No. 3: Bill Ferguson
PRESIDENT, MARYLAND STATE SENATE
Bill Ferguson’s educational and political careers have been a seemingly endless string of successes.
Born and raised in Montgomery County, he graduated from the elite Georgetown Preparatory School, earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Davidson College in North Carolina, his master’s degree from Johns Hopkins School of Education and, in 2010, his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law, graduating magna cum laude.
Career-wise, Ferguson taught history and government to ninth and 10th grade students in a Baltimore city school for two years in the Teach for America program and, in 2010, became the youngest state senator ever elected in Maryland after beating a six-term incumbent in his Baltimore district.
But the Democrat’s crowning achievement came nine years later, in October of 2019, when Ferguson was unanimously elected president of the state Senate, succeeding the ailing Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. as one of the most powerful political figures in the state.
After the election, Miller said of his successor: “Nothing great can get accomplished without enthusiasm. He oozes enthusiasm.”
Ferguson’s teaching background awakened him to the gap in education opportunities in the state, and he considers the legislature’s moves to narrow that gap among his top career-related successes.
Specifically, he cited 2013 legislation that led to the construction of 25 new public school facilities in Baltimore City and last year’s “Built to Learn Act.”
“These programs will enable every Maryland student to attend schools which are safe, modern, and clean, no matter their ZIP code or their background,” he said.
He says his all-time greatest successes, meanwhile, are his two children, Caleb and Cora.
Ferguson’s top hope for Maryland for the new year is the efficient and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the state. “The year 2021 needs to be the year of recovering and rebuilding, but it cannot be so without this critical need met for all Marylanders,” he said.