Positive Strides Therapeutic Riding is pleased to announce the appointments of LeeAnn Hutchison and Lisa Fitzpatrick to its Board of Directors effective immediately.
“We are fortunate to have LeeAnn and Lisa join the board,” says Board President Jeff Wright. “Their wealth of experience and commitment to our mission are immeasurable.”
Hutchison has been a long-time volunteer and advocate for Positive Strides. “Positive Strides holds a special place in my heart,” says Hutchison. “My daughter, Jaime Lee, rode with the program for several years and I witnessed the positive impact it had on her brief life. It helped make her more confident and happier.”
In 2020, Positive Strides worked with Hutchison to develop and lead Time to Ride, an after-school program that gets students out of the classroom and into the farm environment. Its purpose is to introduce at-risk, school-age children to horseback riding and horse care in a safe, welcoming environment.
Hutchison spent her career in education. She retired in 2018 after teaching at Easton High School for 30 years. She taught Academic Biology, AP Environmental Science and AP Biology. She spent five years with the Maryland State Department of Education as an Environmental Education Specialist. She earned her Masters in Interdisciplinary Science from Johns Hopkins University and Bachelors from the University of Maryland. She is the author and contributor to several education-related manuals, publications and books.
Fitzpatrick recently moved back to the Eastern Shore and immediately wanted to support Positive Strides and its riders. “It is wonderful to be back working with horses once again. It is an honor not only to help our riders develop but being on the Board of Directors will allow me to use my business expertise as well.” says Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick spent her early years riding and showing on the Eastern Shore of Maryland after moving to the area from Washington, DC. When the former Talbot Special Riders first began, she was happy to lend a hand before heading off to college. Recently she volunteered at Ronald Reagan National Airport with Travelers Aid. She especially enjoyed working with Arc’s Wings for Autism/Wings for All. The program gives families and aviation professionals the confidence to fly by going through airport ‘rehearsals.’ Through support and training the volunteers shared their love of the airport with children and their families who needed a helping hand.
As a small business owner, educator and leader in her industry, Fitzpatrick has first-hand knowledge of what it takes to guide an organization. She has spent her career in architecture and interior design. For the last six years, she has been a full-time professor in interior design at Northern Virginia Community College and an adjunct professor at Marymount University. She has worked for and with architects and engineers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Virginia, DC and abroad. She has served on professional and non-profit boards regionally and nationally and has led them through strategic planning, fundraising, and education.
Fitzpatrick earned her Master of Arts in Interior Design from Marymount University; her Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and her Diploma in Arts / Irish Studies from the National University of Ireland, Galway. She has been published in reference materials related to ‘Sense of Place and the Airport’ and is currently working on her first book of literary nonfiction set in Ireland.
About Positive Strides
Celebrating 40 years, Positive Strides serves adults and children in Caroline, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties. Its mission is to build confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of accomplishment for individuals with physical, cognitive, and emotional needs by utilizing equine-assisted therapies. It is a registered nonprofit organization and an active member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.
For more information, visit www.positivestridescenter.org.