Board of Trustees

Trustee Biographies

For term July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022

John Hockmeyer, President

John is a lifelong advocate of education as a vehicle for people to improve their lives. John has a B.A. from Vanderbilt University, M.Ed. from George Washington University, and M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins University. John taught high school level English in Charleston, SC, at the county magnet school for at-risk youth. He then changed career fields and worked for MedImmune-AstraZeneca, a global life sciences company, for 17 years. He held several roles of increasing responsibility in Sales & Marketing, Corporate Development & Strategy, and Biologics Manufacturing Operations Strategy. John and his family moved to Talbot County in 2013 from Bethesda, MD. John left the pharmaceutical industry and now manages agricultural properties; his wife Tracy Hockmeyer, PhD., a former research scientist, is a licensed acupuncturist and co-owner of EbbTide Wellness Studio in Easton. They have two young children at The Country School, Boden and Grace.

Blenda Armistead

Blenda Armistead's career has focused on local government, finance, education, and community service. She served as County Manager and Finance Officer for Talbot County for 18 years. Prior to her appointment as County Manager, she was the Assistant Dean in the College of Business and Management at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a director of Shore Bancshares and has been on the board of Shore United Bank (formerly The Talbot Bank) for almost 30 years.

Blenda has been active in many community-based organizations, having chaired the Boards of Chesapeake College, Shore Health System, The Country School, the Academy Art Museum, and the Talbot County YMCA. A past member of the Easton Rotary Club, she has also served on the boards of  Talbot Mentors, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the Waterfowl Festival, the YMCA of the Chesapeake and the Talbot Historical Society.  

A graduate of Smith College, Blenda earned an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in Management and Higher Education from Florida State University.


Jason Brown

Jason Brown is a lifelong resident of the Eastern Shore. Jason graduated from North Caroline High School in 2001 and the University of Richmond in 2005, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with concentrations in Accounting and Finance. Jason is a Certified Public Accountant and founder of Brown Consulting and Advising, LLC. He specializes in providing outsourced executive management services, tax planning, and business consulting services. 

Jason is currently serving as CFO for Shoreline Vinyl Systems, Inc., assisting in corporate acquisition oversight, cash flow management,
and financial planning. Prior to forming his own practice, Jason worked in the public accounting sector focusing on taxation for 11 years.  He also holds his CVA (certified valuation analyst) designation.

Jason currently resides in Easton, Maryland, with his wife, Amy, and children Olivia ('27), Adam ('30) and Anna (age 2).

Richard Counts

Richard Counts grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He attended Duke University, the University of Maryland (BA, 1965), and the University of Chicago (JD, 1968). He moved to the Eastern Shore in 1980.
Richard practiced law in Easton for 32 years, retiring from Parker and Counts in 2012.  His primary practice areas were estate planning, estate and trust administration and real estate.
Each of his three children, Meredith, Richard and Catherine, attended Country School from kindergarten through the 8th grade, and his granddaughter Keane entered the School’s inaugural pre-kindergarten class in 2019.

Tim Cureton

Tim Cureton is Owner and CEO of Rise Up Coffee, an independent coffee company based out of Easton, Maryland. Tim graduated from Salisbury University, earning both a B.A. in Sociology and a Master’s in Education. After college, Tim’s desire to travel and interest in other cultures drove him to volunteer for the Peace Corps. Tim would have what would prove to be a life changing coffee experience while traveling home from his service in Micronesia. His love affair with coffee had begun. In 2005, Tim along with Abby West opened the first Rise Up Coffee in St. Michaels, Maryland. What started as one small coffee trailer in a parking lot, has evolved into five iconic locations. From the complexity of taste, its global reach and the connection provided to other world cultures, Tim finds continuous fascination through his life in coffee. Any time away from coffee is time spent with the greatest individual humanity has ever known, Tim’s seven year old son, Koa (‘24). Tim Cureton currently resides in Easton, Maryland.

