Irma Coleman, a Bloomington, Minn., elementary school principal, has been named the director of teaching and learning at the newly created Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning. Ms. Coleman will oversee elementary and secondary education.
Ms. Coleman, 57, has been with the Bloomington district since 1968. She was a teacher for 20 years before moving into administration. For the past six years she has served as the principal of Ridgeview Elementary School.
"I've made a big difference [in Bloomington], and I hope to make a bigger difference for kids at the state level," Ms. Coleman said. She will take up her new post Dec. 1.
The new department was created earlier this year as a replacement for the state education department.
Three African-American educators, Marva Collins, Willie W. Herenton, and Kenneth Clark have been honored by the National Alliance of Black School Educators and Simon & Schuster as "Living Legends." Each year the the group's Hall of Fame recognizes black educators who have made a difference for children and communities nationwide.
Ms. Collins is the founder of Westside Preparatory School in Chicago. She won national acclaim for her ability to teach students that were considered "unreachable."
Mr. Clark, a distinguished professor emeritus of psychology at City College of New York, was the author of studies in the 1950s that showed the psychological damage to children caused by racially segregated schools. His studies played a central role in the historic 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education.
Mr. Herenton, who is now in his second term as the mayor of Memphis, Tenn., is a former superintendent of the city's schools. During his tenure, the district launched several programs to involve parents and improve its schools.
Karl Hertz is the new president-elect of the American Association of School Administrators. Mr. Hertz, the superintendent of the Mequon-Thiensville school district in Mequon, Wis., will assume his yearlong term at the head of the 16,000-member organization, based in Arlington, Va., in March.
--Adrienne D. Coles