MILWAUKEE — By the time school starts, students at Dr. George Washington Carver Academy will see a different name than what they're used to seeing on their library building.
The school plans to rename the George Washington Carver Academy Library to the Joyce A. Hall Library in honor of their longtime volunteer.
Ms. Hall started working for Milwaukee Public Schools in 1955, and retired 36 years later. Though many thought she would never set foot back into a school or a learning space again, she did.
"Two months after retiring, she started going in every week like she’s working to volunteer," said Dr. Eve M. Hall, daughter and president of the Milwaukee Urban League.
After a sudden fall in January of 2020, Ms. Hall's volunteer work was cut short and further paused due to the pandemic. Her daughter and family believe this may have been a blessing in disguise.
"So I think God just got her out there and said OK, time to rest," said Dr. Eve Hall.
Ms. Hall has taught at least 2,000 MPS students of all ages how to read.
"Well I just enjoyed it, that was my passion, I just loved to help children," said Ms. Hall. "Didn’t expect anything like this."
MPS Superintendent Keith Posley shared his gratitude.
"The most powerful words in the English language, and that is thank you," said Posley.
Family, friends and past colleagues gathered at Ms. Hall's home as she is currently bedridden.
"She sat with me many nights to tell me that we can do this right. It was never anything where you wanted me to know that you were there to support me," said Janell Hawkins, a former principal at George Washington Carver Academy.
As her chapter is far from over, the school plans on renaming the library by September, hopeful that Ms. Hall will be present to see her legacy continue on.