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 Design and Implementation
Shonaka Ellison is the senior vice president for Opportunity Culture design and implementation and a consulting manager at Public Impact, and serves on the firmwide strategy team. She leads the expansion of Opportunity Culture implementation within districts to extend the reach of excellent teachers and their teams. In her Opportunity Culture work, she helps district leaders create a career pathway for teachers, where excellent teachers can earn more money for reaching more students. 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. 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 recent work includes 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.