Department of Human Resources

2024 Inductees
Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame

H. Raye Rice Jones Avery

H. Raye Rice Jones AveryRaye has accumulated 35 years of public service focused on arts-based community devel-opment, education equity, reproductive justice, racial justice, and urban affairs and policy with Community Action of Greater Wilmington, Delaware League for Planned Parenthood, Henrietta Johnson Medical Center, United Way of Delaware, Christina Cultural Arts Center and Kuumba Academy Charter School. In 1991, Raye was granted the opportunity to lead Christina Cultural Arts Center Inc. as the 2nd woman Executive Director and the first African American woman to hold the top leadership position. Raye helped to lead a $3 million capital campaign acquiring and renovating the current central business district location on Market Street.

Currently, Avery volunteers on the governance boards of Kuumba Academy Charter School, the Wilmington Center for Education Equity and Policy, Elevate Vocal Arts Academy, Delaware Theater Company, the Redding Consortium, and is past president of National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Delaware Chapter. As a socially conscious artist, Avery has self-produced two recording projects - “Sistah Girl’s Lament” released in 2002 and “Between” released in 2018. Raye was a Robert Johnson Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in April 2022. Delaware Art Museum has engaged Raye to host a monthly jazz series led by Jonathan Whitney.

Julissa Coriano

Julissa CorianoNative to Puerto Rico, Julissa Coriano is a clinical social worker and sexuality therapist in private practice. Julissa’s clinical focus centers on the Latinx community, particularly the undocumented community, the LGBTQIA community, and victims of human trafficking. Julissa holds graduate degrees in clinical social work and human sexuality, as well as an advanced doctoral degree in human sexuality with a focus on how marianismo and machismo impact Latinx sexuality. Along with her son, Noah who is also a clinical social worker and sexuality therapist, Julissa is the co-founder of Orgullo Delaware, the first and only organization in Delaware that clinically supports LGBTQIA-identified Latines and their families. Orgullo Delaware is also dedicated to educating and training medical and mental health professionals on the unique needs of the Latinx community. Julissa is also the co-founder of the Delaware Sexuality & Gender Collective.

Anna Marie Leo

Anna Marie LeoAnna Marie Leo or Miss Anna Marie as she is known to everyone, was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. She is currently 94 years young. Miss Anna Marie opened Anna Marie Dance Studio (AMDS) in 1951. Besides running the studio for many years, she became nationally known for convention teaching and judging competitions. She taught master classes for Dance Caravan, Dance Olympus, and Dance Makers, Inc. She was also the National Vice President of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Artists. Many of Miss Anna Marie’s former students have had very successful careers both on and off stage, nationally and internationally, including Broadway shows, dance companies around the world and cruise line entertainment. Miss Anna Marie is thrilled that in recent years her niece, Ashley, has taken over the Anna Marie Dance Studio. Miss Anna Marie is still actively involved with the studio and still teaches!

Colonel Melissa A. Zebley

Colonel Melissa A. ZebleyA lifelong Delawarean and a 32-year veteran of the Delaware State Police (DSP), Colonel Melissa A. Zebley found her calling of service after attending a State Police Explorer program at St. Marks High School. Selected for the 61st Delaware State Police Academy class in 1992, Colonel Zebley began her service in a variety of assignments, including patrol Trooper, Training Academy Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Director of Public Information, Fiscal Executive Officer, and Troop Commander.

Rising to the rank of Major in 2010, she was selected to join the DSP Executive Staff as an Administrative Officer, where she managed the budget, training academy, and human resource sections. In 2013, she transitioned to Operations Officer, with oversight of New Castle County Patrol Troops, Criminal Investigations, and the statewide Traffic Section. Her ascent continued in 2019 when she became the first woman to lead the Internal Affairs, Information Technology, and Office of Strategic Development divisions as the Deputy Superintendent of the Delaware State Police. In July 2020, Colonel Zebley made history as the first woman to become the 26th Superintendent of DSP. As Chief Executive Officer, she leads Delaware’s largest enforcement agency, managing over 700 sworn troopers and 300 professional staff.