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April 30, 2012
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Interim State Superintendent of Schools Bernard J. Sadusky

A few words from Interim State Superintendent of Schools Bernard J. Sadusky

First, a word of congratulations to Maryland’s next State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Lillian Lowery, who will take over this important position in less than three months.

As the State Chief in Delaware, Dr. Lowery has been a national leader in the school reform movement. She’s been a teacher, principal, area superintendent, and system superintendent, and knows how education works at every level.

Dr. Lowery also understands and admires Maryland, having met with former State Superintendent Nancy Grasmick and other members of the MSDE staff when building her agenda in Delaware. She’s the right leader to continue Maryland’s march to education excellence.

* * *

Just last month I mentioned that four schools had been nominated by MSDE to receive the U.S. Department of Education’s inaugural Green Ribbon Schools (GRS) Award for 2012.

There’s good news, and it really isn’t all that surprising to many of us: all four schools received the award. No state had more Green Ribbon honorees than Maryland.

The four Maryland schools are: Dunloggin Middle School (Howard County Public Schools), Folger McKinsey Elementary School (Anne Arundel County Public Schools), Francis Scott Key Middle School (Montgomery County Public Schools), and the Lucy School (nonpublic, Frederick County). All applications for the award were evaluated by a committee comprised of staff from state and national government agencies,state and regional environmental organizations, and private businesses. They did a terrific job!

Schools were recognized for saving energy, reducing costs, featuring environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protecting health, fostering wellness, and offering environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement.

Congratulations to all four winners. I suspect they are the first of many Maryland schools to be so honored.

* * *

The Governor last week discussed the importance of Career and Technology Education, and we couldn’t agree more: a strong CTE program is critical to Maryland’s future. The good news is that we have many outstanding CTE programs and supporters, and they were honored last week at the CTE Awards of Excellence Banquet.

This year's award winners are:

• Outstanding Business Partnerships – Secondary – National Rehabilitation Hospital, Partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools

• Outstanding Business Partnerships – Postsecondary – Fitzgerald Automotive Family, Partnership with Montgomery College

• Outstanding Career and Technology Education Program – Secondary – Teacher Academy of Maryland Program, Eastern Technical High School, Baltimore County Public Schools

• Outstanding Career and Technology Education Program – Postsecondary – Medical Assistant Program, Frederick Community College

• Outstanding Change Agent – Secondary – Barbara Palko, Coordinator of Career and Technology Education, Charles County Public Schools

• Outstanding Change Agent – Postsecondary – Dr. Thomas Proffitt, Associate Dean, College of Education, Towson University

• Outstanding Career Technology Student Organization – FBLA, River Hill High School, Howard County Public Schools

• Distinguished Service – Secondary – Aaron Geiman, Agriculture Teacher, North Carroll High School, Carroll County Public Schools

• Distinguished Service – Postsecondary – Rebecca Cool, Assistant to the Vice President of Instructional Affairs, Allegany College of Maryland

Congratulations to all the winners!

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Don’t forget to connect with MSDE on Facebook. Our department’s Facebook page provides regular updates on state initiatives, MSDE videos, and links to education news throughout the State.


May is Asian Heritage Month

May 10 – 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Nancy S. Grasmick State Education Building, Baltimore

May 18 – Fifth Annual Parent Involvement Matters Award Program, Eastern Technical High School, Baltimore County

May 22 – State Board Meeting, Baltimore

Dr. Lillian Lowery Interview
April 26, 2012
Dr. Lillian Lowery talks about her new job as incoming Maryland Schools Superintendent, including her background, what attracted her to the job, her motivation, and her top priority.

In the News

A Promising Sign for Maryland School Reform
Washington Post

Governor Welcomes New State Schools Chief
Baltimore Sun

Maryland’s New School Superintendent Gets an Early Start
WBAL Television

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Dr. Lillian M. Lowery, Secretary of Education for the Delaware Department of Education, last week signed her contract as Maryland’s next State Superintendent of Schools.

Dr. Lillian M. Lowery, Secretary of Education for the Delaware Department of Education, last week signed her contract as Maryland’s next State Superintendent of Schools. 

Dr. Lillian M. Lowery, Secretary of Education for the Delaware Department of Education, last week signed her contract as Maryland’s next State Superintendent of Schools. 

