Connect with Shonaka
I believe in the power education has to change the trajectory of a person’s life. As a first-generation college student and law school graduate, I have experienced first-hand how education can break the poverty cycle in families. I do this work because all kids, no matter their background, should have access to great teachers which can lead them to great success in life.”
Senior Vice President, Opportunity Culture Implementation
Shonaka Ellison is senior vice president and group director of Opportunity Culture Implementation at Public Impact. Ms. Ellison leads and develops the management team responsible for all implementation of districts’ innovative staffing and school redesign, professional learning, monitoring and feedback, leadership coaching, and the School Excellence Portal. She is a member of the firmwide executive leadership team that sets strategy to achieve high-growth student learning results and higher pay for educators scalable to all schools, within regular budgets. Ms. Ellison was previously an assistant director of admissions at North Carolina State University, where she managed the recruitment and enrollment of underrepresented populations, including first-generation college students. As a first-generation college graduate herself, she understands the challenges faced by many students in Opportunity Culture schools. Ms. Ellison earned her law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was initiated into the Davis Society, served on the Pro Bono Board, and interned with the UNC Center for Civil Rights. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from North Carolina State University.
Example projects: Ellison’s work included directly leading Opportunity Culture design and implementation in North Carolina’s Edgecombe County Public Schools, Guilford County Schools, and Vance County Schools. She has also co-authored publications, including Identity and Charter School Leadership: Profiles of Leaders of Color, The Project L.I.F.T. Story: Early Lessons from a Public-Private Education Turnaround Initiative, and Boosting Idaho Rural Students’ College Prospects by Expanding Access to Great Teaching.