WILMINGTON — The new principal at St. Elizabeth High School needs no introduction to VK Nation. Patrick Jordan has spent all 10 years of his career in education at the Wilmington school.
Jordan has taught social studies, and last year he added the responsibilities of dean of academics. This year, he’ll still teach one class while holding down the principal’s position. The Pike Creek native, who attended St. John the Beloved and Salesianum schools, has found a home on Cedar Street.
“It’s cliché, but it’s a community,” Jordan said. “It’s a family. It’s a home. Walking in the building and seeing our students every day, I don’t want to be anywhere else.”
After graduating from Salesianum in 2009, Jordan went to West Chester University. He was hired at St. Elizabeth by retired principal Shirley Bounds, who remains a mentor and sometimes substitute teacher. Jordan said Bounds showed him the importance of building community, using the school’s small size to its advantage to really get to know the families.
He also likes the diversity at St. Elizabeth.
“Our diversity is our strength. We really do mirror the real world. Anyone from any walk of life can come here and be successful. It’s not a school that’s targeted to one demographic or one socio-economic status. It’s a place for everybody,” he said.
Jordan said moving into a supervisory role will be different, but it shouldn’t be too difficult. He said having to evaluate faculty members “comes down to respect and admiration. I have a lot of respect and admiration for our teachers.”
Jordan’s interest in education dates back to his childhood, to a relative he never knew. His maternal grandfather was an English teacher, then an assistant principal at Brandywine High School..
“Apparently, we’re very much alike,” he said.
Jordan and his wife, Kristin, live in north Wilmington and belong to St. Elizabeth Parish, although they also attend Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. The couple were friends in high school; Kristin graduated from Padua Academy.
They have season tickets to both local professional teams that play different types of football, the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Union.