2021-22 Board of Education

Geoffrey L. Downs – President

It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to serve the community of Rockford through the public school system. My wife Jane and I are originally from the north end of Grand Rapids and moved to the Rockford area in 1989.  We have two daughters, both proud graduates of the Rockford Public Schools and Michigan State University. Both reside in Colorado, with Emily in the teaching profession and Taylor a chiropractor.  

I graduated from Central Michigan University and received my Master’s degree in Secondary Education from Grand Valley State University.  I taught at Rockford High School for 27 years before retiring in 2012. Currently, I instruct and supervise student teachers in the West Michigan area for Ferris State University.  My hobbies include biking, swimming, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, hunting, fishing, and playing guitar.

Year Elected: 2016
Current Term Expires: 2024

Nick Reichenbach – Vice President

I am blessed to serve our community and students as a member of your Board of Education. My wife Joan and I have lived here since 2004 to raise our three children. While we looked across the United States, West Michigan was set apart in our short list and Rockford’s sense of community drew us here on purpose and without regret.  I have spent many years in the software industry consulting senior executives and plant employees alike. I currently work in applications development as a Director. My wife and I enjoy a life of service to students and currently do so through the schools and our church. We have three foundationally prepared students from RPS who went to university (Liberty University/Calvin College/Indiana Wesleyan) and call West Michigan home.

Year Elected: 2016
Current Term Expires: 2024

Timothy Lewis in a suit with a gold tie, wearing his square glasses

Timothy J. Lewis – Secretary

I moved to Michigan in 1994 and selected Rockford for the community and schools. I have three kids: Jake (a graduate of RPS and currently a Trooper with the Michigan State Police), Sam (a graduate of RPS and currently in his last year of law school at Michigan State University), and Kaili (a graduate of Rockford High School and currently attending GRCC). I had the pleasure of retiring after 34 years as a police officer, having spent the majority of my time in public service. I enjoy serving on the Board of Education and look forward to many more years of serving the Rockford community. I consider it an honor and a privilege to be elected to serve on the Rockford Board of Education.

Year Elected: 2010
Current Term Expires: 2022

Jake Himmelspach – Treasurer

As a former graduate of Rockford Public Schools, I am so excited and humbled to serve my community as a member of the Board of Education. While I grew up in downtown Rockford, my wife grew up in Los Angeles and immediately fell in love with this community. Now, our three kids, Katelyn, Metzli, and Nikko range from high school to elementary school.

After graduating from Rockford I received my Bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and started my career in journalism. A few years later, I went back to school and earned an MBA with a concentration in design thinking and innovation through Ferris State University and Kendall College of Art and Design. I now work in business consulting for Peopledesign as a principal and director of strategy. Outside of my career I spend as much time as I can enjoying friends and family.

Year Elected: 2020
Current Term Expires: 2024

Bobbi Jo Blanton – Trustee

It is an honor and pleasure to serve as a Rockford Public Schools trustee. Originally from northeast Grand Rapids, my husband, William and I moved to Rockford in 2013. We have two sons: Bradley, currently a sophomore and football player at Hope College and Jonathan, a junior at the Rockford High School.

I graduated from Davenport University with a BA and Master’s degree in Accounting and also furthered my education in engineering and also participated in the Tuck Executive School of Business. I have over 20 years of experience in accounting, finance and business operations with extensive experience in building and growing teams as an entrepreneur.

Besides my career, leadership and giving back to the community have been a passion and a driver in my life. I am excited to be involved in education and use my experiences to help our district remain strong today and well into the future.

In my leisure time, my life revolves around family and watching our two sons play football, baseball and basketball. My other hobbies include spending time on the water, running, cooking and baking.

Year Appointed: 2018
Current Term Expires: 2022

Kelley Freridge – Trustee

Kelley Freridge is the Chief Marketing Officer for the American Camp Association, which serves the 15,000+ summer camps in the US who annually serve more than 26 million campers.  With an additional 10 years of senior leadership roles in the outdoor industry at Patagonia and Chaco, Kelley brings consumer and trend insights, meaningful branding experience, and digital savvy to her role as a Rockford Public Schools Trustee. As a National Outdoor Leadership School graduate and mother, Kelley recognizes the essential value of experiential education in developing tomorrow’s leaders. Originally from Saint Joseph, Michigan, Kelley attributes her parents’ focus on education, faith, and service as an ongoing influence in her commitment to Rockford learners, families, and staff in this new role. Kelley lives in Rockford, Michigan with her son Larrs and husband Kyle.

Year Elected: 2020
Current Term Expires: 2024

Andrea R. Jacobson – Trustee

Appointed: 2021
Current Term Expires: 2022