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An Extraordinary Teacher

Farewell to Jordan Burkey
An Extraordinary Teacher
Mason Fullerton ’25

The best teachers are those who care about their student’s academic well-being as well as their personal well-being. Jordan is the epitome of both. He challenges his students with such a grace that cannot be replicated.

He sees every student as an individual rather than a collective and does his best for every single student. It is as if he knows exactly how to push his students to their limits, without ever making them feel too overwhelmed. 

Jordan’s caring nature doesn’t stop there at all. He’s always available to check in with his students if they’re having a hard time with anything, whether it’s class-related or not.

He is always down to talk about nerdy things from Legos to old movies. 

Fellow science teacher Scott Sowers said, “I am going to miss having random conversations with Jordan because we are office roommates! There are often times when he will ask me ‘Hey, have you ever heard of this!’ and we will just get into a deep nerdy conversation.” 

From the moment Jordan walks into the classroom, his focus is on creating a safe and inclusive environment where every student feels seen, heard, and valued. 

Sowers also said, “Jordan is calm and collected and I think that’s a great quality to have because I get distracted easily, and silly, but I think Jordan takes that and is also super professional.” 

His commitment to his students’ well-being is what sets him apart from the rest, and it’s no wonder that so many of his students credit him with helping them become the best versions of themselves.

Jordan is an exceptional teacher who is deeply valued and respected within the community. He has created several fun and memorable traditions that have become an integral part of the school’s community.

One tradition is the Twelve Days of Christmas, where Jordan uses a Sound Decibel Meter to measure the volume of each grade’s verses of the song. Sowers also joined Jordan on stage. 

He said, “My favorite memory of Jordan is when we got up on stage and did the Twelve Grades of Christmas. It was both fun being on stage with him and knowing he values me enough to pass that on to me, and I think that’s really cool.” 

This exciting, kind, and competitive event brings the entire community together, and everyone looks forward to it every year. Especially because it is right before winter break. 

During Field Day, Jordan adds his personality to the event by amusingly walking around with a parasol, which everyone always remembers. He is a natural entertainer and has an excellent sense of humor that always brings a smile to everyone’s face. 

Despite his playful demeanor, he is extremely competitive and he always motivates the teachers during the faculty vs. senior tug of conflict, hyping them all up with his energetic spirit, which is why they win every year. 

When asked what his favorite memory at AFS was, Jordan said, 

“Oh wow, That’s really hard there are so many. There were trips to Six Flags with physics classes that were amazing back in the day. But I am going to say when some of the faculty sang the parting glass for the seniors or when Rich sang The Who on stage his first year here!” 

Jordan said he would miss the community most overall because he could not decide between the staff and the students.

Jordan’s ability to bring joy and laughter into everything he does is a testament to his cherished place in the community. He has a wittyness that sets him apart from everyone else, which makes him an irreplaceable and precious member of the school. His students adore him, and his colleagues respect him. Jordan’s contributions to the school community go far beyond the classroom, and his impact will undoubtedly be felt for years to come.

But how do we say goodbye? It is so hard to let go of such an integral community member! Well, we should take a page out of Sower’s book. Of course, we will all miss Jordan terribly, but, we should all be excited about the plans he has for his time away from Abington Friends. 


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  • S

    SolomonMay 31, 2024 at 10:27 am

    Jordan is a great teacher, every moment of his class was a highlight. I really appreciated how engaging he made his class. I will truly never forget his ability to make each and every student feel heard and seen. The community will really miss you. I hope you enjoy retirement and get the time to do the things you enjoy.

  • L

    Liam HilliardMay 31, 2024 at 7:58 am

    I haven’t been in Jordan’s class in a year (barring a discussion on the science of Frankenstein for English this semester), but I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. Jordan has this way of engaging and fascinating students with an artful mix of hard facts, personal stories, and just talking about things that interest him that all make his class impossible to forget. Jordan is one of the many teachers that make AFS a school that I’m proud to go to. I’m gonna miss you, Jordan. Enjoy your retirement!

  • E

    Ethan FarmaMay 30, 2024 at 10:46 am

    I’m genuinely happy I had the opportunity to have Jordan as a teacher twice! Although some of the classes were lectures, it was still enjoyable. Taking notes never had excitement in my mind until his class. There were so many different times when I thought the lesson would be boring, but somehow, Jordan made it fun. I remember vividly the midterm was genuinely fun in Physics. I thought that every single midterm was going to be a hassle that year but the way he put it seemed more of a game than anything. I appreciate the way he pushes his students but still has a very fun aspect of his way in teaching. Thank you, Jordan.

