Brian Jordan once considered being an engineer or a lawyer, but his life took a different turn when he was in college.
“Originally, when I was going to school, I wanted to be an engineer," Jordan said. "But Calculus III was a little bit more difficult than I thought it was going to be.”
Jordan eventually turned his focus to teaching, and is now taking the next step in his career as the new principal of Clarkdale High School. Jordan succeeds Ken Hardy, who is moving to the Lauderdale County School District's central office.
“It’s funny — sometimes you have a plan in your life — but God has a different plan for you," said Jordan, who started his new job on July 1. "I'm blessed to be here and be part of Clarkdale High School.”
A change of heart
During his sophomore year at Jones Community College, Jordan changed his major from engineering to pre-law. But after deciding that law school would be too expensive, he turned his eyes to education. His mother was an educator, and she encouraged to consider the field.
“She talked me into taking a class to finish my degree to be a teacher," Jordan said. "Well, here I am.”
At Mississippi College, Jordan earned a bachelor's degree with a double major in history and business administration, then decided to get a teaching certificate. He later completed a master's degree at William Carey University.
Jordan started his career as a history teacher in the Quitman School District, later taking on coaching duties, then serving as the district’s maintenance and facilities director. He also worked as assistant principal at Quitman Junior High School and as the district’s athletic director.
A desire to lead
Eventually, Jordan's desire to lead made him consider becoming a principal.
“When I got into education, I saw the impact that teachers made on kids' lives," he said. "I wanted to be as impactful as I possibly could. I couldn’t think of a better way than to become a principal."
While working as the assistant principal at Quitman High School, Jordan learned about discipline and day-to-day school operations from Howard Savage Jr., the school's head administrator.
Savage described Jordan as a team player who cares about what he does for the school and community.
“He was very attuned to what the students wanted and what the community wanted,” Savage said.
Ready to start school
Jordan said his background in teamwork and building relationships has prepared him for his new role at Clarkdale. He spent his first week meeting with teachers and administrators to talk about what goals they have for the school.
One of his goals is to encourage students to be competitive in everything they do, whether it's in academics, sports or extracurricular activities.
“I want every student to compete on the highest level they can,” Jordan said.
He said he'd also like to connect with his students on a personal level, and not just be known as a disciplinary figure at the school.
“I want to be the guy, if you've got a problem at home and you want to sit in my office, we can work through it,” he said.
'The sky's the limit'
As he settles in at Clarkdale, Jordan said the district has made his transition to principal easy.
"We look forward to his leadership at Clarkdale High School," Superintendent John-Mark Cain said in an email.
“I think the sky's the limit for Clarkdale,” Jordan said.