The School Facilities Naming Committee Ballot
This form is used for individuals to input their qualifications and to vote regarding the proposed school property naming listed below.
A group of New Haven Public School stakeholders has asked that the Front Foyer at James Hillhouse High School be named in honor of Dr. Lonnie Garris Jr.
If a major portion of a school building or school grounds (media center, auditorium gymnasium, field, etc.) is proposed to be named after an individual, that person shall have attained local or national prominence via significant contributions in any field of endeavor. Such contributions or the significance of their place in history shall be clearly established beyond the generation of the contribution. An individual so recognized shall no longer be active in his/her career. Further, the individual for whom a portion of a school building or school grounds is to be named must be shown to have broad-based, long-term impact to the school district community.
Below is a Bio Sketch of Dr. Lonnie Garris Jr. for your review.
Dr. Lonnie Garris Jr., a 41-year veteran of the New Haven Public Schools, began his career as an Industrial Arts teacher at Wilbur Cross High School. Later, he served as chairman of the Industrial Arts Department, city-wide assistant supervisor of this department, and assistant principal of James Hillhouse High School. In 1990, he was appointed principal of Hillhouse. Dr. Garris’ 20 years in this position made him the longest serving principal in the school’s 166-year history.
During his tenure at Hillhouse, Dr. Garris revitalized the Advanced Placement Program and introduced small learning communities that afforded students an opportunity to participate in such programs as Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, Teacher Preparation, Broadcast Communications and Pre-Engineering.
Dr. Garris brought positive operational changes to Hillhouse. To improve student attendance, he introduced the 160 Day Attendance Policy, increasing attendance by 10 percent. To promote academic transparency, he introduced the student quarterly syllabus. To provide extra support for teachers in core subject areas, a lead teacher system was instituted. For better management of the academic day, a split block schedule was introduced.
Dr. Garris is a two-time recipient of the T.A.P.S Award for outstanding performance as a principal. Elm City Nation named him educator of the year in 1996 and Phi Delta Kappa presented him with the Outstanding Educators Award in 2003. In 2010 the New Haven branch of the NAACP presented him with the Susan Lincoln Award, and The New Haven Public School Foundation presented him with the Alumni Legacy Award. He was also awarded a certificate of special recognition by the United States House of Representatives, 111th Congress.
It has been proposed that, to honor Dr. Garris, the front foyer of Hillhouse High School be named for him.
Eligibility to Vote:
- Currently working in the New Haven district or a district retiree.
- 18 years or older
Please follow the required guidelines below and provide all the required information to submit your nomination.
Thank you for participating.
The Connecticut Reference Manual
of School Board Policies, Regulations, and Bylaws
The naming of school buildings, major portions of buildings, or school grounds is the responsibility of the Board of Education. In fulfilling this responsibility, the Board will make every effort to respect community preferences. Such names should be clearly identifying, widely known, and recognized.
It is the policy of the Board to name school buildings as close as possible to the time construction begins in order to lessen the confusion about the new schools.
When naming new buildings, major portions of buildings, or school grounds, the Board shall formally identify the need for a naming process for the identified school locations, as well as criteria it wishes to be considered in the process.
When naming a school building, major portions of school buildings, or school grounds the Board shall direct the Superintendent to establish a committee, subject to Board approval, comprised of the Superintendent or designee, the building Principal, faculty member, parents, community members, and, if appropriate, students to consider name recommendations for consideration by the Board. Opportunities for public input must be made available prior to the committee's recommendation to the Board. Such opportunities for public input must be publicly announced in newspapers and on the District website.
When naming new buildings, the committee shall have representation by the community members that is representative of the entire school district. The committee shall propose a list of names to the school board of not more than five (5) names for Board consideration.
If a major portion of a school building or school grounds (media center, auditorium gymnasium, field, etc.) is proposed to be named after an individual, that person shall have attained local or national prominence via significant contributions in any field of endeavor. Such contributions or the significance of their place in history shall be clearly established beyond the generation of the contribution. Individuals so recognized shall no longer be active in his/her career. Further, the individual for whom a portion of a school building or school grounds is to be named must be shown to have broad-based, long-term impact to the school district community.
Collections of works, memorials, or other major gifts to the school district may be acknowledged and named by individual schools, subject to the district's policy and procedures for accepting donations. Prior to accepting such donations and naming, a plan for maintenance and upkeep must be identified and presented to the school Board.
The Board retains the right to make final determination in the naming of buildings, major portions of school buildings, or school grounds. This policy not withstanding, it is the intent of the Board that naming of portions of the building and school grounds occur infrequently and on a limited based.