Members of the Richfield Public School District Board of Education set the vision and goals for the District, monitor progress and ensure accountability. Every decision they make is centered on what is best for students and incorporates student input throughout the process—from listening sessions with students to the inclusion of student board representatives. Student voice is reflected in the school board's policies, each of which is reviewed at least every five years to ensure continued alignment with the vision of the board and the needs of students, staff and families.
Photo above (left to right): Director Rachel Banks Kupcho, Student Board Representative Chimdalu Dibua, Director Peter Toensing, Board Chair Paula Cole, Student Board Representative Paola Hernandez Zuniga, Treasurer Tim Pollis, Clerk Crystal Brakke. Not pictured: Vice Chair Eric Carter and Student Board Representative Gerardo Castañeda Lopez.
A former elementary teacher, Paula is now the executive director for Educators for Excellence-MN. Paula has served on the board since 2016 in the roles of director, treasurer, vice chair and chair.
Eric has over 25 years of Information Technology leadership experience and is currently the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Comm-Works, a New Era Technology Company. Eric has served on the board since 2022 in the roles of director and vice chair.
Crystal began her career as an 8th grade language arts teacher and is currently a vice president at Teach for America. She joined the board in 2016 and has served as director, vice chair, chair, treasurer and clerk.
Tim works as an actuary and reinsurance broker and has served on the board since 2014 in the roles of director, treasurer, vice chair and chair.
RACHEL BANKS KUPCHO
Rachel (Leech Lake Ojibwe) brings 20 years of experience working with tribal communities across Minnesota and the country and has served on the board since 2022 in the role of director.
Peter is the medical director for episode analytics at Optum. He first joined the board in 2008 and has served in the roles of director, treasurer, vice chair and chair. Peter left the board at the end of 2021 but has returned to fill the interim position until the end of 2023.
Student board representatives attend board meetings and provide board members with their perspectives on agenda items. They are key in providing student voice at the board level, and they frequently bring issues back to their high school peers and share what they hear from the board.
At the beginning of each school year, the RHS administrators advertise openings for student representatives, and interested students must fill out an application. The RHS administration interviews the interested students and selects representatives. Students then meet with the superintendent and board chair to ensure they understand the expectations and want to commit to the role.