Shannon has served as a board member, leader, and advocate on the board of education for Lawrence Public Schools since 2011. During her 8 years of school board service, she has twice served as board vice president, and twice as board president. As board president in 2017-2018, she led the board's work to select the district's current superintendent, Dr. Lewis. She has also served on the district’s facilities, policy, and boundary committees; and as a liaison to the Lawrence Schools Foundation, the City’s Public Incentive Review Committee, and to numerous site councils at schools throughout the district. Before her election to the board in 2011, she was a volunteer community member of the Lawrence Public Schools Elementary School Facility Vision Task Force.
Shannon has also been actively involved in education policy leadership at the local, state, and national levels. As an active member of the Kansas Association of School Boards for several years, she has served on its board of directors, as a member of its nominating committee, and, in December 2017, she was selected by school board members from across the state to serve as the Association’s president beginning July 1, 2019. Shannon also was elected last fall by school board members from across the region to serve on the National School Board Association's Policies and Resolutions committee.
Born and raised on a farm near Atwood, Kansas, Shannon earned her B.A. with Highest Distinction in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Kansas, and her Juris Doctor Magna Cum Laude from the University of Michigan Law School. After clerking on the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit for two years, Shannon began working with public schools, first as an attorney in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia, and then as an education specialist at the Georgia Department of Education. Her work covered a broad spectrum of law and policy issues affecting public education, including curriculum, budgets, facilities, school governance, parental involvement, and implementation of state and federal requirements related to school finance, special education, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, good governance practices, and issues surrounding equity and adequacy in school funding.
Shannon and her husband, Jason, a hospitalist at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and co-owner of Sunflower Telemedicine, L.L.C., have three children, all of whom are current Lawrence Public Schools students.
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Attending the 50th anniversary and rededication celebration of Billy Mills Middle School