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Jordan leaves city school board for job in Jackson


Jason Browne



The Columbus Municipal School District bid farewell to 10-year school board veteran Julie Jordan Monday night during its December meeting. 


Jordan, who joined the board in 2000, is leaving to take a position as director of operations for the Mississippi School Board Association in Jackson, training new school board members for districts across the state, and working with the legislature and Mississippi Department of Education. 


"She''s been heavily involved with the school board association for years. Now she''s just going to start getting paid for it," joked Superintendent Del Phillips. 


Phillips is unsure if an interim board member will be appointed to take Jordan''s seat before April, but the board will have a quorum with its remaining members. 


Jordan was praised by her peers on the board and received a proclamation from the city and Mayor Robert Smith recognizing her efforts on behalf of education in Columbus and statewide. 


"It''s a privilege and an honor to give Julie Jordan her accolades," said Smith, who served for two years on the board with Jordan. 


After working for IBM in the 1980s, Jordan began teaching computing at Mississippi School for Math and Science and went on to manage multiple computer-based companies. She was an advocate for technology in education and served as executive director and president of the Mississippi Educational Computing Association. 


Jordan also conducted multiple workshops aimed at integrating computer technology into schools. 


Board members repeatedly thanked Jordan for her considerable input into the process of finding a new superintendent several years ago as the district sought a replacement for Dr. Lester Beason. 


Jordan suggested the five finalists for superintendent be interviewed in open meetings with the public able to submit thoughts and questions via writing and e-mail. 


"We had a packed house every night," Jordan recalled of the public interviews. "It was probably the best process we''ve ever done. The public felt very involved in the process." 


"The products you developed for us and the instruments for getting a good superintendent will be missed," said board member Tommy Prude. 


Jordan turned the praise back on the board. 


"It''s easy to serve on a board where everybody brings such talent and integrity," she said. "I know Columbus can get to that high-achieving status. I believe Columbus can be that outlier and beat the odds." 


A pair of principals and a handful of teachers addressed the board about how the district was striving to reach that high achievement. Pamela Lenoir, principal of Stokes-Beard Elementary Technology and Communication Magnet School, and Nancy Bragg, principal of Sale Elementary International Studies Magnet School, spoke on the success of differentiated instruction offered during a pair of events this year. 


Success Days and Enrichment Camp were both days-long breaks from normal instruction to focus on individualized and small-group instruction in addition to taking students out of school on field trips. 


District Testing Coordinator Myra Gillis also delivered a report summarizing the state''s accountability model. 


In other business the board:



  • Approved policy on IDE-Gifted Education programs. 


  • Voted to permit advertisements for the phone system, network switches and wireless network for the new middle school being constructed on Highway 373. 





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Reader Comments

Article Comment Columbus Parent commented at 12/15/2009 7:09:00 PM:

Julie Jordan has done a remarkable job serving our community on the CMSD School Board. Our collective thanks go out to her for her willingness to serve the children and families in our community for so long.


Article Comment M commented at 12/17/2009 10:39:00 AM:

How can she be a 10-year school board veteran if she joined the board in 2009? The Dispatch needs to hire a fact-checker.


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