“The lesson that I learned from having attended both Christian Brothers High School and Christian Brothers University is that education is a basic human right. As a reformer of education, St. John Baptist de La Salle promoted education for the poor and making education accessible to all.”

Dr. Jordan Reed is a 2004 graduate of CBHS, a graduate of the Religion & Philosophy program at CBU, and then worked on his teaching licensure at CBU and graduated from Memphis Theological Seminary with a Master of Arts in Religion, before transferring to Middle Tennessee State University and ultimately earning his Education Specialist and Doctor of Education degrees at Carson Newman University.

Jordan lives the five core Lasallian principles each day in his career as an educator. He believes in a quality education that respects all persons, regardless of socioeconomic status, in an inclusive community, recognizing that all students are unique human beings made in the image of God. As he began working on his EdD, Jordan taught at a small private school for students with learning differences who struggle in traditional classroom settings. While there, he became convinced of the efficacy of positive behavior strategies. He ultimately wrote his dissertation, “The Effects of Smaller Class Sizes and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports on Students with Autism and ADHD,” on how positive behavior interventions and small classroom sizes can create success for students who have had trouble receiving a quality education in schools with a one-size-fits-all approach.

“I feel that God has called me to help students who need it most,” he says.

In his current position, Jordan teaches English Language Arts and Science to middle school students at Riverside Academy, an alternative school in the Cheatham County, TN. His students present significant behavioral challenges and often come from difficult home lives and poverty. He is praised by his administration and coworkers for his patience and willingness to work with these students that many teachers write off as lost causes. He also works to integrate diverse perspectives and experiences into his curriculum to foster an inclusive community where students can recognize the contributions of people who resemble them and their loved ones. Dr. Reed’s belief in a quality education for all, regardless of their socioeconomic status and other challenges, is a direct result of his Lasallian education first at CBHS and then CBU.

Jordan and his wife, Mandi Pitt-Reed (History ’09), met at CBU — where they both volunteered with Up ‘Til Dawn and spent a lot of time together in the Writing Center (which was in Plough Library then) and in the Buc. They married in 2011 and recently celebrated their tenth anniversary with a road trip out west. They are both active members of Saint Ann Catholic Church in Nashville — where Mandi serves as Director of Religious Education, RCIA, and Youth Ministry; and where Jordan is a Confirmation catechist, a member of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) team, a youth minister, and an adult faith formation volunteer. (When Jordan was confirmed into the Catholic faith at the 2017 Easter Vigil, he chose St. John Baptist de La Salle as his confirmation saint.)

My work as a public-school educator has exposed me to the most vulnerable in society, from children of low socioeconomic status, to students with disabilities, to students who struggle with addiction and abandonment. These are the students in our society who are most in danger of losing their access to education. Throughout all of this, I embodied the Lasallian principles of educating all students by showing them patience, understanding, and by holding them accountable; and by inviting God into my work to sanctify it. As I transition into administration, I will work to continue to embody De La Salle’s principles for teaching students, and also his principles for teaching teachers.