Speaker – Erica Jordan-Thomas

About Erica…

Erica currently serves as Principal of Ranson IB Middle School, a Title I school in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District that has exceed growth expectations defined by the state for the past two years. Under her leadership, Ranson IB was ranked #2 in the district for their growth in ELA and #3 in the district for their growth in science. As Principal of Ranson IB, Erica serves almost 1000 scholars and oversees over 100 staff members. Prior to serving as Principal, Erica served as Assistant Principal at Ranson IB for three years.


As a member of New Leaders-Charlotte Cohort 11, Erica served as Resident Principal at Reid Park Academy during its transition to a Pre-K-8 school. Under her leadership, 100% of Reid Park 8th graders enrolled in Algebra I passed the Algebra I end-of-course exam.Prior to joining New Leaders, Erica served as a Program Director for Teach For America–Charlotte. Erica was a 2008 Teach For America Corps Member and taught math at Olympic Renaissance High School. While teaching at Olympic Renaissance, Erica increased standardized test scores by 78% in Algebra II and 54% in Geometry.

Erica was named one of Charlotte Agenda’s “30 Under 30”. She holds a Masters in Instructional Leadership from Relay Graduate School of Education. She is a board member for Teach For America-Charlotte and the Collective National Advisory Board, Teach For America’s National Alumni of Color Association. Erica grew up in Columbus, Ohio and attended Columbus Public Schools. A proud buckeye, Erica graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in Textiles and Clothing and a minor in Business Administration.

Learn more about Erica’s Talk…

Title: How to Pay Our Teachers More
Description: Our children deserve great teachers, but the landscape of education is creating more challenges to placing a great teacher in every classroom. Learn the story of how a school increased academic excellence for students by creating more pay and opportunities for the best teachers.
What would the news headline about your talk? Same teachers, new positions, greater pay.
What do you want people to learn from your talk? In order for us to serve ALL students, we must create innovative ways of learning and new career opportunities for great teachers.
What action items do you want people to take away from your talk? Advocate for teachers to have access to greater pay and greater opportunities.

Learn more about Erica…

Where is your hometown? Columbus, Ohio #GoBucks 🙂
What are your hobbies? Cooking, listening to music, visiting parks, traveling to new places, and cheering on THE Ohio State Buckeyes!
What are you passionate about? Ensuring educational and racial equity inside and outside of our schools.
What is the best compliment you’ve received? You’re a great teacher.
What do you want to be remembered for? Having honest conversations even when it is hard.
How do you push the boundaries? By valuing and taking pride in the diverse culture of our students and community.
What does your happy place look like? A beach on a sunny day!
What is one thing that you would like to share that isn’t commonly known about you? I LOVE Marvel movies!

Thoughts on Charlotte…

What part of town do you live in? University Area
What draws you to Charlotte? Charlotte is such a great city with many opportunities, however the harsh reality is not everyone has equal access to these opportunities. Nine years ago (and today), I saw a clear opportunity to have an impact on children and the education system.
Where do you see Charlotte in 5 years? In 5 years I see Charlotte more diverse than every before, and a proof point for closing the opportunity gap within public education.

Our most important question…

What animal will most likely be our future overlords? Dolphins