In his first job after college, Jeremy Coleman saw the world from the viewpoint of a correctional officer.
“I met so many talented and hopeful young people that all shared a similar story of abandonment and abuse,” he says. “I wanted to dramatically change the life trajectories of the students most affected by economic inequality, discriminatory housing, and economic policy.”
In a later job, where he mentored students facing challenges in schools throughout Indianapolis, Jeremy discovered what he calls “the magic of the classroom.” Finding that he had a unique connection with students, he pursued his teaching license and, in his first year, landed in a classroom of 38 fourth-graders, where he “loved every minute of it.”
Students Discover Voice, Power
“The students that I mentored discovered their own voice and power and made tremendous progress in schools,” says Jeremy, who today is principal of Brookview Elementary on the east side of Indianapolis.
While teaching in a local charter school, he enrolled in Ball State’s online master of arts (MAE) in educational administration and supervision.
“The beauty of the Ball State program was its emphasis on practice which is what made me choose Ball State’s MAE program over other programs,” he says.
Jeremy says the program was “foundational in my understanding of how to think like an administrator.”
Says MAE Class was Jolt He Needed
He remembers vividly his first class with Dr. Marilynn Quick, associate professor of educational leadership.
“It was challenging, it was rigorous, and it was also exactly the jolt that I needed to see leadership clearly,” he says. “I remember a few things about my first MAE class with Dr. Quick: reading Machiavelli’s The Prince and Six Thinking Hats. Both were wonderfully designed to induce critical thinking and analysis. But the third indelible experience from her class was the self-assessment rubrics.”
Jeremy assumed the role of Brookview principal in 2019. Part of his responsibility is setting the tone and establishing direction for the school.
“But none of that is possible without talented and dedicated staff and great students. We have both at Brookview,” he says. “I will take some credit for hiring some of our rock star teachers!”
EdD Was Next on His Journey
In 2013, Jeremy enrolled in Ball State’s online doctorate of education (EdD) in educational administration and supervision.
“One of the major determinants for starting the journey was the level of support I would have along the way,” he says. “I heard horror stories of people who were ‘all but dissertation’ with little hope and even less support.”
Jeremy says he knew he had expert guidance for his “dissertation journey” with Dr. Serena Salloum, Ball State associate professor of educational leadership, as his chair.
Dr. Salloum Helped Him Persevere
“They say a leader is someone you would follow to a place that you wouldn’t go by yourself,” he says. “This journey is arduous and would’ve been impossible for me to go it alone. During the challenging stages of writing the dissertation, knowing that Dr. Salloum was in my corner, helped me persevere.”
Jeremy says the EdD was life altering and prepared him to be a better researcher, writer, and, ultimately, a better leader.
EdD was Crowning Achievement
“Commencement was the moment for me,” says Jeremy, who recently received his degree. “I can remember very clearly being at Worthen Arena and enjoying an overwhelming sense of being ‘home.’ It was the crowning professional accomplishment of my career.”
Jeremy has also partnered with The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers (NoBCChE), 100 Black Men of Indianapolis, Teach for America, and Keep Indiana Learning, all dedicated to improving the lives of minority students.