Dr. Duane Coleman is an Oceanside success story; educated in the Oceanside Unified School District, he now serves as the OUSD Superintendent. Born in Hawaii, he moved to Oceanside when he was just one year old. His mom was a missionary in Hawaii where she met his dad, serving as a Marine. He subsequently was transferred to Camp Pendleton when Duane was a baby. Duane was a talented athlete during his time at Oceanside High School. A Varsity letter winner in football, basketball and track, he received a full-ride football scholarship to the University of Hawaii when he graduated high school in 1979. After a successful college football career as a wide receiver, Duane was drafted by the Denver Broncos and played for one year before blowing his knee out and being waived from the NFL team.
Fortunately he earned a teaching credential while still at the University of Hawaii and moved back to Oceanside to coach high school football at his alma mater. Proving to be a successful coach, Duane was offered a full-time teaching job at El Camino High School where he taught for the next eight years as well as coached football, girls basketball and boys and girls track and field.
In 1992, Duane was working on his administrative credential while at El Camino High School and received a phone call from a friend saying the San Dieguito School District was hiring an Assistant Principal. Duane applied for the job and was granted an interview, even though he did not yet have his administrative credential. He was not keen on leaving Oceanside and felt he was a long shot for the job because he was still working toward the qualification. However, the San Dieguito District felt he was the right fit for the job and offered him the position. He accepted and worked there for 10 years.
Dr. Coleman always felt strong ties to his hometown and eventually wanted to end up back in Oceanside. When the Principal position at Jefferson Middle School (another alma mater) opened up, Dr. Coleman applied and was again, offered the job. After five years at Jefferson, he was offered a job at the district where he excelled and was eventually offered the position of Associate Superintendent of Education Services. He knew that path led to a Superintendent position, but was reluctant to pursue anything outside of OUSD. When the former Superintendent, Larry Perondi, retired, Dr. Coleman was again offered a promotion, even though becoming a Superintendent was never on his radar. Many first year Superintendents use their current district to get a job at a larger district, but he wants the Oceanside School District to be his first and last Superintendent position. Wanting to serve Oceanside to the best of his ability, he accepted the position and introduced the “Oceanside Promise.”
The Oceanside Promise is that every OUSD high school graduate will be college and career ready on graduation day. OUSD has a lot of work ahead of them to prepare for this type of commitment. This plan needs to start in the families, to create the expectation that every graduating student be eligible to attend college, and be prepared to enter a career, not just a job, but a life-long career.
At the end of the day, Dr. Coleman feels he has the ability to directly impact students and the classroom in the most positive way and says he will serve the community of Oceanside for as long as they will allow him the opportunity.