Shannon Donnelly grew up primarily in Long Beach, IN, where she attended Notre Dame Elementary School and Marquette High School. Shannon then entered Princeton University as an engineering major, but that didn’t last long – she graduated with a degree in Politics and certificate in Political Economy, much to the chagrin of her loving parents. (She eased them into it, though.) While at Princeton, she was active on campus as a resident advisor, tour guide, eating club member, campus center welcome desk employee, and officer in political organizations – which included volunteering for local and national political campaigns. She was a Project 55 summer intern during the summer after her sophomore year, working at the KIPP Foundation in San Francisco, which led her to the worlds of education reform and non-profit employment.
In her senior year, Shannon began working for Teach For America (TFA) as a campus recruiter. Upon graduation, she moved to Washington, DC and joined staff at TFA, where she worked for over twelve years on operations for teacher training. Shannon moved back to northwest Indiana in October 2013, settling in Chesterton near her family, and in March 2016, she left TFA and began her new role as Chief Operating Officer at Chicago Collegiate Charter School. Chicago Collegiate is a middle school currently serving 4th-7th graders, located in the Roseland neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. Last year, CCCS achieved CPS Level 1+ rating in only its second year of operation, due to student growth results in the top 1% nationally for math and top 2% nationally for reading. Shannon is beyond excited to both be back in her home area, and now also working towards educational equity and expanding opportunities for all students on a local level.
Shannon is the proud mother of two young girls, and is experiencing the school system from the parent perspective for the first time, which she finds way more overwhelming than it should be in kindergarten. Shannon continues to volunteer for Princeton, via activities such as interviewing prospective students and making sure her class has decent food at reunions. She also likes to sign herself up for 5Ks and 10Ks on weekends throughout the year to force herself to stay in somewhat decent shape out of fear of embarrassment. Shannon has deep roots and relationships in Michigan City and the greater NW Indiana area, and seeks to give back at least as much as she gets from those – she thought this was a fantastic place to grow up and is grateful and thrilled to see her children thriving as they make their home here, too.