Blog post by Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D.
Dr. Salmon has served as the State Superintendent of Schools in Maryland since June 2016. Immediately prior to joining the Maryland State Department of Education, Dr. Salmon served as Superintendent of Schools at the Bay Shore Union Free School District in Bay Shore, NY. She also served as Superintendent of Talbot County Public Schools from 2003-2013.
The beginning of a new school year always comes with the feeling of a fresh start, even for those of us who are no longer in school! The excitement and enthusiasm that our students and staff bring to these first few weeks creates an environment for success that will last throughout the school year.
We can all use the new school year as a chance to reaffirm our commitment to the success of students across the State of Maryland. The face of education in Maryland is changing rapidly, as further sweeping policy and funding changes are considered and the demographics of our state continue to evolve.
As we move to implement and sustain these changes, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce continues in its role as a valued partner of the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Our students have a vast array of skill sets and interests, and it is our charge to provide them with opportunities and tools to maximize their potential and determine prospective paths forward in their post-secondary lives.
The Maryland Chamber has worked alongside MSDE in a number of capacities to provide our students and teachers with valuable experiences for professional development and career exploration. This includes collaboration with our Division of Career and College Readiness at MSDE to support student engagement in work-based learning experiences through Apprenticeship Maryland, and connecting local school systems with local chambers of commerce to identify employers for student apprenticeships.
The Maryland Chamber is also a strong supporter of Maryland’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) Program. P-TECH students earn an associate’s degree and gain work experience while attending high school. The Maryland Chamber has been instrumental in recruiting business partners to work with school systems seeking to implement P-TECH.
Lastly, the Maryland Chamber has established a teacher externship program that allows teachers to work in industries related to the subjects they teach in order to enhance their curricula and educate their students in skills required to enter the workforce.
As the 2019-2020 school year moves full steam ahead, the Maryland State Department of Education is thrilled to continue our productive partnership with the Maryland Chamber of Commerce to prepare our students to enter the workforce.