KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
September 12, 2019
By Addie Davis
The Katy Independent School District invites the community to the dedication of the Jeanne Coleman Student Support Annex tonight, Thursday, September 12 at 6:30pm.
In November 2018, the Katy Independent School District Board of Trustees approved to name the Student Support Annex after living legacy, Jeanne Coleman. She is well known for her passion and leadership skills in the special education area.
"I was thrilled when my name went to the nominating committee, but I never dreamed that I would actually become the namesake," says Coleman. "When I heard the building would be named after me, I was very excited. It is such an honor to be part of the Katy ISD legacy."
The annex, formerly known as “Creech University,” served as a temporary campus for displaced Creech Elementary students and staff after Hurricane Harvey. Now, the annex will house several special education-related services as well as the District’s Early Childhood Testing, the Work-based Learning Program, Vision Impaired and Braille staff among other resources and staff members.
Coleman completed her Masters of Arts degree in Communication Sciences at University of Houston. She moved to Texas after completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Audiology and Speech Sciences at Purdue University.
"I knew that I wanted to work with children. I heard about speech pathology and loved the aspect of diagnosis and then treatment based on the communication needs," says Coleman.
In 1998, she joined Katy ISD as a speech-language pathologist at Nottingham Country Elementary (NCE).
"I had moved here because of Katy’s great reputation and decided it was time for me to try to work here also," says Coleman. "It was a great choice to work in Katy ISD."
A year later, Coleman was promoted to an instructional officer. Her role soon expanded to include the provision of speech therapy services for secondary students at the Opportunity Awareness Center (OAC) and the Behavior Transition Program. She also coordinated district-wide speech therapy, adapted physical education and related services for occupational therapy, physical therapy, music and art therapy.
A Lasting Legacy
Coleman established eligibility guidelines for the district, overseeing assessment teams and establishing service program guidelines, all while maintaining federal, state and local guidelines. While in this role, her responsibilities continued to increase. Coleman became responsible for the supervision and administrative responsibilities for roughly 120 direct hires and contract speech-language pathologists. She also took on the instructional services for the visually impaired population throughout the district.
"I have always enjoyed working with children and adults with special needs," says Coleman. "I have learned so much about compassion, love and joy from children and their parents."
Coleman retired in 2016 with 32 years of dedication and service to student and parents. However, she continues to advocate on behalf of children with special needs. She helps provide support programs for her area and has a private speech therapy service. She is also still very much involved in Katy ISD.
"I visit the Jeanne Coleman Student Support Annex and was described as a “chocolate-bearing cheerleader” for the staff," says Coleman.
Coleman is also the current book chair for KARE, Katy Area Retired Educators, and collects books to donate to schools and community groups in need.
"It continues to fulfill me every day to help others in the community," says Coleman.
The dedication ceremony is open to the public and will take place at 4242 South Mason Road in Katy, at 6:30 pm with a reception to follow.