Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility


Karen B. Salmon


Virus Outbreak-MarylandBorn in Harford County, Karen B. Salmon earned her bachelor’s at the University of Delaware, her master’s in special education and her doctorate in special education and administration, both from the University of Maryland, College Park.

She taught and was an assistant principal in the Caroline County Public School System for a dozen years before taking an administrative job in the Talbot County School System. In 2003, she was named superintendent in Talbot, a job she held for 10 years before being named superintendent in Bay Shore Union Free School District, in New York.

In 2016, Salmon was named superintendent of the Maryland school system. She had planned not to seek a second term after her initial term expired June 30, 2020, but her contract was extended for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. She has been Gov. Larry Hogan’s top adviser for dealing with education issues during the pandemic.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?

The art of compromise.

Who have been the biggest mentors in your career?

My mother, Dr. Ruth H. Burkins, a longtime Maryland educator, and Dr. Jean Hebeler, professor and doctoral adviser, University of Maryland, College Park.

What are your hopes for the state or your community this year?

I have been working tenaciously to get our 900,000 Maryland students back to school for in-person learning.

This profile is part of The Daily Record's Power 100 list for 2021. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. See the full list at or in our digital edition.