Today we have the first in a series of posts called “Five Questions”.  With every post we will introduce you to a parent, student, faculty member, alumni or community member and ask them five questions.  We hope these posts will tell the story of where CHA came from, the importance it has on the community today, and the hope for the future.

For the first post we want to introduce you to Ryann Gentry.  Ryann is a CHA alumni.  She and her husband, Bret, have two children currently attending CHA; Cole, 3rd grade and Reese, Kindergarten.

1. What is your CHA story?
I came to CHA with my kids because I had such fond memories of going to school there myself. I remembered loving my teachers, the campus, and the family atmosphere. I also had memories of feeling safe in a small secure setting with the one-on-one attention that helped me overcome my shyness. My parents brought me there because they were friends with the founding parents of NSPC and they wanted to provide my brother and I the kind of education that CHA offered. They liked the idea that it was started by parents with the needs of their children as the driving force behind all decisions. Additionally, they wanted to be involved in a hands on approach to ensure that my brother and I got the best possible education.

2.  What is it like to have your kids at CHA?
Having both my children go to the school that I went to is such an amazing experience. It is unique in that I feel very at home on the campus and have many deja vu moments both from the campus and from some of the same teachers that are still there. On the other hand, it is also very different and I see so many little changes that have occured over the years. I love being able to share such a large part of my childhood memories with my kids and to be able to share and compare stories with them about my time at CHA.

3. What three words describe your experience at CHA as a student?
Impactful –  I remember it being a very happy time, rich with experiences of all kinds. I remember the educational process as being individually driven, feeling like I was the priority and never feeling like I wasn’t able to succeed.

Safe – Being in the natural setting was a safe and peaceful environment for me.  My teachers were always kind and caring and provided for a safe learning experience, especially because I was shy.

Family – Everyone became part of our family and we all knew and cared about each other no matter what age or grade.  Having my mom and close friends working in the kitchen and participating in as many activities as possible just added to the family atmosphere.  Many people I went to school with are still part of my family because we were all from the same community and continue to live nearby. 

4. What three words describe your experience at CHA now that your kids are here?
Growth –  I see the growth in their abilities to make friends and nurture and solidify those friendships.   I see them feeling more confident in who they are and in their own abilities.  l see their educational growth both in their knowledge and in their confidence in themselves and in what they can learn.  

Pride – I love to see the pride that they have in their work and all of their accomplishments.  I have pride knowing that we are able to give our kids the opportunity to experience the kind of school that made such an impact in my life and hope that they take away the kind of memories that I was so lucky to take away from CHA. 

Family –  The family involvement and close friendships with those in our community makes it so easy to continue those friendships and to allow them to flourish.  With such a close group, you develop more of a sense of community and everyone looks out for each other.  

5.  What is your hope for the future?
My hope for the future is to see my kids reach the potential that I know they can achieve and to see them accomplish all of their dreams in life. They are my pride and joy and I want to see them happy and successful in whatever they choose to do.