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 Board of Education Members



Jim Hansen, Board President

Jim Hansen was elected to the Rapid City Area School Board in June of 2011. Hansen has been with the Rapid City Police Department for 23 years. He was a RCPD school liaison officer at RC Central High School for several years. He is an instructor in several areas for the RCPD as well as for the State of South Dakota. In addition to his law enforcement experience, Hansen owned and operated a security company in the Black Hills for several years. He is the Vice President of the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) as well as the current President of FOP Lodge 2 in Rapid City. Hansen is a member of the North Rapid Civic Association. 

Jim and his wife Connie have six children, two who are still students in the RCAS district.

Jim is the Area 4 representative, 2014-2017.

Jim Hansen 
1722 Space Court
Rapid City, SD 57701





Ron Riherd, Board Member

Ron Riherd was elected to the Board of Education in 2016. Ron taught and coached in South Dakota for 38 years.  Twenty-seven of those years he taught at Stevens High School. He graduated with a double major in mathematics and physical education and holds a masters degree in mathematics from the University of South Dakota.   Ron is past president of the South Dakota High School Activities Association and the South Dakota Basketball Coaches Association. He is past co-treasurer and current President Elect of the South Dakota Retired School Personnel. Ron owns and operates a lawn sprinkling service and does crop hail adjusting in the summers.

Ron and his wife Gloria have two grown daughters both of who graduated from Stevens High School.

Ron is the Area 3 Representative, 2016-2019.


Ron Riherd
3745 Corral Drive

Rapid City, SD 57702

Cell: (605) 484-6942


Matt Stephens, 1st Vice President

Matt Stephens has been a member of the RCAS Board of Education since July 2012. Stephens holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Economics from the University of South Dakota and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. He maintains a private law practice at Stephens Law Office where he has been in practice since September 1994. Stephens is a former member of the South Dakota Army National Guard, where he obtained the rank of First Lieutenant. 

Matt and his wife Vicki have three children, one attending SDSU after graduating from Rapid City Central, and two other children currently attending Rapid City Central. Stephens himself is a 1986 Rapid City Central graduate. 

Matt is the Area 1 representative, 2015-2018.

Matt Stephens
4513 Jewel Court
Rapid City, SD 57701

Cell: 484-1784



Sheryl Kirkeby, Board Member.  

Sheryl Kirkeby has served on the RCAS Board of Education since 2000. She was President for the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2012-2013, and 2013-2014 school years. Kirkeby possesses a bachelor’s in social science with a minor in business and middle school education. She served as a substitute teacher within the district for two years and was nominated as Substitute Teacher of the Year. Kirkeby is employed with KOTA Territory News and is married with four children who have all graduated from Rapid City Schools. She also has six grandchildren, three of whom have attended school in Rapid City. She has held many committee positions as well as officer positions for the board and was elected as a state ASBSD board member in 2011.

Sheryl is the Area 2 representative, 2015-2018.

Sheryl Kirkeby
315 E Philadelphia St
Rapid City, SD 57701

Home: 343-4003
Work: 394-7777
Cell: 381-7383 

Ed McLaughlin, Board Member

Ed McLaughlin joined the School Board in October, 2013. Ed taught in the K-12 system, the United States Air Force candidate school and also served as a principal and superintendent. Ed was a Rapid City Common Council Alderman and served as Rapid City Mayor from 1991 to 1997. He also served in the South Dakota Legislature from 2002 to 2010 and was Chairman of the House Education Committee.

Ed and his wife, Doris Marie Strom, are active community members and have two grown sons who were educated in the Rapid City schools.

Ed is the Area 5 representative, 2014-2017.

Edward McLaughlin 
4945 Good Shepherd Way 
Rapid City, SD 57702

Home: 343-8713  



Amy Policky, Board Member

 As a parent in the Rapid City school system, she has been actively engaged in the schools as an education advocate from numerous platforms including classroom teacher volunteer, Pinedale PTA member, Stevens High School Parent Network member, RCAS Parent Key Communicator, RCAS instructional Council member. She has served as the PTA President at West Middle School for the past 4 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics from Purdue University.  

Amy has lived in Rapid City for 23 years, having returned with her husband Don as he joined the family business They have 5 children, 3 currently in Rapid City Area Schools and two graduates from Rapid City Stevens High School. 

 Amy is the Area 6 representative, 2016-2019.


Amy Policky 





Kate Thomas, 2nd Vice President

Kate Thomas joined the RCAS Board July 2015. She has lived in RC for 34 years. She is a graduate of St. Thomas More. She is married to Vince (Stevens HS) for 18 years and has 7 children. She is a member of Decoding Dyslexia SD, SDCH Educators & BHCH Educators. She attended Northern University & has completed a medical transcription course. She is a consultant for ViVi Jewelry and is studying to obtain certification as Barton System tutor.

She is devoted to & invested in her kids' education. Currently she home educates 6 children, 3 of which dual enroll at Central HS & East MS. Kate is a tutor of the Barton System for her dyslexic children. Her kids participate in soccer, orchestra & Federation of the North American Explorers. Her oldest is attending College in Denver, CO.

Kate is the Area 7 representative, 2015-2018


Kate Thomas
6907 Greenfield Drive
Rapid City, SD 57703


Home:  393-8689    



Dr. Lori J. Simon, Superintendent

Dr. Lori Simon joined the Rapid City Area Schools in July 2016. Dr. Simon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Music from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, a Master’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, an Education Specialist degree from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, and a Doctor of Education in Leadership degree from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Dr. Simon has been a kindergarten teacher; a high school special education teacher; an elementary, middle school, and high school administrator; and has served in two assistant superintendent roles previously. All of her administrative experience has been in large urban or suburban school districts. Dr. Simon has presented at several national education conferences on the topics of school improvement and student engagement, and has been recognized by the Minnesota Department of Education and the National Youth Leadership Council for her work with youth engagement.

Dr. Simon and her husband Gary have two adult sons and three grandchildren. 


Lori J. Simon
300 Sixth Street
Rapid City, SD  57701

Work: 605-394-4031