Reaching Higher NH: Coalition of Political Leaders, Business Owners and Educators Come Together to Support and Sustain Public Education in NH

Reaching Higher NH released the following press announcement today:

The Board of Directors of Reaching Higher NH is excited to announce the formation of a new, bipartisan education policy resource for legislators, parents, teachers, and communities in the following press release:

CONCORD, NH – High quality schools must be a top priority for New Hampshire. Our public schools are a critical asset of our state, benefitting all families of all backgrounds.  Quality education is needed for the long-term success and prosperity of the state and its residents.  Reaching Higher New Hampshire, a new organization made up of educators, business leaders and civic leaders, has formed to champion our state’s education system and keep it moving forward.

Announced by the Board of Directors, the non-profit organization will support public schools and foster high standards that give all Granite State students the opportunity to prepare for college, immediate careers, and the challenges and opportunities of life in 21st century New Hampshire.  “There are significant and critical changes coming in public education,” says Alan Reische, attorney with Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green.   “Reaching Higher New Hampshire will help parents, educators and policy makers understand and respond to the challenges our schools face – from the new demands on our teachers to increased expectations for what our students will know when they graduate from high school.”

The initial board of directors of Reaching Higher New Hampshire is:

Kass Ardinger, Member, Concord School Board

Lewis M. Feldstein, retired president, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

Dr. Mark Joyce, E.D., New Hampshire School Administrators’ Association

Donnalee Lozeau, Mayor, Nashua

Scott McGilvray, President, NEA-NH

Selma Naccach-Hoff, English Department Head, Manchester High School Central

Pawn Nitichan, Executive Director, City Year New Hampshire

Tom Rath (Co-Chair), Attorney, Rath, Young, and Pignatelli

Alan Reische (Co-Chair), Attorney, Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green

Reaching Higher NH intends to be a voice in statewide discussions about the future of public education.  The group’s members recognize progress and success will only be achieved through cooperation and bipartisan compromise on policy decisions facing the state.  It also means Reaching Higher NH is bringing together people who have never worked together on this issue.

“We as a board are a heterogeneous group but we speak together with a clear voice for a greater good,” explains Tom Rath, President and founder of Rath Young and Pignatelli law firm, and longtime political advisor.  Rath will serve alongside Scott McGilvray, president of the National Education Association of New Hampshire.  “Reaching Higher NH will support high standards for our students and work to get educators and administrators the support they need,” says McGilvray.

“We’re all in this together,” says Lew Feldstein, retired president of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.  “As parents, we want to see our children succeed.  As educators, we take pride in the accomplishments of our students.  As business people, we rely our workforce and want to help our schools prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow.  And as proud citizens of New Hampshire, we want to ensure that every student gets a fair opportunity to dream and achieve.”

Board member David Juvet, the senior vice president for public policy at the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, the statewide chamber of commerce, calls this topic an urgent and top priority.  “As an advocate for New Hampshire business, the BIA is committed not only to building the workforce of tomorrow but to insuring that our children have choices when they graduate,” says Juvet.

Political leaders are a critical piece of this conversation.  Steve Duprey, who is a CEO of a thriving real estate and commercial development firm, was among the first to join Reaching Higher NH. “New Hampshire’s children deserve a fair shot at the American dream. I’m hoping that, through Reaching Higher NH, we can help,” explains Duprey.

Dr. Mark Joyce, executive director of the New Hampshire School Administrators’ Association says, “Our school administrators look forward to engaging with teachers and parents and businesses to prepare our students for college, career and civic life.”

Reaching Higher NH will serve as a resource to inform the public and lawmakers about policies and trends that impact schools.  Members will serve as advocates for education and intend to be a part of a statewide dialogue to promote quality classrooms and schools.