Meet Our Board

A group of dedicated volunteers helps guide the Foundation and its activities. If you are interested in becoming a board member, please contact any member of the current board or call the Foundation office at (402) 289.1727.  Board members serve a four-year term, with a maximum of two terms. Building Representatives (new in 2020) serve a one-year term.

Executive Board

  • Jason Bartling, President
  • Chad Rutar, President-Elect
  • Laurie Willburn, Secretary
  • Forrest Newburg, Treasurer

Members at Large

  • Dr. Bary Habrock, Superintendent
  • Aaron Clark, School Board Liason
  • Katy Bode
  • Laura Burford
  • Torri Criger
  • Dennis Curtis
  • Jill Ehlers
  • Alison Johnson
  • Barry McArdle
  • Scott Moore
  • Dan O’Malley
  • Desiree O’Shea
  • Kendra Ringenberg

Building Representatives

  • Mark Kalvoda, High School Representative
  • Mike Tomjack, Middle School Representative
  • Ryan Broshar, Elementary School Representative


Jason Bartling, President

Why are Elkhorn Public Schools important to you?

I have two kids attending EPS. I value the educational programs they get to choose from and the athletic programs they can participate in. EPS is a growing School District, but I’ve always appreciated the teacher/student ratio, along with the overall quality of the entire EPS staff. The education provided and the quality of teachers has always been tops in the state in my mind.

Where do you hope to see the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation in 5 years?

The School District itself, continues to grow at a rapid pace. The Foundation has to take advantage of that growth and grow equally. In 2018/2019, the Foundation invested over $900,000 in programs to support students, teachers, and schools. A large portion of those dollars are ACHIEVE and Community Funded Scholarships (approximately one-third). I would like to see the Foundation double those dollars over the next five years. We must continue to educate our students on the ACHIEVE Program, as well as strengthen our relationship with the local business community and alumni to grow our Community Funded Scholarships.


Chad Rutar, President-Elect

Why are Elkhorn Public Schools important to you?

I have two daughters, Joe & Savvy. Our school system mentors, teaches, and molds the two most important aspects of my life, my daughters. The school system also molds the community around us. When your children are involved in school activities, you naturally interact with other parents, and
it’s these interactions that make up the fabric of the surrounding community. Without a strong school system, the community does not thrive.

Where do you hope to see the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation in 5 years?

In five years I would like to see the EPSF be the gold standard when it comes to foundations. EPSF would not only continue its way in scholarships, but be more interwoven with its alumni. It would be amazing to see effort and funding going into two-year vocational education programs. There is a rising need for workers in the trades, and the community would be a direct benefactor of these efforts.


Laurie Willburn, Secretary

Why are Elkhorn Public Schools important to you?

Like many families, we choose to live in Elkhorn due to the great school district. I feel like the education that my children have received at EPS has helped prepare my kids for success in college and in life.
In addition to learning the standard curriculum, EPS also offers smaller classroom sizes, teachers that really care about our students, both academically and personally, and a wide variety of extracurricular activities outside of the classroom.

What is your favorite thing about Elkhorn?

Elkhorn provides the best of both worlds. I love the small-town feel and our tight-knit community, but we also have all amenities that living next to Omaha provides. I honestly feel like it is the best place to live in the whole state!


Forrest Newburg, Treasurer

Why is the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation’s mission important to you?

The EPS Foundation’s mission is important to me because it helps sustain a virtuous circle that exists between a high-quality public education system and a strong community.

What extracurricular or outside interests do you have?

We purchased a traveling camper this year. So we have been enjoying some quality family time in the great outdoors with our three bulldogs.


Katy Bode

Why is the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation’s mission important to you?

The Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation is one of the most important and far-reaching organizations in Elkhorn, which benefits all students in the district. As soon as my daughter started Kindergarten at West Bay Elementary, it was evident to me that the programs supported by the Foundation are critical to enhancing the educational experience of students. I immediately bought into the mission of the Foundation after receiving my first Foundation Newsletter which talked about Classroom Grants, Math & Reading Intervention programs, scholarships, and more. With growing school enrollment, the Foundation requests for support, and overall footprint continues to expand. I am proud to serve on the board to continue the great work done by, and the mission of, the Foundation.

What extracurricular or outside interests do you have?

I have served two years as Vice President and two years as President of the West Bay Elementary Parent Teacher Organization. The first two years were challenging since the school was new to the district. I worked hard to help establish and document various committee and classroom party guidelines and standards. I created the volunteer committee listing, started the Corporate Sponsorship Program, and the School Supply Packs Program. Other boards I currently serve on are Platte Valley Bank, the North Bend Chamber of Commerce, the Nebraska Bankers Association Voluntary Employee Benefit Association, and the Nebraska Bankers Association Education Advisory Committee.


