Schaefer's greatest accomplishment as governor? Nancy Grasmick

April 04, 2011

William Donald Schaefer can take credit for many accomplishments during his years of public service as both mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland. However, his greatest legacy as governor, without question, was the appointment of State Superintendant of Schools, Nancy Grasmick.

In last week's articles about Ms. Grasmick's pending retirement, little was said about Mr. Schaefer's influence on the Maryland State Board of Education's decision to hire her in 1991. I served on the board then. After weeks of interviewing applicants, and developing a short list (Ms. Grasmick had not applied), we still had no one to replace the prior superintendent, who had tendered his resignation. It was then that Governor Schaefer asserted his influence and informed the board that he wanted Ms. Grasmick and only Ms. Grasmick as the state's next superintendent. The decision was made, and the rest is history.

It was the single most important decision he made as governor. The state has benefitted greatly from his involvement because Ms. Grasmick proved to be everything that the governor said she would be.

Don Hutchinson, Baltimore

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