Board » Members


The South Redford School District is governed by a seven-member Board of Education. Each member is elected to a six-year term, with either two or three members elected every two years in the November General Election. Terms of office begin in January.

The Board of Education meets regularly on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month, with special meetings called as necessary. The Board typically meets in the Boardroom at the Jan W. Jacobs Educational Services Center at 26141 Schoolcraft Road, and during the school year, one meeting each month will be held on-site at one of the district’s schools. 

Current meeting agendas, minutes from previous meetings, board policies, and more, can all be found in our Resource Library, located here: Board of Education Resources

Meeting notices are also posted on our District Calendar on the District's home page.

More information about each board member can be found below. If at any time you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact any of them, or you may also contact the district Superintendent, Brian Galdes, at, 313-535-4000 x 1001.

Laurie Hicks, President, 2014-2024

Board President Laurie Hicks and her husband Terry are the parents of three adult children and two grandchildren. She has spent her career working in the banking industry, and says that what she enjoys most about being on the South Redford Board of Education is the sense of teamwork with her fellow board members, and the opportunity to improve the educational outcomes for children. In addition to serving as President, she is the Vice President for the Wayne County Association of School Boards, and sits on the Board Policy and Operations committees. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, and creating stained glass lamps.

Cheryl Flesher, Treasurer, 2012-2024

Board Treasurer Cheryl Flesher is the mother of four grown children. Retired from the banking and retailing industries, she is dedicated to serving on the Board of Education because it is her chance to give back to the district for the support they gave her family when her husband, and children’s father, passed away from a tragic accident several years ago. She sits on committees for Board Policy, Board Orientation & Operations, Food Services and Health and Wellness. She is also active in the Galileo Leadership program. A staunch military supporter, Cheryl volunteers with Soldiers Angels. Cheryl loves to travel and enjoy an occasional respite in her busy schedule.

Stephen Baker, Secretary, 2016-2022

Board Secretary Stephen Baker and his wife Michelle have three adult children. A minister, he once served on the pastoral staff at Covenant Community Church in Redford and currently serves at SEND International in Farmington. What he enjoys most about serving on the Board of Education is the opportunity to give back to the community, and to support the staff of the district as they concentrate on providing our students with the resources that they need. A Michigan native, he has also spent 1 year living in Costa Rica and 12 years living in Guatemala. He enjoys playing racquetball and wallyball in his spare time.

Tom Dowdy, Trustee, 2014-2020

Board Trustee Tom Dowdy was re-elected in November 2014 to a third term on the South Redford Board of Education. He says that he sought a position to make a difference in the school and community. Mr. Dowdy is an alumnus of Thurston High School and an active community member.


Nichole Kangas, Trustee, 2016-2022 

Board Trustee Nichole Kangas was appointed to the Board of Education on October 6, 2016, to fill the seat vacated by Patricia Thomas. In the November 2016 general election, Ms. Kangas was elected to a 6-year term on the Board beginning January 1, 2017.  Nichole grew up in the South Redford School District and graduated from Thurston High School. She is currently pursuing a degree at Madonna University. Ms. Kangas is honored to be a part of an organization that is dedicated to the betterment of South Redford students.  


Shirley Tolliver, Trustee, 2014-2020

Board Trustee Shirley Tolliver has one child and two grandchildren. Retired after a career working for AT&T as a Design Technician, her background is in Business and Marketing. She says that children have always been her passion, and that is why she wanted to serve as a member of the Board of Education—to mentor the youths of today to help them become upright and successful adults. She also serves on the board of directors for both the South Redford Foundation for Educational Excellence and for the James Tatum Foundation for the Arts. She enjoys music, reading, serving in her church, helping people, and being part of the community.

Misha K. Early, Trustee, 2016-2024

Misha Early was appointed to the Board of Education to fill a vacancy in December 2016 and was reelected in November 2018 to serve a 6-year term.  She and her husband have five children, all currently attending South Redford schools.   Ms. Early has been an active volunteer in the Fisher Elementary School PTO, Cub Scouts, Pierce Band Boosters and Destination Imagination.  As a Board member, Ms. Early is eager to help build positive relationships between the School Board and the people they serve.