wonderful teacher, mentor, leader,
                                                       administrator, friend, coach and role model. -Dick Brachman He was an awesome
                                                       principal. I really appreciate everything he's done for me. -Saudia Williams Bruce
                                                       Dahmen Memorial is the clear choice. His impact goes beyond the walls of JMM. -Mary
                                                       Matteson Hardin I approve this message for sure! -Meisha Galore Bruce Dahmen
                                                       would be a great choice, he was a great principal and this would be a great way to
                                                       honor his legacy. -Erin Wise I’ll be first in line for a Dahmen High School sweatshirt! -
                                                       Steven Blue (Goat Emoji - Greatest Of All Time) -Darral Willis A yes for me -Shaikobie
                                                       McGee Bruce was an outstanding leader for students and staff. He knew everyone and
                                                       had a heart of gold. -Judy Binsfeld Luciani I’m for this -Tikoya Lakendra S Gilmer I
                                                       wish ya'll understood the impact he had on this school. It is ONLY right for them to do
                                                       this. -Ramone Dixon (Green Heart Emoji) -Mayra Jimenez I am here today in gratitude
                                                       of and to represent these thousands of voices. Bruce Dahmen’s significance to the
                                                       Madison Metropolitan School District and specifically Memorial High School is
                                                       unmatched. He spent his entire career at Memorial - 40 years. He dedicated that
                                                       time to bettering the school, community and making a difference in the lives of
                                                       thousands of people who he came into contact with. He served as a father figure to
                                                       many students. I can only imagine the enormity of this responsibility and the
                                                       dedication that it took. His position also called for him to make difficult decisions. At
                                                       times that undeniably meant not everyone would like every decision he made. But, he
                                                       always stood steadfast in support of the school and the safety of everyone who he
                                                       watched over. My Dad had a very difficult job, but there is very little debate; he did it
                                                       as well as just about anyone who has ever lived. His popularity and prominence was
                                                       not limited to the school walls. He could rarely walk down State Street (or honestly any
                                                       Madison street), go to the grocery store, or attend any public event without being
                                                       stopped by past or present students, families, or staff. He often followed and
                                                       continued to support students after graduation. As a matter of fact, he spent his last
                                                       days traveling to Tennessee to support a former student. His lifelong dedication to
                                                       the school and the Memorial community is unmatched. As an iconic figure who
                                                       represented Memorial and its community for 40 years, I am here representing the
                                                       thousands of community members voices in support of renaming the school in his
                                                       honor. Thank you!
                   Renaming Memorial High School to    I’m writing in support of renaming Memorial High School to Bruce Dahmen Memorial
 Rebecca    Runo
                   Bruce Dahmen Memorial High School   High School. My husband and I are not from Madison and didn’t have any kids at
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Memorial until our current senior started just over three years ago and we now have a
                                                           freshman there as well. So both of our kids started after Bruce’s passing. Despite never
                                                           knowing him in person, I’ve heard many amazing things about him over the years and
                                                           how much of an impact he had on the lives of the students and families at Memorial.
                                                           I’m sure our family has been affected by the legacy that he left behind at Memorial.
                                                           Even the sign hanging above the door that our kids see each time they leave our house
                                                           reflects Mr. Dahmen since I loved his motto so much. It reads, “Make good decisions.”
                                                           Thank you for your consideration.
                                                           I’m writing to voice my support in renaming James Madison Memorial High School to
                                                           Bruce Dahmen Memorial High School. All of the names brought forward as finalists in
                                                           the renaming process are truly special individuals. I believe that naming the school
                                                           after Bruce Dahmen would be a fitting tribute to a man that invested so much in the
                                                           Memorial community. The name Bruce Dahmen is synonymous with JMM to me. If
                                                           you stepped foot at Memorial during the 90s or 00s you were certain to see Bruce
                                                           Dahmen interacting with and encouraging students. Bruce Dahmen was truly a giant in
 Steven     Blue       Memorial High School Renaming       the field of education, his impact was present not only inside the halls of JMM but it
                                                           also extended into the community. Bruce forged strong relationships with thousands
                                                           of students during his decades of service at Memorial. Many of these relationships
                                                           lasted beyond the four years students spent at Memorial. Bruce stayed connected and
                                                           involved with many students after graduation. There’s no more fitting tribute to
                                                           Bruce’s legacy and his impact on the Memorial community then to rename the school
                                                           in his honor. Bruce was a hero of mine in the field of education and a big reason why I
                                                           became an educator in MMSD.
