AEMS Honors Maryland Senator Cory McCray with Jay Tucker Award

AEMS Honors Maryland Senator Cory McCray with Jay Tucker Award for Outstanding Leadership in Arts Education

April 16, 2021

Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) is proud to announce Maryland Senator Cory McCray (District 45) as the recipient of the AEMS annual Jay Tucker Award for Outstanding Leadership in Arts Education. Given to an individual who has advanced or is advancing arts education in one or more Maryland School districts, this award recognizes Senator McCray’s support of the Arts Kits in Baltimore City and for sponsoring SB0915. 

SB0915 connected the The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future’s performance standards to the standards required in the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR). This clarification would have meant that The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future’s accountability system ensures adequate funds were provided by State and local jurisdictions to local education agencies.

AEMS honors and thanks Senator McCray for his work that contributes to ensuring that all 900,000+ Maryland public school students have access to high quality arts education. This award will be acknowledged at the free, virtual Maryland Arts Awards event taking place on Friday, April 16, 2021 from 6pm to 7pm EDT. Registration for the event is available through eventbrite. The event will be available for viewing through the Maryland State Arts Council’s YouTube page.

Since 2015, AEMS’s arts education leadership award has been named in honor of the former Coordinator of Fine Arts at the Maryland State Department of Education, Jay Tucker, to highlight Jay’s legacy and the lasting impact of his contributions to the field of arts education in Maryland. AEMS envisions a public education system in Maryland that supports, cultivates, nurtures, and uplifts ALL students’ creativity through a robust arts education experience so that they can thrive in a healthy society. AEMS is committed to ensuring that all students in the state of Maryland have access to high quality arts education by mobilizing power to communities through advocacy programs, professional and leadership programs, and resource building and sharing.

About Senator McCray

Cory McCray was elected to represent the 45th Legislative District in the Maryland State Senate in 2018. Since that time, he has been named a “legislator to watch” by The
Daily Record and Maryland Matters. Additionally, Cory also serves as First Vice Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party.

Cory’s story is a uniquely Baltimore story. Like many of us, Cory grew up in a Baltimore whose greatest resource was its hardworking men and women. In spite of that resource,
the City often struggled to give those men and women the opportunity they deserved. As a teenager at Fairmount Harford High School, Cory was also in search of
opportunity.

After a brief trip down the wrong path as a teenager, he found out about apprenticeships at the age of 18. The rest is history. By 19, he had become a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. By 20, he was a homeowner. Cory continued to meet opportunity halfway, working his way through community college and a bachelor’s degree, all while growing a small business focused on rental properties.


Those years also brought marriage and four loving children, along with a career focused wholly on working families and the communities they hold dear. Cory continues working for his local union and as a community organizer to this day, helping expand the opportunity for a better life to men and women across our City.


In 2014, neighbors across the 45th District elected Cory to represent them in Maryland’s House of Delegates. During his time in the House, leading news outlets like Center Maryland called him one of the most effective freshman legislators in the entire state.


Cory’s approach to public service is listening to his constituents’ problems and then figuring out how to solve them. When his constituents asked for better jobs, Cory passed the ACTION and POWER Apprenticeship Acts, which expands funding for apprenticeships that lead to family supporting careers. When he was asked for a larger investment in public schools, Cory passed legislation that scores school construction funding, so that lawmakers can’t cut Baltimore out of the resources it deserves.

About AEMS

AEMS is committed to ensuring that all students in the state of Maryland have access to high quality arts education by mobilizing power to communities through advocacy programs, professional and leadership programs, and resource building and sharing. We envision a public education system in Maryland that supports, cultivates, nurtures, and uplifts ALL students’ creativity through a robust arts education experience so that they can thrive in a healthy society.

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