Juvenile Services Education Board and Program (JESP)

Future Meeting Dates:

The JSEP Board will meet the 1st Wednesday of each month from 9am to 11am.


October 6

November 3

December 1


January 5

February 2

March 2

April 6

May 4

June 1

The Maryland General Assembly passed SB 497 during the 2021 legislative session, which transfers the responsibility of implementing educational programming from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to the Juvenile Services Education Board and Program. The legislation establishes the Juvenile Services Education Program (JSEP) Board within the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) to oversee and provide for educational services to all juveniles placed in a DJS operated detention and residential facility. The legislation defines the roles and responsibilities of DJS, the JSEP Board, and the JSEP Superintendent.

JSEP Board

The JSEP Board is comprised of 11 members, five of those members are appointed by the Governor 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:

  • The recruitment and hiring of a JSEP Superintendent;
  • Developing educational programs that meet the needs of the youth, and is accredited;
  • Reviewing quality assurance reports;
  • Conducting a performance review of the Superintendent every four years, and;
  • Approving the educational curriculum, including post-secondary educational programs, and vocational and online programs that meet the needs of the youth.

Board Members

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.​

Brian E. Frosh, Maryland Attorney General
Brian E. Frosh is Maryland's 46th Attorney General, working to ensure fairness, equality and justice for all Marylanders. Fulfilling a pledge to serve as the people's lawyer, Frosh is focused on keeping communities safe, on limiting environmental damage by polluters, and on protecting Maryland consumers from fraud and predatory business practices. Under his leadership, Maryland became the first state in the nation to issue guidance prohibiting discriminatory profiling by law-enforcement. Prior to being elected Attorney General, he had been an attorney in private practice since 1976. Frosh earned a B.A. from Wesleyan University and received his law degree from the Columbia University 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.

Dr. Catherine Gammage is an experienced educator who holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from Abilene Christian University. She most recently served as the principal at the Silver Oak Academy in Keymar, Maryland for nine years. Her work at Silver Oak included developing workforce and apprenticeship programming for children in the juvenile justice system. Dr. Gammage has also worked as an educator in Hawaii and Virginia, with a special focus on students with disabilities and early childhood special education.

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.

JSEP Superintendent

Generally, the JSEP Superintendent is responsible for implementing and administering educational programs approved by the Board, including:

  • Overseeing the education of every juvenile in a DJS detention and residential facility;
  • Meet with and advise the Board about programming and outcomes;
  • Select, organize, and direct the staff of the JSE program, and;
  • Ensure policies and decisions of the Board are implemented.


The Department shares the responsibility to ensure the educational program is meeting the needs of the youth in residential facilities, and support integration of the education program into the overall treatment program. Additionally, DJS provides all support services, such as information technology, human resources, budget, research and program evaluation, thereby ensuring the program can meet the educational needs of our youth.

Important Dates:

  • Educator Nomination Period: Opens July 8th - Closes July 22nd, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Election Ballot Certification: To be completed by July 25th, 2021
  • Educator Member Election: July 26th - August 1st, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. - electronic vote
  • Election Results: Announcement no later than August 4th, 2021​
  • December 1, 2021 - MSDE and DJS must submit a report detailing plans for transition.
  • July 1, 2022 - JESP assumes control of the day-to-day educational staffing, programs, and services within the Department of Juvenile Services.​



Past Meetings


Juvenile Services Education Board Meeting (live stream) available via YouTube

Monday, August 9, 2021 (9 am to 11 am.)
August 9, 2021 Agenda​

Wednesday, September 1, 2021 (9 am to 11 am)
September 1, 2021 Agenda​​​​​