Inside TNSuccess

Inside TNSuccess: September 8

TSS New Staff Alert

Over the past few months, we’ve had a few additions to the TSS staff to introduce to you. Meet Jack Minor, Senior Director of Strategy and Advocacy and Alice Ball, Executive Assistant to TSS President & CEO Adam Lister. Enjoy reading about their background and experience below.

Jack Minor, Sr. Director of Strategy and Advocacy

Jack joins Tennesseans for Student Success as the Senior Director of Strategy and Advocacy after serving as Rep. Mark Walker’s (R-NC) Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director. Prior to joining the Walker team, he worked for Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign, U.S. Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Heritage Action for America. He is a graduate of Elon University and a native of Catawba County, N.C. Apart from his official duties, Minor has helped grow Walker’s digital and political presence throughout North Carolina – building one of the largest and most active digital campaigns in the state.

Alice Ball, Executive Assistant

Alice joins us as the Executive Assistant to the President & CEO for Tennesseans for Student Success after spending 10 years with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Savannah, GA. While at the DOJ, she worked in many facets within the Criminal, Civil, and Administrative divisions. Prior to ending her time at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she was the Executive Assistant to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia for almost 2 years and looks forward to bringing the same level of organization to this role. While working for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she obtained her bachelor’s in law and society, master’s in leadership, and her J.D. Although Alice is not from Tennessee, she is looking forward to making this her home.


Tennessee COVID-19 Update

The following updates are from Governor Bill Lee’s press conference last Thursday:

  • The Department of Education Commissioner, Penny Schwinn, announced a new dashboard for school districts to upload positive COVID-19 cases. The dashboard will include new positive cases in students and teachers from the previous weeks, the primary operating model for each school, information about a school’s critical infrastructure designation for certain workers, or lack thereof where applicable, and a link to each school’s continual learning plans (CLP). Out of privacy precautions, the Department of Education announced that schools with less than 50 total students will not upload positive cases into the dashboard and schools with 5 or less positive cases between teachers and students will not upload specific positive case numbers into the dashboard. Additional information can be located in the press release from the Department of Education which can be found here.
  • Department of Health Commissioner, Lisa Piercey, announced a shift in the department’s information reporting format regarding COVID-19. Per CDC guidelines, the Department of Health has altered several definitions around COVID-19 case reporting including reducing the definition of active cases from 21 days since infection to 14 days since infection and altering the definition of what constitutes close contact from 10 minutes of exposure to an infected individual within 6 feet to 15 minutes of exposure to an infected individual within 6 feet. Additionally, the new strategy will target reporting individual county’s epidemic curve, cumulative counts of positive cases, total hospitalizations and deaths, recent versus historic trends, and in-depth data on testing. Additional information can be located in the press release from the Department of Health which can be found here.
  • Commissioner Barnes of the Tennessee Department of Human Services announced that Tennessee has applied for an additional round of the P-EBT program. The application has been submitted to the USDA and is currently under review. 
  • Additionally, Commissioner Barnes announced the approval of a waiver from FNS, an arm of the USDA, to allow schools to continue to operate their Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) through December 31st. 

Inside Equity with the Knoxville Area Urban League

In this week’s edition of Inside Equity, the Knoxville Area Urban League. The Knoxville Area Urban League’s mission is to “enable African Americans, other minority groups and the underserved to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power, and civil rights.” The core values of KAUL are: diversity, integrity, passion, customer service, self-sufficiency, empowerment, teamwork, and collaboration.

Read about the impact this organization is making in the Knoxville area and ways you can get involved here.


Tristar Reads 2020

Despite the ups and downs of this nontraditional summer, we want to extend our thanks to those of you who participated in our summer reading scholarship program, Tristar Reads. Reading is critical for the success of our student’s future, so thank you for investing part of your summer to ensure your child continues to read and grow. Encouraging literacy helps pave the way for a better future for TN kids and the outcome of our state as a result.

This summer, Tristar Reads enrolled 460 students with over 350,000 reading minutes total read over the course of the summer. At Tennesseans for Student Success, we believe in helping students prepare for their future. Stay engaged this fall as Governor Lee recently announced September as College Savings Month with TNStars promoting the opportunity for three students to win a college scholarship. Find out more here and stay connected with us on social media to continue to hear about college savings opportunities.

Want to get ahead of the game? Sign up for Tristar Reads 2021 here!


TDOE Launches COVID-19 District Info Dashboard

Last week, the Tennessee Department of Education announced an update on their data reporting to include additional school and district COVID-19 information, including numbers of new positive COVID-19 cases. The dashboard will provide district-reported information on the number of new positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff and information regarding the number of schools conducting in-person learning, remote learning, and a hybrid approach for instruction. For more information on these additional data updates, read the press release here.


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How the primary was a pivotal moment for Tennes...

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This week, we tagged along with Rep Love as he reads “Patience, Please” from the Berenstain Bears series by Mike Berenstain He also shares about the benefits of Tristar Reads, so join him... more
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Inside TNSuccess

Inside TNSuccess: August 10

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A Note From TSS President & CEO Adam Lister For many, August is a time to get back in the swing of things, set goals, and begin the school year This year looks significantly different as... more
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Inside Equity with FUTURO, Inc.

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Read-Along Rep Tom Leatherwood as He Reads Aloud Let’s join Rep Leatherwood and his dog Toby as they read the book, “No Roses for Harry” aloud to us this week We have so much fun... more
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Tennesseans for Student Success Celebrates an E...

