Holly Turner, M.Ed


Holly is a Special Education teacher of over 10 years. After earning her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Boston University, she taught in Texas as a Special Education classroom teacher, Resource Teacher and an Inclusion Facilitator. Upon moving to New Jersey with her family she completed her certification in the Structured Literacy Program, Orton Gillingham. Through her private tutoring, Holly found there were limited tutoring options for the low income community. With the support of her wonderful family, the idea of Raising Hands came to be!


Kassandra Samman, M.A.

Vice President

Kassandra is a health specialist with a focus on health communication and social change. After earning her M.A. at the Columbia University School of Public Health she worked as a communications and marketing specialist for large and small non profits, including Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey. Her expertise includes health literacy, management and writing children’s books.


Jennifer Gant, M.Ed

Secretary and Treasurer

Jennifer is a Special Education teacher of over 15 years. Her Master’s Degree is in Special Education from Boston University. She now serves as a consultant and advocate for families of Special Needs children in the greater Washington DC area. Jen received the Inclusion Teacher of the Year in 2015 as well as other accolades for her work with the special education community.

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Kate Rousmaniere, Ph.D.


Kate Rousmaniere is a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Miami University, Oxford Ohio. Her research and teaching interests are the history of education and gender, leadership and disability issues in education. Kate earned her Ph.D. from the Teachers College at Columbia University.

Kate is also involved in local government, serving as mayor of the City of Oxford since 2015.