Illinois Lincoln Excellence in Public Service Series
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Amanda J. Shoemaker
Class of 2012

Amanda Shoemaker

Amanda J. Shoemaker grew up in Rushville, Illinois and is a 1997 graduate of Rushville High School. Her interest in politics started at a young age when she was selected to attend Illini Girls State in high school, where she later served as a counselor. She was also selected to the 96th District Student Advisory Council in 1996. In this role, she worked with State Representatives Art Tenhouse and Rich Myers as well as State Senator Laura Kent Donahue on issues that affect high school students. After high school, she attended Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois where she majored in communication/theatre and political science. During this time, she was actively involved on campus serving in many leadership roles in the Sigma Phi Epsilon Literary Society and the College Republicans, among other organizations. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2001.

After graduation, she began her professional career at KHQA-TV 7 News in Quincy, Illinois where she worked as a television anchor, reporter and producer. While at KHQA, she had the opportunity to interview a number of Republicans; a highlight in her journalism career was when she was able to cover a George W. Bush rally in St. Louis in 2004. In 2005, after researching new professional opportunities, she was hired as the Assistant Director of Alumni Programs at Western Illinois University (WIU); in 2009, she was promoted to Associate Director of Alumni Programs at WIU. In June 2015, she began work as the Director of Donor Relations at Western Illinois University; she also serves as a part-time instructor. While at Western, she has also completed a master’s degree in Instructional Design and Technology.

As a journalist, she remained impartial, but once she left the television station, she began to get more involved in the party. After inquiring about a young Republican group in Schuyler County during the 2005 Lincoln Day Dinner, she was asked to run for precinct committeeman where she was successful. In 2009, she was elected vice chairman of the Schuyler County Republican Central Committee; a year later, she began serving as secretary of the 18th Congressional District Republican Central Committee.

Amanda has worked on several political campaigns, including ones for Congressman Aaron Schock, State Senator Kirk Dillard (during his run for governor), State Representatives Jil Tracy and Norine Hammond, and many local races. She also worked as a professional volunteer at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

In 2012, Amanda was accepted as a Fellow and then graduated from the Illinois Lincoln Excellence in Public Service Series. She was appointed to the Board of Governors for that organization in 2013.

In the community, she volunteers with the Humane Society; is a member of P.E.O., Chapter AL; serves in many capacities at the Rushville First United Methodist Church; and serves on the Alumni Association Board of Directors at Illinois College.