Ryan Broshar, Elementary School Representative

Why are Elkhorn Public Schools important to you?

EPS is important to me because strong schools provide our children with opportunities to pursue their passions and live meaningful and successful lives.

What is your favorite thing about Elkhorn?

My favorite thing about Elkhorn is the strong community support around the importance of high-quality education. This community believes in the importance of providing our children with the best education possible and works in conjunction with our school system to ensure that our children receive the best.


Laura Burford

Why are Elkhorn Public Schools important to you?

I’m a lifelong Elkhorn resident and EHS graduate. My parents, aunts, uncles, brother, nephews, and two of my kids have all graduated from Elkhorn. I have a 7th grader at EMS now. Elkhorn is HOME and Elkhorn schools are key to the development of outstanding young people and the citizens that make Elkhorn the awesome community that it is. We have always had an excellent school system in Elkhorn, and I’m happy to be part of a foundation that provides resources and support to make it even better.

What extracurricular or outside interests do you have?

I love to read non-fiction books. Continuous learning is a passion.


Aaron Clark, School Board Liason

Why is the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation’s mission important to you?

As a member of the Elkhorn School Board and the Foundation Board for the last 12 years, it has been exciting to watch our Foundation grow with our district. We now have 19 schools in our district. Keeping people connected is essential to our growth and success. We are blessed to have an incredible group of administrators, teachers, and staff, but much of our success is achieved through the support received from the parents and families of our students. The Foundation provides an avenue for the community to support our schools through donations and allowing parents and families to come together by volunteering their time and energy to various programs and events sponsored by the Foundation. The support received by the Foundation has been critical to our success as a district. Elkhorn Kids Campus serves a valuable role in our community and allows working parents a safe and supportive environment for their children.

Why are Elkhorn Public Schools important to you?

My wife and I moved to the Elkhorn school district 20 years ago in order to educate our children in the best school district in Nebraska. Elkhorn is more than a school district– it is a community where we have developed deep roots. Many of our closest friendships were established in the schools and through sports and activities within the Elkhorn community. We are now reaping the benefits and seeing the results of the education and support provided by the district to our children. I always felt that the teachers in our schools went above and beyond expectations to establish a connection with my children. While attending Elkhorn schools, our children developed a very solid foundation for continued growth as they progressed through higher education and are now entering the job market. I am grateful and very proud to say my kids attended Elkhorn Public Schools!


Torri Criger

Why is the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation’s mission important to you?

The EPSF serves an important role in engaging the community to provide support to the Elkhorn Public Schools. As school budgets become tighter, the EPSF can help provide students and staff with opportunities they might otherwise have to go without. EPSF also serves as an advocate for the Elkhorn school district and public schools within the community. EPSF is truly a great asset to the district.

Why are Elkhorn Public Schools important to you?

Elkhorn is an excellent school district. It has fantastic and talented teachers and staff. It provides for great neighborhood schools. It really serves as a center for the community.


Dennis Curtis

Why are Elkhorn Public Schools important to you?

I wanted to be on the EPSF Board to be able to give back to the school I graduated from. Being an Elkhorn High School Graduate, I felt I needed to give back to the school that helped me achieve my career goals.

What do you hope to contribute to the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation?

I’m very interested in working with the Elkhorn Kids Campus program. Being a retired school counselor, I see the value of an after school program that has a strong focus on academic assistance.


Jill Ehlers

Why are Elkhorn Public Schools important to you?

My children will go to EPS and having them attend a district that is one of the best is something I think every parent would be happy about. The EPSF’s partnership with Elkhorn Public Schools, ensures the support for various programs, grants, and needs are aligned with the district’s goals to continue to provide opportunities for all students.

What’s your favorite thing about Elkhorn?

I love the community support and involvement.


Dr. Bary Habrock, Superintendent

Why are Elkhorn Public Schools important to you?

Ronda and I are forever grateful to have raised our three children in the Elkhorn Public Schools. They thrived in an enriching and challenging environment that prepared them academically for the next step.

What’s your favorite thing about Elkhorn?

My favorite thing about Elkhorn is the quality of our teachers, administrators, and support staff that are surrounded by a supportive community and generous Foundation.


Alison Johnson

Why are Elkhorn Public Schools important to you?

Elkhorn Public Schools are important to me because all three of my girls are in the school system! I also attended Elkhorn Public Schools. I feel so blessed to be a part of such an amazing public school system and hope to help maintain and increase its excellence.

