Press Release

JORDAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WELCOMES CALIFORNIA STATE SUPERINTENDENT TONY THURMOND ON “READ ACROSS AMERICA” DAY

Orange, CA (March 7, 2019) – California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond visited Jordan Elementary School last week to inspire staff, read to students, tour Jordan’s innovative STREAM Lab, and engage in a conversation with District leadership to address how the state can better support Orange Unified schools.

            Invited to visit Jordan’s campus by Principal Lorena Rubio, Superintendent Thurmond received a grand welcome from students and teachers alike. Thurmond began his visit in the school’s library, where he was welcomed by OUSD Trustees Kris Erickson, Brenda Lebsack, Kathryn Moffat and Andrea Yamasaki, along with OUSD’s executive leadership team, Orange Unified Education Association, representatives the Orange County Department of Education, Jordan’s parent volunteers, and community members.

            Thurmond later donned an oversized Cat in the Hat top hat and delighted more than 60 students from Jordan’s TK, special education, first and second grade classes with his animated reading of two books the students had chosen. What could have been the simple telling of stories quickly transformed into highly engaging teaching moments about self-esteem, kindness and acceptance, with enthusiastic students chiming in on how to champion positivity and kindness.

Elected to serve as California’s top K-12 educator this past November, Thurmond also used the appearance as an opportunity to share his vision for public education and continued advocacy for increased school funding. “Our kids are more than a number. They are more than a test score. We need to show them that they are number one and we start by increasing funding for districts like Orange and schools like Jordan,” he said.  

“Jordan Elementary is a wonderful example of our OUSD schools. We have raised achievement levels and the students are excelling, but there are always opportunities for us to get better,” said OUSD Superintendent of Schools Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D. “Today we have a unique chance to tell that story to Mr. Thurmond. He has always been an advocate for schools like Jordan and the programs that make them successful. We are going to utilize the opportunity to speak with him directly about additional resources to take that success further.”

Jordan Elementary is a designated Title I school that receives state and federal funding assistance to help ensure that children from low-income families meet the state’s challenging academic content and student academic achievement standards. This funding allows for the creation of specialized programs and school wide improvements that are critically important since  nearly 89 percent of its 422 students are currently eligible for the free/reduced lunch program, based on their socioeconomically disadvantaged status, and nearly 64 percent of the students are identified as English language learners.

More information about Jordan Elementary School is available online at https://www.orangeusd.org/jordan-academy

• To see video of the Superintendent Thurmond’s visit to Jordan Elementary School, click here.

• Select photos from Superintendent Thurmond’s visit are included below.

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and Principal Lorena Rubio celebrate Read Across America Day with students from Orange Unified School District’s Jordan Elementary School, in Orange, California. Photo Credit: Orange Unified School District

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and Principal Lorena Rubio celebrate Read Across America Day with students from Orange Unified School District’s Jordan Elementary School, in Orange, California. Photo Credit: Orange Unified School District

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond celebrates Read Across America Day with students from Orange Unified School District’s Jordan Elementary School, in Orange, California. Photo Credit: Orange Unified School District 

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, visits stands with members of Jordan Elementary School’s robotics team, the Jordan Jagbots, during his visit to the school to celebrate Read Across America Day with students from Orange Unified School District’s Jordan Elementary School, in Orange, California. Photo Credit: Orange Unified School District 

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, Principal Lorena Rubio, and OUSD Superintendent Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D., are enthusiastically greeted by students, parents, and teachers as he arrives on campus to celebrate Read Across America Day with Orange Unified School District’s Jordan Elementary School, in Orange, California. Photo Credit: Orange Unified School District 

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond speaks with members of Jordan Elementary School’s robotics team, the Jordan Jagbots, and STREAM Lab Teacher Rebecca Nelson during his visit to the school to celebrate Read Across America Day with students from Orange Unified School District’s Jordan Elementary School, in Orange, California. Photo Credit: Orange Unified School District

Tony Thurmond with the Jordan Jaguar

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond meets the Jordan Jaguar during his visit to the school to celebrate Read Across America Day with students from Orange Unified School District’s Jordan Elementary School, in Orange, California. Photo Credit: Orange Unified School District

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The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 28,000 K-12 grade students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  In partnership with our community, we provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.