Mortimer Jordan High School

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Mortimer Jordan High School
1920 Blue Devil Drive
Kimberly, Alabama
United States
Type Public
Established 1920
School board Jefferson County Board of Education
Principal Craig Kanaday
Faculty 49
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 757
Student to teacher ratio 16:1
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Blue and White         
Athletics AHSAA Class 5A
Nickname Blue Devils
Feeder schools North Jefferson Middle School

Mortimer Jordan High School is a public high school located in Kimberly, Alabama. It is a part of the Jefferson County Board of Education.

The Cross Country Team Consists of Drey Hughes,Christian Hulmes, Gavin Rogers, Landon Wideman, Blane, Slade, Nick Sargent and Caleb Boyett The school was named after Captain Mortimer Harvie Jordan, a war hero who lost his life in World War I. He was a soldier, officer and physician. As commanding officer of Company K, 167th infantry, 42nd "Rainbow Division" Alabama Army National Guard, he was mortally wounded while leading his sector in battle. He died of his wounds in 1918 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.[1]

Student profile[edit]

Enrollment in grades 9-12 for the 2012-13 school year is 757 students. Approximately 91% of students are European-American 7% are African-American, and 2% are other races/ethnicites. Roughly 29% of students qualify for free or reduced price lunch.

MJHS has a graduation rate of 95%.[2] Approximately 87% of its students meet or exceed proficiency standards in mathematics, while 92% meet or exceed standards in reading. The average ACT score for MJHS students is 24 and the average SAT composite is 1640.[3]


Mortimer Jordan High School opened its doors in the fall of 1920 at its original campus in Morris, Alabama with a mere ninety students enrolled. Two students, Ms. Sudie Counts Rogers and Ms. Eileen Jenkins Lovelady, graduated that year. The first principal, Ms. Minnie Holliman, and three female teachers completed the faculty. In 1928, a student, Ms. Mabel Creel graduated valedictorian at the age of 13. She was the youngest to graduate with such high honors.

Since its establishment, Mortimer Jordan High School has had only seven principals. Former principal Jimmie A. Trotter served over 32 years as a coach and as its principal. John O. Suddeth, a MJHS graduate and a graduate from the University of Alabama, was principal at MJHS in the 1950s and early 1960s. Craig Kanaday is the seventh and current principal of MJHS.[4]


The original facility was located in Morris, with the property directly adjacent to the city limits of Kimberly. This site was occupied until the end of the 2010-11 school year.

The original building of five rooms soon became inadequate and a frame building of eight rooms was added. The first water system for the school was installed during the early 1930s. Alabama By-Product Corporation in Majestic donated the pump and water filter to the school using Turkey Creek as the water source. A teacher and some students installed the system, and water fountains were placed outside the building. Between the years of 1937 and 1941 indoor plumbing and restrooms were installed.

The "old gym" was built by the WPA during 1936 and 1937, around the same time the lunchroom program was established. The first Miss Mortimer Jordan, now Miss Torch, was elected in 1937. Stage curtains were purchased for the gym stage with the proceeds from the pageant.

During the early 1950s, a then up-to-date football and athletic field was constructed. Restrooms in the football stadium were added in 1962.

During the 1960s, Gardendale High School was established south of Morris in Gardendale. Until that time, students in the Gardendale area attended Mortimer Jordan High School. Gardendale based students were phased out in the mid-to-late 1960s. MJ senior high school students from Gardendale were allowed to finish senior high school at Mortimer Jordan if they desired or could transfer to Gardendale. Many chose to finish at MJ. Buses to MJ ran routes through Gardendale for several years concurrent with buses to Gardendale until the phase out was completed in 1968-69.

In its last incarnation at the Morris site, the school consisted of a multi-complex that included two gymnasiums, academic classrooms, and a lunchroom. A music department (band and choir), homemaking department, business education department, and student counseling service were added.

A brand new Mortimer Jordan High School was built on Bone Dry Road, approximately four miles from the old site. It opened in the fall of 2011. The new site, one of a series of new high schools built during the period by the Jefferson County Schools, consists of classroom buildings, an athletics field house, and two fields for football, baseball and softball. A competition and a practice gymnasium, as well as greatly enlarged practice facilities for wrestling, are also included.

The original site in Morris was converted into the William E. Burkett Center for handicapped students; the W.E.B.C. moved from its original location near Fultondale to the original MJHS campus at the bginning of the 2012-13 school year.


The athletic department fields teams in football, volleyball, cross country, basketball, wrestling, baseball, softball, golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field. The softball team won the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A State Championship in 2008 and 2009, setting a state record in 2009 for most consecutive games won. That streak carried over into the 2010 season, and ended at 59 games when Jordan lost to Angelo Rodriguez High School of Fairfield, California in the ESPN RISE/Nike Fastest to First Tournament in Huntington Beach, California on March 25, 2010. (The team later finished second in the 2010 5A championship, upset by Athens High twice on the final day.) Jordan also won the 2011 championship, only the fourth team in state history to win a title after losing their opening game in the double-elimination tournament. The softball program won its first state championship with the 1999 4A-5A title. It also has five second-place finishes.[5] Mortimer Jordan also has one basketball state championship from 1928.[6] The football program was the 5A runner-up in 2015, playing in its first AHSAA Super 7 appearance at Bryant-Denny Stadium.[7]

Mortimer Jordan High School is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Alabama Department of Education.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Pat Buttram, Actor
  • Peter Tom Willis, Professional Football Player
  • Dr. Ray Garrett, a research scientist at Oak Ridge, Tennessee
  • Dr. Eolin Burkett, a former Superintendent of Jefferson County Schools
  • Dr. Wayne Wood
  • John O. Suddeth, a graduate of MJHS and the University of Alabama and Principal of MJHS
  • Craig Kanaday, new MJHS principal
  • Heidi Elnora Standridge Baker, wedding dress designer, owner of "Heidi Elnora"[8]
  • Erin Wright, Alabama softball player 2001-2004, Hoover High School softball coach 2013–present[9]
  • Danae Hays, Alabama softball player 2012–present[10]
  • Morgan Estell, Auburn softball player 2011–2015[11]
  • Haylie McCleney, Alabama softball player 2013–2016[12]
  • Zach Winkler, Vanderbilt football player, 1996-1999[13][14][15][16]
  • John Burrow, Vanderbilt football player 2009-2011[17][18]


  1. ^ Capt. Mortimer H. Jordan
  2. ^ "2014 Graduation Rates by School and District". Alabama School Connection. Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  3. ^ "Mortimer Jordan High School - AL - Rankings - Niche". K-12 School Rankings and Reviews at Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  4. ^ Carter, Robert (24 April 2014). "Craig Kanaday is named new principal at Mortimer Jordan". Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. The North Jefferson News. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
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  7. ^ Estwick, Gary (4 December 2015). "Saints repeat as 5A champs". Alabama Media Group. The Birmingham News. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
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External links[edit]

  • [1] Mortimer Jordan High School Website

Coordinates: 33°45′29″N 86°48′41″W / 33.75817°N 86.81126°W / 33.75817; -86.81126