Robin Davenport

Advocating for the best interest of children has been the guiding principle in Robin’s professional life. Since 1990, she has been the Executive Director for CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) of the Mid Shore, a nonprofit organization serving maltreated children under court protection in Talbot, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, and Kent Counties. Prior to joining CASA, she was the Executive Director of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Upper Eastern Shore; Director of the Victim Witness Assistance Center in the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office; and a Case Worker for the Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services in the Child Protective Services, Foster Care, and Adoptions Units.

Robin serves on several regional committees related to child welfare, was a gubernatorial appointee to the State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect, and is a Master Trainer for Maryland’s Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Cohort.

Robin has lived in Easton since 1985 with her husband, Scott Patterson, and their two daughters, Kendall ’01 and Becca ’04. While their daughters attended TCS, Robin was a room parent, House Manager for TCS’s annual productions, and a member of the Diversity Committee.


Christy Gibson

Christy Gibson has been a part of The Country School family for three years now. Her two sons are currently in the first and second grade. Christy is no newcomer to Country School events though. She has been involved in the school’s fundraising and volunteer activities since day one by serving as a Buddy Family, an Auction Co-Chair, a Golf Tournament Co-Chair, a Room Parent, a Committee Member in the Lower Head School Search and participating in several CSPA events in one capacity or another.
Prior to her life at The Country School, Christy spent more than ten years in Washington, D.C. in government relations working with national organizations in corporate, non-profit and for-profit sectors with a focus on fundraising, advocacy and technology. Locally, Christy is a member of the Mid-Shore League of Republican Women, Daughters of the American Revolution, General Perry Benson chapter and the Christ Church of Easton where she served as a member of the Vestry for three years, during their most recent Capitol Campaign. She is also involved in the fitness programs at Hearthstone Health and Fitness.
Previous professional and social affiliations in Talbot County include serving for the Republican Central Committee as Treasurer and Member and working on several local and national political races. Christy served Christ Church Day School as President of the Parents Association and on various other committees, as well as volunteering for Talbot Hospice Festival of the Trees, The Waterfowl Festival, among others. Christy earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland, College Park, and currently resides in Easton.

Chad Hill '94

Chad Hill was born and raised in Easton, Maryland, and is a member of The Country School Class of 1994. He is a 1998 graduate of The Hill School in Pottstown, PA, and a 2002 graduate of Elon University, where he earned a Business degree with a concentration in Marketing.

Upon returning to the Eastern Shore, Chad lived in Salisbury, where he owned and operated a successful full-service car wash. In 2010, Chad married Lindsey Moore. They moved to Easton in 2014 and now have two children: Laurie (Class of ’26) and David (age 4). 

Chad is vice president of Hill Hospitality, a hotel management and development company based in Easton, which operates a number of hotels along the East Coast. He is vice president of Caulk Management company, which manages various commercial buildings and businesses in Maryland. He serves as a Board member for Channel Marker, Inc. and is passionate about mental health awareness and advocating for the fight against the stigma of mental illness. He is also a proud and active volunteer for Character Counts and Junior Achievement.

Chad’s many interests include playing golf, traveling, surfing, and spending time with family and friends at the beach.

Dorothy Johnson

Dorothy Johnson was born in Caroline County and grew up in Denton, Maryland, and Bennington, Vermont. Dorothy currently resides with her husband C.O., son R.P. (‘21), and daughter Reagan (‘24).

Dorothy has been well involved in The Country School in many capacities, from being a Room Parent, CSPA President, and many other volunteering needs. Of those, her passion was serving on the CSPA Board and her
involvement with the student/parent body.

Prior to dedicating her time to The Country School, she was the Logistics Director at Paris Foods Corporation for 14 years.


Talli Oxnam

Talli Oxnam is Senior Vice President of Wye Financial Partners, a financial
services firm offering full-service investment and insurance solutions.
A dynamic, hands-on professional with 27 years of experience, she is known for her focused approach to strategic operations, corporate finance, and administrative objectives. Talli's experience in business management, corporate trust administration, nonprofit endowment management, and employer-sponsored retirement plan administration makes her successful in business development, problem solving and optimizing internal processes.

