2015 Woman and Young Woman of the Year Winners
Dr. Nancy Grasmick: Woman of the Year
Dr. Nancy Grasmick
2015 Woman of the Year
A long time resident of Baltimore County, Dr. Nancy Grasmick is unquestionably the most influential Marylander in the field of education today. Dr. Grasmick began her career in public education over half a century ago as a teacher of disabled children. She spent 25 years as a teacher, principal and associated superintendent with the Baltimore County Public School System, until she was tapped by Governor William Donald Schaefer to become Maryland’s first Special Secretary for Youth, Children and Families. Her tireless advocacy on behalf of Maryland’s children earned her great respect and in 1991 she was appointed Maryland’s first female State Superintendent of Schools; she served 24 districts, 1,424 schools and 869,000 students. Over time, she introduced instructional rigor, funding mechanisms and accountability systems that became national models. She had become the longest serving appointed superintendent in the nation when retired in 2011, after serving 20 years as Maryland’s State Superintendent of Schools.
Upon her retirement, Dr. Grasmick could have “rested on her laurels” and taken a much deserved hiatus from the world of work. Instead, she chose to use her considerable leadership ability and educational expertise to make Maryland an incubator for innovation in teacher and leadership preparation by taking the reform initiatives she had pioneered in Pre-Kindergarten to 12 education to the university level at Towson University. She had become the driving force behind a number of innovations that are transforming how teachers deliver classroom instruction and how students engage in learning; many of her reform innovations currently being “field tested” in Baltimore County public schools with the full endorsement and support of Dr. Dallas Dance, Superintendent of Baltimore County.
Dr. Grasmick launched “All SySTEMs Go” a coordinated approach that moves Maryland students through a successful trajectory from elementary school to college and career on a pathway rich in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Towson is the first institution of higher education to train veteran classroom teachers and pre-service teachers to teach Advanced Placement (AP) courses in STEM disciplines, while “working with local school systems to identify and directly support promising students in underrepresented student populations to be successful in Advanced Placement courses. For her work in this area, Dr. Grasmick was named a Daily Record Innovator of the Year for 2014.
Leslie Wilson of the Towson University Presidential Scholar office stated, “I have been privileged to work closely with Dr. Grasmick for 10 years, and I have never known a more effective, yet kind leader with more talent, energy, integrity, and devotion to her work than Nancy. She cannot do enough to serve the public selflessly with her incredible work ethic and innovative ideas.”
In 2014, following the gubernatorial election, Dr. Grasmick was asked by the Hogan-Rutherford Administration to join their transition team to provide guidance on Pre-Kindergarten to 12 educational issues. Dr. Grasmick continues and will continue to influence Maryland education policy well into the future.
We congratulate Dr. Grasmick on her many accomplishments and celebrate her selection as Woman of the Year 2015.
Kelly Renee Carter: LaFrance Muldrow Woman Making a Difference
Kelly Renee Carter, 2015
Woman Making a Difference
Kelly Renee Carter is the Executive Director of the Liberty Road Business Association, wherein she has single-handedly increased membership by well over 100 percent. Through Ms. Carter’s powerful managerial skills and vision, she has created the Liberty Road corridor as a thriving place for business and a safe community to live in. She has been a leader in building strong communities in Baltimore County through active crime prevention activities, partnerships with corporations, coordinating family-oriented events and maintaining clean surroundings.
Outstanding Community Service
When Ms. Carter became aware of the need for large-scale tree maintenance in the Randallstown Gateway Park, she negotiated an in-kind service with ArborMaster Tree Service. She has also served as the Market Manager for the Randallstown Farmers’ Market, expanding foot traffic and vendor participation; and staging the very successful Fall Fest, a free community party each October.
Since 2013, Ms. Carter has coordinated various important community events such as: National Night Out Against Crime with eight communities; an Annual Crab Feast community fundraiser; and the Randallstown Gateway Park Holiday Tree Lighting.
Ms. Carter has been recognized by the Baltimore County branch of the NAACP with its 2014 Outstanding Performance and Community Service Award, as well as various citations from Maryland elected officials, for her dedicated leadership in the Liberty Road community of Baltimore County.
We congratulate Ms. Carter on her many accomplishments and celebrate her selection as the "2015 Woman Making a Difference."
Alejandra Mora: Young Woman of the Year
Alejandra Mora, 2015
Young Woman of the Year
Alejandra Mora, a senior from Catonsville High School, has made extraordinary impact on immigrant residents of Baltimore County.
Alejandra has developed her skills as a public servant, and has made a special effort to use her language skills to help those whose English is limited. She volunteers for Casa de Maryland, through their Refuge Youth Program, by tutoring new young residents of our county to help them succeed.
Leader and Mentor
As a student, Alejandra contributes as a key member of the Model United Nations Club. She is also part of the student government and is a mentor within the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program, helping students who need a little extra help to prepare for college. She encourages fellow members of the AVID program, and demonstrates for them the actions and the attitude required to succeed.
Alejandra is one of her school’s Senior Leader, leading tour groups — and more importantly, she helps in educating underclassmen during their monthly character lessons. The maturity she exhibits makes her a good mentor to her peers; she is extremely well-spoken, poised and internally motivated. Like any good leader, she listens to others intently and thinks before she speaks.
Alejandra is an independent, self-motivated volunteer who makes a significant and positive impact in Baltimore County — she possesses a great potential as a leader in our world. She plans to pursue a degree in International Studies and work for the United Nations.
We congratulate Ms. Mora on her many accomplishments and celebrate her selection as the "Young Woman" of the Year 2015.