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Press Release: Dr. Karen Salmon Named Next Maryland State Superintendent

State Board Selects Dr. Salmon After National Search; Term Begins July 1

For Immediate Release                                            

Contact: Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486, 410-241-7108 (cell)

Baltimore, MD (May 24, 2016)

The Maryland State Board of Education today selected Dr. Karen B. Salmon as the State’s next State Superintendent of Schools, effective July 1. 

Dr. Salmon will begin serving as Acting Superintendent on June 1, and take the helm as State Superintendent one month later.  She will succeed Interim State Superintendent Jack Smith, who earlier this year was named the next Superintendent of the Montgomery County Public Schools. 

The State Board voted unanimously to elevate Dr. Salmon to the State Superintendent position, pending final contract negotiations. 

"I am committed to collaborating with all of our stakeholders to ensure a world-class education for every Maryland public school student," Dr. Salmon said. "I want to build on Maryland's past accomplishments, streamline programs at the Maryland State Department of Education, and articulate a shared vision for educational excellence."

State Board President Guffrie M. Smith, Jr., said Dr. Salmon comes to the position well prepared to lead the State’s system to continued improvement. 

“Dr. Salmon knows our State, understands our challenges, and has a track record of developing effective solutions to educational issues through collaboration,” Mr. Smith said.  “The Board looks forward with great confidence to working alongside Dr. Salmon as we move our schools and our students toward new levels of success.”

Dr. Salmon has spent the vast majority of her career in Maryland public education.  She joined the Maryland State Department of Education last August as Assistant State Superintendent for College and Career Readiness before taking over as Interim Deputy Superintendent for School Effectiveness earlier this year.

Prior to joining the MSDE staff, Dr. Salmon served as Superintendent of the Bay Shore Union Free School District in Bay Shore, NY.  She moved to New York after 10 years as Superintendent of the high-performing Talbot County Public School System. 

Dr. Salmon spent more than 30 years as an educator on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, beginning her career as a special education teacher in the Caroline County Public Schools.  She later became a vocational coordinator and an assistant principal in the Caroline schools before moving to Talbot County as Coordinator of Services for Exceptional Children.  Dr. Salmon became Assistant Superintendent of the Talbot County schools in 1997 and Superintendent in 2003.

Named the Maryland Superintendent of the Year in 2012, Dr. Salmon is the recipient of numerous awards and honors throughout her educational career.  Dr. Salmon holds a Ph.D. in Special Education/Administration from the University of Maryland College Park, as well as a Masters in Special Education from the same institution.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from the University of Delaware.

A native of Harford County and the daughter of an educator, Dr. Salmon and her husband John reside in Bozman, MD.  They are the parents of two grown daughters: Lauren, an oncologist living in Virginia, and Rachael, a student at the University of Maryland College Park. Both children graduated from Talbot County public schools.

Board President Smith 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 throughout the State shared with the Board their perspectives, opinions, concerns and ideas through various meetings, focus groups, letters and surveys.  Board members found this input invaluable in evaluating each candidate and reaching a final decision, he said.