TSS Celebrates an Expansion of the General Assembly’s Education Reform Supporters
August 6, 2020
NASHVILLE – Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) released the following statement after a successful election night for Tennessee General Assembly candidates who openly support higher standards and a meaningful accountability system to drive improvements in public education:
“Even as our state faces the operational, economic, and health complications of the COVID-19 pandemic, voters in Tennessee have continued to demonstrate that education is a top priority,” said Tennesseans for Student Success President & CEO Adam Lister. “In the most competitive primary elections, the candidates who won the hearts and minds of voters were those who prioritize improving outcomes for Tennessee students demonstrated through their track record of supporting those policies. Tonight’s electoral successes emphasize the education reform movement continues to have strong grassroots support across the state. The expanded number of student-centered supporters in the legislature is only an opportunity to continue creating better futures for Tennessee kids. Now, we must ensure that opportunity does not pass us by.”
Last month, TSS released extensive statewide polling that shows prioritizing improvements in education and supporting Tennessee’s students is a top priority for the people of the Volunteer State. Knowing this, and in keeping with our policy priorities around improving student outcomes and bettering our public schools, TSS launched a comprehensive issue advocacy and voter education campaign to let voters know where candidates in HD3, HD6, HD7, HD16, HD18, HD42, HD54, HD85, HD99, SD22, SD24, SD32 stand on higher standards in education, aligned assessments to those standards, protecting accountability in schools, promoting public school choice, and securing economic freedom for all. That campaign garnered nearly 9 million impressions and voter contacts across various mediums.
TSS is on the frontlines executing independent, year-round comprehensive education reform campaigns, leveraging research and sophisticated data-modeling to build authentic political power, and assembling vast coalitions of voters around the education issues they are the most passionate. Our work supporting public education and those who champion it is demonstrated by the results we have seen tonight in key districts across the state.
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President & CEO
Sr. Director, Strategy and Advocacy
Manager, Policy & Outreach
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.
Brooke began working for Tennesseans for Student Success in March 2017 as the Operations Manager, overseeing the daily operations and providing support to team members. Brooke graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in 2014 from Middle Tennessee State University. She lived as a Nashville native, before relocating to Portland, Oregon, and is a wife and mother of two girls. Outside of working for TSS, you can find her exploring her new home in the PNW, volunteering in the children’s ministry at her family’s church, and serving as treasurer on the parent organization board for her daughter’s charter school.
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.
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.
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 joined Tennesseans for Student Success after working in state and national politics as well as higher education. In 2016, Jessica became the first East Tennessee Field Representative. After moving to Nashville in 2017, she became the Middle Tennessee Field Representative and stepped into a mentor role on the field team, leading TSS’ grassroots efforts. Before joining TSS, Jessica served as the Regional Political Director for the Tennessee Republican Party and as a Regional Field Director for Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Florida. Jessica graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lincoln Memorial University with her Masters in Public Administration in 2018. Before working in politics, Jessica worked at her Alma Mater, Carson-Newman University, as an Admissions Counselor, which gave her first-hand knowledge of the real gaps that students face in their college and career readiness. In her role as Policy and Outreach Manager, Jessica directs the digital advocacy and grassroots outreach, ensuring TSS has well developed and engaged advocates in communities across Tennessee. In addition to leading the digital advocacy and grassroots outreach, Jessica manages policy research and assists in the day-to-day lobbying at the Tennessee General Assembly.