Joan Vergnani, Massachusetts – 2005
Joan taught physical education and coached JV field hockey varsity gymnastics, and varsity softball at Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School from 1968-1971. She then moved to Hanover High School where she taught physical education and coached JV field hockey, JV basketball, and varsity softball. She also refereed field hockey.
From 1968-1972, Joan’s varsity softball teams were undefeated (78-0) at Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School. In 1970 her gymnastics team made it to the State Semifinals. From 1971-1975 her varsity softball teams at Hanover High School went undefeated and from 1971-1985 her JV basketball teams at Hanover High School were undefeated.
Joan’s softball teams at Bridgewater-Raynham Regional won the state softball championships from 1968-1971, and her 1971-1975 softball teams at Hanover High School also won the softball championships. In 1974 her Hanover High School softball team went to the semifinals.
“In 1972, Title IX of the Equal Education Act went into effect, banning sex discrimination in public schools, but they were not being implemented by those schools. In 1974, after three years at Hanover High School, I brought the first case in Massachusetts against my School Committee for Title IX equality for equal pay for women coaches. The case was filed with the MA Commission Against Discrimination and the case was won after several years of litigation, giving myself and Judy Schneider (as plaintiffs) the desired outcome of equality. It brought equality in scheduling, equipment, practice times, budgets, etc. for girls participating in all sports. Other coaches followed suit. Soon, after the push, school committees throughout the state began to implement to equality that should have come with the passage of the Title IX Federal Legislation.”