                                                           Madison Memorial High School. I understand that the current climate is anti-white-
                                                           guy, so renaming it from James Madison was white, no matter what he did for our
 Miguel     McDonald   Renaming Memorial HS
                                                           country. Renaming to Memorial in general, in honor of all the Madison veterans is a
                                                           great idea.
                                                           Memorial High School should be renamed for Bruce Dahmen because he devoted over
                                                           30 years of his life in service of the school and for the outsize affect he had on its
                                                           students during that time. As a 2003 graduate, I knew Bruce Dahmen as a coach and
                                                           principal and during my time at Memorial witnessed the effect he had on guiding the
                       Renaming Memorial High School to
 K.C.       Klagos                                         lives of the many students he took an individualized interest in. Beyond the numerous
                       Bruce Dahmen Menorial High School
                                                           students Bruce reached personally, he was influential to the student population
                                                           generally with his caring demeanor and encouragement to "make good decisions." No
                                                           single person has been a greater influence on the students of Memorial during the
                                                           school's first 50 years than Bruce Dahmen.
                                                           Memorial Highschool makes the most sense, everyone has probably done something
 Martin     Gama       Memorial Renaming
                                                           bad in their life, including activists. Am i accusing these people that they've done

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something bad, no, and I mean no disrespect. But, better to have to never change the
                                                              name again, then to have to change it again.
                                                              My name is Kevin Klagos. I am a 1978 graduate of Memorial High School. My wife and
                                                              my three adult children are all graduates of Memorial High School. This is currently my
                                                              24th season as an assistant varsity boys basketball coach at Memorial. Professionally, I
                                                              am the CEO at First Choice Dental. I first met Mr. Dahmen, in 1975. I had a front row
                                                              seat to watch him impact the lives of so many young women and men. Mr. Dahmen
                                                              was a true leader, an inspiration, and a winner. When he spoke, everyone listened.
                                                              He challenged everyone to be the best version of themselves. And as everyone around
                                                              him knows, he challenged us "all to make good decisions." I had the opportunity to
                        Renaming Memorial High School after   see Mr. Dahmen treat everyone equally and with respect and dignity. He promoted
 Kevin      Klagos
                        Bruce Dahmen                          diversity, And he practiced it, in everything he did, in his hiring practices, in the
                                                              students he spent countless hours with, and in the friends he chose to spend his time
                                                              with. When I personally sit at my own dinner table, and look at the diversity around
                                                              the table, I am so thankful that Bruce Dahmen and Memorial High School opened all of
                                                              our minds and our hearts to diversity and inclusiveness. People like Bruce Dahmen
                                                              don't come around very often. Those of us who had the opportunity to witness Bruce
                                                              in action will forever be impacted. His name will always be synonymous with his good
                                                              work. To have his name on the building will be a great reminder to all of us about how
                                                              we should go about making good decisions.
                                                              Naming the school Memorial High School would be the easiest choice because it is not
                                                              too different from the current school name so there would not be too much confusion
                                                              for teachers or current students. But, I feel like if Memorial wasn’t an option for the
 Diana      Cardenas    Memorial Renaming
                                                              school name I would have chosen Darlene M. Hancock as they contributed so much
                                                              not only to JMM but MMSD as a whole. I think it would be nice for one school to be
                                                              named after Darlene M Hancock in MMSD. - Current JMM student
                                                              Personally I think the purpose of the school renaming should be reflected in the
                                                              change. Going simply to Madison Memorial is the best option for this. Rededicate the
 Tim        Scheffler   JMM Renaming                          school with a statement of intent. Memorialize those who gave their lives to the
                                                              ongoing struggle for civil rights and the goal of all people being given equal access to
                                                              life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
                                                              Please consider leaving the name as is. All humans are flawed, that should not
 Bob        Landgraf    Renaming of JMM
                                                              disqualify someone from having their memory and achievements honored.
                                                              September 28, 2021 Madison Metropolitan School Board 545 W. Dayton Street
                                                              Madison, WI 53703 RE: James Madison Memorial High School Re-Naming To the
                        Renaming of Madison Memorial High
            Ladson-                                           School Board Members: I am delighted to write this letter on behalf of re-naming the
 Gloria                 School to Darlene Hancock Memorial
            Billings                                          current James Madison Memorial High School, the Darlene Hancock Memorial High
                        High School
                                                              School. Darlene Hancock was a lifelong educator. When she and her husband Allan
                                                              moved to Madison in 1974, she served as a grade level principal at James Madison

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Memorial High School. She later went on to be assistant principal at Lincoln Middle
                                                                  School and tenth grade principal at East High School. In 1983 she was named principal
                                                                  of Glenn W. Stephens Elementary where she served until her retirement in 1995.
