Board of Directors & Staff

Officers & Staff

Jill Pennings, President
Jill is a Special Education Teacher in Wayzata Public Schools. She is married to Mr. Pennings, the 9th grade social studies teacher. Jill and her husband Ben reside in Corcoran and are parents to a Senior and Junior. REF Board Member since 2014.

Kevin Sjodin, Vice President
Kevin is an Azure Administrator at LTCG. Kevin and his wife Farrah reside in Rockford and are parents to daughters in 6th grade and 2nd grade and a son in Kindergarten.  Kevin has been a member of the board since August 2021.

Laura Franklin, Treasurer
Laura is a Credit Analyst/Vice President of Bankwest in Rockford.  Laura and her husband Bryan reside in Rockford Township and are parents to a Sophmore and Freshman. REF Board Member since August 2017.

Kelly Kinnan, Secretary
Kelly is a Doctor at the Pipe Trades Clinic in Maple Grove and a Rockford Alum. Her and her husband Mike Live in Rogers and open enroll their two children, who are in 9th and 6th grades.  REF Board Member since August 2018.

Kelly Grimm, Executive Director
Kelly is a graphic designer/art director and part time staff for the Rockford Education Foundation. Kelly and her husband Peter reside in Rockford and are parents to a 2023 RHS graduate and daughter who is a Senior. Kelly was a board member from 2011-2014 and has been the Executive Director since 2015.

Board of Directors

Nikki Arvold
Coming soon! REF Board Member since August 2022.

Laurie Cancino
Laurie is a Project Planning Specialist for Great Clips HQ.  Laurie and her husband Robert reside in Rockford and are parents to a Freshman and 5th grader. REF Board Member since January 2022.

Aaron Hunter
Aaron is the General Manager of FlyOver America at Mall of America. Aaron and his wife Shannon live in Rockford with their 3 sons; 4th grade, 1st grade and a four year old. REF board member since July 2021.

Michelle Herou
Info coming soon.

Jessica Lappe
Jessica is a Talent Acquisition Leader at CHS.  Jessica and her husband Dalin reside in Rockford, MN and have 2 school-aged children who are in 10th and 3rd grades. They also have a daughter who is a 2023 RHS graduate. REF Board Member since 2021.

Melonie Robran
Melonie is a dance instructor for Rockford Community Ed and helps her family run Hill’s Gardens in Albert Lea.  She also volunteers as a Rockford track coach. Melonie and her husband Chad reside in Greenfield and are parents to a recent Rockford graduate (Class of 2022) and an 9th grader. Melonie has served on the board since 2011.

Art Wachholz
Art is a High School IB History Teacher at Osseo Public School District. Art and his wife Angie live in Rockford and have daughters in 10th and 6th grades.  REF Board Member since August 2019.

Susie Wagner
Susie is a yoga and strength instructor at Live True Yoga in Plymouth and Buffalo. Susie and her husband, Jeremy, live in Greenfield and are parents of 3 children. Their oldest son, an AirForce Staff Sergeant, a 10th grade daughter at RHS, and a 4th grade son at REAMS. Susie has been a member of the board since August 2021.


Jeff Ridlehoover
Paul Menard
Brenda Nyhus
Paul Warzecha

Teacher Liaisons

Mali Anderson, Kindergarten Teacher
Alex Probst, First Grade Teacher
Jan Hendrickson, 7th Grade Teacher
Sarah Gunderson, RMS Art Teacher
Kerry Toso Carlson, RHS AVID Teacher
Paul Stariha, RHS Special Education Teacher