Madden Elementary School Dedication Ceremony
Former Students, Family And Friends Help Make Event Memorable For School’s Namesakes
Sunday, October 18 was a special day for Carolyn and Vernon Madden as Fort Bend ISD officially dedicated the district’s 46th elementary school named in honor of the former educators. More than 350 guests – including members of the FBISD board of trustees, district and school administrators, Texas legislators, business executives and members of the Madden Elementary “Huskies” family – filled the school’s auditorium to celebrate the occasion and the lives of Carolyn and Vernon Madden.
Pamela Brown, principal of Madden Elementary School, welcomed guests to the new school. Students Brody Gonzales and Filza Momin led the Pledges of Allegiance, and the school’s fourth and fifth grade choir provided entertainment by singing Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” a song that captured the overall feeling of those in attendance.
The Maddens have dedicated their entire careers to education. They came to Fort Bend ISD in 1963, hired by Superintendent L.P. Rodgers in his front yard while he worked in his flower bed. Vernon helped open Dulles High School as a student teacher in 1962. He later served the district as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal of Sugar Land Junior High School. Carolyn, a former Lakeview Elementary School Teacher of the Year, taught first and second grades and art classes to students in grades 3-5. The Maddens retired in 1994 and together have 61 years of education experience.
“Fort Bend ISD has been around for many years, and the Maddens have been here since it started,” said Dr. Charles Dupre, superintendent of schools. “They have worked in the district most of their adult lives and are now being honored with a school that will be here for many years to come. This has been a long awaited moment, and I can only imagine how it feels.”
Honored to have a school named after them, the Maddens see this as an opportunity to extend their family.
“Not only are we celebrating the dedication of the new school, but we are celebrating our new family of students, parents, teachers and staff,” said Carolyn Madden. “We thank the Board of Trustees and the superintendent for making this possible.”
The Maddens are proud to have their two children follow in their footsteps as educators. Their daughter, Mitzi, taught at Highlands Elementary School and currently works at a private Christian pre-school. Their son, Michael, is a teacher and coach at Clements High School and is celebrating his 25th year in the district. It was Michael, in fact, who nominated his parents for the honor.
“I am so proud of my parents and their service to the district, and what they’ve done in reference to shaping and molding the minds of so many students over the years,” he said. “This is the most incredible day ever.”
During the dedication ceremony, Principal Pamela Brown took the opportunity to share the story of a young teacher who was fortunate to have the support and encouragement of the Maddens throughout her career. In the end, Brown revealed that she was the teacher mentioned in the story.
“Carolyn and Vernon Madden are true heroes to our students, and most importantly, to me as an educator,” she said. “At Madden Elementary School, we will represent their legacy well, and together, build new traditions for which they will be proud.”
To help mark the occasion and commend the Maddens on their dedicated service to students and staff of FBISD, State Representative John Zerwas presented Brown with a Texas flag on behalf of Representative Rick Miller and himself.
Board Vice President Dave Rosenthal had the honor of officially dedicating the school. “On behalf of the FBISD Board of Trustees,” he said, “I officially dedicate this building as Carolyn and Vernon Madden Elementary School on this 18th day of October in 2015. May it serve our community with pride.”
“It is so awesome that the Maddens have a school named after them, because they have been a part of this community for so long,” said Kellie Michalek, a former student of both the Maddens.
“This moment is so surreal,” said Vernon Madden. “When we entered the District, we were treated like celebrities, but this tops it all.”
The Maddens plan to become regular volunteers at the school to support their new “Huskies” family – a family they feel will continue for many years to come.