Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr.
Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr. grew up in the predominantly poor, African American Gas Plant area of St. Petersburg, Florida. He worked during his childhood and teenage years at his grandmother's restaurant by, "serving people who he would later represent and advocate for." Jamerson attended Immaculate Conception Catholic School and wanted to attend Gibbs High School; however, his grandmother encouraged him to attend Bishop Barry High School (now St. Petersburg Catholic). Jamerson was one of the first three African American students attending Bishop Barry, when the Pinellas public school system was still completely segregated.
Jamerson graduated from Bishop Barry High School and went on to serve in the U.S. Air Force as a security policeman. At the end of his service, Jamerson became the first African American campus police officer for Pinellas County Schools. He later served as an occupational specialist and counselor at St. Petersburg High School and he attended and graduated from the Pinellas County Police Academy and St. Petersburg College with an Associate of Arts Degree. He continued his education by earning a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
Mr. Jamerson worked at St. Petersburg College in personnel and recruiting after being elected to the House of Representatives in 1982. He was the first African American to be elected to the legislature from Pinellas County and he was later appointed Florida's Commissioner of Education by Governor Lawton Chiles. Governor Chiles also appointed him as the Secretary of the State Department of Labor and Employment where he served for four years. Mr. Jamerson passed away in 2001 and is survived by his wife, Leatha Young and son, Cedric. Mr. Jamerson was a proactive and strong advocate for education and the needs of the underprivelged. Jamerson Elementary School is proud to carry on his resilient legacy.