Siobhan Callahan, Founder and Proposed Executive Director, has lived in the West End of Providence for nearly 16 years and is deeply committed to both her neighborhood and our city. Over the years, she has volunteered her time extensively to neighborhood organizations and city schools; was one of the founding members and leaders of the West Side Play Space; and co-owns Healing Paws, a Veterinary Rehabilitation Center, as well as Armory Animal Hospital, both run by her veterinarian husband.
Trained as a musician and documentary photographer, she has worked in a series of non-profit arts organizations, both in North Carolina and here in Rhode Island, assuming a host of roles and responsibilities including: events management, communications/PR, fundraising and grant writing. In 2009, looking for a change, she apprenticed on the farm at The Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture (NY) and now tends an urban farm next to her house where once only weeds and abandoned vehicles thrived!
Watching her two little boys explore, play in, and eat everything in the garden has inspired her to bring the same wonder and joy of discovery to other children living in the city. Indeed, this school will be the embodiment of her belief that every child should have access to nature and be able to taste the sweetness of a freshly-picked tomato! Read more about how the idea for this school came to be here.
WHAT IF... school were a place that encouraged discovery and close observation of the world; a happy, safe, welcoming place where ideas could be tested and followed through over time; where there was freedom to move and be outside, and each day was an adventure?
Luke began his educational career in Chicago, serving for five years as a Program Director for the Chicago office of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, overseeing the implementation of educational programs in 46 local schools. Realizing his passion for students, he became a certified teacher and worked for five years as a teacher and Chair of the English Department at North Lawndale College Prep High School in Chicago where he led a team of 22 teachers across two campuses.
In 2015, Luke and his family made the move to RI to be closer to extended family. He is presently on the faculty of the Gordon School in East Providence, where he is a 7th/8th grade Humanities teacher. Before that he taught 9th grade English at Blackstone Academy Charter School in Pawtucket, where he also led the school's Non-Profit Academy and taught a Non-Profit Studies Community Improvement Project.
Luke holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Educational Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University, and is a former graduate fellow in Northwestern University’s Department of Sociology where he concentrated on urban sociology, racial inequality and public spaces.