District mourns loss of trustee

Press file photo

Mark Jordan, second from right, with members of the Oakley Unified Elementary School District school board during a ground breaking for the district’s new elementary school in the Summer Lakes development. Jordan, 64, passed away suddenly last week.

Longtime Oakley School Board Trustee Mark Jordan passed away suddenly on Thursday, Sept. 12. He was 64.

Jordan spent 30 years on the Oakley Union Elementary School District (OUESD) board, watching the small district grow from two schools to eight, with another under construction, while always helping lead the way for student learning and championing the district, its staff and students.

Retired OUESD Superintendent Rick Rogers, who worked with Jordan from 2001 to 2015, remembered the Oakley resident as a bright and dedicated board member — one who understood that students were the priority.

“Mark was a great board member,” said Rogers. “He was smart and always put the kids first. He understood how the system worked. Mark and I had a great relationship; he was always very supportive.”

The married father of four was a coach for many youth organizations; was involved with the Oakley Boy Scout Troop 298; was a member of the California School Board Association; and was named Community Service Person of the Year by the Oakley Chamber of Commerce.

OUESD Superintendent Greg Hetrick said that, above all, Jordan was a champion for the district and its students.

“Kids were his passion,” said Hetrick. “He was like E.F. Hutton: He would talk and everyone would listen. He knew all the history of the district and always brought the conversation back to what was in the best interest of the kids and the Oakley school community. I miss him already.”

The school board has several options in deciding how to replace Jordan. They could appoint an individual, hold a special election or wait until the 2020 election.

Jordan leaves behind his wife, Donna Pack-Jordan and sons, George P. Jordan, Tim Jordan, Ryan Pack and Robert Ahr.

A small, family-and-friends celebration of life is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21. The OUESD is also planning a celebration of life for Jordan. The date has yet to be determined.