“Doran is the bridge between Wootton high school and the Wootton community.”
These words spoken by class of 2015 alumnus Jon Glaser have been true for years, but on June 1, this statement became true in a literal sense as dozens of students, parents, teachers and alumni gathered at Greenplace Terrace to dedicate the Michael J. Doran Memorial Bridge. The bridge itself is located just outside the school parking lot on Wootton Parkway.
Notable people in attendance included Rockville City Councilmembers Virginia Onley and Julie Palakovich Carr, as well as Montgomery County Councilmember Sidney Katz. Doran’s wife, Kathy, and son, Sam, unveiled the new sign, officially marking the bridge.
Before the unveiling, the drumline performed while people were settling in. The sunny, 81 degree weather reflected the mood among the attendees, as excitement was buzzing in anticipation to honor one of the most beloved, impactful members the community has ever known.
Doran died unexpectedly in August 2015, just weeks before the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year. Ever since, members of the community have speculated the idea of naming the turf field, gym or auditorium after Doran in his honor, but the push to dedicate the bridge is the only action to go through so far.
Principal Kimberly Boldon, former teacher Randy Alton, Glaser and Sam Doran each spoke at the ceremony along with Onley and Palakovich Carr. “This bridge really does symbolize all the work [Doran] did to build relationships, to build a community in which we loved and cared for one another,” Boldon said during her speech.
After the speeches, the bridge was officially unveiled. All attendees then migrated to the cafeteria where refreshments were served.
Sophomore Jaiden Shah was among many students that attended the ceremony despite never having Doran as their principal, further demonstrating his influence and what he meant to the community. “Even though I didn’t personally know Dr. Doran, I’ve always heard about the impact he’s had. Seeing the bridge and how many people came out to the ceremony, it really kind of pushes the message and shows you how true it really was and how many people he impacted,” Shah said.
In his speech, Glaser mentioned that Doran left a legacy of being “the rock that held the community together.” The newly established Michael J. Doran Memorial Bridge will forever serve as a testament to all that he did for this community.
Front Page Editor