Supporting and uplifting each other: Milwaukee's Black female principals band together

NOW: Supporting and uplifting each other: Milwaukee’s Black female principals band together


MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A northside Milwaukee High School principal is creating a sisterhood that goes beyond the classroom.

Shenora Stanton-Jordan has been the Principal at Messmer Catholic High School for three years. She got the leadership role at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I felt like it was just a great opportunity to bring some change, and be innovative in a space where our students, and this community needed it so much," said Jordan.

Jordan is Milwaukee proud through and through. Jordan grew up with education, always being front and center. 

The Principal went on to say, "My father worked in Milwaukee public schools, he was a safety supervisor, for years, for 30 years, before he retired, and his love of education, and principalship role, it's just in my heart, it's just what I think I'm called to do."

Jordan, with a smile, almost as contagious as her work ethic, starts her day before the sun rises.

"My day typically starts around 5am, (laughs) on a good day I'm here (Messmer Catholic High School) by 6:30, 6:45," said Jordan.

Jordan unphased by the early wake up times, said the work never stops.

"There is always something that needs to be done someone that needs to be served, a decision that needs to be made," said Jordan.

But, not every decision can come easy.

"You still want to be come to school and have that strong face, but you need to be vulnerable to someone and transparent, like, I don't know what to do next," said Jordan.

Jordan went on to say, when she accepted the role of principal, it was during a time where resources were scarce and problems abundant.

"We had teacher shortages, we had. People were dying. You had the civil unrest, there was no one to kind of lean on to support."

"I was just finding that, there were many other leaders like me, black and brown women, that serve predominantly white staff, and serve students that look like them, that were struggling," said Jordan 

Cue the start of Melanated PrinciGALS', formed in 2020 spearheaded by Jordan.

"It’s a cohort of sistership, and a place where we can be authentic, and ourselves, and celebrate being black women in leadership," said Jordan.

Jordan putting black Milwaukee female Principals in a class all of their own, offering support to each other, from those who know the role the best.

The mission of Melenated PriciGALS', simple.

"Let's build a sistership, lets develop each other, lets grow together, as we all collectively serve Milwaukee," said Jordan.

It's that sisterhood PrinciGALS's, like Kanika Burks and Shantee Williams have come to rely on.

"it’s the feel good, of you know what someone has my back, and I can pick up the phone, anytime to get the information that I need or their love and support to carry me along the way" said Williams.

"You know what, we will get through this day, we can do hard things, we can be successful, for the sake of the children in front of us," said Burks

The group of women, 44 strong, and growing, coming together whenever their fellow leaders need advice or just a listening ear.

We asked Jordan, what's next, she said this community of women is just the beginning of what’s to come for next generation of leaders in Milwaukee.

"I'm still serving high school students in Milwaukee, I'm still committed to making sure they have all their experiences here that they can take outside of Messmer, and hopefully developing the next round of students, but also PrinciGLAS's," said Jordan.

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