A closer look with Superintendent Dr. Derrick Jordan

How long have you been with the Chatham County Schools (CCS)
I have been with CCS since 2008 (not quite 8 years).

Previous roles in CCS:
Secondary Director
Oversaw ESL and Title III for a period of time
Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services and Instructional Support

Past work history: Prior to CCS, Dr. Jordan was a middle and high school english teacher and assistant principal at the elementary, middle and high school levels and a high school principal.

What did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I always knew that I wanted to be an educator. While I contemplated the idea of a career in law, I kept finding myself more interested in helping students to achieve their goals.

What was your first impression of Chatham County Schools?
I was excited by our district’s diversity and commitment to all students.

What do you find most challenging about your role as Superintendent?
Public school districts are complex organizations. As CEOs, superintendents are tasked with so much more than most people realize. Decisions that seem simple of their face are typically multifaceted. From establishing the vision for the district and identifying spending priorities to deciding whether or not to delay or close school, no decision is ever as easy as it may appear.

What do you wish other people knew about CCSs?
CCS is a competitive district. Sadly, we are often unfairly compared to districts that may not face some of the same challenges that we face. The effectiveness of a comprehensive school district cannot be assessed by any one particular measure. Chatham County spans approximately 707 miles with vast differences from one geographical area to another. We have had a respectable number of students who have earned coveted scholarships to prestigious universities.
Our students and teachers regularly earn regional, state, national, and international recognition. The district’s demographics are continuing to change. The percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunch has continued to risen and now hovers above 50%.

What do you think will change about CCSs over the next five year?
With exponential growth projected for Chatham County , we can expect to see an impact on CCS. At this point, however, we are working with the appropriate officials to identify future needs so that we can be prepared.

What do you do when you are not working?
I enjoy relaxing at home (which I don’t get to do too often), spending time with family, reading, and traveling.

Article by: Jaime Detzi

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