The Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of six new Board Members. Annie Decker, Betsy Griffin, Mariana Lesher, Berenice Orellana, Dale Rauch and Vickie Wilson began their first three-year term in December 2020.
“These individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in a broad array of disciplines to the Education Foundation Board,” said Pam Clay, Chair of the Foundation’s Nominating Committee. “I am very excited to have them join our mission in support of public education in Talbot County.”
Annie Decker is Director, Utilization Management and Review for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. She earned a degree in Nursing from the MacQueen Gibbs Willis School and a degree in Art History at University of MD and Loyola University of Chicago, Rome Italy. Annie is a member of the Professional Academy of Healthcare Management (PAHM), a Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Emergency Response Nurse Volunteer, and a former President of the Talbot Kennel Club. She is an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, and when not working with dogs, loves sailing. Her two adult children are alumni of Talbot County Public Schools.
Betsy Griffin is the Advertising Sales Director at APG Chesapeake. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Health/Health CareAdministration/Management from Mary Baldwin University. She is a graduate of Shore Leadership Class of 2016, has served on the Advisory Board of the YMCA of the Chesapeake and on the Boards of the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce and Easton Business Alliance, and volunteers as a Meal Server for the Talbot Interfaith Shelter. She has two children who are members of the Easton High graduating class of 2019 and 2021.
Mariana Lesher currently serves as the Director of Data Platforms for the American Hospital Association. She earned a B.A. in Economics and Spanish Languages and Literature from Swarthmore College and an M.S. in Management Information Systems from the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore. Mariana serves on the Board of Chesapeake Music as Treasurer, is on the Leadership Council at Grace Lutheran Church, and on the Board of the Chesapeake Bay Bermuda 40 Association. She is also Treasurer and Pack Committee Member for Cub Scout Pack 190, and is an avid sailor. She has two children who attend Talbot County Public Schools.
Berenice Orellana is a Certified Interpreter/Translator at Easton High School. In this role she facilitates communication between school staff and families in enrollment, parent conferences, and administration of assessments. Her prior professional experience includes employment with Talbot Bank and Wor Wic Community College. She has also assisted with the instruction of Survival Spanish for police recruits at the Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy and served on the Advisory Boards of theDepartment of Social Services and the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center. She has three daughters who have attended Talbot County Public Schools, one of whom was a member of the Easton High School class of 2020.
Dale Rauchtaught elementary and middle school in Talbot County for 30 years. She then worked for 14 years as an Administrative Assistant to two Maryland Senators for the Maryland General Assembly. She earned a BS in Education from the University of MD, College Park and pursued graduate studies at Loyola College, Trinity College and Salisbury University. Her hobbies include acting as an extra in movies and television and in commercials and local plays, and volunteering as a “Caring Clown” at Shore Health Hospital. Dale was a member of the Talbot County Education Association and the Maryland State Teacher’s Association. She is currently on the Board of the Avalon Foundation and the Grandparents Club at White Marsh Elementary. Her two sons are graduates of Talbot County Public Schools.
Vickie Wilson retired from TCPS in 2017 after a37 year career as a Science Teacher, School Counselor and Student Services Worker. She earned a B.S. in Education at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and a Master of Education from Salisbury University. She has served as an Adjunct Professor at Salisbury University and Chesapeake College. She serves in leadership roles on the Boards of the NAACP, Building African American Minds (BAAM), the Frederick Douglas Honor Society and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Vickie was a member and former President of the Talbot County Education Association and a member of the National School Counselors Association. She is currently the Vice President of the Talbot County Retired Educators Association.
The Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation was established in 2016 in partnership with the Mid-Shore Community Foundation. Its mission is to engage the community in supporting excellence in public education and provide resources to enhance the teaching and learning experience for all. To date the foundation has funded more than $100,000 in grants for TCPS teachers, including projects such as such as One School One Book, Mobile Science Lab, NJROTC – Project Sea Perch, the Easton Middle School Drumline, and many more, and has raised $100,000 to support virtual learning connectivity for students.
Additional members of the Education Foundation Board are Laura P. Heikes, Chair; Rebecca Firth, Ph.D., Vice Chair; David Short, C.P.A, Treasurer; Patrick Fitzgerald, Esq., Founding Chair; Pamela Clay; Michael Fisher, M.D.; Howard Freedlander, Lindsey Higginbottom, Jeremy Hillyard, Juanita Hopkins, Esq., F. Graham Lee; Jo Ann Asparagus Murray; David “Ty” Russ, Jr., and Vanessa Sullivan.
To learn more about supporting the Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation, visit https://tcpsef.org/ or contact Debbie Gardner, Coordinator of Public Relations and Special Programs at 410-822-0330 ext. 102 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.