A Talented Teacher, A Tireless Volunteer
They called her “Ms. Green Beany.” But Jordan Green didn’t mind.
For the past year, she’s been with these fifth-graders at Southwest Guilford Elementary as a student teacher, and she’s helped them learn and grow. Now, it’s her time to grow.
Green will graduate Saturday with honors with a degree in elementary education and a minor in psychology, and she’ll leave a campus that helped enrich her faith, hone her leadership skills and find a friend in a second-grader from South Sudan.
Because of her many campus accomplishments, college officials have selected Green as HPU’s Extraordinary Leader for the month of April
And how did she find HPU, a place that she says gave her so much?
Through an overheard conversation.
A Servant Leader, A Library Builder
Her mom was shopping at an American Eagle store when she heard customers talking about High Point University. Green’s mom joined in and knew right away what to do – have her oldest child visit.
At first, Green procrastinated. College is a big decision. But once she and her parents drove down from their home in Ellicott City, Maryland, Green knew. HPU was where she belonged.
She didn’t visit or apply to any other college or university. What she felt sold her.
“I always trust my gut, and I had this feeling of security when I stepped on campus, and in that moment, I felt grounded,” she says today. “I said to myself, ‘This is where I’ll start.’”
Green came in as a Presidential Scholar. She enrolled in HPU’s Honor Scholar Program, made the Dean’s List every semester, and for the past three years, she has received the Hildreth Gabriel Jordan Scholarship.
She became a member of Psi Chi, the psychology honor society and vice president of the Kappa Delta Pi, the international honors society in education. This year, Green and her other Kappa Delta Pi members collected books, built a small library and erected it at a local church.
Her volunteer work started as a freshman. Green joined the Board of Stewards, the student leadership team with HPU’s Chapel and Religious Life, and she befriended local children. They played games, wore costumes and celebrated holidays.
For the past two years, she led the Board of Steward’s Angel Tree Project. She saw firsthand what some local families needed for Christmas like shirts and pants, and it made her appreciate HPU’s ever-present philanthropy in the greater High Point community.
She plans to stay local after graduation, and she wants to teach. Her advisor, Dr. Leslie Cavendish, has watched her teach. She knows what she saw: talent.
“The way she teaches, it’s this quiet dance,” says Dr. Cavendish, an assistant professor of education. “Jordan is constantly thinking, ‘What do the children do? What do they need to learn?’, and it’s incredibly powerful. It’s so rare to see in early educators.”
Green plans to earn a doctorate in educational research with cross-cultural ties. She discovered that cross-cultural interest at HPU. But she discovered her interest in education at her home in Maryland with the green shutters — and the green door.
A Lesson From ‘Super Mom’
Her mom, Joan, ran the Green House Daycare out of the Green family’s home. Jordan was 5 when her mom started the business, and her mom created a second home for, at times, 15 babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
Jordan’s mom ran the daycare for at least a decade, and she organized field trips and theme weeks as well as daycare dance parties in the family’s basement. She became so well known for her work that the local paper profiled her under the headline “Super Mom.”
Year after year, Jordan watched and observed. Then, she started to help.
“She was always ‘just Mom,’ to me,” Jordan says. “But I saw her being that person, and I turned into that person.”
Jordan discovered her global education interest at HPU, and she remembers how it happened — Dr. Nathan Hedman’s Global Performance course.
She watched videos on puppeteers from Japan and dancers from Turkey, and she realized she wanted to study methods of teaching in other countries and apply it closer to home.
But her global interest really took root when she met a shy second-grader named Aluel.
The Serendipity of Mentorship
Aluel Adichol was tall, thin and quiet, a girl from South Sudan. Every week, at Aluel’s school near campus, Green ate lunch or played outside with her. Their friendship grew, and Aluel blossomed.
She became more outgoing, a girl who made dozens of friends. Once during a visit to HPU, Aluel sang a song by Ariana Grande onstage at the Pauline Theatre.
“This is so cool!” Aluel yelled from the stage.
Green filmed it all from the back row.
For Green, it reminded her of her undergrad experience at HPU. It’s that whole idea of holistic education, she says, learning from caring people like Dr. Hedman. Dr. Cavendish and Aluel herself.
“Oh my gosh, she has had such an impact on my life,” Green says. “She helped me realize what I’m capable of. I can give students a brighter future. I can mean something to a child.”