Nancy S. Grasmick is the former Superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education, serving from 1991 until June 30, 2011. Married to Baltimore businessman Lou Grasmick, who died in 2016, the couple also became active in various philanthropic endeavors.
Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick
|Occupation||Maryland State Superintendent of Schools (1991-2011)|
|Spouse(s)||Lou Grasmick (d. 2016)|
Early years and education
Born Nancy Streeks, Grasmick was raised in Baltimore's Forest Park neighborhood. While still a teenager attending Western High School, she suffered a bout of temporary deafness as a reaction to medication. She said later that she was inspired by the example of Helen Keller and decided to devote her life to education.
Grasmick began as a teacher of deaf children at the William S. Baer School in the Baltimore City Public Schools. She subsequently served as a classroom and resource teacher, principal, supervisor, assistant superintendent, and associate superintendent in the Baltimore County Public Schools. In 1989, Governor William Donald Schaefer appointed her Special Secretary for Children, Youth, and Families and, in 1991, the State Board of Education appointed her State Superintendent of Schools. In 2000, Grasmick was the recipient of the Harold W. McGraw, Jr., Prize in Education, awarded in recognition of her achievements as head of the Maryland School system.
In 2008, then-Governor Martin O'Malley unsuccessfully sought to replace Grasmick as Superintendent, calling her "a pawn of the Republican Party" because of her support of No Child Left Behind. At the time, Education Week ranked Maryland's schools third best in the U.S., based on several criteria. The effort ultimately failed, however, and she served for another three years, retiring at age 72 in June, 2011. By then, Education Week ranked Maryland's schools #1 in the nation.
- "Nancy S. Grasmick, Ph.D." Maryland Manual. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- Fenton, Justin (May 28, 2016). "Louis J. Grasmick, political activist, philanthropist and lumber company executive, diesGrasmick". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
- "Louis and Nancy Grasmick give $1 million to Hopkins Heart Institute", Johns Hopkins Medicine, October 5, 2004.
- Bowie, Liz (June 28, 2011). "Grasmick's last day marks end of an era". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
- Past Winners of Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education
- Bowie, Liz (January 10, 2008). "Grasmick called a 'pawn' of GOP". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 15, 2019.