We are happy to announce that the South Orange & Maplewood School District Board of Education (BOE) as per Resolution 4320 [bit.ly/3bD0SJq] approved the renaming of Jefferson Elementary School to the Delia Bolden Elementary School during its meeting on Wednesday, June 29. 

Delia Bolden was the first African American woman to graduate from Columbia High School in 1912. Upon her graduation, Ms. Bolden wrote a brilliant essay that was published in the 1912 yearbook and read at her commencement [Read the full essay here:  https://www.mattersmagazine.com/post/a-voice-from-the-archives].

As part of the BOE resolution, the District will take the necessary steps, including but not limited to installing new signage and updating the District website, to reflect the new name by September 8, 2022.  The District will also consider how to memorialize the building’s previous name of Jefferson Elementary School and the reasons for the name change on school grounds by June 30, 2023.

SOMSD Board President, Thair Joshua shared, “The Board of Education is excited about the new name of Delia Bolden Elementary School. Choosing Delia Bolden, who was the first African American woman to graduate from Columbia High School in 1912, is a fitting way to begin the new legacy at the school.”

The Board of Education previously adopted Resolution 4190 at its August 16, 2021 meeting directing the Superintendent or a designee to work with the students of Jefferson Elementary School to seek input from the District’s student community to propose a new name for the school to the Board of Education by June 30, 2022, so that the Board may vote on the adoption of such name to take effect commencing with the 2022-2023 school year.