  • E

    Eliot BramsonMay 30, 2024 at 8:43 am

    When I was starting 9th grade, I was worried about Honors Physics. I had heard that physics was difficult, and friends that I had that had already taken physics said that the class was long and tedious, and they didn’t like it. That first 10 minute “class” that I had with Jordan didn’t really make me feel better. I remember his metaphor about physics being like ice and his job as the teacher was to make it easier, something softer like ice cream.

    However, that first class didn’t shine any light on how Jordan truly is as a teacher. The first real class that I had with him was surprisingly fun and interesting, even though we were taking notes. My past experience with notes has almost always been boring. Jordan, with his sincere love/passion for physics, the classroom, and the individual students, made note taking fun. I looked forward to almost every single physics class after that. The only classes that I didn’t like were the ones where we were taking tests, but even those weren’t too bad because of how well Jordan had prepared us. I don’t think I’ve ever been confused about a topic in physics, and if I am, I ask and Jordan finds a way to help. Whether I forgot a topic, missed some notes, didn’t understand/misunderstood a problem, or even just wanted to have somebody to bounce ideas off of, Jordan was there.

    We all know that there are different kinds of teachers. I would say there are four types that I’ve had:
    1) The really fun “friend” teacher that doesn’t actually teach anything
    2) The really strict not-so-fun teacher that teaches well
    3) The really strict not-so-fun teacher that doesn’t teach well
    4) And finally, the rare, but always the best teacher that is really fun, friend like, and teaches extremely well. Jordan is this kind of teacher.
    Over his long teaching career, he has found the best way to reach students. I honestly can’t think of a single flaw in Jordan’s teaching. He’s figured out how to balance mutual student-teacher respect, work load, and how to engage students every single class. I’ve never seen a student be frustrated in his class, because he’s always there with a quick explanation for the most confusing topics. I’ve always never seen him get frustrated, despite teaching one of the more difficult subjects in high school.

    Prompt and fair with grading, understanding and kind, helpful and fun, Jordan has been one of my favorite teachers of all time. You truly made physics fun like ice cream (I think I’m remembering that metaphor correctly), and you were the best teacher to have in my freshman year.

    Thank you for all that you’ve done for me, and every single other student that’s taken your class. I can’t speak for them, but I know that freshman year physics will forever be cemented in my memory as one of the best classes. I hope you enjoy your retirement, and again, thank you.
    -Eliot Bramson

  • P

    PaxMay 30, 2024 at 8:41 am

    Jordan, I am so glad I got to have you as a physics teacher this year. I loved all of your demonstrations and activities. I learned so much in your class, but never felt like I had too much work. I will always remember your class and how much it helped me learn to enjoy physics.

  • I

    IsabellaMay 30, 2024 at 8:37 am

    Jordan always brings his humor and passion into the classroom. Going to the Physics class is always a joyful thing for me because of Jordan’s teaching. He would often pull out different lab props from various wooden cabinets, and he always seemed to know which lab props were where. Jordan is such a good teacher of the quality of teaching and how he patiently treated us. He would listen to our thoughts carefully. Every time I asked Jordan a question, he created a comfortable atmosphere for me. Knowing Jordan is leaving this community is a pity. I will always remember how he brought so many joys to us.

  • W

    WillMay 30, 2024 at 8:28 am

    Jordan has been one of my favorite science teachers I have had. He made physics really interesting and fun to learn about. It was really nice to be able to talk to someone about random comic facts. I will always remember the day I talked to him about the physics of Superman and how that when Superman catches someone he should be breaking every bone in their body. It will be weird without Jordan next year. He felt like the first person I could really talk about comics with.

  • R

    RayanMay 30, 2024 at 8:20 am

    Jordan was a very good teacher because he cared about the school work and the people in his classroom. he challenged everyone to help us grow. I think Jordan likes to be nice to everyone in the school and be their for everyone.

  • J

    JonasMay 30, 2024 at 8:16 am

    Jordan was an amazing physics teacher for me. He made me love physics and want to learn/know more and more about it. He was always there if I needed help and explained things very clearly. Thank you, Jordan.

  • T

    TiyeMay 30, 2024 at 8:16 am

    Before I came to Jordan’s physics class, I believed that I hated physics and I simply was not good at it. Jordan taught me so much about physics and I believe the subject is really cool and interesting now. Jordan brought me to like physics although I really disliked it before which is testimony to his amazing abilities as a teacher. I hope to continue being interested in physics beyond Jordan’s class, but I will miss the joy and interest he brought to teaching it.

  • J

    JacobMay 30, 2024 at 8:15 am

    I truly loved Jordan’s class and I will never forget it. Jordan was my favorite teacher this year simply because you knew the effort and value he put towards teaching. His passion for Physics is always known and it shows with his demonstrations and explanations how how the world works.