Nominated by fellow Dyersburg City Schools gifted educator Becky Hasselle, Coleman received the award at a recent TAG conference.
"I cannot think of a more worthy candidate," said Hasselle in her letter nominating Coleman for the prestigious award. "We have worked together professionally for several years and I have the utmost respect and admiration for her."
In addition to numerous hours in the classroom offering unique lesson plans, Coleman has spent much time with her students after school and on weekends participating in field trips or enrichment programs like Odyssey of the Mind and Destination Imagination.
"Teaching children has given me an incredible career of a lifetime," said Coleman. "Some of my fondest memories are of the Odyssey of the Mind and Destination Imagination teams. Creative children willing to put in the long hours and do their very best. Some of their scripts, props, and brainstorming competitions are still mentioned by their old competitors."
Coleman has also succeeded in her profession. She went to Russia as an ambassador of gifted education with the People to People Citizen Ambassador Program after the dissolution of the USSR. She so impressed the minister of education there that she was taken on a personal tour and provided the opportunity to speak, consult, and instruct both teachers and students. She also passed out many of her "unpublished" books.
An international speaker, presenter, consultant and author, she was also offered the chance to be an international researcher. She has served as a coach and coordinator for Odyssey of the Mind, regional director of Destination Imagination and worked on both the state and international levels in that organization.
Coleman has served as a state representative in the Dyersburg Education Association, as a member of PET, Delta Kappa Gamma, Who's Who Among America's Teachers, National Association for Gifted Children and has served as a presenter at TAG conferences several times. She is also very active in her church, school and community.
Coleman has succeeded in inspiring her students to put their hearts into their projects and to reach for the sky.
"Many of my children became a little famous for some of their independent projects," said Coleman. "Publishing books and newspapers, being published in magazines, and an engineer asked to do a marketing study on a student's invention. Scientists, manufacturers and experts have called or written back to the children much to their delight."