about our school

Mary W. Jackson

All of Hampton's Elementary Schools are named for people who played an important role in the history of our city. Mary W. Jackson Fundamental Elementary is the home of the rockets.

Mary W. Jackson, a native of Hampton, was a scientist, aerospace engineer, humanitarian, and trailblazer who paved the way for thousands of others to succeed not only at NASA, but throughout the nation as well. Jackson graduated from the all-black Phenix Training School with highest honors and graduated from Hampton Institute in 1942 where she earned bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physical science.

In 1958, she became NASA’s first African-American female engineer. She successfully petitioned the city of Hampton to allow her to take University of Virginia night classes alongside white students (held at Hampton High School) in order to complete additional training and courses for her new role. By 1979, Jackson having achieved the most senior title within the engineering department, decided to take a demotion in order to serve as an administrator in the equal opportunity specialist field. She returned to Langley to make changes and highlight women and other minorities who were accomplished in the field after undergoing training at NASA headquarters.

What is a fundamental school?

Mary W. Jackson Elementary Fundamental School serves students in grades K-5. The fundamental schools follow the same curriculum as the other Hampton City Schools. Parents sign a fundamental school contract upon registration. Students are accepted by application on a first-come, first-served space-available basis. Siblings of enrolled students are accepted into the school through fifth grade. Registrations are accepted throughout the year. Applications for the kindergarten waiting list are accepted beginning August 1 of the year the child turns 4. Students must be 5 by September 30 to attend kindergarten. No transportation is provided for students enrolled at Mary W. Jackson. We have received numerous awards for outstanding achievement and offer opportunities such as a STEM lab, clubs and student participation.