StudentsFirst Expands TN Staff

Apparently, StudentsFirst is continuing its focus on Tennessee. (Note prior post HERE.)
The following is a news release from the organization distributed Tuesday:
Nashville, TN – StudentsFirst, a bipartisan grassroots education reform movement, announced three new hires today as the organization expands grassroots momentum in Tennessee. The new additions include Carter Maxwell, who will serve as the State Outreach Director and Mario King, the Shelby County Field Coordinator. They join Paige Donaldson, who was brought on in February to serve as Field Coordinator for Middle Tennessee.
“We’re lucky to have three passionate individuals who know and love the state leading our grassroots efforts in Tennessee,” said Kellen Arno, VP of Membership at StudentsFirst. “As we continue to grow our movement and build momentum in the Volunteer state, we’re bringing together an incredibly strong team to help elevate the stories of parents and teachers on the local level.”

Tennessee State Director Brent Easley added, “Recent progress proves that meaningful education reforms resonate with Tennesseans. We surveyed Tennesseans this year and 93% said that our education system needs change. Parents and teachers recognize the work that needs to be done, and we must keep the pedal to the floor. Our new team members are well positioned to continue advancing education policies that are in the best interests of kids and ensuring the voices of parents and teachers are heard.”
Carter Maxwell joins StudentsFirst as State Outreach Director, responsible for coordinating membership events and building momentum for education reform across the state. Prior to joining StudentsFirst, Carter served as Legislative Liaison and Public Information Officer for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. In this capacity, she served as legislative spokesperson for the department and liaison between Governor Haslam’s legislative team and the General Assembly. Carter has Tennessee campaign experience as well, successfully managing the 2010 campaign of State Representative Terri Lyn Weaver. A resident of Nashville, Carter is a graduate of East Tennessee State University.
Mario King joins StudentsFirst as a Field Coordinator for Shelby County. Mario has an extensive background in Human Resource management, but his passion lies within education. During his undergraduate studies at the University of Southern Mississippi, Mario founded the Golden Eagle Consultant Group, which created an apprenticeship pipeline between college students and local small business owners in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. A member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Mario lives in Memphis.
Paige Donaldson joined StudentsFirst in February, filling in the role of Field Coordinator in Middle Tennessee. Prior to StudentsFirst, Paige was a Sales Representative for Service Source, Inc., where she produced and increased recurring revenue for industry-leading companies. Paige also spent time in her hometown for the City of Johnson City, gaining practical experience with city operations, planning and code enforcement. Paige received her B.A. at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and a M.P.A. from East Tennessee State University.
About StudentsFirst:
StudentsFirst is a bipartisan grassroots movement in Tennessee working to ensure educators are valued for the critical role they play in kids’ lives, families have high-quality school choices and a real say in their children’s education, and our tax dollars are spent wisely on what works for kids. Led by former Washington D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, StudentsFirst is active in 18 states and has successfully helped pass more than 110 student-centered policies across the country. For more information visit

See also the Tennessean’s report, which begins thusly:
A nonprofit education reform group that’s focused its attention in Tennessee wants a school-by-school report card that makes sense to parents and more job security for teachers who perform well, not just those around a long time.
StudentsFirst, founded by former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, released that legislative agenda Tuesday and also announced some new hires for the state.

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