Karen Coleman

Karen K. Coleman

Boulder Creek Elementary School
Gilbert Unified School District
Mesa, Arizona

Building on over a decade of classroom teaching experience, Karen Coleman has served as principal of Boulder Creek Elementary School (BCE) for the last 19 years. Throughout her impressive career, Coleman has cultivated a dynamic and welcoming environment where students, staff, and families collaborate in the ongoing improvement of this suburban Title I school. Coleman is most proud of establishing strong and connecting school traditions, her favorite of which gathers BCE alumni for a high school graduation celebration. As a leader, Coleman positions herself as a strategic coach in order to build the collective leadership of her team. She was an early adopter of PLCs, supporting her teachers in dedicating time to data analysis before her district formally allocated PLC time in the master schedule. Through this model, she has developed the school’s capacity to establish strong benchmarks and guide strategic interventions to foster academic success. Coleman actively engages all stakeholder groups to articulate the vision and plan for school improvement and organizes to align resources with long-term goals. In 2017, Coleman led BCE in becoming an AVID school, centering college and career thinking by teaching organizational strategies, close reading and note-taking skills, and informational writing. Coleman is active in her professional and faith communities. She holds an Ed.D. and a B.A. from Arizona State University and an M.A. from the University of Texas at San Antonio.