Our school is named after a Plant City doctor named John A. Coleman. How did a Tampa school happen to be named for a Plant City doctor? Dedication and hard work on his part is the answer. Coleman first served as a Hillsborough County School Trustee from 1946 - 1953 and later served on the Hillsborough County Board of Public Instruction from 1954 - 1959. He was a staunch advocate of countywide school consolidation and said he believed in bringing equal education opportunities to all children, regardless of race, creed or color. Born August 30, 1896, in Tattnall County, GA, the senior Coleman moved to Plant City in 1905 with his parents. His father, Daniel V. Coleman, had large turpentine interests near the Boyette area in Hillsborough County.
After graduating from Plant City High School and attending the University of Florida, John Coleman served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War I. He later earned a medical degree from Tulane University and interned at the Medical College of Virginia Hospital in Richmond. It was in Richmond that he met and married Mary Matthews Dabney. They moved to Plant City in 1925. But with the advent of the Great Depression, John Jr. said his dad only could collect 25 cents on each dollar owed him so he briefly served as a physician in the coal fields of Kentucky.
After setting up his practice in Plant City, he returned to his Alma Mater as team physician for the Plant City High School Planters (now Raiders) for about 25 years. He loved sports and promoted them as well as academics. John A. Coleman died in October 1959. The school was dedicated March 7,1963 four years after Coleman's death. When the school reopened after renovations were completed in January 2000, the doctor's picture was hung in Coleman Middle School's Principal's Conference Room, just as it has since the school was dedicated.
About Coleman Middle School
Originally Coleman Jr. High School, completed in 1962, was designed to accommodate 740 students and 46 staff and faculty members. Our new renovated facilities now houses over 930 students and 85 staff and faculty members. A quote from then Superintendent J. Crockett Farnell from the dedication program said: "The expansion and growth of our educational system are not at an end, nor does it seem that they will ever be; accordingly, we must continue to face vital challenges from day to day in meeting the needs of our children."
Coleman Junior High School was converted to a middle school in 1992 as part of the district's cluster plan, a comprehensive reorganization of the Hillsborough County School District. The heart of this plan was the implementation of the middle school program designed specifically for the nature and needs of students ranging in ages from 11 to 14. Coleman has received two renovations (1999 and 2015) over the years to update the facility and bring it into the 21st Century.
Coleman recognizes the important role that families and the community play in the education of children. The involvement of all stakeholders in shared decision-making is vital to Coleman's success. A proactive School Advisory Council (SAC) is responsible for identifying school improvement goals aligned with the vision and mission of the school. The PTSA involves members of the school community in activities that promote a sense of family and provides funding to benefit students. Each year PTSA volunteers contribute hundreds of hours, exemplifying the essence of being capable, connected, contributing, and caring.