Dr. Duane Coleman, OUSD Superintendent
Hello, and welcome to the Oceanside Unified School District. As I begin my new journey leading OUSD, I am happy to reflect on the path that led to my recent appointment as Superintendent.
In 1979, I proudly graduated from Oceanside High School. Without question, the educational opportunities I experienced in Oceanside opened many doors that allowed me to pursue a college education. I have truly come a long ways since taking that first step on the road to higher education
Success, it has been written, has less to do with speed than timing and direction. Once I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Hawaii, I slowly began to believe in my own purpose and the path I hoped to travel in life. Completion of my master’s in Business Education at National University soon followed, as did my Education Specialist Degree from Point Loma University.
Fast forward 35 years. Sometimes your best opportunities in life are right in front of you. With some true grit and extremely hard work, I earned my Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Alliant International University. Today, this former, humble O-side Pirate (“Once a Pirate always a Pirate!”) is now Dr. Duane Coleman, Superintendent of one of the finest districts in California.
To say the road I’ve traveled in transitioning to head of the district has been smooth and problem-free would be a huge understatement. From my early days in the field of education as a classroom teacher here in Oceanside, to working as a site administrator in OUSD and San Dieguito, I have learned how patience and persistence will most always help take you to where you want to go.
Eventually, these school-site positions helped me transition to district-level leadership posts. And from these opportunities came the invaluable benefits of learning, watching and observing the daily activities that go into running a large-scale school district.
Likewise, I’ve come to understand how life is about regularly encountering and overcoming problems and obstacles. However, at the same time, I’ve learned the importance of constantly looking to recognize the opportunities that surround us. Often, as I’ve discovered, problems are simply opportunities in disguise.
Someone brilliant once said, “Change is inevitable; growth is optional.” Now, as head of one of the biggest and best districts in the state, it is my job, our job, to collectively groom pathways and make available doors (options) for the children we serve today. To provide the avenues and opportunities, the motivation and support I once experienced as a student in this district.
Therefore, as my newest chapter in life begins to unfold, I simply ask that whether you are a teacher, staff member, parent or community member, you join with me, the district and the community, in working to provide each and every child we serve, the best educational experience possible. Never forget that progress always involves risk.
In the words of the great George Bernard Shaw, “The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.”
Let’s make it happen!