Hello! I’m Brooke Shanley and I am running for Alderman-at-Large in Aurora, Illinois. Aurora knows me as a fourth grade dual language teacher, local union president, and a strong voice in my community but, above all, I am a bold leader and savvy negotiator who values justice, equity, and fairness.
Aurora has been a foundational place in my life. As a teenager, I would travel with my track team to compete at East Aurora High School. In my twenties, I spent my time managing a store at Fox Valley Mall and enjoying time in the downtown area with friends. In my thirties, I taught at Oak Park Elementary School and later at Waubonsee Community College, where I continue to teach. Seven years ago, I moved to Aurora and have been happy to call Aurora’s 9th ward home ever since. Aurora has influenced who I am and I am excited for the opportunity to give back to this city and the communities it serves.
Fifteen years ago, I began my career in education with the sole purpose of making a difference in society by working with our future and helping them become the best version of themselves. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with students of all ages and backgrounds. I advocate for my students and their families and collaborate with them to meet individual needs and ensure their future success. Whether I’m adapting instruction to make it accessible, designing workshops for parents, or researching advances in best practices, I seek to be proactive, meeting people where they’re at in order to lift us all up. Teaching is not just about academics, but rather all the dimensions that comprise the whole student; just like a city is not defined by any one component, but the coming together of all its facets, creating a community.
“I’m a teacher. I am a community builder. And I am eager to work with you to build a brighter city of lights. For our students. For you. For Aurora.”
— Brooke Shanley
As a union member and local union president, I am able to take that advocacy even further, leading and advocating on the issues impacting my students, their families, and the community. Through the union, I have access to professional development and training which ensure I have the knowledge and skills required to meet my students’ needs. I lead dialogue and action around issues that impact all of us, such as equity in funding, resources, and access. I negotiate contracts that provide for teachers’ economic security and well-being because when we are at our best, we can do more for our students, each other, and our communities.
My experience has equipped me with the ability to see the broader picture and break it down into the elements necessary to achieve it, to build relationships, to organize people around a common goal, and to see how every facet of a community impacts students’ learning and development. When we keep the students, the future of Aurora, at the heart of our decision making, we positively impact the entire city.
This is why I am running for Alderman-at-Large. I hope to have your support on my journey to create a brighter tomorrow for our City of Lights.