Ellen Garrison should still be honored in Concord 

March 4, 2024

I write today to express my heartfelt appreciation for the School Committee’s recent decision regarding the Concord Middle School naming. The committee’s decision to open the process to the community, allowing us to recognize and nominate 23 remarkable Concordians who have served as changemakers, exemplifies the democratic spirit and inclusivity that defines our town. We are indeed fortunate to live in a town where such dialogue is not only invited but also welcomed with open arms. 

The decision to retain the name Concord Middle School speaks volumes about our collective identity. It reminds us that we are Concordians, united by a shared history and a common future. This decision underscores the importance of community cohesion and our collective pride in our town’s heritage and values. 

In this spirit of unity and recognition, I would like to suggest the School Committee honor Ellen Garrison, a remarkable woman whose contributions have left an indelible mark on our community, by dedicating the building, or a significant part of it, in her name, as a fitting tribute to her legacy. Furthermore, it is essential that we ensure graduates of CMS understand the impact she has had on our community, embedding her story into the fabric of their educational journey. 

I am grateful to the committee for their transparent process, willingness to engage in challenging conversations, and courage to strive for a solution that seeks to unite rather than divide. Their actions reflect the best of what Concord represents: a community committed to progress, inclusivity, and respect for all voices. 

Let us move forward with a renewed sense of purpose, ensuring that the legacy of Ellen Garrison and all those who have shaped our town is known and celebrated by future generations. By doing so, we honor their memories and inspire our children to carry forward the torch of positive change. 

Thank you to the committee and all Concordians who participated in this meaningful process. Your  engagement and dedication to our community’s values make Concord truly special. 

Joel Gagne 

Central Street