Gary Thrift

Gary Thrift

Dean, School of Education

School of Education Gibbons Hall (GIB) 302 410-532-5497

Programs I teach...

School of Education


  • Ed.D. in Education Policy, Planning and Administration, University of Maryland, College Park, Dissertation title: The Degree of Implementation of Middle School Principles in the Baltimore City Public Schools as Perceived by Middle School Principals and Team Leaders, 1992
  • M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision, Loyola University of Maryland (Education), 1977
  • B.A. in Education, Frostburg State University (History, Political Science and Social Science), 1975


After more than thirty highly productive years with the Baltimore City Public Schools as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and supervisor of principals, as well as human resources officer for 12,000 employees, Dr. Gary Thrift joined the faculty of Notre Dame of Maryland University in August 2008. Although teaching a variety of courses for different graduate level programs, his specialty is Education Policy and Planning. He has helped organize several consortia, one in support of Baltimore City Public Schools, another designed to generate common assessment practices and tools across Maryland teacher preparation programs. He led the School of Education through its NCATE reaccreditation process and is now preparing for CAEP accreditation. Each year, Notre Dame of Maryland prepares, on average, about 250 newly certified teachers, making it the second largest program in Maryland; Dr. Thrift leads the initial certification programming for over twenty different programs/content areas.

In 2010 he became Chair of the School of Education and was subsequently appointed Dean of the School of Education in October 2018. He is celebrating over ten years with Notre Dame of Maryland University teaching current and future educators enrolled in post-secondary undergraduate and graduate education programs, and supervising candidates in pursuit of their Ph.D. This new experience has rekindled his passion for teaching. As the Dean for the School of Education, he has the amazing opportunity to collaborate with an incredible team of highly trained and committed faculty and staff in preparing tomorrow’s education leaders, today.

Recent Publications and Presentations

  • Savick, S. and Thrift, G. Is a "critical mass" of teacher candidates needed in a professional development school to achieve a quality student teaching experience? School-University Partnerships, 11(2), 47-61.
  • Savick, S. and Thrift, G. (March 2018) Year 3 Study: Does the number of student teachers placed at a single PDS site Impact the quality of the intern’s experience? Presentation at the National Association for Professional Development Schools Conference, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Weiss, M.R. and Thrift, G. (March 2016) Background music and cognitive learning effects in mathematics with middle school students. Presentation at the 100th American Education Research Association Conference, Washington, D.C.

Professional Associations

  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS)
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)


Maryland State Department of Education Advanced Professional Certification as:

  • Superintendent,
  • Secondary Principal and Supervisor,
  • History Grades 5-12,
  • Social Studies Grades 5-12, and
  • Political Science Grades 5-12

Specialized Training

  • Regional scorer for edTPA in the content area of Social Studies
  • Maryland Approved Alternative Program Preparation (MAAPP) Reviewer
  • Maryland State Department of Education, Accreditation Site Reviewer
  • Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading & Spelling (LETRS) Specialist
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