The JSEP Board is comprised of 11 members; the Governor appoints five of those members with the advice and consent of the Senate. Appointed Board members are required to meet monthly and serve four-year terms.
Generally, the JSEP Board responsibilities include:
- Appointing a JSEP Superintendent;
- Developing accredited educational programs;
- Reviewing quality assurance reports;
- Conducting performance reviews of the Superintendent every four years, and;
- Approving the educational curriculum, including post-secondary educational programs, vocational and online programs.
Sam Abed, Secretary, Department of Juvenile Services
Since 2011, Sam Abed has been Secretary of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. Most recently, he served as the Chair of the State's Juvenile Justice Reform Council. Previously, Abed served as Deputy Director of Operations at the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, with direct supervision over the juvenile justice operations, including the supervision of six juvenile correctional facilities and 32 court service units statewide. Prior to his time as the Deputy Director of Operations, Abed served as Assistant Commonwealth Attorney for the Office of the Sussex County Commonwealth's Attorney as well as the Office of the City of Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney. He also served as Commissioner for the Virginia Commission for National and Community Service. Abed received a B.S. in Psychology from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and completed an internship at the American University in Cairo, Arabic Language Institute. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond School of Law. He is a resident of Baltimore City.
James D. Fielder, Jr., Secretary of Higher Education
Since 2015, Dr. James D. Fielder, Jr. has been the Secretary for the Maryland Higher Education Commission. He is an effective and highly regarded executive and public servant with a passion for leading change, focused on improving the economic well-being of Marylanders through educational and business opportunity. Additionally, he has been appointed by four Maryland governors, providing his talents and expertise in numerous leadership capacities. These include: Secretary of Appointments; Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation; Deputy & Acting Secretary for Business and Economic Development; Assistant Secretary for Department of Economic & Employment Development; Member of Governor Hogan’s Transition Team; and his current position as Secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Fielder attended the University of Maryland, College Park, where he received a B.S., and M.ED. He later received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University.
Mohammed Choudhury, State Superintendent of Schools
On July 1, 2021, Mohammed Choudhury was appointed Maryland State Superintendent of Schools. He is responsible for leading the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the State’s education policy through the implementation of the Blueprint for Education and emergence from the Covid-19 pandemic. Previously serving as Associate Superintendent and Chief Strategy, Talent and Innovation Officer for the San Antonio Independent School District, he brings his steadfast commitment to equity, innovation and excellence in public education to Maryland. Choudhury started his career as a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District and then served as the Director of Transformation and Innovation for the Dallas Independent School District.
Sharon Stanley Merriweather, Maryland Attorney General Designee
Sharon Stanley Merriweather is an Assistant Attorney General with the Maryland Office of the Attorney General. She is currently the Principal Counsel for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange where she provides legal counsel regarding healthcare reform, the Affordable Care Act, government regulatory law, government contracting, and data privacy and security matters. From 2006-2011, Merriweather served as Assistant Attorney General to the Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit, providing legal advice and counsel on issues such as drafting and negotiating agreements, reviewing legislation, and complying with federal and State laws. Merriweather earned a B.A. from the University of Delaware and received her law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law.
Dr. Peter Leone recently retired from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he taught in the College of Education and served for many years as the director of the National Center on Education, Disability, and Juvenile Justice. Dr. Leone earned his Ph.D. in special education from the University of Washington in Seattle. He has published extensively in the area of education for youth in the juvenile justice system and served as a consultant and expert witness on this issue throughout the United States.
Grace Reusing is an attorney with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. For nearly a decade, she 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. She previously served as the Deputy District Public Defender in Baltimore City. She graduated from the University of Maryland Law School and is a licensed attorney in both Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Dr. Bernard Sadusky serves as Executive Director for the Maryland Association of Community Colleges. He took this role in July 2012, after completing a year of service as interim superintendent at the Maryland State Department of Education. Previously, Dr. Sadusky served as superintendent of schools in Queen Anne’s County from 1994 to 2007, and spent more than 30 years in the Queen Anne’s school system as an administrator and teacher. He was recognized as Maryland’s Superintendent of the Year in 2007. He holds a doctorate in educational administration from Nova-Southeastern University.
Dr. Tracey L. Durant is the Executive Director of Equity for Baltimore City Public Schools, where she is responsible for leading system-wide initiatives designed to promote equitable practices, systems, and structures that ensure positive educational outcomes. Prior to assuming her current position, she served as a Specialist in the Department of Equity and Cultural Proficiency for Baltimore County Public Schools. She is a College Bound Foundation Distinguished Alumni and was named one of the Daily Record’s Top 100 Women in 2018. She holds a doctorate in higher education from Morgan State University.
Richard Stevenson III, Educator Member, is a special education teacher at Garrett Children’s Center (GCC). His teaching career began with four years of teaching Preschool Special Education at Wiley Ford Primary School in West Virginia. followed by the position of Teacher/Behavior Intervention Specialist for grades 3-8 at Frankfort Intermediate in West Virginia, where he spent four years teaching a self contained classroom for students with behavioral and emotional needs. This led to a similar position at Fort Hill High School in Cumberland, MD, which lasted for three years, followed by a position back to the elementary side at South Penn Elementary in Cumberland, MD, to again teach students with behavioral and emotional disorders. Two years ago he moved to JSES to become a resource teacher at Meadow Mountain Youth Center. Upon the closure of Meadow Mountain, he took his position at Garrett Children’s Center. Due to COVID closures he is currently working at Green Ridge Youth Center until the reopening of GCC. Throughout his teaching career he has been involved in the leadership, discipline, and administrative aspects, assisting and acting as an administrator at each of his different assignments. Those administrative roles include: Building Designee at both Wiley Ford Primary and Frankfort Intermediate, Teacher in Charge at South Penn Elementary and CPI trainer in both Mineral County, WV and Maryland. He received his Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood education and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Frostburg State University and currently holds certifications in early childhood/elementary education, Special Education birth - Adult, and Administration. He currently resides in Western Maryland with his wife and three children.
Dr. Monica Goldson, Chief Executive Officer for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), is the dedicated and dynamic leader of the 20th largest school district in the nation. She began her career as a high school mathematics teacher with plans to become an actuary. Within her first few weeks on the job, she realized that education was her true calling. She steadily moved up the administrative ranks, serving in such roles as principal, associate superintendent, deputy superintendent, and chief operating officer prior to her appointment as CEO. Dr. Goldson holds three degrees from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) – a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Florida A&M University, a master’s degree in Elementary and Secondary School Administration from Bowie State University, and a doctorate in Educational Administration and Policy from Howard University. She has two adult sons, both graduates of Prince George’s County Public Schools.
Leonard Webb is currently the Next Generation Scholar Program Coordinator for Allegany County with the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education. He helps high school students prepare for life after high school by supporting them in determining their career interests as well as connecting them to resources to support their journey. Prior to that, he spent 27 years with the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a Drug Treatment Specialist / Counselor providing support to men incarcerated in their pursuit to living a drug-free / incarceration-free life. He currently owns his own educational consulting business, Webbolutionary Motivation, LLC, where he provides professional development for educators and speaking services to schools across the country to improve school culture and student engagement. Leonard is a graduate of the University of South Florida.