Newark Board of Education Honors First Rhodes Scholar

Jordan Thomas is University H.S. Alumni and 2018 Princeton Graduate


Newark, NJ – December 21, 2017 – Members of the Newark Board of Education this week honored Jordan Thomas, a 2014 graduate of Newark’s University High School, who has been selected to receive a Rhodes Scholarship. Thomas will continue his studies at the University of Oxford in England.

“Today, we recognize a young man who has made history not only for Newark Public Schools, but also for the city of Newark – Jordan Thomas has been named our first Rhodes Scholar – we congratulate him, he represents our city and our students well,” said Marquis Aquil Lewis, Board Chairman. Members of the Board, led by Chair of the Community Engagement Committee, Dashay Carter, presented a proclamation to Jordan and his family at the December board meeting.

Jordan served in many roles in NPS, particularly serving as the Student Representative on the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board during the 2013-2014 school year. After graduating from University High School, Jordan matriculated at Princeton University, where he will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 2018.

“I am truly honored and humbled to stand before you this evening to accept this proclamation from a school district and city I love,” said Thomas. “It is such a huge honor. I have a mission and goal in my life and that is to have an impact on others. I truly believe in my heart this (being a Rhodes Scholar) will help me to come back and serve my city. The people I have met along my journey have been special and it’s amazing to see the impact I can have on others. I will be coming back to Newark – I’m not finished yet.”

As a Rhodes Scholar, Thomas is among one of 32 American recipients of this prestigious fellowship, which funds two to three year of graduate study at the University of Oxford. Thomas plans to pursue further studies in Evidence Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation. Thomas, who is on winter break from Princeton, has already met with students at American History High School, where his father teaches. He plans to host a discussion with students and conduct research at his alma mater, University High School, on January 4.

Superintendent of Schools Christopher D. Cerf said, “Jordan represents the best of Newark Public Schools students and their passion to learn, explore and impact the world. We are proud of Jordan’s accomplishments and look forward to an extraordinary future for him.”