Jacqueline Coleman is a life-long Kentuckian, educator, basketball coach, writer, founder of a nonprofit and the fifty-eighth lieutenant governor of Kentucky. She is wife to Chris, mom to Evelynne, adopted mom to Emma and a bonus mom to Will and Nate. Her family lives in Frankfort.
Public service is a way of life for Jacqueline and her family. She was raised on a farm in Burgin, where her family owned a small business for five generations. Her upbringing taught her to help those in need and, as a result, she has devoted her personal and professional life to serving her community.
After graduating from Mercer County High School, Jacqueline attended Centre College, where she majored in education and played on the basketball team. Basketball has always been part of Jacqueline's life and instilled values in her like attention to detail, teamwork and discipline. Her grandfather, Jack Coleman Sr., was the University of Louisville's first 1,000-point scorer and a two-time NBA champion. After graduating from Centre College, Jacqueline earned her master's degree at the University of Louisville and served on the women's basketball coaching staff. As a high school basketball coach, she led her teams to five consecutive record-breaking seasons and one appearance in the KHSAA Sweet 16. She was named regional coach of the year in 2015.
As the state's highest elected teacher, Jacqueline is a vocal and passionate advocate for public education. She believes education is the key to providing Kentuckians opportunities for transformational change that can create new cycles of success. She began her career as a high school civics teacher at Burgin High School in her hometown. Jacqueline also taught at East Jessamine High School and, most recently, served as an assistant principal at Nelson County High School. She is currently completing a doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Kentucky.
Jacqueline's leadership doesn't end in the classroom or on the court though. Her experience as an alumna of Emerge Kentucky inspired her to found her own nonprofit, Lead Kentucky, in 2013. Lead Kentucky ensures Kentucky's college women are prepared, encouraged, and empowered to seek leadership positions on their campuses and later in their professional fields. Since its inception, Lead Kentucky has empowered students on more than a dozen college campuses.
Jacqueline is focused on the problems facing Kentucky families. She worked to secure more than $40 million in federal funding to increase student mental health resources in schools across the commonwealth. In January 2020, she led the charge to waive the testing fee for adults earning their GED. Since then, more than 8,100 Kentuckians have earned a GED and changed the trajectory of their families' futures. As a rural Kentuckian, she aims to ensure Kentucky's booming economy works for everyone, not just those in our biggest cities. Since the beginning of the Beshear-Coleman administration, they have announced the creation of 47,000 full-time jobs across 860 private-sector projects totaling more than $26 billion in investments. Unemployment is at a record low, and Kentucky is projected to post the four highest years of budget surpluses in state history.