January 19, 1958




Hammond High Builds on Navy Traditions


By Linda Johnson

Hammond Reporter


            “We have no established traditions; we have only the fine example of the young naval hero for whom our school was named on which to build our traditions.”


            With the principal’s deliverance of this message to an eager student body almost three semesters ago, Francis C. Hammond High School began its first day.  At that time, September 1956, Hammond was merely a $2 million modern structure which had been built on Seminary Road in Alexandria, just a hop, skip and a jump from the Shirley Highway.


            Boasting an opening enrollment of approximately 1,200 students – from eighth graders to juniors – Alexandria’s newest secondary school started seeking clubs and other extra-curricular activities.


            A student council study group was formed; it spent many months carefully drafting a constitution which would serve as a strong foundation for student government.  Upon the completion of this task, officers of the Student Co-operative Association were elected.


            Before the close of the second semester Hammond had a 33-member chapter of the National Honor Society.  More recently the Quill and Scroll, international honorary society for high school journalists, granted a charter to Hammond.





            A student activities committee has been instituted to review requests for clubs.  Clubs are established on the basis of interest, need and desirability.


            At present, examples of organizations at Hammond are the Camera Club, the Varsity Club (for boys awarded varsity athletic letters), the Music Club and the Art Club.


            Each Hammondite is proud of the fact that our school received accreditation from the Southern Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges before the end of its first semester.  This pride is justified because it is unusual for a secondary school to become accredited before its second year of operation.


            Hammond’s students are also fortunate to have access to a 6,400 volume library.  This library, which by the end of its first year boasted 6,000 new books, now subscribes to 74 magazines and five newspapers.


            A one-semester course in business law is offered as an elective in the Hammond curriculum.  Particularly emphasized is law as it relates to minors.





            This 53-room school, covering 25 acres, was dedicated to Francis Colton Hammond, Navy Medical Corpsman who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his gallant service in Korea.  Mr. Hammond was the only Alexandrian to have received this honor.


            In conjunction with this history, each Hammond class ring has a replica of the Medal of Honor on one side of a blue stone.  In keeping with Navy traditions the school colors are Navy blue and white.


            The students also voted a naval nickname for the football team – the Admirals.  Several names were submitted to all the Hammondites as possible titles for the school annual and newspaper; again they selected those pertaining to the Navy – “Anchor” for the annual and “Salvo” for the newspaper.


            Most recent of all, a school crest was designed to be used on the commencement announcements for the first graduating class this month.  Under this impressive blue and gold crest, which is quite similar to the Congressional Medal of Honor, the name of the school is engraved in very small type.





            Mention the Hammond Admirals and football fans will tell you that, although this past season was their first year in Group I competition, they tied with Arlington’s Wakefield High School for first place in the Northern Virginia League standings.  The team’s final record was seven wins, one loss and one tie.


            But the Admirals didn’t sail on to all these victories unsupported.  Nine peppy varsity cheer leaders, attractively clad in white pleated skirts and sweaters, enthusiastically led the fans in cheers.


            And the Hammond Band, handsomely attired in new Navy blue uniforms and white bucks, kept morale high during the games.  Navy influence was present again in the majorettes’ sailor caps and blue uniforms with white satin middy collars.


            Last February, Hammondites joined with George Washington High School students to present the annual Crew Follies for the benefit of both high schools’ crews.


            Outstanding for its uniqueness at Hammond is modern dance, which became a part of the physical education curriculum this semester.


            Modern dance is taught about six weeks each semester in all girls’ physical education classes.


            Several basic dance movements are taught; then, each girl may try to improvise, using arm, leg and body movements to express her own ideas and emotions.


            A modern dance recital was given last month as a part of the annual Winter Sports Carnival.  Some of the interpretations were humorous, some serious, and others gay; but the emphasis was placed on originality and then on skill and ability.


            Also spotlighted in the Winter Sports Carnival, were trampoline, tumbling and balancing acts.  The acrobatic skill required to perform such “tumbling” feats was practiced in most Hammond physical education classes.  A tumbling club has been organized for students who are interested and have aptitude for this phase of physical education.


(Accompanying this story were three photos – Fontaine Lloyd, head cheerleader, Bob Lewis and Bob Mitchell, football co-captains with the Bell of Supremacy; Modern dance participants Gay Marlowe, Roselyn Rich, Paulette McBride, Lynda Stucker, Kathy Beardslee, Chris Kemery, Dennie Maupin and Mary Rasor; and Hammond majorettes Lynn and Lois Schwartz.)


Linda Johnson was in the first graduating class, January, 1958

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