Arlingtonian sat down with the two new assistant principals, Nikole James and Matthew Jordan, to discuss their upcoming first year at UAHS.



Q: What’s your background working in education?
A: I was a teacher at Central Crossing High School for 15 years. I taught psychology and US history for the majority of those and then I was an administrator for the last three years at Jackson Middle School.
Q: Are you excited for this new position?
A: Yeah, I’m really excited. I live about eight minutes from here, so we’re a UA address but my kids go to Hilliard schools, so I feel like this is an opportunity for me professionally to stretch and grow a little bit, as well as personally, just being so close to my family and my children.
Q: Where did you receive your education?
A: I went to The Ohio State University and I got my bachelor’s and at the time, Ohio State did not give you a teaching license, so I went to a master’s program right away that also included that teacher licensure program at Cleveland State. I got my MED [Master’s in Education], then returned to the Columbus area and got hired on at Central Crossing [High School]. About six or seven years ago, I started with Ohio Dominican University to get my second MED in leadership.
Q: What do you think are some of your main goals?
A: My four big things that I’ll be responsible for are operations, the budget, DEI [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion] and Bear Connections. [In] operations, a big component of that is safety, [which is] constantly in motion as laws are adjusting, as policies and practices are adjusting. I’ve met with the UA Police Department to kind of strengthen some partnerships and some background knowledge and some practices. I have meetings scheduled with the fire [department]. With [the] budget, obviously lots of people want lots of things and then with Bear Connections, I’m super excited. I’m open to feedback and kids kind of telling me things: what works for them and what doesn’t.


Q: What is your speciality or concentration as an assistant principal?

A: I’ll be working primarily with the math department and I’m working on the building master schedule, so I do a lot with teacher schedules and student schedules, and also the intervention department, so those are my big responsibilities.

Q: What is your background in education?
A: For 14 years, I was a teacher at the original Olentangy High School. I taught math, I taught AP Calc BC and then I taught Algebra 2. This past year, I was an assistant principal at Berkshire Middle School, so another middle school in Olentangy.
Q: Where did you receive your education?
A: I grew up locally. I went to Dublin Scioto High School, and then I went to Miami University, so I was there for four years. Then I moved back up here, I got my first job teaching at Olentangy High School. I’ve kind of always been central Ohio, but I went back and got my master’s in administration at Ashland University. I really like school and I like learning a lot, so I feel like I’m always taking classes and trying to learn something, better myself.
Q: What are some of your main goals for this year?
A: Really the first goal would be just building relationships with teachers and students. Coming in brand-new to Upper Arlington, I think that for me the big pieces [are] building relationships, then just try to contribute as much as I can. I think we all have our individual talents and just trying to contribute as much as I can and bring out the strengths and talents of others that are in the building.
Q: What do you want students to know about you?

A: I just would like students to know that I’m approachable. I love having that interaction with students, so that’s a big part of it.