Steve Hancock serves as the head of school of University School of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s top independent school. He is the school’s ninth head since 1964, when USM was formed as a result of the merger of three schools—Milwaukee Country Day School, Milwaukee Downer Seminary, and Milwaukee University School. A native of Waukesha, Wisconsin, Hancock graduated magna cum laude from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, earning a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Violin Performance. He also earned a master’s in music education, with an emphasis in curricular design, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Prior to his arrival at USM for the 2020–21 school year, Hancock served as the headmaster at Presbyterian Day School in Memphis, Tennessee, for six years. Over his 30-year career as an administrator, teacher, and coach, Hancock has held increasing leadership positions at several prominent independent schools. Prior to his headmaster role at Presbyterian Day School, he served as head of middle school, and then as assistant head of school for academic leadership, at Princeton Day School (Princeton, New Jersey) from 2008 to 2014. He also served at The Westminster Schools (Atlanta) and at Indian Prairie School District (Naperville/Aurora, Illinois). He was also the education director for Odyssey Atlanta, a summer program serving Atlanta inner-city youth on the campus of The Westminster Schools.
An accomplished musician and Suzuki-trained violin instructor, Hancock performs on anything with strings and also enjoys playing tennis. He and his wife, Stephanie, have two adult children—a daughter, Emily, and a son, Clay.