Luke O'Neill

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Luke O'Neill

1997 Global Fellow
Founder of Shackleton Schools, Inc

Luke O'Neill 1997 Global Fellow


The mission of Shackleton Schools was to inspire and educate young men and women to be leaders, educators, community builders, entrepreneurs, and stewards of the earth. To accomplish this goal, they created a vibrant learning community in the form of a residential high school serving young people ages 14-18. The curriculum was expedition-based to give students the chance to explore their potential as leaders. The organization thrived from 1996 to 2005 in Ashby, Massachusetts, until sustainability issues caused the Board of Directors to close the school.


Luke joined Outward Bound in 1990 as both an instructor and a development professional. Since that time, he has continued to instruct sea kayaking, sailing, and backpacking courses in Maine and Washington while also serving as a facilitator in Outward Bound Professional programs. In addition to his work for Outward Bound, Luke has been involved with several educational and youth-development programs. Most recently, Luke served as the Vice President for Western U.S. Operations for Meritas, LLC, an international, for-profit educational venture, and as President of Meritas' K-12 school in Henderson, Nevada. Previously, Luke served as CEO and Founder of Shackleton Schools, Inc., a residential high school with a challenging, expedition-based curriculum with roots in Outward Bound. Luke also served as the Assistant Executive Director at the Boys & Girls Club of Stamford after completing four years as a corporate attorney at Whitman, Ransom, Breed & Morgan in Greenwich, Connecticut. Luke holds an MBA

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