The Educator Advisory Council is a group of Tennessee educators who serve as a consulting body to help GELF determine the best resources to meet the literacy needs of K–3 students across Tennessee.

The primary responsibility of the Educator Advisory Council is to select the books that students and teachers from across the state are mailed through GELF’s K–3 Home Library program during the summer.

Through its K–3 Home Library program, GELF collaborates with Scholastic to mail high-quality, age-appropriate books to kindergarten through third grade students and teachers to combat learning loss and support learning in the home.

In Summer 2021, GELF mailed books to 90,000 students and teachers across Tennessee. In Summer 2022, the program served more than 160,000.

K-3 Summer Reading logo, children of different ages reading outside school

Twenty-one Tennessee educators were selected from 115 applicants to serve on the 2021-2022 Educator Advisory Council, representing 20 school districts in all three regions across the state.

With less than one third of Tennessee third graders able to read proficiently, GELF utilized the Council’s combined 290 years of experience to provide students and families with tools to strengthen early literacy and combat learning loss.

This Educator Advisory Council was made up of 15 K-3 teachers, one library media specialist, and five school district leaders.

View the 2022 K-3 Home Library book list here

I am joining the Educator Advisory Council because I see the learning loss this program is combating firsthand and want to share my deep love of reading, not only in my classroom, but with all students across Tennessee.

Tara Comerford
Educator Advisory Council member
3rd Grade Teacher at Athens City Schools

Educator Advisory Council

Class of 2021–2022

Executive Council

Melisha Simmons

Rising First Grade Facilitator

First Grade Teacher
Warren County

Alexis Wade

Rising Second Grade Facilitator

First Grade Teacher
Shelby County

Lauren Effler

Rising Third Grade Facilitator

Pre K–12 Curriculum & Instruction Supervisor
Union County

Stefanie Bishop

Second Grade Teacher
Hardin County

De’Shadrian Campbell

Kindergarten Teacher
Hardeman County

Tammy Clark 

First Grade Teacher
Knox County

Tara Comerford

Third Grade Teacher
Athens City

Tony Dalton

Pre K–1st Instructional Coach
Hamblen County

Lauren Dean

First Grade Teacher
Robertson County

Chris Dickerson

Kindergarten Teacher
Metro Nashville Public Schools

Lorena Georger

Second Grade Teacher
Newport City School

Xavier Hamler

Elementary Education Supervisor
Bedford County

Taylor Harvey

Hamilton County

Molly Jones

First Grade Teacher
Sullivan County

Angie Manor

District Literacy Coordinator
Hickman County

Meredith McMackins

Second Grade Teacher
Dyer County

Shirley McMorris

Early Literacy Advisor
Shelby County

Melody Sadler

First Grade Teacher
Overton County

Sarah Stephenson

Kindergarten Teacher
Cheatham County

Alexandra Whited

Third Grade Teacher
Hawkins County

Christie Wimberley

Second Grade Teacher
Henry County

I am excited to share the joy of literacy with thousands of young Tennesseans. Developing early literacy skills sets learners on a trajectory that will dictate the rest of their lives and I believe that the work of the Council helps lay this necessary foundation.

Chris Dickerson
Educator Advisory Council member
Kindergarten teacher at Metro-Nashville Public Schools.