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NASHVILLE – Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) released the following statement after a successful election night for Tennessee General Assembly candidates who openly support higher... more
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Voting, Elections, and Questions You Might Be S...

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Inside TNSuccess: July 27

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Tennessee COVID-19 Update The following updates are from Governor Bill Lee’s press conference last Wednesday: The announcement of a $150 million grant fund targeted at assisting nonprofit... more
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Voting, Elections, and Questions You Might Be S...

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Inside Equity with Pionero Scholars at Lipscomb...

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Read-Along Rep Kirk Haston as He Reads “Green Eggs and Ham”  This week, we joined Rep Kirk Haston in the mountains as he reads the classic book, “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr... more
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NASHVILLE – Today, Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) is launching its fourth annual TNSuccessCard, a helpful tool to gauge how members of the Tennessee General Assembly voted and evaluated... more
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Watch Rep Vincent Dixie Read Aloud to Us This week, we’re excited to be joined by Rep Vincent Dixie as he reads “The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver” by Gene Barretta This... more
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Inside TNSuccess: July 13

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TSS POLL: Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Improving Education Remains a Top Issue for TN Voters Consistent with earlier TSS polling, Tennessee voters believe improving education should be a top priority for... more
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NASHVILLE – Today, Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) released statewide polling of 3,000 registered Tennessee voters conducted during June Consistent with earlier TSS polling, Tennessee voters... more
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Inside TNSuccess

Inside TNSuccess: June 15

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Inside TNSuccess

Inside TNSuccess: June 8

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Watch Senator Ferrell Haile Read “Donkey-Donkey” Aloud We’re thrilled to be joined by Senator Haile and his grandson this week as he reads “Donkey-Donkey” by Roger... more
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Good afternoon, Just one week ago, the nation was left speechless and heartbroken by the tragic and senseless death of Mr George Floyd, captured in nine agonizing minutes by cell phone video Mr... more
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Inside TNSuccess

Inside TNSuccess: May 18

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Tristar Reads

TRISTAR READS: Science is Magic

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Read Along with Sen Bill Powers “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” This week we caught up with Sen Powers as he reads “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff aloud to us... more
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TSS Blog

Public Curriculum Meets Outdoor Education at Iv...

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This week we are learning about several different charter schools around the Volunteer State during National Charter School Week Today, we hear from Ivy Academy Environmental Charter School in... more
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TSS Blog

Mindful Moments with Perea Elementary School

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Perea Elementary School, located in North Memphis, is a public charter school that opened in the fall of 2018 Led by Deadre Ussery, Perea takes a holistic approach to education to prepare students... more
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TSS Blog

Innovating in Education with National Charter S...

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This week is National Charter School Week, and we are pleased to recognize and celebrate all the charter schools that make Tennessee such an innovative place to learn What is a charter school A... more
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Tristar Reads

TRISTAR READS: Learning is Magic

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May

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Watch Rep Leatherwood Read “No Roses for Harry!” Join us this week as we watch Rep Tom Leatherwood (and his dog, Toby!) read “No Roses for Harry!” aloud At Tristar Reads, we... more
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TSS Blog

#SendTeachersLove During Teacher Appreciation Week

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Teachers are incredibly instrumental in the lives of our students in and outside of the classroom As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, TSS would like to take a moment to recognize those... more
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TSS Blog

Tristar Read’s 2019 Middle School Winner’s Expe...

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May

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According to the Tennessee Department of Education, 349 percent of Tennessee students are at or above their grade level in English language arts With academic achievement gaps and the impact of the... more
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Press Releases

Tennesseans for Student Success Announces New W...

Tue

May

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NASHVILLE – Today, Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) announces the launch of their newly designed website at wwwtnsuccessorg The new site features a more streamlined and engaging... more
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Inside TNSuccess

Inside TNSuccess: May 4

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May

4

Tennessee COVID-19 Update Recently, Governor Bill Lee released first-steps for the opening of Tennessee’s economy called the “Tennessee Pledge” The governor’s aim through the... more
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TSS Blog

Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week with Ms. ...

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May

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May 4-8, 2020 is Teacher Appreciation Week, and it’s important now more than ever that we recognize and celebrate the significant role educators play in student’s lives With the... more
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Tristar Reads

TRISTAR READS: Reading is Magic

Fri

May

1

Welcome to the kick-off week of Tristar Reads 2020! We are pleased you’ve joined us as we journey through the magic of reading this summer Tristar Reads is an annual summer reading program by... more
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TSS Blog

Tristar Reads: How the Program Impacted Last Ye...

Tue

Apr

28

Tristar Reads is our annual summer reading contest designed to encourage students across the Volunteer State to keep up their reading skills during the summer while also cultivating a joy for reading... more
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Tristar Reads

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Apr

24

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Inside TNSuccess

Inside TNSuccess: April 20

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Apr

20

Tennessee COVID-19 Update As our schools, economy, and life in general moves at a rapidly different pace than one month ago, TSS is keeping our finger on the pulse of education-related COVID-19... more
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TSS Blog

UT Promise: Make a Difference in a Student̵...

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Apr

17

The University of Tennessee recently announced a new, student-success-oriented scholarship program that offers free tuition and mandatory fees for qualifying Tennessee undergraduate students who have... more
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