What is your favorite thing about Elkhorn?

My favorite thing about Elkhorn is the strong community foundation, and the “family feeling” it brings, even though it is a large public school district.


Mark Kalvoda, High School Representative

What do you hope to contribute to the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation?

As a high school principal in the district, my aim is to further connect the Foundation to our schools and present the ground reality of the great things we have going on in our high schools. I also think my membership will assist in the alignment of EPS goals with the Foundation’s goals. Through transparent conversations over the past two years, tremendous strides have been made to calibrate the missions.

What’s your favorite thing about Elkhorn?

Without question, my favorite thing about Elkhorn is the people. The support of and value placed on education in our community, the pride that our students take in our school, the tremendous efforts of our teachers to support high levels of learning for ALL students– it all adds up to a tremendous school district.


Barry McArdle

What do you hope to contribute to the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation?

My hope is to contribute a well-rounded perspective to the board to help the Foundation be as successful as possible. I am an Elkhorn native and a 3rd generation Elkhorn business owner. My Grandfather was one of the founders of the Foundation which makes being part of it all the more special. I also have two children in the district which I believe helps put board decisions in perspective.

Why are Elkhorn Public Schools important to you?

Elkhorn schools are important to me because I feel they are a reflection of the community and its commitment to the success of future generations.


Scott Moore

What’s your favorite thing about Elkhorn?

I have lived here since 1972 and I have witnessed the growth of this community. Shopping centers that once were cornfields, farm homesteads that are now thriving residential developments– The one thing that has stayed constant is the involvement that the community has with its public school system. Our success as a school district is directly related to the involvement of the parents, grandparents, and the community in general.

What extracurricular or outside interests do you have?

I love to work outside with my hands. I love clearing trees, working in my flower garden, splitting wood for fires, and mowing. We live in such a pristine area with the ability to go outside and smell the fresh air and look up in the night sky and still see the stars. On a side note, I still love hearing the noon siren of the volunteer fire department from Waterloo. It was not long ago that Elkhorn had this daily occurrence. When I was at school as a child, hearing that siren meant that you were 5 minutes away from lunch.


Dan O’Malley

What’s your favorite thing about Elkhorn Public Schools?

The Elkhorn Public School District does a great job balancing “community-feel” with high academic standards that our children are privileged to have. I believe that my four children (grades 7th, 6th, 3rd, 2nd) receive a top-notch education with caring and compassionate teachers that love our children as their own.

What do you hope to contribute to the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation?

As my term expires, I am most proud of the Foundation’s success related to Classroom Grants and Scholarships. The work that is done to grant funding to teachers that have supplemental needs has been heartwarming and makes a real impact in classrooms. Regarding scholarships, the tireless work that is done by the Foundation staff to administer hundreds of scholarships to deserving students every year is something that I will always be proud to be a small part of.


Desiree O’Shea

Why are Elkhorn Public Schools important to you?

I want to give back to my school district with the goal that all of our kids will have the best educational and extracurricular opportunities. I want our EPS families to feel the support of the community and be lifted up by those around them. Our teachers are amazing and deserve all the support we can give them.

What do you hope to contribute to the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation?

I will contribute my time and effort to keep programs running and support the best interest of our children when decisions are being made.


Kendra Ringenberg

Why are Elkhorn Public Schools important to you?

As a parent of a high school student, a middle school student, and an elementary school student, the continued success of the Elkhorn Public Schools is of the utmost importance to me. I want the best education and the most opportunities for my kids, my nieces and nephews, and all of their friends. I think that Elkhorn Public Schools is the place to make that happen. I am surrounded by Elkhorn alumni that have gone on to do wonderful things for their communities and professions and it all stems from a great foundation provided through the school system, the community, and families. I have been so impressed by the goal to constantly improve the system and bring more to the students!

What’s your favorite thing about Elkhorn?

Having grown up in a small town in western Nebraska, it was important to me to have the feel of a small town with the opportunities that a larger community can provide. I believe Elkhorn is the perfect balance of these with small-town values and a close-knit community alongside significant opportunities in education and otherwise.


Mike Tomjack, Middle School Representative

Why is the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation’s mission important to you?

Elkhorn has such a strong history of community support, and the Foundation plays a key role in allowing the community to support our great school system. The more we can connect with our patrons, the stronger our schools and community will be. We are all in this together!

Where do you hope to see the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation in 5 years?

I want the Foundation to continue to build great relationships within our community. I want us to be open-minded and creative as we solve problems and search for new and innovative ways to connect our community with our schools. I want our community members to be proud of the work of the schools and be inspired to get involved in supporting our schools and students.