William Iker is super excited to be selected as the new principal for Jordan Elementary School.

Currently an assistant principal at Wilson & Young Medal of Honor Middle School, he has been with Ector County ISD for 10 years. Previously, he served in the U.S. Army for 20 years, leaving as a sergeant first class.

Originally from Atlanta, Ga., Iker moved around the country and world — Germany, South Carolina, Alabama, Missouri, Korea, Hawaii, Washington State and California.

He and his wife, Raquel, have five children.

His wife was previously a special education teacher for eight years and now works for American Momentum Bank.

Iker earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Columbia College while he was in the Army and his master’s degree in educational leadership from University of Texas Permian Basin.

Columbia College is in Columbia, Mo. The military partners with local colleges, so he was able to take classes at Fort Leonard Wood.

“It’s one of those unique situations that the military provides for the service members,” Iker said.

He started off as a teacher/coach at Ector Middle School before it became an in-district charter.

Within the first year or two of his military career, Iker said he was steering toward education.

“… From that point on, I tried to drive my career towards instruction and being a military instructor and having those opportunities,” he said.

His father was in the military and his wife was, as well. They got married in Hawaii.

Iker said his military background helps in education.

“It gives me a good foundation. It also gives me the ability to deal with people, build those quality relationships quickly because the rotations in the military come so quick. That building relationships is fundamental in the military, so it made for an easier transition when I moved into education. I just found it easier to build those quality relationships with adults and students,” Iker said.

Having spent his career at middle schools, Iker said he’s looking forward to becoming an elementary principal.

“… It’s a change. It’s an opportunity to grow. I’ve been in the middle school my whole career, so there are those challenges of just learning what goes on in the elementary school so I’m just super-excited to expand my horizons and my professional career,” Iker said.

His goals at Jordan will be to grow teachers so they can grow students and close gaps and bring parents back into the school to help with their children’s education.

Jordan has about 800 students in grades kindergarten through fifth.

“Right now, I think they’re a C-rated campus. Our goal is to be an A-rated campus. … It should take three to four years to do that with incremental growth. We’re not rushing anything, like overnight success. …,” Iker said.

He added that he is looking forward to starting the year and working with the teachers at Jordan.

“… I’ve heard nothing but great things about Barbara Jordan and the staff over there and the family they have over there. I’m just eager to be part of that and get in there and see where we can grow; see how I can help them grow. We can reach those goals of becoming an A campus,” Iker said.

He added that he has learned a lot from being at Wilson & Young and enjoyed working with the administrative team because they are so cohesive. The campus has about 1,250 students in grades six through eight.

“… It gives you an opportunity to focus on the things you want to grow on. And so just having that great admin team and then just a school full of professional teachers is just amazing …,” Iker said.

He added that it’s tough to find schools where the administrative team and teaching staff are so closely aligned and focused on what they’re trying to accomplish.

Chief of Schools Keeley Simpson said Iker is committed to the Jordan school community.

“As a member of the community himself, he is passionate about expanding opportunities for parent engagement and ensuring that students have an exceptional school experience,” Simpson said.

“He is a systems thinker and is highly involved with all aspects of teaching and learning,” she added. “… He’s great at designing and implementing systems based on needs.”