Faculty member kicks off year as teacher, coach
A new faculty member has stolen the title of St. Martin’s Episcopal School’s “Tallest Upper School Teacher,” overtaking Interim Head of Upper School Peter Adair. If you have seen an unfamiliar but smiling face ducking under Homecoming decorations while conversing with fellow faculty and students, it was probably Middle and Upper School Math Teacher and Assistant Football Coach Jordan Hill.
Before pursuing a career as an educator, Hill worked as a contractor and sales associate. He soon realized that he wanted to share his interest in mathematics with students.
“I had to do a lot of math courses to prepare for that and get ready to be a math teacher,” Hill said. “I basically just decided to do it and quit my job to work on getting my graduate degree in teaching.”
After receiving his degree in education from Vanderbilt University, Hill married his college sweetheart in Oakland Park, Kansas, where he previously lived, started a family, and has been teaching for seven years. His wife decided she wanted to move closer to her sister and brother-in-law in New Orleans, she found the perfect teaching job for him, and she even sent in an application, according to Hill.
“We had discussed it quite a bit before then,” Hill said. “We were both excited about moving.”
While he is an experienced teacher, Hill is new to high school coaching. Still, he is definitely not unfamiliar with football; his college football skills have already come in handy to St. Martin’s football program, according to Athletic Director Frank Gendusa.
“He played at Vanderbilt University as an offensive lineman, so having him out there has been really good for the kids,” Gendusa said.
Despite the time commitment involved in coaching, Hill relishes the opportunity.
“This is really my first time doing this, which is kind of exciting,” Hill said. “I actually enjoy it quite a bit, even though it takes a lot of time. But it really is a lot of fun too.”
In the coming years, Hill’s goal for the football team is to increase participation. With larger classes entering high school in the upcoming years, he hopes to see these numbers guide the football team to victory.
“We really just try to win as many games as we can every single year,” Hill said. “I’d love to see more growth and participation. More kids playing would certainly help our team a lot.”
Hill fully embraces his role as assistant football coach, but he makes sure education remains his primary focus. Just like learning new plays, this skill set takes time develop, according to Hill.
“I love coaching,” Hill said. “It’s just one of those things I love to do, but it’s only an addition to my primary responsibility, which in my opinion, is my math class. So my love for football kind of pulls me away from my primary responsibility at times, but balancing the two is really an art that I’m working on mastering.”
According to Freshman Tyler Lauland, Hill has already positively influenced his students and athletes in an impressive way.
“He’s a good teacher, and he’s motivating, in a way,” Lauland said. “At football, he encourages us, and in class, he helps us a lot.”
His extensive participation in school activities has helped him smoothly integrate himself into the St. Martin’s community. Hill may be new to the New Orleans area, but the faculty and student body have already opened their arms to him.
“The community has been so welcoming,” Hill said. “Everyone’s been so kind and helpful. We only moved here about a month and a half ago, so we’re pretty fresh to the area. It’s been a wonderful community to work for.”