EASTON — The TCPS Education Foundation announces its first “Mission Possible – Celebrating TCPS Alumni and Supporting Teachers” fundraiser from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16 at the Milestone in Easton.

The event will include a cocktail reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres and a reverse auction benefitting the foundation’s Grants for Teachers program.

The purpose of the event is to recognize distinguished alumni, celebrate Talbot County Public Education, and raise funds, awareness, and support for the Education Foundation. “We are very excited about our first Fall Event,” said Becky Firth, Foundation Advisory Board and event committee member.

The 2018 Mission Possible honorees are Otis E. Sampson, Moton High School Class of 1963; Capt. Ann F. Stencil, USN (Ret.), Easton High School Class of 1976; and John R. Valliant, St. Michaels Middle High School Class of 1971.

The honorees were selected for their outstanding accomplishments, their commitment to giving back to their communities and their belief in and support of public education.

“This is an opportunity for TCPS Alumni and other members of the community to enjoy a fun evening together while supporting our teachers and students,” Firth said. “Several teachers will be on hand to share their grant proposals so that guests can see first-hand examples of the incredible instructional initiatives that we are striving to fund.”

Tickets are $75 per person and may be purchased online at www.tcpsedfoundation.org or by calling Debbie Gardner at 410-822-0330 ext. 102.

There are a variety of sponsorship opportunities available as well. The Education Foundation is grateful for early sponsorship commitments from Paris Foods, The Star Democrat, Margy and Jim Robfogel, Margret Quimby, DDS, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, 1880 Bank and For All Seasons.

Otis E. Sampson, Moton High School Class of 1963

After graduating from high school, Sampson attended the Radio School of Announcing and Speech in New York City and the Radio Engineering Institute of Virginia. Early in his career he worked in radio broadcasting, as well as in the newspaper business. He also worked for Black & Decker and Lowe’s Home Improvement Store.

Throughout his life, Sampson has given back to the community in numerous ways, including serving as a special advocate for CASA of Talbot County for 12 years, as a member of the Affordable Housing Board for the Town of Easton, president of the Talbot County branch of the NAACP, and is a director of the Neighborhood Service Center, Inc. and Talbot County Commission on Aging.

Sampson is a past member of the Kiwanis Club, the Samuel T. Hemsley Elks Lodge #974 of IBPOE, and the Moton Alumni Association. Sampson has received the Community Champion Award from Verizon and the NAACP, was nominated for the Maryland’s Most Beautiful People Award and received the Ministers and Citizens for Change Award. He currently serves as a member of the Talbot County Board of Education.

Capt. Ann F. Stencil, USN (Ret.), Easton High School, Class of 1976

Following in her father and brother’s footsteps, Capt. Stencil is a proud graduate of the first class of the United States Naval Academy to integrate women (1980). In addition to her bachelor’s degree, she holds two master’s degrees, and she credits Talbot County Public Schools with setting her on a course for a lifetime of advanced education.

Stencil’s 27-year military career took her around the world with assignments in cities such as Moscow, Tokyo, Stockholm, Seoul, Istanbul. She became the first female military training officer at the all-male boot camp in San Diego, was the director of protocol for the Secretary of Defense, and had command of 32 recruiting stations in the South.

Since retiring from the military, she has worked in defense contracting, and is now an executive consultant for Bravo Zulu Consulting, LLC. She has served on boards of directors for the Navy Federal Credit Union, the Executive Council for the nation’s celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812, the Cooke’s Hope Homeowner’s Association. She has volunteered for Talbot Hospice.

John R. Valliant, St. Michaels Middle High School Class of 1971

Valliant earned a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University. His additional education includes the Grantsmanship Training Center, Leadership Maryland, BoardSource, and the Smithsonian Institution Management Course.

Valliant has been the President of the Grayce B. Kerr Fund, Inc. in Easton, Maryland and the Principal of Responsible Philanthropy Group, LLC, since 2006. Before then, he spent nearly 20 years in leadership positions with the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, ultimately serving as President from 2002 to 2006.

Valliant has extensive experience providing consulting services for museums in Maine, Maryland and Florida. He has served on boards of directors of multiple organizations, including the St. Michaels High School Alumni Association, the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the Maryland Heritage Alliance and the ACE Mentoring Program.

He has been the president of the Maryland Association of History Museums, treasurer of the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce, and the president of the Council of American Maritime Museums.

The Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation was established in 2016 in partnership with the Mid-Shore Community Foundation. Its mission is to engage and utilize community resources to provide TCPS students and teachers with otherwise unavailable enrichment opportunities that will enhance the TCPS educational experience and produce exceptional graduates.

Since its inception, the foundation has funded more than $16,000 in grants for teachers, including projects such as “Creating Robotic Engineers,” “Diversity in Classroom Libraries,” “Hands-On Life Science,” “STEM with Drones” and an “Outdoor Classroom.”

To learn more about supporting the Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation, visit www.tcpsedfoundation.org, or contact Debbie Gardner, Coordinator of Public Relations and Special Programs at 410-822-0330 ext. 102 or dgardner@talbotschools.org.

Follow me on Twitter @connie_stardem.

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