Governor Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. has named five members to serve on a newly created board that will oversee educational programs within the Department of Juvenile Services.
During the 2021 session, the Maryland General Assembly passed and Hogan signed into law Senate Bill 497, which transfers the responsibility of educational programming from the Maryland State Department of Education to the Juvenile Services Education Board.
Supporters of the legislation noted that the Department of Education is not directly responsible for operating any other school system in the state, and that a dedicated school board would be better able to address unique educational, psycho-social and other special needs of children at Maryland’s Juvenile Services facilities.
“Senate Bill 497 presents a significant step forward by establishing a Board of Education to provide governance and improve a system that is so essential to the rehabilitation of our youth,” Sen. Delores G. Kelley (D-Baltimore County), sponsor of the bill, said in a written statement. She also commended the Office of the Public Defender and the Maryland State NAACP, who pressed for the reform.
Maryland’s governor appoints five members of the 11-member panel. The other members of the board include representatives from Juvenile Services, the education department, the Higher Education Administration, Attorney General’s Office and the Public Schools Superintendents’ Association.
Hogan’s five appointees are:
- Peter Leone, who recently retired from the University of Maryland College Park, where he taught in the College of Education and served as the director of the National Center on Education, Disability, and Juvenile Justice.
- Catherine Gammage, an educator who most recently served for nine years as principal at the Silver Oak Academy in Keymar, where she helped develop workforce and apprenticeship programming for children in the juvenile justice system.
- Grace Reusing, an attorney with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, who has focused her work on monitoring the conditions of confinement for justice-involved youth and ensuring the provision of quality educational services for her clients.
- Bernard Sadusky, the executive director for the Maryland Association of Community Colleges, and a former Queen Anne’s County school superintendent and educator.
- Tracey L. Durant, executive director of equity for Baltimore City Public Schools, where she is responsible for leading system-wide initiatives to promote equitable practices, systems, and structures.
The appointees are subject to confirmation by the Maryland Senate next year.
Juvenile Services Secretary Sam Abed said the creation of the panel “is a major step in improving the quality of education services for youth involved in the juvenile justice system.”