All educators dedicate their lives to their students, but one extraordinary principal sacrificed her life to protect the children in her care.
Susan Jordan, principal at Amy Beverland Elementary School near Indianapolis, was helping load children onto school buses for the ride home when a bus jumped the curb. Without hesitation, Jordan pushed several students out of the way, losing her life in the process.
"They just loved her," Rita Reith, the on-scene spokeswoman for the Indianapolis Fire Department, told CNN. "Up to the minute she was alive, she was helping the kids."
Amy Beverland Elementary School
But Jordan did not lose her life in vain.
Her selfless deed saved two 10-year-old students who were taken to the hospital in serious condition but sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
The Metropolitan School District of Lawrence County school board released a statement extolling her unmatched "passion for children" and the "remarkable way" she impacted the lives of everyone at Amy Beverland and the larger Lawrence Township community.
Long before her last courageous act, Jordan was seen as a hero.
Amy Beverland Elementary
Last May, staff and students created an 11-minute video thanking Jordan for all of her hard work. Set to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," the tribute shows the heartwarming effect one "friendly, dependable, awesome, inspirational" person can have on an entire community.
Both teachers and students overflowed with praise for Jordan. One teacher said, "She always brings a positive spirit to Amy Beverland, and that's how she deals with kids, with teachers, and with the parents… She's a great leader, and we are so lucky to have her as a part of our school and as a part of our lives."
When asked what made Mrs. Jordan so successful, a student responded, "She is nice, and she is a hard worker. She helps all the students."
One class even wrote and recited an acrostic poem of her last name:
"J is for joyful to be around.
O is for organized in all you do.
R is for radiant, because you, Mrs. Jordan, are radiant.
D is for demanding because you demand we do our best everyday.
A is for awesome because you're an awesome principal.
N is for nice because you're always nice to work with."
"She is everything I want to be when I grow up," a teacher said with a half-joking grin. "She makes all of us want to be even better."
In one of the last interviews in the video, a student said Mrs. Jordan was so successful simply because, “She makes the school safe.”
The kind words expressed in the video carry even more weight as the school district is closed Wednesday, January 27, to commemorate and honor the life of a one-of-a-kind educator, their "beloved Susan Jordan."