Through a petition introduced to the Montgomery County Board of Education, the currently nameless school auditorium will soon be branded the Dr. Michael J. Doran Auditorium. Petitioner Jennifer A. Taylor suggested the idea to honor the school’s beloved principal who died suddenly nearly a year and a half ago.
Through this renaming, the school will have a permanent reminder of the principal who impacted the lives of countless students and other members of the school community.
“I think that it is a very sentimental gesture because it will make sure that future generations will still have a way of remembering him even though they didn’t have the privilege of knowing him,” senior Jocelyn Merkin said.
Doran was an avid supporter of all parts of the school, especially the arts programs. Through his attendance of nearly all performances, Doran’s presence was recognized in the auditorium.
“He never missed an opportunity to attend a performance, and he was an enthusiastic supporter of the arts. The students loved when Dr. Doran was in the audience, and he loved being there,” Taylor said in her rationale for the petition.
The auditorium was also chosen specifically being of its frequent use by students and other members of the community. With Doran’s name plastered on the entrance of the building, all members of the school community will have the opportunity to see and remain connected with Doran.
“The auditorium is one of the more prominent structures at Wootton, which is visited by not only Wootton students and staff, but also members of the larger Wootton community,” school parent and designated PTSA petition signer Dr. Lisa M. Lim said.
The petitioners have said that they have been in contact with the Doran family and have received the family’s full support to name a piece of the school after Doran. With this support, Principal Kimberly Boldon has shared her appraisal of the naming and has signed the petition herself.
The petition has been left open for a period of 30 days in order for Boldon to answer questions and hear the community’s concerns about the naming. All costs for the naming will be absorbed into the community through donations. Petitioners state that cost should be a minimal factor in instituting the renaming.
Doran was an active principal who went out of his way constantly to ensure his students had smiles on their faces. Having his name on the auditorium will ensure his impact on the school community will never be forgotten and his character will forever remain a part of the school. Doran was a cherished principal who, with the naming of the auditorium, will forever remain a large piece of the school and of the school community.
“By naming the auditorium after Dr. Doran, we will visibly honor and memorialize him. His memory will live on, long after those students who knew him have graduated,” Lim said.