Irma Clark-Coleman (Dist. 5)
Commissioner Clark-Coleman was elected to the Commission after serving for eight years in the Michigan Senate's 3rd District. Prior to her service in the Senate, she served for two terms in the Michigan House of Representatives for District 11.
While in the state House, she sponsored legislation seeking to improve overall educational standards and opportunities for students. In the Senate, she sponsored legislation to strengthen high school graduation standards and ease requirements for grandparents and kin who adopt or become foster parents to grandchildren and kin of whom they have custody. She also served on the prestigious Appropriations Committee for her last four years.
Commissioner Clark-Coleman moved to Detroit from her small rural birthplace in Georgia. She was the first in her family to graduate from college, earning bachelorâ€™s and masterâ€™s degrees from Wayne State University.
In 1967, Commissioner Clark-Coleman began working for the Wayne County Road Commission. For seven of her 31 years of employment with the county, she simultaneously served on the Detroit Board of Education.
In 2004, Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed Commissioner Clark-Coleman to the National Education Commission of the States, as well as the Cherry Commission on Higher Education. She is also a former member of the National School Board Association Board of Directors, Michigan Association of School Boards Board of Directors and National Alliance of Black School Educators.
A snapshot of Commissioner Clark-Colemanâ€™s civic and political affiliations include: life member NAACP, God Land Unity Church, Trade Union Leadership Council, 13th Congressional District precinct delegate, United Way, Detroit Goodfellows Drive co-chair and Alpha Rho Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
Commissioner Clark-Coleman has been recognized for her influence in the business community by receiving such honors as: the Michigan Girls Scouts "Tomorrow Power" award; Mana de Michiganâ€™s Adelita (sister award); the American Business Women Association award; the Women of Wayne State University Alumni Association "1997 Headliner" award; the Women Informal Network "1997 List of 150 Most Influential Black Women in Metro Detroit" award and the "2005 Legislator of the Year" award by the Michigan School Social Workers Association.