About Nancy Grasmick

Nancy Grasmick
Dr. Nancy Grasmick

Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick served as State Superintendent of top-ranked Maryland Public Schools for twenty years—from 1991 until 2011— serving 24 districts, 1,424 schools, and 869,113 students. She began her career as a classroom teacher at the William S. Baer School for the Deaf in Baltimore City before serving as principal and as associate superintendent in Baltimore County. Dr. Grasmick received her Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education from Towson University; her Master’s Degree in deaf education from Gallaudet University; and her Doctorate in communicative sciences from John’s Hopkins University.

Dr. Grasmick believes that every child deserves an exceptional education. She has fought to establish high expectations for the teaching and learning in every Maryland classroom, pioneering bold policy reforms to ensure it, and implementing strong accountability structures to measure it.  Expectations and performance for adults, for schools, and for children significantly improved under Dr. Grasmick’s leadership and have received national attention. For five years in a row, Maryland was ranked #1 in the country by Education Week, a national educational publication, and as one of her final acts as State Superintendent, Dr. Grasmick secured a coveted $250 million Race to the Top grant from the United States Department of Education.  Advanced Placement scores for Maryland students were ranked as number one for more than six years.

In a 2012 report published by Harvard Kennedy School (Achievement Growth: International and U.S. State Trends in Student Performance, 2012: Eric Hanushek, Paul Peterson, Ludger Woessman), researchers cited that “Maryland won the gold medal by having the steepest overall growth trend” in student performance among US states between 1992 and 2009, the years examined in the study.

Dr. Grasmick was recently appointed as the first female President of the Board of Directors at the Kennedy-Krieger Institute, where she is a faculty member, and co-directs an innovative fellowship program to prepare administrators as leaders in special education.  In 2012 Dr. Grasmick was appointed as the Presidential Scholar for Innovation in Teacher and Leader Preparation at Towson University where her focus is on innovation in school policy and structure, leadership skills in all areas for women, as well as transforming the way that teachers deliver classroom instruction and engage students in learning. Using the most relevant research and knowledge about the neuroscience of learning, motivation, technology, and what children must know and can do in the 21st century, a new wave of reform is underway. In addition to her work at Towson University, Dr. Grasmick is a Professor in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. As of April, 2015, Dr. Grasmick has served as the President of the Carson Scholars Fund Board of Directors.

Recent additions to Dr. Grasmick’s lengthy list of awards are the 2018 Focus on Trailblazers, The Daily Record, November 2018, 2018 MD Influential Woman from I-95 Business Magazine, 2017 ICON Award from The Daily Record, the 2017 Innovator of the Year Award from The Daily Record; and 2017 Trailblazers in Education Award from the Center Club’s Women in Business, and The Baltimore Sun’s inaugural class of Maryland’s Business and Civic Hall of Fame (2016). Dr. Grasmick serves on many professional and civic boards and has served on the board of the United States Army War College.