1Alan Reische, Co-Chair
Alan Reische, Co-Chair, is an attorney with Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green. He is a director of the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits, a trustee of NHPR and a director and former chair of New Hampshire Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Alan and his wife Joan have been the 2008 recipients of the NH Charitable Foundation’s Lifetime of Service Award. Alan also serves as a member of the Governor’s Live Free and Start-Up Committee and chairs the subcommittee for revisions to and updating of New Hampshire’s securities law.
“Public education is essential to preparing our children for the 21st Century. Reaching Higher NH is a very disparate group in terms of what we do professionally and what our political beliefs are. But there is one thing that unites us – the passion to ensure that students receive the kind of education they deserve and need to succeed in a rapidly changing, technologically advanced world. As a 76-year-old grandfather, I fondly recall my days attending Manchester schools and the teachers who inspired me. I still remember the things I learned from them. I want the young people of today to have even better opportunities in life to succeed.”
2Tom Rath, Co-Chair
Tom Rath, Co-Chair, is one of the most notable Republican strategists and advisers in the state. Tom served as the Chairman of the election campaigns of New Hampshire’s former U.S. Senators, Warren Rudman, and Judd Gregg and he actively assisted in the U.S. Senate process that confirmed David Souter as Supreme Court Justice. He was appointed as New Hampshire attorney general in 1978 and later founded Rath, Young, and Pignatelli to provide guidance on legislative and public policy issues.
“Our public schools are our future. We need to be there for them.”
Kass Ardinger is an attorney who served for nine years, five as president, on the Concord School District Board of Education. Under her Board leadership, Concord consolidated its elementary schools and built three new ones. In 2015 she was elected to serve as Treasurer for the District. Kass is also a commissioner on the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, which is the accrediting body for all colleges and universities in New England. She has served on numerous boards of non-profit organizations that benefit children and families in New Hampshire.
“Public education is a key building block of our children’s futures. We must work together to support teachers, students, and families.”
Lewis M. Feldstein is the former President of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and plays a leadership role in a number of important issues in New Hampshire. He worked with the civil rights movement in Mississippi and served for seven years in senior staff positions to New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay. Lew serves on several boards, including the Boards of Directors of the Independent Sector and Civic Ventures.
“In order to foster its communities and workforce, New Hampshire must commit to a strong and innovative public education system. We’re all in this together. 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 on 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.”
Talmira Hill is Principal of the T. L. Hill Group, an independent firm she founded in 2001 that partners with mission-driven organizations to improve opportunities and outcomes among vulnerable young adults. Talmira has held leadership roles with The Community Builders, Inc., the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education. As a consultant, Talmira has facilitated cross-sector initiatives led by philanthropic institutions, federal agencies, nonpartisan policy organizations, national civic organizations, and advocacy groups. Author of Setting the Stage for New High Schools: Municipal Leadership in Supporting High School Alternatives (2007), Talmira earned her M.Ed. from Harvard University and BSFS from Georgetown University. Since 2003, Talmira and her husband have called Bartlett, NH home.
“Our public schools reflect this nation’s proud and diverse heritage. Equity in public education requires investing resources to uphold educators, engage families, and partner with our communities as today’s generation shapes tomorrow’s world.”
Dr. Mark Joyce served as executive director of the New Hampshire School Administrator’s Association for 20 years, a private not-for-profit organization that represents all New Hampshire school system administrators and advocates on behalf of all children and public education. Mark advises businesses and organizations regarding education, leadership, and communication. He has taught grades 7-12, as well as at the graduate school level and has served as a school principal and as assistant superintendent of schools in New Hampshire. He has also served as a superintendent of schools in both New Hampshire and Maine.
“Public education is perhaps our greatest public good, and we need to ensure it’s benefits are recognized by all in New Hampshire.”
David Juvet is the current Senior Vice President of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire. He leads the association’s public policy team, where his expertise lies in the areas of education, tax policy, economic development, and human resource and labor issues.
“An innovative and responsive public education system is essential to the health of the state. We must give our children the tools to succeed in the 21st century.”
Selma Naccach-Hoff, is a Manchester native who is a highly respected long-time English teacher and department head at Manchester High School Central. She served on the committee helping to define an “adequate education” as directed by the New Hampshire courts; on committees to design competency assessments and guidelines for work study practices for New Hampshire schools.
“We want to be able to give our teachers the tools to help them move students in the direction that will help these students succeed in whatever they choose to do.”
Pawn Nitichan is the Executive Director of City Year New Hampshire and a Vice President of City Year Inc. With Nitichan’s leadership and her commitment to helping students, corps members, and staff succeed, City Year New Hampshire has more than tripled its service capacity and developed a widely recognized culture of idealism. The organization consistently provides high-quality service to kids and communities as reflected in numerous awards including ten Best of City Year Awards, City Year National’s highest recognition, as well as a Corporate Fund’s Dunfey Award. Among Nitichan’s community and professional commitments, she serves on the boards of New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Manchester Proud, as well as the Governor’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council.
Nitichan was invited from her native Thailand to participate in an international study exchange program in the USA because of her interest & involvement in diverse cultures which eventually led
“All of New Hampshire’s children deserve a bright future, and it is our responsibility to address the challenges that our public schools face in order to help our children prosper and grow.”
A graduate of Lesley University, Barbara Russell taught Grade 6 for three years prior to joining a small entrepreneurial educational publisher in Billerica MA as their first full-time employee. Barbara was directly involved in the building of Curriculum Associates to $40 million in sales and left that company in 1992, after 19 years, as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In 1993 Barbara formed her own entrepreneurial publishing company, Options Publishing, LLC. Based in Merrimack NH, Options developed supplemental educational materials for ‘At Risk’ students in grades K – 8 nationwide. The company was built over twelve years from nothing to $20 million in sales with 45% net profit. In 2005, Options Publishing was sold. This allowed Gordon and Barbara to form the Russell Foundation and pursue their passion for Land Protection.
Today Barbara serves on the following Boards:
- Teacher Created Materials, Huntington Beach CA, a $45 million, privately owned, for-profit educational publishing company
- Lesley University, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees.
- Society for the Protection of NH Forests, Trustee
- New Hampshire Public Radio, Trustee
11Senator Nancy Stiles
Senator Nancy Stiles served 12 years in the NH Legislature. She served the Education Committee in both the House and as Chair in the Senate and was successful in moving legislation forward to advance education issues kindergarten through post-secondary. Prior to legislative service, she was the Nutrition Director for the Hampton Schools for 30 years. Nancy has also served on many committees and educational boards, including the NH Oversight Committee for Education and the New England Board of Higher Education Legislation Committee. She is a Commissioner for the National Education Commission of the States, a member of New England Secondary Schools Consortium, a member of the Reaching Higher NH board, the New Hampshire Coalition for Business and Education, the NH Special Education Advisory Committee, and the Advisory Board for Great Bay Community College.
Sen. Stiles has received many awards for her work on behalf of education and children. She is married to Howard and they have three grown children; Howard, Ken, and Greg. They are blessed with three wonderful daughters-in-law and five perfect grandchildren.