Humans of CHP

Humans of CHP


Humans of CHP

My story began many years ago as a seed planted in another time waiting to take root and grow. In the early ‘80s, I began my journey as an educator working with physically and intellectually challenged children. It was hard work, and the children often made very minimal progress. However, the rewards far outweighed the obstacles. The staff was a close knit unit constantly supporting one another. The kids were amazing and gave unending unconditional love. At the end of my time there, I would look back with nothing but gratitude for all I learned and carried those lessons into the next phase of my life as a young mother.

When my second child was born, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to have a little boy as I had a little girl just two years before he was born. My son had challenges soon after he began to talk, struggling to say the simplest sentences and even having difficulty pronouncing his name. During his pre-school years, he needed occupational therapy for fine and gross motor delays. Later, he also began exhibiting unusual behaviors which eventually resulted in a diagnosis of complex-partial seizure disorder.

I was over whelmed to say the least but also determined to use the lessons I had learned as a young special education teacher to be a strong advocate for my son. Like many of the parents I encountered from my former students, I needed to be his voice.

When my son started Kindergarten, it become apparent that he needed specialized teaching, especially in the area of reading. I could see that as well-meaning as the teaching staff was, my son was not learning how to read. It became my personal mission to teach him to read myself. I combed through books in the library and read any available research on struggling readers. I found a phonics based approach that used decodable text, and our daily lessons began. He started to make progress immediately, and his confidence grew.

As my years as a teacher accumulated, I often saw many kids who struggled with literacy tasks just as my own son did. I decided to pursue a master’s degree in reading, specializing in dyslexia and related reading disorders. This work would become my passion and still is today. I am so happy to bring my experience as a teacher and reading specialist to the CHP community. I couldn’t be more excited to be in the embrace of this amazing and welcoming school.

If we are still and listen to life’s wisdom, the seeds planted in another time in our lives often take root. With time and attention, those roots flourish and bring us exactly to the places we are meant to be.

-Ellen Callahan M.A.Ed. C.D.P.