Press Releases

Tennesseans for Student Success Announces Leadership Transition

NASHVILLE — Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) is proud to announce the appointment of Lana Skelo Gardner as President and CEO, effective May 1, 2024. This transition follows the close of the 113th General Assembly’s 2024 legislative session.

Currently the General Counsel and Vice President of Government Relations at TSS, Gardner will succeed Adam Lister, the organization’s leader since 2015. Lister will continue to support TSS in an advisory role, assisting Gardner during her transition.

“Lana’s extensive leadership and advocacy experience, coupled with her dedication to student service, positions her perfectly to build upon our accomplishments over the last decade. We’re excited to see her vision and energy propel TSS’s impact further into the future,” said Austin McMullen, chairman of the TSS Board of Directors.

Gardner brings more than 15 years of diverse experience in public service, advocacy, government relations, and partnership development. In her current role, she collaborates closely with policymakers and stakeholders, shaping legislative and political strategies focused on student-centric policies. Her previous positions include Senior Director of State Legislative Affairs at the United States Chamber of Commerce, advocating for tort reform, and an attorney role at Waller Law Firm (now Holland & Knight), specializing in state business regulation.

“I am committed to advancing the mission of Tennesseans for Student Success in this dynamic public education landscape. Working together, we can empower our students and forge a brighter future for Tennessee. I am honored to lead as President and CEO and eager to collaborate with those who share our commitment to educational excellence,” said Gardner.

Gardner’s academic credentials include degrees from St. Cecilia Academy, Vanderbilt University, and the Memphis School of Law. She also serves on the board of the Nashville Symphony.

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.

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