Jarrod Folsom – President

I am honored to serve the Rockford community as a Board of Education Trustee.  My wife Jennifer and I grew up in St. Louis, Michigan and have lived in Rockford since 2012.  We have two kids attending RPS in the Spanish Immersion program, and we are very grateful for the world class education provided by Rockford Public Schools.  I have served as President of the Spanish Immersion Booster Club the past five years, as a volunteer Election Inspector, and I enjoy coaching youth sports and Odyssey of the Mind.

After graduating from St. Louis High School, I earned a B.A. in Marketing & Supply Chain Management from the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.  During that time I served on the MSU Alumni Association’s Student Alumni Foundation Board of Directors, and completed internships with the Walt Disney Company, both in Orlando, FL and as an on-campus Recruiter.  After graduation from MSU, we relocated to Chicago where I began my career with AT&T.  In 2005 I completed my MBA at Northern Illinois University.  Over the course of my 20+ year career, I have worked in a variety of roles in B2B sales and service, enterprise marketing, regulatory compliance, with extensive experience in process quality management and continuous improvement.

In my spare time I enjoy tennis, skiing, and spending time with my family and friends.

Year Elected: 2022

Current Term Expires: 2026

Kelley Freridge – Vice President

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.

Year Elected: 2020

Current Term Expires: 2024

 Christie Ramsey – Secretary

As a native of Rockford, I am honored and excited to serve the community as a member of the Rockford Board of Education.  My husband Rob and I have four children: Lennox, Michael, Abigail, and Stone. We choose to raise our family in Rockford for three important reasons: the desire to provide our children with the same extraordinary experience I had as a child; Rockford’s commitment and dedication to providing outstanding education for young minds; and the belief that Rockford is not only a community, but also a culture that inspires passion, creativity, and integrity.

I attended Grand Valley State University after graduating from Rockford High School and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance and Management. I’ve spent the last 17 years in Rockford as the Sales & Project Manager at H2Oasis, Inc., where I supervise the marketing and sales activities for our four retail locations in Michigan.

I have spent over 20 years volunteering in classrooms, PTOs, coaching sports, leading girl scouts, and volunteering in band programs. I am a parent and a tireless advocate for children, teachers, and our local schools. I believe that the combination of my volunteer and leadership positions in the community has prepared me to serve as an effective board trustee. I am overwhelmed with excitement at the opportunity to serve with a body of peers who have set the standards that Rockford Schools are known for today. I promise to dedicate my energy to enriching the lives of our children and continuing a legacy of educational excellence.

Year elected:  2023

Current term expires:  2026

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

Tricia Anderson – Trustee

I am a mom of two boys that attend Valley View Elementary.  My husband and I have been together for close to 20 years and we moved to Rockford in 2016.  I grew up in Georgetown Township and attended Grand Valley State University to earn a BS in Biology.  I performed fieldwork for a number of years for various federal agencies and focused primarily on the rehabilitation of trout populations in the Rocky Mountains and endangered bird populations on the east coast.  I later focused my efforts on conservation and water quality through a few local Michigan organizations, which lead to my desire to teach.  I went on to earn a Masters in Secondary Education from Aquinas College.  I taught general biology, environmental science, and microbiology for a district in the Detroit area. My favorite part of teaching was the facilitation of the learning process and watching my students show excitement and interest in various areas of science, and seeing them care, improve and thrive in class because of the connections they made between the content and their own lives.

I moved back to the west side of Michigan when my husband and I got married and I began working in local government in planning and zoning.  I currently work as a community planner and project manager for a local consulting firm, and recently earned credentials from the American Institute of Certified Planners.  I work with municipalities that need assistance with developing master plans, zoning ordinances, and review of development proposals.  I also serve on the City of Rockford Planning Commission.

I am dedicated in my governance role as a trustee on the RPS Board of Education, and knowing that my vote makes a difference in improving even the smallest aspects of our kids’ school day and school experience, brings me so much joy!

I’m looking forward to being a part of all the exciting things that Rockford Public Schools has to offer, and all the ways we can work together to continue to make it better!

Year elected:  2022

Current term expires:  2024

Barbara Helms – Trustee

Thank you to everyone who voted to elect me as a board member for Rockford Public Schools.  I was born in Grand Rapids and grew up on a pig farm in Lakeview, a small town north of Grand Rapids.  I married my high-school sweetheart and we raised two children who both graduated from Rockford Public Schools.  Our son, Nate, is now married and living on the east side of the state with his amazing wife, Kimmy.  Our daughter, Madison, is in Ann Arbor attending the University of Michigan.

Professionally, I have been practicing optometry for over three decades. A graduate of Ferris State University’s College of Optometry, I began my professional career in Ann Arbor. Twenty-five years ago, I moved back to Grand Rapids and have been practicing optometry locally since.  In 2009 I left corporate optometry and opened my own, private office, Helms Family Optical. 

Going forward, I hope to work with other board members to serve the community.  I truly hope that we can work together and continue to keep Rockford a great place to send our kids to a public institution for a great education.  My biggest hope is that the community engages even more in an effort to increase communication and transparency.  

Please visit barbhelms.com for regular updates. 

God Bless 

Year elected:  2023

Current term expires:  2026

Nick Reichenbach – Trustee

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