Special Education

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My name is Catherine Havens, and I am the speech-language pathologist at Pelham Elementary. I have been working in this field for 5 years, all of them here at Pelham. I grew up on Long Island and earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders at Long Island University. Following my undergraduate degree, I attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I earned my Master of Arts degree in Communication Disorders. I am a licensed SLP in the state of Massachusetts, and have my Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. I love to talk about my dog and my family, and I enjoy running, reading, and watching sports (Go Mets!). In my speech room we work hard to accomplish our speech and language goals, but I also love to keep things as fun as possible. My speech room is a large space, so I love incorporating movement into our activities (i.e. hopscotch, bowling, fishing, beanbag toss, etc.). I enjoy creating themed activities (by season/holiday) but will most often connect my activities to the curriculum/units being taught in the classroom. My favorite week of the entire year happens every September, when I celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day by expanding it into a week-long theme. Pirate Week features costumes, cardboard pirate ships, treasure hunts, and more as the students work on their speech and language goals through themed activities! There are several aspects of Pelham that drew me to this special community, but mostly I have always loved the “small school” environment. I have the unique opportunity to walk down the hallway and know every single student that passes by, not just the students on my caseload. One of the most important aspects of my practice is to build strong rapport and working relationships with my students, and the close-knit environment at Pelham makes this an easy part of my job. Pelham Elementary is a wonderful place to encourage and facilitate communication skills, both in my speech room as well as in the classroom setting!


I’ve been teaching for 15 years and this is my 8th year as a 5th and 6th grade, special education teacher at Pelham. I teach for many reasons. I teach because I absolutely love children. I teach because I think school is hard for lots of kids who don’t fit into a certain mold. I want to be the teacher who helps kids to be (and feel) successful and happy in school. I love Pelham because I start to get to know my students in kindergarten! I also love that because it’s a small school, I know my colleagues so well and I am so impressed by all of them! If you come into my room you will meet my awesome roommate- Ms. Darling, who is a 3rd and 4th grade special education teacher and you will notice the Knit Club boxes, overflowing with yarn. You will also see a large portrait of me nuzzling my favorite chicken. Oh, and of course you’ll see photos of my 3 teenagers!


Kelly Carlisle