Exeter counselor takes helm at elementary school
After serving the Exeter R-6 School District for seven years, former fourth grade teacher and counselor Tim Jordan has accepted the position of elementary principal.
"I want to be a leader who leads by example," said Jordan. "I want to be a principal who works beside teachers to help them. I want to build relationships with the teachers that they can model as they build relationships with their students.
"I've told our staff, 'I want to help you be as successful as you can be so that you can help our students be as successful as they can be,'" added Jordan.
After graduating from Evangel University in Springfield with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and working as a substitute teacher in the Springfield School District for one year, Jordan accepted a position teaching fourth grade at Exeter Elementary School in 2005.
"I love the small town atmosphere," said Jordan. "I saw Exeter as a great place to learn as an educator because you can be part of the community. The longer I have stayed, the more community oriented I have become.
"My goal is to build community relationships that will help student learning to occur," continued Jordan. "Exeter has great community support, and I hope that Exeter Elementary can continue to build positive bridges between students, parents, teachers and the community."
While working at the R-6 School District, Jordan earned a master's degree in education administration from Lindenwood University and a master's degree in school counseling from Evangel University. Two years ago, he began serving as the district's elementary school counselor.
"It was decided that the school needed an elementary and a high school counseling position," said Jordan. "I felt I had skills for listening and helping others so I saw the position as a good step for me."
Although Jordan intended to remain in the counseling position for a few more years, when the district began looking for a new elementary principal he decided to apply for the open position.
"There is so much good occurring at Exeter," said Jordan. "We are improving on our APR (annual performance report). We have had growth in both of the last two years. We have built a great character education program, and we have a really good group of new and core teachers.
"I'm so excited about what we have and are going to attain," said Jordan. "I feel we have the foundation laid to start seeing great things with our school, our students and our parents."
Jordan hopes he can assist teachers in achieving the goals that have been put in place for the elementary school and the district.
"I don't want to set a bunch of new goals," said Jordan. "I want to focus on what we have in place and make those things better.
"I really want to focus on working as a team and building a positive teamwork atmosphere," continued Jordan. "During our faculty meetings, we focus on building each other up to help our students."
In the last few weeks, Jordan has been pleased to see veteran teachers helping younger teachers, as well as younger teachers offering fresh perspectives that veteran teachers can use in the classroom.
"We want to focus on meeting all of our kids where they are," said Jordan. "If we focus on student needs and what is best for our kids, I believe the assessments will take care of themselves."
Jordan lives in Cassville with his wife, Shannon. The couple have a 2-year-old son, Noah, and is currently expecting a second child.
"My wife has been very supportive," said Jordan. "I wouldn't be where I am without her support."
Jordan replaces Tami Kester, who began serving as the Exeter Elementary School Principal during the 2008-09 school year. This summer, Kester submitted her resignation to the R-6 School Board after accepting a position at another district.
Rachel Bielefeld was hired to replace Jordan as the elementary school counselor.