                                                                  Education was a hallmark of Darlene’s life. She was a primary organizer of the Madison
                                                                  Metropolitan Links, Inc. African American Student Recognition event where students
                                                                  throughout MMSD receive acknowledgement for their hard work. She was an active
                                                                  member of the following organizations: A faithful orchid Tops in Service-Top Ladies Of
                                                                  Distinction member, the Tax Assessment Board in Madison, WI, the Black Hawk Girl
                                                                  Scout Counsel, the Mayor's Human Relations Counsel, Superintendent of the Human
                                                                  Relations Commission, and Advisory Commission on Minority Women. She received
                                                                  the YWCA Racial Justice Award in 1993. She received an award for exemplary
                                                                  performance and contribution from The Wisconsin Minority Women's Network Inc.
                                                                  She also received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Heritage award, and the 100 Black
                                                                  Men's Outstanding Educator award for service. She and her husband moved to Las
                                                                  Vegas in 1995 for health reasons and she returned to Madison after his death in 2007
                                                                  to be near family and friends. Never one to rest on her laurels, in 2008 she established
                                                                  the Allen A. Hancock Fellowship Hall at S. S. Morris Community Church. Dedicated in
                                                                  December of 2010 and opened in January 2011, the Instructional Resource Center
                                                                  Tutoring Program was established to help tutor minority children of all ages. Darlene
                                                                  Hancock was an exemplary representative of academic excellence and is truly worthy
                                                                  of having the school named in her honor. Sincerely, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Professor
                                                                  Emerita, FBA President, National Academy of Education Fellow, The British Academy
                                                                  Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences Fellow, American Educational Research
                                                                  Association Fellow, Hagler Institute, Texas A&M University (2020-2021) Email:
                                                                  Simply call it "Memorial High School". Then support teaching about all those who have
                             Renaming James Madison Memorial      worked for racial equality in Madison without attaching any one name to the school.
 Charles       James
                             High School                          This includes Val Phillips, Bruce Dahmen, Nathan Dane, Carson Gulley and many
                                                                  others. My vote: Memorial High School
                                                                  Thank you for your time. My name is Emily Foster Hill, and on behalf of our proposal
                                                                  submitted to the Madison Metropolitan School District in April 2021, in support of
                                                                  renaming James Madison Memorial High School to Darlene M. Hancock Memorial High
                             The Ad Hoc Citizens' Committee re:
                                                                  School, I am bringing my voice into the room for multiple reasons. I am a 2001
                             Renaming Memorial High School. I
                                                                  graduate of James Madison Memorial High School. I am also a 1994 5th grade
                             submitted the proposal to MMSD in
 Emily         Foster Hill                                        graduate of Glenn W. Stephens Elementary School. As a white person growing up in
                             support of renaming James Madison
                                                                  Madison, it was extremely important for me to grow up surrounded by leadership who
                             Memorial High School to Darlene M.
                                                                  did not look like me. Dr. Hancock was my 5th grade principal, and although I only
                             Hancock Memorial High School.
                                                                  attended that school for one year, her ability to nurture genuine, inclusive community
                                                                  made a lifelong impression on me. She saw and upheld each individual who walked
                                                                  through her schools’ doors with the utmost of respect. She saw each, whole child,
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every day, and for decades after they graduated. And because I had the chance to
                                                         grow up in a school community that nurtured its students, Dr. Hancock inspired me to
                                                         grow up and serve as an educator in public districts with diverse populations. Likewise,
                                                         she continues to inspire me to advocate for fellow educators, students, and their
                                                         families, whose voices may not always be the first to receive recognition. As soon as I
                                                         learned that Dr. Hancock was MMSD’s first black female principal, as well as the fact
                                                         that Dr. Hancock started her MMSD leadership career at James Madison Memorial
                                                         High School, it only seems fitting for MMSD to honor Dr. Hancock’s legacy. I can only
                                                         begin to imagine what positive impacts this decision could have on future MMSD
                                                         students. It is time to listen to the students, and it is time to take this opportunity to
                                                         make an equitable choice and recognize a prominent, local black female leader in
                                                         education and rename James Madison Memorial High School to Darlene M. Hancock
                                                         Memorial High School. Thank you, and take care.
