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Kalkaska Public Schools

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School Board Member Biographies

Rachael Birgy is the mother of three children in KPS schools. She has been in the early childhood field for over 17 years and currently works with licensed child care programs with the Great Start to Quality Northwest Resource Center. She worked with preschool classrooms and teachers for six years through an Early Reading First grant for KPS, in which early literacy was a main focus. For nearly five years she was the Youth Services Director at the Kalkaska County Library, where she provided weekly story times for children ages birth to five. She continues to share her experience and knowledge of early literacy as a trainer for the Born to Read Initiative. She has served on the KPS school board for three years and has also been a member of the TBAISD school board for five years.


Stacey Hicks serves as a KPS School Board Trustee since her appointment in 2017. Although she grew up in Kalkaska and is an alumni of KHS, she spent 22 years in the Grand Rapids/Middleville, MI area before returning home with her family four years ago.  Stacey earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and English/Journalism from Western Michigan University. She later earned her Teaching Certificate and Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Grand Valley State University. During her time in Grand Rapids, she covered education for the Grand Rapids Press, worked in several positions at Davenport University, and taught High School English and Journalism for 13 years at Thornapple Kellogg High School. She also wrote curriculum for and taught Journalism, Advanced Journalism, and English courses online for Michigan Virtual. She continues to work for Michigan Virtual as a Northern Michigan Territory Representatives, which takes her to all school districts from the Bay City/Midland area to the Upper Peninsula. She and her husband, Doug, also own Doug’s Garage and Off-Road Center. Their son, Spencer Hicks is a 2018 KHS graduate, and the couple have three other grown children.


Richard E. Hodgman MD- KPS Board Trustee, Richard's education started at a one room schoolhouse in a rural farming town and progressed to an opportunity for college at Michigan State University with a 4H tuition scholarship. While seeking a high school teaching degree, he was accepted to the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.  Richard's passion has always been to serve. This lead him to Kalkaska in 1975 to provide care at a small hospital,to service for God in his local church, to a 27-year service as a flight surgeon in the Michigan Army National Guard, as an advisor for the United States to establish a national guard in Latvia and to successfully represent the United States by negotiating with a Saudi Arabian Hospital to allow American personnel to provide high level care during Desert Storm for our troops. This ended up providing care for all the mass casualty events in Desert Storm and care to over 23 nationalities.  None of this would be possible without the total support of his wife of 50 years, Karen.  Richard feels his greatest accomplishment is represented by the character of his daughter, Mary Deb Rabourn. Richard's real passion is education.  Through his degree, there were many unexpected opportunities. While building on previous experiences, continuous learning lead to many successes.  His ongoing passion on the school board is that students will be given the tools and desire for lifelong learning that can provide them successes unimaginable.