Talli is a positive and articulate leader, comfortable in the board room as well as in the community. Talli spent her early career as Chief Operating Officer for custom-builder Ilex Construction, a residential construction and architectural woodworking firm.

Growing up in Baltimore, Talli attended Garrison Forest School and went to college at the University of Puget Sound outside Seattle, Washington. She is a graduate of the American Bankers Association Advanced Trust
School, as well as Leadership Maryland.

Talli moved to the Eastern Shore with her husband, Geoff, in 2000. Talli has served on the Board of The Country School Parent’s Association, Talbot County Young Professionals, Tred Avon Yacht Club Junior Sailing, and Talbot Country Club. She is the Past President of the Women and Girls Fund of the Mid-Shore, Past Chair of Junior Achievement of Talbot County, and Past Vestry Member, Treasurer, and Investment and Endowment Committee Member of Christ Church - St. Peter's Parish. Currently, Talli is on the Board of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and a member of the Shore Regional Health Investment Committee.

Talli is an avid amateur photographer and enjoys studying interior design and traveling with her family. Talli and Geoff live in Cooke’s Hope with their two children. Charlotte is sophomore at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering, and Nick is a junior at St. Andrew’s
School in Middletown, Delaware. Both Charlotte and Nick graduated from The County School and Talli and Geoff credit much of their children’s academic success to the excellent foundation they gained from the school.


Lakshmi Vaidyanathan, MD, MBA

Lakshmi is a physician who specializes in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She is currently the Medical Director of the Palliative Care Program at the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health. In addition to the clinical care of patients, Lakshmi has leadership experience in health care, having chaired and served on a number of hospital committees and initiatives. Her passion is innovation in health care delivery that can improve quality and affordability.
Lakshmi completed her medical school at Grant Medical College, Mumbai, India. She then went on to complete a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. A life-long learner, Lakshmi recently graduated from the Executive MBA program at the University of Maryland R. H. Smith School of Business. Lakshmi lives in Easton with her husband, Dr. John Foley and their children Tara (‘23) and Arjun (‘25).

Doug Walker

Doug Walker graduated from St. Maria Goretti High School in Hagerston, Maryland in 1995, St. Mary's College of Maryland in St. Mary's City, Maryland in 1999 and the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2002. 
After graduation, he immediately began practicing in Towson, Maryland at Royston, Muller, McLean and Reid, LLP. After five years in Towson he accepted a position at Miles & Stockbridge, P.C. and moved to Easton with his wife (Melissa) and daughter (Mia) in July of 2007. In December of 2016 he stared his own law firm (McAllister, DeTar, Showalter & Walker, LLC) and over the last two years the new firm has been representing a variety of mostly local individuals, business, and financial institutions in addition to a handful of national private equity firms and/or financial institutions throughout the state of Maryland. In addition to a variety of local affiliations, Mr. Walker has been Co-Vice Chair (2010-2014) and Chair (2014-2015) of the Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies Committee of the American Bar Assocaition's Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section. 
Daughters Mia ('21) and Emma ('23) came to the Country School for the 2017-18 school year and Chloe ('27) will begin Kindergarten in the fall of 2018. 

Richard Ward

Richard Ward is the Vice President and owner of Rockville Fuel and Feed Company, Inc., a family business in Rockville, MD with a main product of ready-mixed concrete for commercial construction projects. He is also President and Founder of RFF Properties, a commercial real estate and property management firm and President of Richards-Wilbert, Inc. a funeral products supply and service company. Richard has a BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Wake Forest University. He is a Board Member Emeritus at The Treatment and Learning Centers in Rockville, MD. At TLC Richard was a board member for 14 years, Board President for 3 years and was instrumental in adding a high school for severely learning-disabled children. Richard is very familiar with the independent school world having attended Georgetown Preparatory School, and serving on the boards of The Christ Episcopal School in Rockville, Saint Anne’s School of Annapolis, and Trinity School of Frederick where he also served some time as Head of School. In his spare time, Richard enjoys boating and spending time with his family. His twins, Lilli and Colin, graduated from The Country School in 2017.

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