The State Board announced her selection on April 20.  Dr. Lowery will take the helm of the nation’s number one-ranked State school system on July 1. 

Dr. Lowery will succeed Interim State Superintendent Bernard J. Sadusky.  She joined Dr. Sadusky at last week’s State Board meeting, which also featured a visit from Gov. Martin O’Malley.

“Maryland will lead the nation in closing the achievement gap,” Dr. Lowery told State Board members.  “We are going to do it.”

Governor O’Malley said that Maryland is well-positioned to continue the educational improvement that has been a hallmark of the State for the past two decades.

“Today is a very hope-filled occasion,” he said.  “We have a great leader in Dr. Lowery.  We are ready to move forward to reach common goals.”

Dr. Lowery has worked in various educational institutions and programs since 1976.   She has been Secretary of Education in the State of Delaware since 2009, where she distinguished herself by facilitating a broad-based statewide strategic planning and grant application process which resulted in Delaware being selected as the “First State” to be awarded the federal Race to the Top grant.  She has led the efforts to establish Teacher and Leaders Effectiveness Units as well as Turnaround Units within the State Department, which have assisted in the implementation of the grant and the improvement of instructional opportunities for students.  Additionally, she has helped to differentiate the support for local school districts in an effort to assist them in their improvement efforts, as well as hold them accountable for student success.

Prior to serving as the Secretary of Education, Dr. Lowery was the Superintendent in Christina School District in New Castle County, Delaware for three years.  She has served as an Assistant Superintendent in Fairfax County, Virginia and an Area Administrator in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Other administrative experiences have included serving as both an assistant principal and principal at the high school level, and as the Minority Student Achievement Monitor.  In addition, she taught English at the middle and high school levels in Virginia.

Dr. Lowery holds a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Polytechnic and State University, as well as a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from University of North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education from North Carolina Central University. She is also a nationally known speaker and recognized as a leader among chief state school officials.

Board President DeGraffenreidt said the Maryland State Board of Education would like to thank the citizens of Maryland for enthusiastically participating and providing invaluable insights throughout the selection process.  Community members shared with the Board their perspectives, opinions, concerns and ideas through various meetings, focus groups and surveys.  The Board found this input invaluable in evaluating each candidate and reaching a final decision, he noted.

Dr. Sadusky has served as Interim State Superintendent since July 1, 2011.  He replaced Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, who retired in 2011 after 20 years as State Superintendent of Schools.


Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley says that Maryland public schools have a lot to be proud of.  But in remarks before the State Board last week, he urged educators – and officials – to continue their efforts to strengthen education.

State Board President James DeGraffenreidt introduced Governor O’Malley at the Board meeting last week.

State Board President James DeGraffenreidt introduced Governor O’Malley at the Board meeting last week.

“The progress we have made was not inevitable progress,” the Governor said.  “We need to continue to make the right choices.”

Gov. O’Malley counted down the list of good news for Maryland education, from the top rankings by Education Week and the College Board through continued funding support embodied in Bridge to Excellence and school construction budgets.  Maryland’s success at winning the Race to the Top grant, and the implementation of the reforms packaged with it, are more signs of the State’s ongoing improvement.

The Governor pointed to two issues that he believes merit further attention.  State and local officials need to redouble efforts to bring in more qualified principals into the profession, he said, and additional attention should be paid to increasing enrollment in Career and Technology Education (CTE) programs.

More CTE graduates will help fill the needs of Maryland’s tech-heavy industries, Gov. O’Malley said, and have the added benefit of reducing high school dropouts.

“We have a skills shortage more than we have a jobs shortage in our State,” said the Governor.  “CTE is dropout prevention.”

The Maryland Education Bulletin is published by Maryland State Department of Education, 200 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201. 410-767-0600. 410-333-6442 TTY. 1-888-246-0016. Interim State Superintendent of Schools Bernard J. Sadusky.  Stephen Brooks, Deputy State Superintendent, Office of Finance. John E Smeallie, Deputy State Superintendent, Office of Administration. James H DeGraffenreidt, Junior, President, State Board of Education. Martin O’Malley, Governor. A publication of the Office of Academic Policy. Bill Reinhard and Gail Tucker, Editors. MSDE Videos: