Meet the Board of Education
Deb Baker Board Member
great grandchildren. Their children all graduated from Rapid City Central, and three of their grandchildren have graduated from RCAS. She believes all children deserve the same great education and life preparation that her children and she received from this district.
Deb is a retired businesswoman with years of professional management experience and community involvement. She was the owner and operator of PRO/Rental Management from 1983-2013, managing nearly 1000 government subsidized apartments throughout South Dakota. She has served on numerous boards as a board member, treasurer, and bookkeeper. She currently volunteers at her church, is a member of their budget/finance committee and is their part-time bookkeeper. She has a strong background in budgets/bookkeeping. She looks forward to serving on the school board for Area 1.
Deb is the Area 1 representative, 2021-2024. Click here for an Area 1 map.
Breanna Funke was elected to the Board in June 2021. She is a mother of three young children, under the age of 5. Breanna’s mission is to be a voice for our parents and children.
Breanna is the Area 2 representative, 2021-2024. Click here for an Area 2 map.
Gabe is the Area 3 Representative, 2021-2022. Click here for an Area 3 map.
Gabe is South Dakota born and raised, he graduated from Chamberlain High School in 1996 and from there attended SDSU. In 1997, Gabe enlisted into the United States Marine Corps where he honorably served for four years. After the Marine Corps he graduated South Dakota School of Mines as an Industrial Engineer. Gabe has worked as an Industrial Engineer, COO of a research and development entity and owns his own business. Gabe is a family man with four children that attend RCAS schools, he is also a volunteer fire fighter in the Whispering Pines Fire District. Gabe is a firm believer in stability for all children for them to grow, learn and become the next future leaders of our community, state and country.
Jim Hansen, 2nd Vice President
Jim is the Area 4 Representative, 2020-2023. Click here for an Area 4 map.
Clay Colombe, Board Member
I am Clay Colombe. I was born and raised in Mission, South Dakota. Both my wife and I are enrolled members of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. We live and work in Rapid City and we have
three children in every level of the RCAS –one at Central High, one at South Middle, and one at Wilson Elementary.
I attended the University of South Dakota, receiving my B.S. in Business Administration in 2001 and my MBA in 2003. My career has been in finance: as a commercial banker with Wells Fargo, as the Chief Lending Officer for the Native American Bank, and as the Managing Director for a private equity fund. I am now the Chief Financial Officer for Rosebud Economic Development Corp (REDCO) in the Rapid City office.
I look forward to representing our community and our school district!
Clay is the Area 5 Representative, 2020-2023. Click here for an Area 5 map.
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, 2019-2022. Click here for an Area 6 map.
Cell: (605) 391-6743
Kate Thomas, Board President
Kate Thomas joined the RCAS Board in July 2015. She is currently serving her second term. She has lived in Rapid City for 38 years. She attended Pinedale Elementary as a child. When her father changed jobs from the Air force to Northwest Airlines, she and her family moved to Minnesota for 2 years. She is a graduate of St. Thomas More and has been married to Vince Thomas (Stevens HS) for 22 years. She is a parishioner of Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. She has 7 children. Her oldest has graduated from Lincoln Tech in Denver, CO and lives in Rapid City at this time. Her 2nd eldest is attending the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Her 3rd eldest has intentions of attending a community college in CO. While being an advocate for excellent public school teachers she currently home educates 4 children, 2 of which dual enroll at Central. She is dedicated to ensuring that children in this district have the appropriate and evidence-based researched curriculum to fill in the gaps they need, in reading & math, for their future success.
Kate is the Area 7 representative, 2018-2021
6907 Greenfield Drive
Rapid City, SD 57703
Home: (605) 393-8689
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.