TCPS Education Foundation Appoints New Board Members

The Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation (TCPSEF) is pleased to announce that Jessica Bellis and Dr. Ruth Ann Jones have been appointed as new Board members.

Jessica Bellis and Ruth Ann Jones have been appointed to the Board of the Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation.  The Foundation is led by a total of 18 dedicated volunteers.  (front row left to right) Lindsey Higginbottom; Vickie Wilson; David Short, Chair; Dale Rauch; Annie Decker.  (back row left to right) Michael Garman; Jeremy Hillyard; Mariana Lesher, Treasurer; Pamela Clay, Secretary; Jessica Bellis; Ruth Ann Jones; Betsy Griffin.  Not Pictured: Jo Ann Asparagus Murray, Vice Chair; Michael Fisher; Juanita Hopkins; F. Graham Lee; Berenice Orellana; Vanessa Sullivan.

Ms. Bellis is the Chief Operating & Finance Officer of the Avalon Foundation, Inc., in Easton, MD. Ms. Bellis holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Virginia Polytechnic & State University (Virginia Tech).  The parent of two Easton High students and a proud product of public education, Ms. Bellis brings 20 years of experience building community partnerships, fundraising, event management, grant administration, and financial leadership to TCPSEF, and more than a decade of hands-on work with TCPS students and staff.  “I have witnessed first-hand the intense stresses and triumphs of teachers and students especially over the last few unprecedented years.  I am honored to join this organization whose mission it is to engage the community in supporting excellence in public education and to work to provide resources to enhance teaching and learning for all.”  Said Ms. Bellis when asked about her new appointment.  Ms. Bellis also serves as Vice Chair for the Talbot County Board of Tourism.

Dr. Jones retired in August 2019 after more than 45 years in the healthcare industry, most recently serving as Senior Vice President of Clinical Services/Chief Nursing Officer for University of Maryland Shore Regional Health.  A lifelong health care provider, leader and educator, Dr. Jones over the years has served as a mentor to a number of Masters and Doctoral nursing students.  She earned a Doctorate in Innovation and Leadership from Wilmington University, a Master of Science in Nursing from The Catholic University of America, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Wesley College in Dover, DE, and a diploma in nursing from the Macqueen Gibbs Willis School of Nursing. She serves on the Chesapeake College Nursing Advisory Board, serves as Vice President of the Talbot Paramedic Foundation Board, and is a member of the Memorial Hospital Scholarship Foundation Committee and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation Board.  Through her volunteer work, Dr. Jones provides reviews of grants and scholarships and has experience with writing Bylaws and Strategic Plans. She  is the parent of two Easton High School graduates. “I am honored and excited about joining this great group of individuals who dedicate their time to supporting public education and our community,” Dr. Jones explained. “The work accomplished by this group enhances student learning through innovative practices that support positive outcomes for students.”

“The TCPS Education Foundation Board is proud to welcome these new members,” said David Short, CPA, and Foundation Board Chair. “Each brings a different perspective and a great deal of diverse experience to enhance that of our current members. We have been very fortunate to attract board members that reflect the perspective of many of the stakeholders in our community. We are always interested in talking to potential board members and volunteers interested in supplementing the outstanding Talbot County Public School experience.”

Founded in 2016 in partnership with the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, the Education Foundation has raised more than $750,000 to support excellence in public education.  With generous financial support from the community, they have approved grant requests from teachers for innovative projects and experiences for TCPS students, raised funds to provide internet connectivity for students, awarded scholarships to graduating seniors, and established a fund to support mental health services in TCPS schools.

For more information about the TCPS Education Foundation visit or contact Debbie Gardner, Communications Officer at or 410-822-0330 ext. 102.

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