Archives: June 2019

Tennesseans for Student Success Adds Staff to Promote Even Greater Student Outcomes

For Immediate Release                                                                         

June 27, 2019            

Media Contact                                                                

Lani Short,

NASHVILLE, TN — Today, Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) announced the addition of two new staff members and an advancement of the organization’s statewide outreach efforts to accelerate and expand the organization’s work in promoting greater student success across Tennessee.

Susan Martin, a former three-term member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, is the organization’s new Director of Government Relations. First elected to public office in 2013, Martin served as Chair of the NC House Finance Committee, as well as the Commerce and Job Development Committee. She also co-chaired the Joint Legislative Economic Development, the House Study Committee on Education Innovation, and the Mental Health Subcommittee. Prior to running for public office, Martin worked as a sales consultant for IBM. 

Lani Short has joined the organization as its new Communications Director. Short, a native Tennessean, joins Tennesseans for Student Success after nearly four years in Washington D.C. where she served as press assistant to the Republican National Committee before joining Congressman Phil Roe (TN-01) as his press secretary. Most recently, Lani served as the deputy communications director for the U.S. House Committee on Small Business.

“As Tennesseans for Student Success continues to grow, we are accelerating our advocacy for the student-centered policies and initiatives that are having a positive impact on families and communities across Tennessee,” said Adam Lister, President and CEO of Tennesseans for Student Success. “In addition to these staff announcements, we are strategically focused on maximizing our grassroots and outreach efforts within the state through a more focused engagement on our field team to have maximum impact on student outcomes and success. We are proud of the ways TSS has supported students and teachers in Tennessee, and excited about the opportunities and important work ahead.”


Tennesseans for Student Success is a nonprofit issue advocacy organization committed to improving student achievement in Tennessee. To learn more, visit


Susan Martin
Lani Short
Your Words Have Power!

This week, we are discussing how impactful words can be. Keep reading for this week’s Superhero Challenge and to how to use your superhero powers with Tristar Reads this summer! 

Be a Superhero With Your Words

Superheroes are often known by not only the capes they wear, but the positive words they share with others. Many superheroes are recognized by their voices or slogans. It’s important that when we use our voices, we use our superhero powers to speak encouraging and impactful words to others.

Learn from the words of some inspiring literary heroes below:

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”  
-Maya Angelou

We need to tell kids flat out: reading is not optional.
-Walter Dean Myers

Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift.
-Kate Dicamillo

“If my books can help children become readers, then I feel I have accomplished something important.”     
-Roald Dahl

I believe we should spend less time worrying about the quantity of books children read and more time introducing them to quality books that will turn them on to the joy of reading and turn them into lifelong readers.
-James Patterson

Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won’t have as much censorship because we won’t have as much fear.”     
-Judy Blume

Make your words count this summer and log your hours with Tristar Reads. Students in grades K-12 are eligible and will be entered for the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship! It’s not too late to sign up!


Students at Doak Elementary School use their superhero powers to read every day!

Make sure you use your superhero powers this summer to build each other up with positive words and read new books!

Check out their special read-along that they wanted to share with everyone of Fly Guy’s Big Family.

Watch now!

Weekly Superhero Challenge!

Post a video or picture of you reading your favorite book on Facebook or Twitter using #tristarreadsoutloud. Also, don’t forget to log your time this week!

Armored for Victory with Tristar Reads!
This week, we are highlighting the bravest superheroes. Read below for this weeks Superhero Challenge and to learn about ways to use your superhero powers this summer with Tristar Reads

Did you know knights are superheroes?

There were three main types of soldiers during the Middle Ages: foot soldiers, archers, and knights. Knights were heavily armored soldiers who rode on horseback.

Being armored for action with a trusted sidekick, knights are superheroes too!

Each knight has his own coat of arms, similar to a superhero’s costume. The pattern and colors of the coat of arms are highlighted on a knight’s shield, similar to a shield many superheroes carry. Knights even have flags with their coat of arms printed on them. 

Put on your armor and be a superhero this summer! If you are or are the parent of a student in grades K-12, don’t forget to sign up for Tristar Reads. You’ll be entered for the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship!

Sign Up Now!


Our Superhero of the week is one our bravest superheroes–a knight!

He has been a knight for 15 years.

Be sure to watch his special reading of The Bravest Night now! Watch now!

Weekly Superhero Challenge!

Throughout the summer, we will be offering different Superhero Challenges each week– some may include additional prizes.

Superhero Challenge Week 8:

Design your own shield and post a picture of it on Facebook or Twitter using #tristarreadsknights. Don’t forget to log your time this week!
Summer Reading, New Partnerships & More!
Across the state, our students are hard at work fighting off the summer slide by reading. We are doing our part with Tristar Reads. If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time! Be sure to keep reading for more updates and information about some exciting events this summer!

Read Away the Summer Slide!

Last week, we spent time reading and learning with Metro Nashville Public Schools at Paragon Mills Elementary School during the Read to be Ready summer camp, which is an invaluable protection against the summer slide.

Summer slide is a real thing and it is so important that we keep our students motivated and encourage them to read throughout the summer months. 

Our state has set a goal of having 75% of students reading on grade level by third grade. One of the ways we are setting out to achieve that goal is through Read to be Ready camps. Tennesseans for Student Success is dedicated to ensuring our state’s literacy rates continue to improve.

Be a LitterHero with Tristar Reads!

Help keep Tennessee beautiful this summer with Tristar Reads by being a LitterHero

By educating people and encouraging them to read, you change behaviors and may be able to reduce the amount of litter that accumulates on the ground. 

Our superhero this week is The Talking Tree of Greene County! She helps educate students on the importance of having a clean environment and picking up after yourself and the community. We must all work together to keep Tennessee beautiful! Check out her Superhero reading skills!
Be sure to sign up for Tristar Reads if you haven’t yet and are the parent of or are a student in grades K-12. After you sign up, you have the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship!

Sign up for our weekly Tristar Reads emails so you don’t miss out on important reminders and other chances to win prizes

Sign Up for More Info!

New Partnership Promotes Student Success

Our friends at the State Collaborative for Reforming Education (SCORE) have released their new strategic plan, which includes combining forces with Complete Tennessee, an advocacy organization focused on postsecondary access and completion rates. 

At Tennesseans for Student Success, we understand the importance of aligning K-12 with postsecondary education to ensure our students are prepared for the current demands of the workforce and have the ability to obtain a living-wage job.

This is a great example of how organizations from across the education continuum are joining together to boost economic prosperity and success for all of Tennessee’s students.

Get Involved!

Join Us for Our Education Advocacy and Leadership Summits:

Learn how to be an advocate for Tennessee’s Students! Click below to register and for more details about our TWO FREE Summits this summer:

July 15th in Knoxville 

July 22nd in Nashville

Use Your Voice
Want to learn more about Tennesseans for Student Success and our legislative agenda? Visit our advocacy center here