The other two candidates were Larry S. Taub, executive director of the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf & Center for Community and Professional Services in Philadelphia; and Karl A. Wilson, Utah director of Title I and federal programs at the state office and former state director of special education.
Coleman, of West Jordan, was also chair of the board's deaf and blind committee. He founded the Monticello Academy charter school in West Valley City and has held political office as a former West Valley City councilman.
Coleman is employed as a teacher for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seminary program. He holds a master's degree in public administration from Brigham Young University.
The Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind has three campuses in Salt Lake City, Ogden and Orem that serve about 1,700 students.
Coleman will replace retiring Superintendent Steve Noyce, whom the board decided in January not to reappoint for next school year. The board's chairwoman has declined to discuss why the board chose not to reappoint him, citing privacy concerns, though she has said there was no wrongdoing.
Noyce was a target of criticism before he even started overseeing the schools in 2009. Some parents have alleged Noyce favors listening-and-spoken-language instruction for children at the expense of instruction in American Sign Language. It's an allegation Noyce has long said is not true, saying the school has strived to help parents make informed choices about which path to choose.
Hear the interviews
O To hear the State Board of Education's Thursday interviews with the candidates, visit http://ht.ly/lOxu0.