                                                         Well my option was Memorial High School because that how we are known as we
 Adaly         Garcia   Memorial renaming                basically never use the first part of the name we use Memorial the most, and I think
                                                         it’s something that wouldn’t change a lot
                                                         Written Statement Ad Hoc Citizens’ Renaming Committee Board of Education Madison
                                                         Metropolitan School District September 29, 2021 Re: Proposal to Rename James
                                                         Madison Memorial High School To Chairperson Julian Walters and members of the Ad
                                                         Hoc Citizens’ Renaming Committee: My name is Ashley Brown and I am a proud alum
                                                         of the Madison Metropolitan School District (“MMSD”). As a former student and
                                                         graduate of Glenn W. Stephens Elementary, Thomas Jefferson Middle, and James
                                                         Madison Memorial High schools, I am grateful for the opportunity to speak with you all
                                                         today. Thank you for your consideration and exploration of the proposal to rename my
                                                         alma mater. Among many of the speakers you will hear today, I may be one of the
                                                         lucky few that had the great fortune of learning under the leadership of the two
                                                         former MMSD educators listed for consideration. Darlene M. Hancock was my
                        Ad Hoc Citizens' Committee re:   elementary school principal and Bruce Dahmen was my high school principal. Both
 Ashley        Brown
                        Renaming Memorial High School    were equally passionate and fierce advocates for their students, bringing their full,
                                                         vibrant personalities to school each and every day. They were bold and decisive yet
                                                         warm and enduring. They were silly and brought so much joy to the hallways. While I
                                                         came to know them individually and at very different stages in my childhood, their
                                                         impact on my life still remains. Stephens Elementary School was a magical place in the
                                                         early 1990s. Mrs. Hancock fostered an environment where learning was fun and full of
                                                         adventure. Despite her short stature, Mrs. Hancock had a radiant spirit that was felt
                                                         each time she entered the room. I can still hear the clicks of her heels in the hallways
                                                         and boisterous laughs from the office. When days were tough, students would often
                                                         run to her office for encouragement, support, or a warm hug. I was one of those
                                                         students. Mrs. Hancock gave her students the love of a grandmother yet the hard
                                                         lessons of coach. When she retired in 1995, Mrs. Hancock left her mark on Stephens
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students, parents, and teachers. For the first time (and sadly, the last), Stephens
               Elementary School was the only place where I was exposed to black educators. As the
               decades passed, my family and I remained in touch with her. In 2008, Mrs. Hancock
               wrote a letter of recommendation on my behalf, as I sought to join her special
               sisterhood of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the oldest Greek-lettered
               organization established by African-American college-educated women. When I
               entered Memorial High School in 2002, Mr. Dahmen greeted me on day one as my
               neighborhood principal. A champion of school spirit, it was not unusual to find him in
               the hallways dancing with students or making funny announcements over the school’s
               PA system. Mr. Dahmen was a steady leader when tragedy struck our student body
               and marshalled the celebration, when our basketball team went to the state finals. He
               was often the subject I approached for interviews as Editor-in-Chief to The Sword &
               Shield, or chased down to launch my new ideas such as the creation of the Black
               Student Union. Mr. Dahmen leveled with us like the young, independent adults we
               were aspiring to be. He challenged us to make good decisions and always keep the
               future in view. As I reflect on the lives of both Mrs. Hancock and Mr. Dahmen, they
               both contributed greatly to the lives of students at Memorial High School and MMSD
               more broadly. The decision to rename Memorial High School should not be made
               based on any one candidate's popularity, perceived impact, nor any one candidate's
               past connections to members of this body. Instead, we ought to acknowledge and
               consider the following: 1. The Ad Hoc Citizens’ Renaming Committee Meeting on
               September 14 revealed Vel Phillips Memorial High School, Madison Memorial High
               School, Memorial High School, and Darlene M. Hancock Memorial High School were
               the four names that ranked the highest in the rank choice voting process conducted by
               this body. These four names should have advanced to the next stage, but are not in
               line with the recommendations under consideration today. Bruce Dahmen Memorial
               High School did not place in the top four, which makes me concerned about the
               integrity of the overall process. 2. The perspective of dropping the naming convention
               altogether and replacing it with a more simplified brand like Madison Memorial High
               School or Memorial High School attempts to sidestep an opportunity to honor and
               recognize a local educator and leader, joining the nearly 40 other MMSD schools that
               are named after individuals. In closing, it is important to remember that the catalyst
               for this discussion that we are having today was driven by a young woman, who
               organized a petition that gained nearly 1,800 signatures to call for changing the name.
               With over 50 schools across the District, only five are named after women. The
               contributions of women in education deserve to be honored and recognized. I cannot
               think of any better person woman than Mrs. Hancock. It is with this that I
               enthusiastically support and urge this body to advance Darlene M. Hancock Memorial
               High School as a final recommendation to the Board of Education. Thank you and GO
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