Board Member: Anthony “Tony” E. Coleman Sr.
Serving District: 2
Phone: 904-547-7510
Member since: 2020
Term: 2020-2024

In November 2020, Anthony “Tony” E. Coleman, Sr. became the newest member of the St Johns County School District board, having been a student there himself.

Coleman graduated from Hastings High School in 1983 and, following a certification in law enforcement and correction, began a career in the field. Across 30 years he served with the Putman County Sheriff’s Office and the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office, including working with youth.

Community-minded, he is an advisor to Hastings Youth Academy, minister at the Lord Temple City of Refuge Ministries, and [participates in] other outreaches. Coleman is married to Cherl, who together have six children and 14 grandchildren.

VOLUSIA PARENT: Why did you want to run for as a school board member?

AC: I’ve actually worked as a coach and as a mentor to kids all my adult life. So after retiring from the sheriff’s office and after much prayer and guidance, I knew I wanted to still work within the system. I wanted to help our kids. 

Having seen things, from being in law enforcement and being a school resource officer…was a driving force. 

VP: What did you learn during your campaign from your constituents?

AC: Listening to parents, and to those in the school system, from leadership to teachers,… became a driving force for my campaign. A lot of what they [talked about] was continuing education for kids who would not go to college, but into the trades and so forth. 

VP: What were some of your campaign issues, and how will you fulfill them?

AC: One was safety and security. Keeping our kids safe is one of the issues that will be a continuation of my path.

Another is learning, again, from a technical side, because we have kids that may not desire to go to college. I think it’s important to concentrate more in that area and close the gap on kids that are falling through the cracks.

VP: How has your career in law enforcement prepared you to be a school board member?

AC: What I learned in my career is that you plant a seed and you nature it.

VP: What does the school system get right, right now?

AC: [The openness of the system.] Parents are free to phone us, and if we don’t have an answer, we will find an answer. People always have access. 

VP: What are some areas for improvement?

AC: I think what we need to work on this year is continuing on our path of getting our kids back into brick and mortar buildings. I think that’s vitally essential. 

VP: What would you like your legacy with the school board to be?

AC: It’s not about me, it’s about God. If we do right by him, do right by our children, and do right by everybody, we’ll be unified. And at the end of the day, that’s what I want. That’s how I want to leave things.

Patrick Evans-Hylton is an award-winning journalist, having covering a wide variety of topics in broadcast, electronic, and print media since 1995. Read about him at 

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