Brandi Kennedy

Holly West-Pauley


Holly West-Pauley grew up in Erwin, NC, graduating from Harnett County Schools before making her way to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media with a minor in history.

Her career began as a local newspaper reporter covering K-12 and higher education, exploring issues from the achievement gap to teacher pay to tuition costs. She worked briefly as a magazine editor before transitioning to nonprofit marketing. She supported economic growth at the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, then parents and children in her work with Family Service of the Piedmont.

A storyteller at heart, West-Pauley started working with shift_ed long before she joined the staff, as first a member of the communications committee and later, on the board. “The throughline in my career is a passion for sharing people’s stories and a desire to learn something new every day,” she says.

The High Point resident shares her free time with her husband, Dan, three cats (Pearl, Watson and Leo) and a Boston terrier puppy named Violet. She’s a DIY’er, avid reader and explorer. During COVID, she taught herself embroidery.

Like many shift_ed scholars, West-Pauley is a first-generation college graduate. “I love that shift_ed works with students starting in elementary school to set them up for success in college and in life, eliminating some of the personal and systemic barriers that might otherwise keep them from achieving their full potential,” she says. “shift_ed’s programs make kids excited about learning, and that is just so fun to see!”