BOLINGBROOK – Yolanda Jordan wants the Bolingbrook community to know she can relate.
The newly named principal of Bolingbrook High School sees the need for stability and consistency within the high school’s leadership office. Jordan has spent eight years as an administrator in Valley View School District.
The Valley View School District 365U School Board voted unanimously June 9 to name the former BHS Dean of Students to the school’s top administrative position, effective July 1. Jordan had been serving as interim principal since mid-February.
She replaces former principal Michael White, who resigned suddenly in January and left his post on administrative leave a month later.
White’s departure made Jordan the fifth principal in five years at the school.
Jordan, who was assistant principal at Romeoville High School for nearly four years before becoming BHS interim principal, came to Valley View as a dean in 2006.
A news release from the school district said Jordan helped found and sponsor a wide variety of student organizations at both RHS and BHS, including RIGHT (Really Intelligent Girls Hanging Together), Mr. RIGHT, Guide Right, and Multicultural Club.
She also has experience as a science teacher at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Lincoln Park High School and The Harvard School in Chicago and coordinated the science outreach programs at Chicago State for more than six years.
Bolingbrook Suburban Life News Editor Ryan Terrell spoke Tuesday with Jordan for a question-and-answer session.
Terrell: What does it mean to you to be principal of BHS?
Jordan: No. 1, this is where I started. No. 2, I live in the community. To live in the community and feel like you’re giving back is significant. To be instrumental in the lives and educational experiences of this community’s kids is a great feeling.
Terrell: How do you think your extensive experience in the district will be beneficial?
Jordan:I am familiar with the community, the building – this is a huge building – and the people in the district. [Superintendent James] Mitchem was once my principal. I know his expectations as far as being an educator in the district. His beliefs and my beliefs line up. I think that will help me quite a bit.
Terrell: What did you learn about the role while serving as the interim principal?
Jordan: People want to be heard, and a lot of it is just listening. ... Just listening to the kids and understanding their wants and needs. And then with parents, it’s about building relationships. Through that, I have seen that there is a need for stability and consistency here.
Terrell: Building off that – you’re the fifth principal of BHS in five years. How do you anticipate being here longterm?
Jordan:That is my plan. ... I intimately care about what happens here. From an administrator’s standpoint, change takes about three years. To make those changes and see some gains, I need to be here awhile.
Terrell: What are some of your goals as principal?
Jordan: I really want to see BHS be an institution of excellence. Our surrounding communities feel BHS doesn’t compare [to other area high schools]. I beg to differ. And, of course, safety is always a priority. Anytime you have 3,700 to 4,000 people in one building, safety is paramount, especially with what is going on in the world today. I also want to raise the academic standard here. I want people to know that they’re going to get a great education at BHS.
Terrell: What expectations do you have for BHS educators?
Jordan:To treat every kid like you’re own. Any decision you make, make them based on each individual kid and as if that kid was your own.