MEET DR. BONITA COLEMAN
Superintendent of Ocean Springs School District in Mississippi
Dr. Bonita Coleman, appointed superintendent of the Ocean Springs School District in 2012, has served in education for her entire professional life. Through her roles as superintendent, teacher, consultant, and a parent, she has acquired a deep and broad understanding of the opportunities, challenges and complexities of successfully leading a school district.
Dr. Coleman has transformed Ocean Springs School District by setting a new standard for Mississippi’s school districts by focusing on student success, instructional development and coaching, and effective principal leadership. She led the school district’s community collaboration of a strategic plan and developed high-impact learning initiatives to increase graduation rates. Under her leadership, the school district is recognized as one of the best school districts in the state and nation for its academic, athletic and artistic programs. With a focus on quality education, student leadership, civic engagement and the “Greyhound Experience,” OSSD continues to push students, teachers, administrators and the community to strive for excellence. As a result, the school district has continuously sustained an A-Rating by the Mississippi Department of Education. OSSD also received the state’s first National Math and Science Initiative Grant for increasing Advanced Placement student participation from 80 students to over 400 students. In 2015, the district was recognized by the White House as the nation’s #1 school in growth in Advanced Placement.
Before assuming the role of superintendent of OSSD, Dr. Coleman served as deputy superintendent of Prince George’s County Public Schools. During her tenure, she helped lead the nation’s 18th largest school districts. Under her leadership, the school district established an ambitious plan to create rigorous learning opportunities for students, developed informative evaluative systems for teachers and administrators, and used data, predictive analytics and community input to help guide decision-making. As a result, the school district increased its academic performance, enhanced co-curricular learning experiences, expanded professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators, and received national recognition for expanding access to Advance Placement courses.
For more than 20 years in public education, she has served as a K-12 teacher and a visiting professor and scholar at a number of universities. Subsequently, Dr. Coleman served several years as the associate state superintendent for academics for the Mississippi Department of Education. She is a member of the State Superintendent of Education’s Superintendents Advisory Council, chair of the MS Achievement School District Taskforce, and MS Diverse and Learner Ready Council. She offers her expertise and perspective on educational issues affecting schools in the Mississippi and the world.
A native Mississippian, Dr. Coleman graduated from Tougaloo College. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Mississippi and a Ph.D. in educational administration from Jackson State University. She is also a graduate of the Broad Superintendent’s Academy.
Dr. Coleman has a son, Chandler – a graduate of Ocean Springs High School and a current student at the University of South Alabama.
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Bonita Coleman
Superintendent, Ocean Springs School District