Archive for February 2, 2010
We continue our series of profiles on the winners of the Atlanta Families’ Awards for Excellence in Education with a profile of Gregory Coleman of Parkside Elementary. In 1998, Coleman moved to Atlanta from New York City, after graduating from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Upon moving to Atlanta, Coleman worked with Enterprise for four and a half years. However, he had a desire to do something more fulfilling.
In 2003 he was accepted into the Atlanta Plus program, which recruits successful professionals to teach in APS’ classrooms. While teaching at Dobbs Elementary School for two years, he completed his teaching certification and masters’ degree from Georgia State University. Currently, Coleman is a third-grade teacher at Parkside, where he has been for the past five years. While working at Parkside, he has had the pleasure of serving as the chair of the leadership team, a mentor teacher to several university students, chair of the first all-male oratorical competition at Parkside, the Teacher of the Year for 2008-09, and completed a specialist degree in leadership, from Lincoln Memorial University. In 2007, Mr. Coleman was the featured teacher in the “Ask a Teacher” column of Atlanta Parent magazine. Coleman believes that his greatest impact can be seen in the honesty, determination and passion exhibited by his children.
Filmmaker Richard Karz spent years compiling footage of African-American luminaries in the fields of education, entertainment and civil rights for his documentary on race relations. Once the project was complete, he decided to unveil the fruits of his labor to the next generation of leaders — 700 junior and senior high school students from Atlanta Public Schools.
Frederick Douglass High School provided the backdrop for a preview of Karz’ documentary, “Legacy: Black & White in America,” which tackles the lasting impact of slavery on modern-day issues such as quality education, poverty and crime. Karz featured Ambassador Andrew Young, Spelman College President Dr. Beverly Tatum and U.S. Rep. John Lewis in the documentary, and they offered commentary on the film after the viewing. 11Alive education reporter Donna Lowry served as moderator for the discussion.