Reaching Higher welcomes new leadership, prepares for new year

An eventful year lies ahead for educators and policymakers, and Reaching Higher NH is ready to provide key tools and resources to inform dialogue and decision making. We’re approaching 2021 with a deep commitment to our mission of helping every student succeed, along with a renewed sense of energy and purpose. 

Nicole Heimarck

The Reaching Higher NH Board of Directors is excited to announce Nicole Heimarck as our organization’s Acting Executive Director. Nicole brings extensive experience as a leader in education policy, as well as practical experience in public education ranging from PreK through post-secondary learning, to her new position. Her previous roles include Director of Government Relations with the NH School Boards Association, Bureau Administrator in Education Preparation for the NH Department of Education, and Director of Curriculum and Professional Development for SAU 39: Amherst, Mont Vernon and Souhegan school districts. In 2019, she joined Reaching Higher NH to serve as Director of the NH Alliance for College and Career Readiness.  

 “There is no undertaking more important than that of education equity for each and every student within our state,” Nicole said. “Reaching Higher NH will continue to be a strong voice, telling the stories that matter most and fostering an inclusive learning system ripe with opportunity for all students.”  

Christina Pretorius

Reaching Higher is also pleased to announce our new Director of Policy and Practice, Christina Pretorius. Christina has an extensive background in education policy and moves to the policy team after six years in communications. She has a deep understanding of state and local politics and the education policy landscape and is skilled at translating complex policy into accessible, engaging content and analysis. 

Over the past year, Reaching Higher has been engaged in numerous efforts to support public education, including data and policy analysis, news, community engagement, and resource development. In January, we released our groundbreaking report, “The Whole Picture of Public Education,” which provides communities with comprehensive research into student learning and outcomes, community factors, and school finance. In March, when the pandemic shuttered schools, we focused our energy on monitoring and informing the public about critical issues, telling the stories of educators and families, building relationships, and providing space for conversation. At the same time, we’ve maintained our focus on school funding, providing regular updates on the Commission to Study School Funding’s work and producing resources such as our new school funding video

Our goals are many as we anticipate the new year. We’ll continue providing coverage and analysis of education issues throughout the coming legislative session. We’ll work closely with communities to understand how school funding affects families, taxpayers, and educators and striving to give everyone a voice. We’ll tell stories that shine a light on important aspects of the ever-changing educational landscape. And we’ll equip lawmakers, educators, students, and community members with trustworthy and accessible research and information, guided by our belief that strong public schools are the foundation for thriving communities. 

We thank you for your continued interest and support.