Meet Mr. Jordan, the new Ripples advisor


Shannon Carlson

Stephone Jordan, new advisor to Ripples, gets his photo taken by features editor Shannon. He had a lot of fun getting to know the editorial staff during layout week!

Stephone Jordan: food lover, athlete and now the new Ripples advisor. 

“This is going on my second year at Shorewood, my third year in Milwaukee, Wisconsin generally. I’m from Seattle, moved here for work. Love Milwaukee. Love the food that Milwaukee has to offer, and I always welcome food suggestions, restaurant suggestions … I used to run track back in high school and college. I am a personal track coach. I travel all over the country to do so. What else? Playing volleyball. I was the middle school volleyball coach last year. I love to eat. It doesn’t look like it, but I love food.”

Stephone Jordan started as a freshman American Society teacher last year at Shorewood High School. He was not involved with Ripples during this first year, but he was aware of the institution. 

“My initial impression was like, ‘These are a bold group of students.’ I think I had two of you guys come up to me as I’m prepping my classroom and ask me if you guys can interview me, and I’m like ‘Wow, you guys are super brave.’ It’s really cool that you guys are building skills that are going to last in the long run.”

 Jordan agreed to be the Ripples advisor last spring after Mike Halloran stepped down, but was hesitant at first. 

“I actually turned it down initially. I turned it down because, I mean, Mr. Halloran has huge shoes to fill and I wasn’t quite sure that I was the person that could quite fill them.” 

Jordan said seeing students involved in different aspects of school life inspired him to branch out as well.

“After going to basketball games and watching people like Abi, after going to cross country meets and seeing people like [Laura]… seeing you guys involved in other things, I was like, ‘Okay, I need to be involved in something as well, so I guess I’ll do it.’”

While he does not have much experience in journalism, he originally was thinking about it in college.

“My initial major was broadcast journalism. But … I don’t really like talking about myself. The more classes I started taking, I got nervous about being in front of the camera and talking about things. So really I have very little journalism experience, but it was a dream of mine for like a split second.”

Despite his initial hesitance, Jordan is committed to the role. He sees himself in it for a potentially very long time. 

“[Halloran] stayed in for what, 18 years? … Whoa, it would be nice to stay in it for 18, 20 years. But really as long as the opportunity is there for me I’m going to stay, I’m going to stay in it.”

Beyond staying as advisor for a while, Jordan has already also brought up the idea of starting a journalism class.

“Right now it’s looking like I’m going to be teaching an overload. So I will not be exploring the option of a journalism class this year. I do think that it could be something that happens in the future as we start to fill spaces for other positions.”

His goals right now, though, are more broad based. He wants to focus on being a constructive and helpful advisor for the Ripples that already exists. 

“I just want to be a support person for Ripples and the staff. I want to be someone that you can bounce ideas off of. But I also want to be that person that can get you to think a little deeper about topics, themes, maybe get you thinking outside of your box.”

He also wants to focus on featuring diverse voices. 

“My goals for the paper would be just to project voices that may not normally be heard. Whether that’s interviewing students that are in marginalized populations or whether that is having staff members that come from marginalized populations. I think that is going to be super valuable.”

The reputation of the paper and previous advisor pose some pressure. 

“What I’m most nervous about … is just the huge shoes and the history that I’m coming behind and knowing that Ripples is something that community members read and people even, they get this delivered to them all over the country, like this is, it’s a little bit of a microscope, but I think a fun microscope.”

As for his ultimate goal, Jordan is keeping it simple.

“My goal is to not let Ripples go under in one year. If I can keep it afloat, I think I’ve done my job for the first year.”