Board Of Education


Linda Richards

Tresha Rodgers

Deb Gerch
Deb Gerch

Dr. Jay Irwin
Dr. Jay Irwin

Heather Johnson
Heather Johnson

Mike Overkamp
Mike Overkamp

Linda Richards - President (22 years on Board)

Linda Richards is a Ralston native. She grew up in Ralston and graduated from RHS in 1990. She has been married to her husband, Jason, for 22 years and they have two sons, Nathan (16) and Tyler (14), who attend RHS. Both are involved in Boy Scouts, Nathan as an Eagle Scout and Tyler as a Life Scout working on his Eagle. They also have an adorable puggle named Buddy.

Linda has a B.A. in Political Science from Creighton University. She and her husband own PRISM advisors, LLC a management consulting firm. She has also worked as a paralegal for a prominent trialattorney, and served as the Legislative Assistant for State Senator Matt Conneally (LD 16).

Linda is currently the President Elect of the Nebraska Association of School Boards and will serve as President in 2017.

Advice for Educators:

The degree in education you obtained allowing you to teach children and young adults is what the law states you have to have. What your students need from you goes well beyond the degree. I know that teaching is a challenge. But if you wake up every day remembering that you have what it takes to teach, the challenge can then be met with finding the courage, strength and tenacity to be what every student in Ralston Public Schools needs you to be... love them like they are your own!

Tresha Rodgers - Vice President (2 1/2 years on Board)

Tresha Rodgers was born and raised in Omaha. She has been married to her husband, Corey, for 21 years. They have two sons, Keaton, who attends Ralston High School and Kade, who attend Ralston Middle School.

Tresha has a B.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska- Omaha and an M.B.A. from Bellevue University. She is currently the Treasury Management Relationship Manager at US Bank.

Advice for Educators:

Be passionate about teaching and caring for the kids and lead by example.

Deb Gerch - Secretary (5 years on Board)

Deb Gerch is originally from West Point, Nebraska. She has been married to her husband, Dave (RHS class of ‘82), for 27 years. They have two kids. Zach (RHS class of ‘11) graduated from Ottawa University and is now working on his Master’s. He is the Assistant Baseball Coach at Ottawa. Michael, a 7th grader at RMS and is looking forward to playing football this year. 

Deb attended Nebraska College of Business. For 23 years, she has worked at Applewood Hy-Vee where she is currently the Human Resources Manager.

Advice for Educators:

Positive educators have the POWER to transform lives and INSPIRE young minds to BELIEVE they can and will change the world.

Dr. Jay Irwin - Treasurer (Second year on Board)

Jay Irwin is originally from Birmingham, Alabama. He graduated from Clay Chalkville High School in 2000. He has been married to his wife, Amanda Gaither, a social worker, since 2009.

Jay has a B.A. in Social Psychology, M.A. in Sociology, Graduate Certificate in Gerontology and a Ph.D. in Medical Sociology, all from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is currently an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where he has taught since 2009.

Jay is passionate about public education and truly believes in the mission, vision and values of public schools. Jay believes bringing students into contact with new ideas, helping them develop into independent, critical thinkers is crucial for our contemporary world. Jay is passionate about inclusive classrooms, helping all students grow and achieve their personal goals. A key goal for Jay is also helping students prepare for college or careers after graduation.

Advice to Educators:

Get to know your students and be passionate about inspiring future leaders. Work toward inclusion of all voices and all diversity. 

Heather Johnson - Member (Second year on Board)

Heather Johnson is a Ralston native and graduate of Ralston High School. Heather and her husband of 12 years, J, have three children in Ralston Public Schools. All three children are students at Seymour Elementary during the 2016-17 school year. 

Heather attended Wayne State College and the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She currently works as Director of Accounting at Access Commercial, a property management company.

Looking ahead to her service on the Ralston Board of Education, Heather hopes to help Ralston Public Schools "maintain its position as a school district of choice in the area."

Advice for Educators:

Ralston Public Schools is a great community and place for our children to learn and grow. Thank you for your service. Please continue to show the passion and commitment you have for educating and leading our youth.

Mike Overkamp - Member (Third year on Board)

Mike Overkamp is originally from St. Charles, Missouri. He graduated from Daniel J. Gross High School in 1986. He has been married to his wife, Christine (RHS class of ’86, Meadows Elementary) for over 26 years. They have 5 kids, Jessica Dunn (RHS 2008), Jacob (RHS 2012), Joey (RHS 2015), James, a senior at RHS and Joshua, an 8th freshman at RHS.

Mike has a BSBA from University of Nebraska at Omaha and certification from the Creighton Institute of Technology. He is currently the Product Owner/Lead Test Engineer for CSG, International. He has also worked at First National Bank Omaha as a Senior Test Engineer, Senior Developer, and Senior Financial Analyst, and for the United States Air Force as a Budget/Cost Analysis Officer. He spent 5 years as an officer in the United States Air Force.

Advice to Ralston Educators:

You have the most awesome duty in the world, daily getting to help shape the future of our world one student at a time.  You epitomize care and are the gatekeepers of learning for our future generations. You have the opportunity every day with every relationship and every interaction to choose to make yourself, those around you, your community and the world better.  Have such passion for your vocation that you instill that same passion in every life you touch. Excellence starts with you, and it is contagious.  Be the spark that starts the flame.


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