Saturday, October 16, 2021

Cathy Callahan retires

Cathy Callahan honored. Photo by Val Simon

Cathy Callahan honored. Photo by Val Simon

Two words – dedication and compassion – describe Cathy Callahan who recently retired from the Marco Island Charter School. Cathy has been with the school for over a decade following her career in education devoted particularly to those with the greatest needs. Her departure will be a deep loss of a major player in the superb performance of the Charter School

Cathy was born in New York City, and spent her earlier years in Westchester County. After elementary and high school she received her college degree from Fordham University, and began working at an inner city school in Yonkers, New York, and later worked in the White Plains area. She had a succession of challenging jobs, working with prisoners in the state prison system, school children with learning disabilities and others sorely in need of help. After 30 years in Katonah, New York, she came to the Isles of Capri where her mother-in-law resides.

Virtually immediately after locating in Collier County, Cathy was hired to teach at the Marco Island Charter Middle School, where she has been a fixture ever since. She started and developed the school’s reading program and, after six years of teaching, moved into the school’s administration. As an administrator, Cathy was one of the devoted staff and faculty who developed the Charter Middle School into one of Florida’s finest educational institutions.

Cathy has never

Cathy Callahan

Cathy Callahan

strayed from her dedication to the needy and the disabled. Throughout her career, spanning 41 years, she has consistently worked to improve the lot of society’s less fortunate members. She says that her career has been rewarding and fulfilling. She is delighted with the success of the Charter School and the fact that the school has attracted students of varied backgrounds and beliefs. She well remembers being brought up “…in the melting pot of New York, where she learned life lessons and how to interact with others.” She often returns to the theme of how the early, developmental years shape the nature and outlook of the citizen of tomorrow.

She is deeply concerned about the impact of the lingering recession on the quality of education in Florida and the nation. Significant revenue losses can jeopardize the ability to attract excellent teachers, provide the tools needed by the schools and result in cutbacks on vital programs. She hopes that an imaginative Charter School Board of Directors will find the ways and means to maintain the school’s outstanding record and even improve its very high standards.

Cathy’s husband established a canvas manufacturing business in White Plains before retiring to Florida. They have many grandchildren, and look forward to many happy experiences with all of them. Cathy loves to write and is looking forward to taking courses, looking toward writing children’s’ books.


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