In honor of Black History Month, the Town of Brookhaven Black History Commission recently held an evening to celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans in the community and recognize those who have made a difference in the lives of others. The theme, “A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step,” featured M. Jamal Colson, Ed.D., an Assistant Principal at William Paca Middle School in the William Floyd School District, as this year’s featured honoree for his contributions to education.
Dr. Colson was selected for his work with students and for co-authoring a new book “Raising Scholars from Infancy to Adulthood: Preparing Our Children for College and Demolishing Prison Walls,” which encourages parents and educators to raise their expectations for children’s academic achievement.
“I believe that this book is extremely poignant and appropriate for the theme of focusing on our youth,” said Leah Jefferson, Chair of the Town of Brookhaven Black History Month Commission. “Dr. Colson’s commitment to the students at William Floyd and beyond is to be commended.”
Ed Plaia, Principal, William Paca Middle School agreed, “Dr. Colson is a man that I am honored and privileged to work with. His high expectations for all students stand at the center of everything he is about,” he said. “He teaches life lessons to our students and his message to them is simple, ‘Work hard and reap the benefits…no excuses!’ We are extremely fortunate to have a man of his stature working at William Paca Middle School.”
“Being selected for this is quite an honor because I want to show young people and parents that despite setbacks and failures, they can go on to achieve success in their lives,” said Dr. Colson. “Working hard, being determined and building my faith were the key ingredients that motivated and prodded me when life’s challenges arose.”
Raising Scholars, published by South Shore Scholars Associates, Inc., focuses on a message that parents have the ability to raise their children to become scholars regardless of their background, level of education, income category or zip code. Dr. Colson and his co-authors believe that Raising Scholars provides valuable knowledge and inspiration through research-based practices which lead to high-academic achievement and that it will help motivate parents to supervise their children’s homework and study habits more successfully.
“I am thankful to have the opportunity to share my life experience and how my faith, hard work and wonderful opportunities have brought me success on varying levels,” said Dr. Colson, adding, “I am grateful to serve in the Town of Brookhaven community.”
Additionally, 18 William Floyd High School students were honored with Student Academic Excellence Awards, the most of any Brookhaven Town school recognized (70 students total). Among the honorees were: Anissa Ash, Krichell Blair, Tamika Butler, Ryanna Bynum, Devon Dash, Tiara Dent, Kwasi Enin, D’azia Enriquez, Sarah Freeman, Christian Hibbert, Yannise Jean, Casondra Klein, Crystal Mayfield, Tori Mitchell, Jazmin Robinson, Krystal Singh, Colina St. Fleur and Miskennelove Zamor.
About Dr. Colson
Dr. Colson received an Associate Degree in Business Administration from Nassau Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Empire State College, a Master of Science in Child Education and a Doctorate of Education Administration from Dowling College. Throughout his career, he served as a kindergarten teacher, a fifth-grade teacher of math, science and technology, a Dean of Students and a tenured assistant principal.