TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)– A Topeka elementary school principal is taking a different route when it comes to education.

Jennifer Gordon has been a principal for 18 years, working mostly in the Topeka Public School District.

When she was 19, she toured the U.S. and parts of the world with a singing group called Up With People. It’s a nonprofit that teaches young adults to interact with other cultures around the world, performing in different communities.

“Receptive to others,” Gordon said. “Conscious of being aware of culture. It taught me to be sensitive to others and making sure, hopefully, that all students have a voice.”

Now, she’s passing down her learning experiences to the kids and staff at McClure Elementary, trying her best to change lives.

“If students are educated well, they’ll be able to care for themselves and their families well,” Gordon said. “So that’s why I say education is about saving lives. It’s a daunting task, but it’s an awesome task for us.”

Jennifer has sung in front of a lot of people during her time with the group. From governors to people in Mexican prisons in the 70s, even singing in front of President Nixon.

Her most recent accomplishment was earning the 2017 National School of Character Award.

“Education is really about saving lives,” Gordon said. “And the more emphasis and focus that we put on educating our children well, the stronger we are in creating a wonderful society. An educated society.”

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