Nancy S. Grasmick
Presidential Scholar, Co-Director
Towson University, Kennedy Krieger Institute
Nancy S. Grasmick, Maryland’s first female state superintendent of schools, says she has mentored dozens of students, teachers and county school superintendents but that her most recent mentoring experience with 16 Kennedy Krieger Institute Fellows has been the most rewarding of her career.
“The fellows are masters-level students who will become special education administrators in Maryland school systems,” says Grasmick, who is co-director for the Center for Innovation And Leadership in Special Education at the institute, an internationally recognized facility dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults with pediatric developmental disabilities and disorders.
“Over 10 percent of Maryland’s student population has special needs, which represents nearly 90,000 students,” she says. “The fellows lead efforts to create pathways for students with special needs to maximize their college and career potential, resulting in significant contributions to Maryland’s workforce and the economy.”
Grasmick began her career as a teacher at the William S. Baer School in 1961. From 1964 to 1989, she was a teacher, principal and associate superintendent in Baltimore County Public Schools. She was state superintendent of schools from 1991 to 2011 and has been a presidential scholar at Towson University since 2012.
“I have dedicated my life’s work to preparing students to graduate from high school and institutes of higher education prepared to enter the workforce as productive citizens.”
Grasmick says business leaders play an important role in educating students. “The business and education communities must partner to ensure that students are prepared for 21st century jobs,” she says. “Get involved at the middle and high school levels. Students and teachers need to hear from business owners about the skills needed for successful careers. The effort you make now will pay enormous dividends in the future for you and your workforce.”