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Who is Joy Bright Hancock?

Joy Bright Hancock

The inspiration for our unique school is an important trailblazer in American history, Joy Bright Hancock, one of the highest ranking women veterans of World War I and World War II. She was the first female captain in the U.S. Navy.

She fought in the First World War working at the New York Shipbuilding Company in New Jersey.

In 1942 she was the first director of the WAVES, the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency. Since women were not part of the regular fighting force -- it was actually illegal for them to fly combat missions -- the massive mobilization of American effort to defeat Nazi Germany and the Axis Powers required the entire nation to pitch in, especially women. Women did serve and even saw combat in many alternate ways. Because the WAVES were such a success under her command, she took a leading role in preparing for women to be integrated into the armed forces. She has been called "First Lady of the Navy" and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserves..

One of her favorite parts of her career was being able to go around the world. She went around the world five times!

She was also a writer and editor, and started a magazine on aeronautics, an exciting new field in the 1930s. She retired from the Navy in 1953 but still remained active, serving as director of the bureau of Naval Personnel for Women and in other leadership roles.

Learn more about Joy Bright Hancock

Joy Bright Hancock dedication ceremony
Scenes from the 1977 school dedication. Above, Joy Bright Hancock at center, Below Hancock School and students start classes
Students start attending Hancock Elementary in 1977
Teachers and Students at Hancock Elementary

The Hancock Song

Joy, Joy Bright Hancock School

To our colors we will be true

Mighty eagle in gold and blue

Teach us, guide us, we love you

Today children, tomorrow pioneers

Future leaders, fly on eagle wings

Joy, Joy Bright Hancock School

 

To our colors we will be true

Mighty eagle in gold and blue

Teach us, guide us, we love you

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