We Are

Partners

In PROMISE

Protecting the Rights Of Military children In Special Education

through educating and advising the legislative agendas of military service organizations, Department of Defense and public officials.

All children receiving special education are entitled to a free appropriate public education.

The data shows there are systemic problems with special education for military families across the US and the trend is many school systems are not providing the required standards of education.

So, we created the P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Act.

Michelle Norman

Founder & Executive Director

Michelle Norman, 2019 AFI Navy Spouse of the Year, is a Navy spouse of 25 years and mother of a 16-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy and multiple other disabilities. After years of successfully advocating and winning multiple legal cases to ensure her daughter receives the minimum education required by law, she was contacted by multiple military families around the country dealing with similar problems in public schools. Seeing that so many children will benefit from her dedicated efforts, the Virginia Beach resident has become a passionate advocate for other military families with kids with special needs.

Grace Kim

Founder

Grace is the principal attorney of The Law Office of Grace E. Kim, PC. She is also an Air Force spouse and parent of a child with Autism, ADHD, Specific Learning Disability, PHPV, and other neurological and physical disorders.  Grace has experienced firsthand the struggles faced by military families of children with special needs and is able to help others through their challenges. She practices special education law in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is honored to represent many military families. She lives in Fairfax County, VA with her husband Joshua, and their children Josiah and Karis.

Shannon DeBlock

Founder

Shannon DeBlock is a proud Navy spouse for the past 16 years and a mom to 2 boys. Her youngest son was diagnosed with autism at 16 months old. His educational needs have been difficult to meet across duty stations partially due to the severity of his disability and the lack of support and accountability from the public education entities responsible for educating him.

Shannon teamed up with 3 other military spouses in 2019 after a 2- year legal battle with Poway Unified School District in San Diego, CA where the district sued her 11-year-old son to remove educational supports that he had been receiving for the previous 5 years at a prior duty station. She co-founded the non-profit, Partners in Promise, and subsequently the PROMISE ACT in an effort to support fellow military families with educational challenges for their special needs children and bring change to lawmakers.

Kaci Mccarley

Founder

Kaci McCarley is an active duty Army spouse and mother of a 14 year old son with Down syndrome. After gaining her undergraduate degree in special education and working as a teacher for several years, she joined Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region as Director of Disability Services where she had opportunity to support military students transitioning from K-12 education into adult services.

She became an advocate for students with disabilities after seeing the tremendous stress military families endure during times of transition, and the lost instruction that negatively impacts academic achievement and development. Kaci currently works for the Military Child Education Coalition who champions quality, inclusive education opportunities for all military-connected children.

Jennifer Barnhill

Chief Operating Officer

Jennifer Barnhill is a freelance writer with a focus on military family advocacy, Navy spouse and mother of three. 

Her reporting has been featured in Military.com, We Are the Mighty, Military Spouse Magazine, Military Families Magazine, TheMilitaryWallet.com and The War Horse.  She is the Editorial Content Manager for TheMilitaryWallet.com and serves on the National Military Spouse Network Storm the Hill 2020 Steering Committee. She is currently studying at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in pursuit of her Master of Public Administration, with a concentration in nonprofit management.

Her passion for the military family community brought her to Partners in PROMISE in March 2020. And she brings that passion to all she does to help the EFMP community.

Resources

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