PMP309: Leadership that Matters with Jordan Master

As a long-time listener of Principal Matters, Jordan reached out to me this summer after reading a copy of my first book.

Jordan Master is Assistant Principal at Johnsburg High School located in Johnsburg, Illinois. JHS serves just under 600 students grades 9-12.

. Jordan’s journey as an educator began after graduating from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she double majored in Secondary Education and Writing Intensive English. In 2014, she accepted a part time position teaching at a small Catholic School in Johnsburg, Illinois. The next year she accepted a position at North Boone Middle School in Poplar Grove, IL, and in 2016 she applied to an opening at the high school in North Boone School district where she taught English until 2020. 

Her interest in taking the Educational Leadership path actually began in 2015, where she worked in the summer as a Day Camp Coordinator for our local YMCA until 2019. This sparked an interest in Administration, as her role was very similar to that of an Assistant Principal. In 2018, she began a Masters program through Concordia University Chicago. In May 2020, during the pandemic’s beginning, she graduated with a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership with a Principal Endorsement before becoming Assistant Principal at Johnsburg High School.

She resides in McHenry, Illinois with her husband Bob and their new puppy Pongo. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, running, biking, going to farmers markets, reading, and chasing Pongo around. 

As a long-time listener of Principal Matters, Jordan reached out to me this summer after reading a copy of my first book, Principal Matters: The Motivation, Action, Courage and Teamwork Needed for School Leaders.

Her feedback was so rich that I wanted to explore how the shared lessons may inform takeaways in your leadership journey. Here is some of Jordan’s feedback on managing requests:

  • “I enjoyed the chapter about Better Managing Requests, as when I started my role as AP I definitely had the “savior complex” and tried to immediately respond with solutions when it came to staff and parents for non-emergency things (I am still working on it!). But the 24 hour rule and taking time to reflect before jumping into action is something that Kevin has taught me as a young administrator.”

Takeaway on setting timers for tasks:

  • “I am going to use the tip of setting a timer for tasks that can consume too much time. While I cannot control high level discipline scenarios and when I am needed urgently, I can better manage my time to conduct more walk throughs and get into classrooms. I am always in such a good mood when I get to go visit classrooms- instructional leadership is really important to me and something that I need to dedicate more time to if I want to be an effective leader.”

A favorite application:

  • “One of my favorite points was ‘remember that you are not always in complete control’ as this is something I have struggled with as a person. My husband has helped me balance that feeling of always needing to be productive and busy; I got to a point where I realized if I continued to go at that rate, it would not be healthy for me. Your story about writing your resignation letter is something that sticks with me. Taking time to balance your life (which I always feel like you emphasize) has been a challenge for me. But I feel more fulfilled and purposeful when I am able to do that.” 

Listen-in to the entire conversation for more takeaways, including Jordan’s tips for new administrators:

Advice for new administrators…

  • Take time to build positive relationships.
  • Take time to be creative with student interactions.
  • Take time to recognize and celebrate staff.
  • Take time to learn your community.
  • Have an open door policy.
  • Setting appropriate boundaries.
  • Try out new ideas, experiment and take risks.
  • It’s okay not to always have the answer to everything.

Stay connected with Jordan Master: Find out more about her school at or email her at

Now It’s Your Turn

Listen in for more takeaways. What are some tips that you have for new administrators?

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William D. Parker
William D. Parker