SOUTH FORSYTH — Forsyth County’s sixth high school officially has a name: Dr. Leila Denmark High School.
The Forsyth County Board of Education voted on the name -- it will be known as Denmark High School -- Thursday night at its monthly meeting after receiving input from the community and the school naming committee.
More than 6,000 votes were tallied from the district’s online school-naming poll open to the public in April. Union Hill came in second, with Clement getting the fewest votes.
Southwest Forsyth’s new high school, which is set to open in August 2018, will be named after Denmark, one of the first female pediatricians in Georgia. She lived and operated her last medical office adjacent to the 118-acre campus between Fowler and Mullinax roads.
Denmark worked with Eli Lilly and other researchers at Emory University, helping develop a successful vaccination for whooping cough in 1932.
After becoming the oldest practicing physician in the nation at the time, she retired at age 103.
She died in 2012 as the fifth-oldest living person in the world. She was 114.
“She was a fabulous woman, and she did so much for the community,” said Tom Cleveland, board member for District 3, which includes the school site.
The school naming committee, on which Cleveland sat, took the public’s vote into consideration before making their recommendation to the board of education.
Also included on the committee were members from the district’s facilities department, representatives from the Forsyth County Historical Society and people on behalf of the three high schools that will be impacted by redistricting.
Attendance lines likely will be determined in fall 2017, with changes affecting Lambert, South and West Forsyth high schools, according to Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the district.
The next decisions to be made will be the school’s mascot and colors so they can be incorporated into the building design.
Land purchase and construction costs are being covered by a voter-approved bond referendum from 2014.