A woman smiles at a student. They are both sitting at the table table in a classroom.

On July 1, Carmen Coleman (left) will join the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative as chief of transformational learning and leading. Coleman has served as the chief academic officer for Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) since 2017. Photo courtesy of JCPS.

The Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative (OVEC), in partnership with Kentucky’s seven other cooperatives, will soon begin a two-year Deeper Learning program for its member districts.

Now OVEC has chosen a leader to support districts and schools in improving student engagement in meaningful learning.

Beginning July 1, Carmen Coleman will serve as OVEC’s chief of transformational learning and leading. This role includes leading OVEC’s Deeper Learning initiative and other strategies to impact the more than 9,500 educators who serve the OVEC region.

Coleman has served as the chief academic officer for Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) since 2017. In this role, she developed and led implementation of a district-wide competency-based initiative, known as the Backpack of Success Skills.  In 2019, Google for EDU designated this initiative as a signature project.

Other notable achievements in Coleman’s time at JCPS include opening the virtual Pathfinder School of Innovation, mobilizing students to examine and solve community challenges through the Aspen Challenge, strengthening district-wide support for English Language Learners and redesigning the Gifted and Talented programming to identify and serve more students from underrepresented populations.

“The Deeper Learning grant provides us with a tremendous opportunity to think carefully about the kind of future we want for our students and to create the systems and experiences necessary to bring those possibilities to life,” said Coleman. “I am so excited about working with and learning from the teachers and leaders in the OVEC region to reimagine what school can and should be.”

Prior to her time at JCPS, Coleman served on the faculty of the University of Kentucky’s (UK’s) College of Education, specifically in the educational leadership and principal preparation programs. Coleman’s expertise in deeper learning contributed to the success of UK’s Next Generation Teacher and Leader Academy.

Her 28 years in education have also included the roles of superintendent at Danville Independent Schools; director of elementary schools at Fayette County Public Schools; and principal, resource teacher and classroom teacher in Scott County Schools.

“Carmen Coleman is a strategic choice for this new role at OVEC. No one is associated with Deeper Learning in Kentucky more than Dr. Coleman,” said Leon Mooneyhan, OVEC’s chief executive officer. “Because she has led in large and small districts, she will have a credible voice with our member districts, who represent urban, suburban and rural communities.”

OVEC is an educational service agency that supports a region of 15 school districts, over 250 schools and over 155,000 students in north central Kentucky.