The Madison Metropolitan School District’s Board of Education voted Monday night to rename Thomas Jefferson Middle School on Madison’s west side after Ezekiel Gillespie to honor the 19th-century civil rights pioneer.
By a 6-0 vote the school board chose to rename the school after Gillespie, an African-American civil rights and community leader in Milwaukee who won a landmark case securing voting rights.
The Thomas Jefferson Middle School community made a formal request of the Superintendent and the Board of Education at the BOE meeting on February 28, 2022, to begin the process for renaming the school. Originally 42 names were proposed for the school and the board had narrowed down the list to the top two names: Gillespie and poet and author Maya Angelou
Jefferson is the fourth district building to get a name change in recent years.