Who We Are

Tennesseans for Student Success is a statewide network of teachers, parents, community leaders, and volunteers who are dedicated to supporting, championing, and fighting for Tennessee’s students and their futures.

We’re committed to building on Tennessee’s historic gains in education. Being twice named the fastest improving state in the nation in education, breaking ACT records, graduating more students on time, and offering early opportunities for success is just the beginning. We work every day to make sure today’s students are more prepared and have even more opportunities for success than those who graduated before them. We’re inviting you to join us in the work for Tennessee’s future.

THE LATEST


Read More news from TSS

From The Press

Inside TNSuccess: November 25
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Inside TNSuccess: November 12
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Tennesseans for Student Success Statement on the NAEP Results
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From Twitter

What We Support

OUR TEAM

Adam Lister
President & CEO
Adam Lister
President & CEO

Adam Lister serves as president of Tennesseans for Student Success, a nonprofit issue advocacy organization committed to improving student achievement in the Volunteer State. Prior to his role at Tennesseans for Student Success, Lister was vice president of Policy at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce where directed public policy and government relations initiatives and led the Chamber’s political action committees and independent expenditure work to advance and support critical business advocacy priorities at the state, local, and federal level. Lister is a Nashville native and graduate of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. Earlier, Lister worked as an analyst with the Tennessee General Assembly and on a number of political campaigns including for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Adam received a bachelor of science from Kentucky Wesleyan College and is married to Dr. Amanda Lister, a public school teacher in Williamson County.

Brooke Gray
Operations Manager
Brooke Gray
Operations Manager
Amanda Hughey
Executive Assistant
Amanda Hughey
Executive Assistant

Amanda serves as Executive Assistant to the President & CEO and brings more than ten years of experience as an executive assistant to TSS. As part of her work, Amanda supports the President & CEO’s engagement with external partners and the Board of Directors. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Southern Louisiana University and has worked extensively with a diverse group of companies & clients.

Amanda is passionate about her work, an avid seeker of knowledge and comes equipped with a formidable blend of customer skills. Also, she is an adventurist by heart who loves exploring the outdoors and experiencing the exceptional beauty of nature. Amanda also shares remarkable compassion for abused & abandoned animals and wants to provide them with a better chance of life.

amanda@tnsuccess.org

Susan Martin
Director, Government Relations
Susan Martin
Director, Government Relations

Susan is a former three-term member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, first elected to serve in 2013, Susan served as Chair of the Finance Committee as well as the Commerce and Job Development Committee. She co-chaired the Joint Legislative Economic Development and Global Engagement Oversight Committee, the House Study Committee on Education Innovation, and the Mental Health Subcommittee of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services. Susan served on the board of Wilson Education Partnership, a collaboration with business and community organizations, including the local school system and Chamber of Commerce, focused on preparing today’s students to become tomorrow’s employees by promoting excellence in education. Susan was a key partner in the creation of the Wilson Academy of Applied Technology, an innovative early college high school centered around advanced manufacturing and STEM and designed specifically to reduce the skills gap for local employers by graduating better-prepared students. Before her service in the North Carolina legislature, Susan worked as a sales representative for IBM for 12 years in Richmond, VA and consulted with top-tier clients including Philip Morris. As a consultant and client services representative with IBM, Susan worked to reduce sector costs and improve productivity through investments in technology. Between her business career and public service, Susan devoted time to raising her family and actively engaging in her community.  She was a weekly volunteer in the public schools her daughters attended and served as PTO vice president at their middle school. She is a graduate of the University of Richmond and earned a Masters of Business Administration in 1996. Susan recently moved to Nashville after completing her term in 2018, rejoining her husband, an orthopedic surgeon, and two daughters who attend college in Middle Tennessee.

Lani Short
Communications Director
Lani Short
Communications Director

Lani Short serves as Communications Director with Tennesseans for Student Success, a nonprofit issue advocacy organization committed to improving student achievement in the Volunteer State. Before her role at Tennesseans for Student Success, Short served as press assistant to the Republican National Committee before serving as press secretary to Congressman Phil Roe (TN-01). Most recently, she served as deputy communications director for the House Committee on Small Business. While on Capitol Hill, Short managed all aspects of a congressional office’s communications needs while reflecting the care Rep. Roe showed for the people of his district. Lani is a native Tennessean whose interest in political communications is driven by her passion for connecting Tennesseans to education issues.

Jessica Whitmill
Manager, Policy & Outreach
Jessica Whitmill
Manager, Policy & Outreach

Jessica joined Tennesseans for Student Success in 2016 as our East Tennessee Field Representative. After moving to Nashville in 2017, she became our Middle Tennessee Field Representative and stepped into an informal leader and mentor role on our field team. Before joining Tennesseans for Student Success, Jessica served as the regional political director for the Tennessee Republic Party and as a regional field director for Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Florida. Jessica recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lincoln Memorial University with her Masters in Public Administration. In her newly expanded role, Jessica will guide our policy outreach ensuring we have well developed and engaged advocacy in communities across Tennessee. In addition to leading our policy-focused outreach, Jessica manages our policy research and assist in our day-to-day lobbying at the Tennessee General Assembly.




Board Members

Austin McMullen
Chair
Austin McMullen
Chair
Kurt Faires
Secretary
Kurt Faires
Secretary
Scott Brolyes
Scott Brolyes

GET INVOLVED

Are you a Teacher who believes in improving our schools?  Are you a parent who wants to see your kids better prepared? Are you a businessperson who can’t find qualified employees?

THEN THE TIME TO GET INVOLVED IS NOW!

GET INVOLVED

Contact us:

info@tnsuccess.org       

Tennesseans for Student Success
PO 198183
Nashville, TN 37219