For Immediate Release: November 25, 2019

Contact: Liz Merfeld, Madison School District, 608-335-2363

The Board of Education has received a proposal to consider renaming Glendale Elementary School in honor of Dr. Virginia Henderson.

Dr. Henderson was a school psychologist at Glendale Elementary from 1976 to 1991, when she moved to Central Office to serve as the Special Assistant to the Superintendent for Equity and Diversity. 

During this time Dr. Henderson also created the African American Ethnic Academy to recognize the capacity for excellence in African American children, build their self-esteem and increase their educational opportunities.   

Dr. Henderson retired in 1997 but remained a Diversity Consultant with the school district working to eliminate racial disparities. She dedicated her work to all children but she had a high commitment to students of color and students with special needs. Dr. Henderson passed away in April of 2019. 

The Board will follow a policy that will allow for a minimum 30-day window of public comment. Community members can submit a comment at or at an upcoming board meeting. 

Board President Gloria Reyes will appoint a Citizens Naming Committee of 12 members, who will meet to discuss the proposed name and any additional names that are proposed.

Some flexibility is built into the timeline to allow for meeting planning and the possibility of multiple names being considered. Depending on the number of names proposed:

  • Public comment will be sought in January, with a final decision to be made in January. 


  • Public comment will be sought throughout January and February, with a final decision to be made in February. 

The recommended name will then be discussed at a Board meeting 14 days before the Board makes a final decision.