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Get to Know Groundwork: Nathaniel Grossman, Director, Communications

As part of our “Get to Know Groundwork” series, we've been spotlighting members of our amazing team. This week, we’re getting to know Nathaniel Grossman, who joined Groundwork Ohio in January of 2024.

Nathaniel is the Director of Communications at Groundwork Ohio. He has dedicated his career to expanding access to high-quality early childhood education and care for all children.

Nathaniel and his family

Nathaniel’s journey in education advocacy began with a role as a kindergarten teacher in DC Public Schools (DCPS). There his passion for instruction led to him being the first DCPS teacher to participate in Great Minds’ Eureka Math Fellowship. He also served as a teacher-coach and an educational consultant, collaborating with clients such as the Smithsonian Science Education Center.

Witnessing the challenges that families faced in the public school system inspired an interest in education policy. Transitioning from the classroom, Nathaniel became an Editorial Associate at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a DC-based think tank with a focus on K–12 issues. He wrote regularly for the organization’s Flypaper blog and produced the weekly Education Gadfly Show podcast.

As the Deputy Director of Communications at the Center for Education Reform and the Yass Prize, Nathaniel developed the organization’s social media strategy for an audience of more than 50,000 followers. He also developed digital content for the website and oversaw email marketing.

A native Ohioan, Nathaniel received his undergraduate degree from Miami University in Oxford. He holds an M.Ed. in Education Policy and Leadership from American University in Washington, DC. He lives in Columbus with his wife and young son.



Check out our Q&A with Nathaniel to learn more about why he’s a passionate advocate for young children and families in Ohio. 


Q: What drew you to early childhood policy research and advocacy? Tell us more about your “why.”

 A:  I spent more than a decade as a kindergarten teacher and saw firsthand how quality early child education programs like Head Start set kids up for success. Sadly, not all children have access to these programs. Just finding quality child care is difficult for working parents. This puts enormous strain on families and creates disparate impacts for children from under-resourced communities. If we want public education to remain the great equalizer in American society, we should work to expand access to early childhood programs.


Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received or a lesson that you’ve learned that has helped you in this work? 

 A: It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. There are no quick solutions to the issues impeding access to early childhood education and care. It will take a prolonged effort from parents, elected officials, and advocacy groups to expand that access to all children. Along the way, there are bound to be setbacks and defeats. But we need to keep moving forward.


Q: What’s your word for 2024? 

 A:  Collaboration. Never be afraid to reach across the aisle. We need to overcome the partisanship in our politics and get things done. Supporting Ohio’s youngest children should be a goal everyone can work towards, regardless of background or party affiliation. And if we’re willing to collaborate on behalf of kids, it demonstrates that there’s more to unite us than to divide us.  


Q: When you aren’t advocating on behalf of young children and families, what do you enjoy doing?

A:  I’m a dedicated reader, both for myself and with my son. One of our favorite outings is to the Main Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, where there’s always a fun exhibit for kids. I also enjoy running on central Ohio’s beautiful trails, especially the Olentangy and Alum Creek Trails. All that running makes me hungry, so I love exploring Columbus’s restaurant scene with my wife. Our current favorite spot is Agni in German Village.


Q: Describe a scene from your vision of the future for Ohio’s youngest children and their caregivers. 

A: I envision a future in which Ohio’s early childhood programs are so good it motivates families to move to the Buckeye State from around the country. Ohio becomes the destination for parents with young children. As our population surges, our economy expands like never before. All that extra brainpower helps turn Ohio into the Silicon Valley of the Midwest.

Connect with Nathaniel on LinkedIn or by email 


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