The Priory’s Jones is a born leader

Jordan Jones, the Interscholastic League of Honolulu 3,000-meter champion from The Priory and Pac-Five, is the president of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Student Advisory Committee. Jay Metzger / Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Jordan Jones laughed if off, but didn’t slough it off as impossible.

At the end of a seven-minute interview, The Priory’s Jones — who is the president of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Student Advisory Committee — was reminded that the U.S. has never had a woman president.

Of course, Jones is already aware of that fact, and while she was laughing she said, “I would love to be one day.”

It is not an immediate goal, if a goal at all. Jones, however, is an impressive leader, according to various athletic directors and other officials at the HHSAA SAC’s Student Leadership Summit, which was held last week in conjunction with the annual Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association conference at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Jones, who runs for Pac-Five and is the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion in the 3,000-meter run, is only a junior and will start her fourth year as an HHSAA SAC representative in her upcoming senior year.

“I have always been involved in leaderhsip in my school, in the student council in my grade,” Jones said. “When I became an athlete in seventh grade, running track, I became interested in leadership in athletics.

“Being part of the Student Advisory Committee gives me the opportunity to share my opinions on the state level and become a leader in the state for athletics. There are some issues I have personally faced that I care about, and in the past few days (at the Student Leadership Summit) I was able to learn about some issues that others have faced or care about. We are representing our schools and our leagues and we heard from students with concerns about officials, about transgender athletes, about hazing. These are some issues that are very important to us. Being in this position allows me to communicate with the ADs and those in charge of the HHSAA so that we can solve these issues.”

According to Jones, the biggest accomplishment made by the HHSAA’s SAC (made up of 10 representatives, two each from the Hawaii’s five leagues) in her time with the organization is the creation of the Student Leadership Summit, which is now in its second year and which hosted 89 representatives from schools in Hawaii.

“We (in the SAC) attended a national leadership summit run by the National Association of High School Federations in Indianapolis,” she said. “After coming back, we felt that it was an opportunity that we wanted to share with everyone else. Having students (from around the state) come here for a couple of days so they can learn about leadership in athletics is really important.”

According to Interscholastic League of Honolulu assistant executive director George Gilbert, who is a key organizer of the HIADA conference each year, Hawaii’s Student Leadership Summit is modeled after the national summit. He added that two students per year from the 10-person HHSAA SAC attend the national conference.

Gilbert, as well as Kapolei principal Elden Esmeralda, University athletic director Hoku Haliniak, HHSAA executive director Chris Chun, and Karen Iha of the Oahu Interscholastic Association are instrumental in organizing Hawaii’s Student Leadership Summit.

Jones is not a one-trick or even a two-trick pony. Aside from her running ability and leadership qualities, she’s also a tuba player.

“In sixth grade, we were required to take either band, orchestra or choir,” she said. “I didn’t think I was much of a singer and I thought the tuba was the coolest instrument in the whole room.”

And the future for Jones?

“I would love to study law and politics and government,” she said. “I’m not sure exactly where I want to go, but I am hopefully going to run for a Division I school and go to a college that best suits my needs.”

Note: The Priory, formerly known as St. Andrew’s Priory, is the name of the girls school under the banner of St. Andrew’s Schools. The Prep, a boys school that opened in 2014, is also part of St. Andrew’s Schools.

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