Ackerman native Tommy Coleman may be a familiar face to many in Clay County, having served 28 years as a Mississippi state trooper in this area shortly after moving to West Point in 1982.
During his time as a state trooper, Coleman attended numerous leadership conferences and education workshops across the nation where he learned invaluable life lessons that he shared time and time again with children in West Point and Clay County schools during assemblies. Coleman said educating children and preparing them for life after grade school has always been a mission of his and believes as a member of the Clay County School Board for District 3 he can help the board continue making a difference in the lives of children at West Clay Elementary School.
â€śWhen I go to a conference I want to come back and be able to explain what the conference was about and pass my knowledge on to them to keep students and parents in the district more informed of whatâ€™s going on in their school system,â€ť Coleman said. â€śI donâ€™t believe in criticism and I definitely donâ€™t want to pull anything away from the school board, but I want to work harmoniously with them.â€ť
Coleman completed high school in Ackerman and graduated in 1989 from Mary Holmes College with an associateâ€™s degree. He currently works as a supplemental compliance monitor for the United States Department of Justice-Juvenile Division, inspecting jails to ensure that incarcerated juveniles are being treated properly, and Coleman said the well-being of children is amongst his top priorities.
Coleman, whose three children all attended West Clay Elementary and achieved honor statuses there, said as a member of the Clay County School Board he wants to give back to the community that has given so much to him and his family.
â€śThe school system was good to them. Itâ€™s a good school system in place, and I think I can do things that can help improve the school system,â€ť Coleman said. â€śMy doors will be open 24 hours a day. If there are issues going on Iâ€™m going to make myself available to the people in that district. They can feel free to call me and weâ€™ll talk about it.â€ť
Aside from his extensive career as a state trooper, Coleman is also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. Not only is this Colemanâ€™s first time running for West Clay School Board member but it is also his first time running for public office.
Coleman said he wants the opportunity to serve the Clay County School District to the best of his ability and is asking for the communityâ€™s prayers and support as well as their votes on Nov. 6.