Shannon Kelly, Understanding Your “Multi-situated Self”

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices.



Shannon Kelly, Director of Upper School at Mount Madonna School in California, shares a fresh perspective that focuses on viewing students more holistically in their educational journeys. With a campus that is located in an intentional yoga community on 355 acres of land, students at Mount Madonna engage in an educational path that focuses on developing self-awareness and global-mindedness. Shannon bluntly discusses her belief that universities are not doing enough to take into consideration student character in the college admissions process.



About Shannon Kelly


Shannon earned a BA in political theory wth a minor in history at the University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with honors. Shannon joined the MMS office staff in 2007 as the finance contracts coordinator. She began assisting in the Values in World Thought classes as a co-teacher in 2009. In 2013, she became a co-teacher in the World Religions class. She has been training and assisting with college counseling since 2014 and is a member of the Monterey Bay College Counselor Consortium and the National Association of College Admissions Counseling.


Shannon knows the college entrance requirements and processes and helps students and families navigate the steps with great skill and support. Even more than these qualities, Shannon demonstrates successful educational leadership driven by a commitment to the MMS philosophy and mission, as well as a deep understanding of Mount Madonna’s K-12 and in particular 9–12 program.



About Mount Madonna School


The primary mission of Mount Madonna School is to integrate intellectual, social and creative learning within the context of supportive human relationships.


The school is dedicated to helping its students become aware of the range of their creative talents and how those talents can be applied in developing a life of positive meaning and purpose. To fulfill this mission, the school is committed to giving individual attention to each student as it pursues its program of Academic Excellence, Creative Self-Expression, and Positive Character Development.


When current parents tell the school why they chose MMS, they often refer to the community, the natural environment and its graduates.


Community: Since its inception in 1979, MMS has been based on a web of meaningful relationships. Parents, students, faculty and staff work together to be deeply respectful and caring. MMS is a small school where every person is known, and every person matters.


Environment: The mountaintop campus is 355 acres of meadow and woodland — parents describe it as a haven where children and families can slow down and appreciate the wonders of our natural world. While it is less convenient than a school down the street, this setting contributes to the safety and peace that are essential to the learning that occurs here.


Graduates: The qualities evident in juniors, seniors, and graduates have convinced many parents to choose MMS for their own children. These young adults know and respect themselves and they care deeply about others and the larger world. They are committed to being successful in ways that are meaningful and sustainable — making lasting contributions in the sciences, medicine, education, law, business, sports and the arts. They are articulate, gracious, thoughtful and caring human beings.



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