CITY OF KATY (Covering Katy News) – When Chance Jordan walked across the graduation stage at the Merrell Center Friday night he became the fourth generation Jordan to receive a Katy High School diploma. Their heritage dates back to 1932 when Leonard Jordan earned his degree at Katy’s original high school.
Jordan family Katy High School graduates also include Chance’s father Kenny, class of 1995, and his grandfather Gary, class of 1957. Both men were at the Merrell Center for Friday night’s graduation ceremony.
“My family got here in the late 1800s and just about everyone was rice farmers,” said 80-year-old Gary. “We lived 9 miles out of Katy and only passed about nine houses on the way into town,” he remembered. “The combine and rice dryer were what made rice farming really get going around here,” he said.
The Jordan family hold a special place in the history of Katy High School football. Gary’s brother scored the first touchdown in Katy’s first football championship in 1959. He’s proud of Katy’s football heritage and noted that it was different when the district had just one high school.
“When they played out of town games there were very few people left in town,” Gary recalled.
The Katy Independent School District is currently building its ninth high school. The Jordan family homestead was located across the street from what is now the site of Paetow High School, Katy’s eighth high school.
“It was a great place to duck and goose hunt,” Gary said.
Gary is the oldest living Jordan family member living in Katy. He says Chance downplays being a fourth generation Katy High School graduate.
“Typical teenager. It’s like he does not care,” Gary said. “I think somewhere down deep he thinks it’s pretty cool.”
Gary admits that it means something to him.
“It’s pretty neat. It’s pretty special,” Gary said. “There are not many families that have been able to stay long enough to get their kids through high school,” Gary said.
The Jordan family’s first graduate was an FFA Grand Champion. Leonard raised a grand champion steer and pig. He later went on to serve as rodeo committee chairman.
In the fall, Chance will study engineering at Texas Tech.
“He’ll do OK,” Gary said. “He has a good head on his shoulders.”
Three years from now Chance’s sister Cheyenne will also graduate from Katy High School. She just completed her freshman year.
“It’s a special time,” Gary said.
See family photos below.