In her thirty-four year career as an educator at the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), Dr. Callahan has been a teacher, principal and central office administrator. She provided leadership, assistance and support for 24 K-12 schools and 178 staff serving 36,000 students, including program implementation, personnel evaluation and general school administration. As one of her endeavors to improve student achievement, Dr. Callahan created and established the Crawford Cluster Connection (CCC) that operated under her leadership from 1988-1992.She provided the rationale for unifying the collaborative efforts of the ten schools she supervised in the Crawford School Cluster. The CCC had as its goal the improvement of student achievement through improved student attendance. Through the creation of a one-stop resource location at the high school, the CCC served thousands of students and their families by promoting well being through individual case management, referrals to counseling services, medical assistance, clothing, etc., at no-cost or low cost. (The CCC is now operated by SAY San Diego...sustainability at its best.)
As the Senior Director of the SDUSD Planning Research and Accountability, School Services Division, Dr. Callahan directed the SDUSD short-range facilities planning (Annual Budget $4-7million per year) and prepared the Long Range Facilities Master Plan 1995-2005. The Master Plan served as the basis for the adoption of Prop MM that was passed by voters to modernize SDUSD schools. Dr. Callahan has lent her expertise in teaching, executive-coaching, grant writing and program development to various entities, such as Point Loma Nazarene University, The University of San Diego, the San Diego County of Education as well as SDUSD.
Dr. Callahan’s passion for teaching and learning is the basis for her leadership style. She values people and what they bring to the table; she is a motivator and an enabler. She espouses informed collaboration toward a common goal as the driving force behind any successful endeavor. On two separate occasions Freda was selected as the ACSA Region 18 Distinguished Leader/Central Office and The Administrator of the Year and in 2005 was awarded the Phi Delta Kappa Distinguished Service to Education Award.