StartOut Education Founders: Sam Roy’s lifelong passion for special education

Sam, what brought you into the world of education?

I’ve always appreciated education, even as a young student myself. I have an MBA, a Master’s in Linguistics, and several Graduate certificates in the field.

And is that when you decided to launch your own company?

It is! I was the youngest director in Santa Clara County when I decided to pursue my startup. Even though I had all the tools I needed to understand and lead in the public education space, I still missed working with children and my clients. I couldn’t see myself doing administrative work forever and knew that the only way forward was to forge my path.

What separates Nova from others in the special education space?

From an outside perspective, we could look like a staffing agency, and most companies in our area operate like one entirely. But what Nova does differently is we provide a uniquely tailored experience that other staffing firms cannot. If a school calls and says they need a speech pathologist, other companies just place the first person in line. We go the extra step to get to know our clients and ask critical questions. What age level are you targeting? What level of severity are you serving?

What are some of the main issues facing the education field?

Just like every public sector — especially education — there are constraints on finances and providing the right resources. Too often, special education gets overlooked when receiving public funding.

What brought you to join the StartOut community?

Once I launched my business career, I was joined by a fantastic friend, John, who joined Nova and worked with me for years. John was a significant game-changer for the company and me, becoming one of my best friends. He also happened to be gay and, unfortunately, passed away four years ago.

You can connect with Sam on LinkedIn for the latest updates on Nova Health Therapies and follow our blog on Medium for monthly founder stories!

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