Madison Committee Reveals Top Picks for Elementary School Name


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MADISON — The committee tasked with choosing a name for the district’s new elementary school has settled on three finalists for the Board of Education to vote on. 

The top choices — Neck River Elementary School, Marguerite P. Bowes Elementary School and Hammonassett Elementary School — were narrowed down from a list of 15 potential names presented at a public information session in December. 

Rebecca Frost, a committee member and principal of Jeffrey Elementary School, told board members that they considered names that were specific to the town, relevant to townspeople, inclusive and able to be pronounced by preschool and elementary-aged children. She said that the committee had debated the merits of naming the school after a person or a place, and wanted to give the school board an option of each. 

Neck River runs through the back of the property where the school is being built. Frost referred to the name as “neutral,” not tied to any party or person. 

“Simple to spell, simple to say. It was a top pick,” she said. 

Marguerite P. Bowes — a community member more commonly known as “Taffy” — was a fourth-grade teacher at the former Academy School, and later moved to Madison Youth and Family Services, where she worked from 1988 to 2015. She was responsible for starting many student wellness groups, including Peer Helpers, Safe Rides and Peer Advocates. 

“She had a plethora of people come out to the public comment session night advocating for her because her work has been so impactful in the town,” Frost said. 

Amelia Marcous, the committee chair and a student at Daniel Hand High School, said naming the elementary school Hammonassett would honor the Native Americans who originally lived on the land. 

The Board of Education will vote on the final name in February.

Emilia Otte

Emilia Otte covers health and education for the Connecticut Examiner. In 2022 Otte was awarded "Rookie of the Year," by the New England Newspaper & Press Association.