MARICOPA — There’s a new face on the Maricopa Unified School District board after Jim Jordan was sworn in Monday.

Jordan has lived in Maricopa for almost a decade with his wife, Saunny. Though he’s not originally from Arizona, he moved to the state shortly after birth and has lived all over the Grand Canyon State since, but “I always wished I’d been born here,” he said.

Jordan got his first taste of what MUSD had to offer when he tagged along with his brother-in-law to view the Junior ROTC program at Maricopa High School. Jordan’s brother-in-law is a veteran and was a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War.

“I was very impressed with what they’re doing there,” Jordan said of MHS. “The response that the students gave to him when he came in the room, the respect, the honor that they gave him (was amazing).”

Jordan is a retired pastor, having followed in his father’s footsteps. He is the proud father of three and grandfather of two, and his mother, sister and daughters are all former or current teachers. In his free time, Jordan drove school buses and involved himself in young children’s education where he could.

He hopes that during his time on the board, he’ll be able to help MUSD rise to the top of Arizona schools and looks forward to finding ways to ignite a love of education in students.

“I’ll be working to make Maricopa schools the best in the state. That’s a high goal, I know, but I think we can achieve it,” Jordan said. “We’re a growing city and the more students we get, the more opportunity to challenge kids to become successful themselves, and that’s really what I want to focus on, is inspiring kids to (achieve) excellence in education.”

MUSD just announced the purchase of land for its second high school, and Jordan is excited to see what the new high school will bring to the city.

“I’ve been out and looked at that property a little bit, so it’ll be fun to see things come out of the ground,” Jordan said.

He said conversations about taking over former board member Joshua Judd’s position began in November, when he spoke with board President AnnaMarie Knorr and toured the schools. Judd resigned from the board at a March 11 meeting due to home and work-life obligations.

Jordan will finish Judd’s term on the board, which ends in December, and has already filed to be on the ballot in the November election.

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Katie Sawyer covers Maricopa and the surrounding area for PinalCentral, including city, education, business, crime and more. She can be reached at ksawyer@pinalcentral.com.

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