News of Nancy Grasmick's retirement as state schools superintendent gives double emotion to many of us: happiness for her but sadness for Marylanders — including students, parents and teachers — who have benefitted from her leadership .
Nancy has combined sensitivity and strength in her work. I have seen both. Sensitivity in her spending several hours talking with and encouraging homeless children who receive daily help at the "ARK" program of Episcopal Community Services of Maryland (ECSM),a social needs and outreach organization. Our ECSM teachers and volunteers found Nancy's interaction with these children creative and "real." Watching her talk with them and listen to them said it all!
Nancy Grasmick's strength as an executive and administrator has been demonstrated through her success in enabling the state's department of education to work with, not "at," the local schools throughout Maryland. She has also had the willingness to keep that system not manipulated by partisan politics, including that of some governors who have had that approach to educational issues.
Thanks to Ms. Grasmick for her creative leadership and motivation of young people in Maryland public schools. Job well done, and let's hope that her activity as volunteer leader/activist will continue !
George S. Wills, Baltimore
The writer is chairman of the Board of Trustees of Episcopal Community Services of Maryland.