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Our Classrooms

Sue Nadeau

Pre-school classroom

Hello! My name is Sue Nadeau and I joined CHC in April 2023. I have over 30 years experience as a Special Education Teacher, I have worked with students from birth through five years of age in a variety of settings and with diverse needs. I have three adult children and I am a dog and cat mom also. My hobbies include traveling, gardening and camping. 


I love teaching preschool! There are so many first experiences that we will be going through this year. For many, it may be the first time your child is away from home. We understand how difficult that may be, and will work together as a team to provide the best learning experience for your child. In addition to myself, our team includes the classroom support staff, therapists, and nurse. This year we will be working on learning so many new skills; including shapes, colors, numbers and counting, letters, turn taking, answering questions and more!

Ms. Sue

Class List:​

  • Zanylah

  • Michelle

  • Mahki

  • Antonio

  • Vinny

  • Ryann

  • Teddy

  • Ares

  • Felicita

  • Nasir

Educational Aides:

  • Irma

  • Aimee

  • Shannon

  • Liz

  • Nicole


  • Kim

Contact Information

Our class uses the Remind App to communicate with families (and for me to send adorable pictures!) 


[email protected]

Hello and welcome to room 102. My name is Debbie Heckmann and I have been teaching at CHC Learning Center since 2013. I love camping and going to the movies.

I have the second youngest group of students here at CHC. We do a variety of fun things including making slime and playdough, fun art protects and erupting apples for science. We have weekly reading groups where we read fun and exciting stories and answer questions. Every Wednesday we have game group where the students get to choose the game and practice turn taking. The students all use their communication devices to tell us their wants and needs throughout the school day. We use the ClassDojo app to communicate with families. I can also be reached at my email address [email protected]. I look forward to getting to know
you and your child.

Ms. Debbie Heckman

Debbie Heckmann

Classroom 102

Class List:​

  • Christeon

  • Theodore

  • Stevie

  • Gillie

  • Khyheim

  • Lucas

  • Wyatt

  • Alex

  • Keaton

  • Jack

  • Bodie

  • Maxon

Educational Aides:

  • Cathy

  • Nancy

  • Yolanda

  • Gloria

  • Danielle


  • Darlene

Contact Information

Use ClassDojo to communicate with families


[email protected]

 Mrs. Sophia Smith-Chills

Sophia Smith-Chills

Classroom 118

Hello welcome to Room 118! My name is Sophia Smith-Chillis, I have a Masters Degree in education and have been teaching here at CHC since 2020. I have 3 children of my own and teaching is my passion!

In my classroom we focus largely on reading comprehension and basic math skills. We also try our hands in learning how to conduct research though our “Weekly Bizz” assignments each Wednesday, and participating in hands on projects of all sorts to prepare us for moving on to middle school. For fun we enjoy going out into our CHC courtyard when the weather permits, and we also have game group every Friday for fun Friday. In room 118,  we “try our absolute best every single day!”

Class List:​

  • Yatziel

  • Gia

  • Marty

  • Scarlett

  • Katniss

  • Giovani

  • Halien

  • Noah

  • Benjamin 

Educational Aides:

  • Chanta

  • Wilma

  • Amber


  • Shelley

Contact Information

I use class Dojo to communicate with families. This is the link to my classroom dojo:


[email protected]

Welcome to Room 114, the Middle School Class! 

Hello, my name is Bonnie Zotara and I am the subsite teacher for classroom 114. Our summer theme this year is FUN!

My lesson plans will incorporate Reading, Math, History, Art, Music and Cooking into 6 topic areas, one for each week of summer school.


Week 1 - Marshmallows

Week 2 - Water Fun

Week 3 - Exploring Board Games

Week 4 -Beaches and Sunsets

Week 5 -Ice cream and Frozen Delights

Week 6 - Music, Dancing and Famous Singers 

Ms. Bonnie Zotara

Bonnie Zotara

Classroom 114

Class List:​

  • Ameer

  • Castle

  • Makayla

  • Fidelite

  • Chloe

  • Mason

  • Amanuel (AJ)

  • Landen

Educational Aides:

  • Jaida

  • Marcia

  • Anisaha


  • Barb

  • Kandy

Contact Information


[email protected]

Ms. Allison Hallman

Allison Hamann

Classroom 124

Greetings, families! 

Can you believe your child is already in high school? These years are so important as students think about the future and develop a better sense of who they are. My name is Allison Hamann, and I joined the CHC community in Summer 2023. My passion for students reaching their goals and having access to learning comes from a variety of experiences. After visiting a program for people with special needs in Guatemala in 2012, I taught middle school students as a special education teacher in Alexander, NY for seven years. In 2019, my husband and I relocated to North Carolina where I taught elementary students as a classroom teacher. We recently returned to Buffalo so that our son could grow up knowing his grandparents. In my free time I enjoy volunteering with the special needs ministry at my church, being outside with our dogs, and writing snail mail.

This year students will focus on building awareness of their strengths and goals. We will celebrate each student and the progress they are making. Educational groups will provide countless opportunities for student engagement as we enjoy stories and explore science, history, social-emotional, and math concepts. I look forward to partnering with you for student success! Please join our Class Dojo for updates! 

Class List:​

  • Angelina

  • Sara

  • Bella

  • Kayla

  • Sama

  • Brayden

  • Morgan

  • Richard (Ricky)

Educational Aides:

  • Marie

  • Katherin

  • Maniyha


  • Krista

Contact Information


[email protected]

Hi and welcome to Room 110! My name is Wendy Rice and I began my teaching career back in 1997 in North Carolina. After I moved back, I started teaching at CHC in September 2001 and have been teaching here ever since. I am a wife and mother of two girls.

I have the oldest group of students at CHC. We work on a variety of high interest topics, with emphasis in increasing communication and social skills, as well as working towards improving the student's over all independence. Community Transition is a large part of the program. We take several trips out into the community to explore our neighboring environments and to help foster a sense of belonging. We also explore a variety of careers to help determine our preferences for what we would like to do after we graduate. Mostly, we have a lot of fun as we learn about all sorts of cool facts, play many games in our weekly game group, and explore age-appropriate music and themes.  

Mrs. Wendy Rice

Wendy Rice

Classroom 110

Class List:​

  • Olivia

  • Victoria (Tori)

  • Grace

  • Salman

  • Tommy

  • Ethan

  • Michael

Educational Aides:

  • Misty

  • Bethany

  • Leigh


  • Linda

Contact Information


(716) 831-8424


[email protected]

Mrs. Julie Tojek

Julie Tojeck

Adaptive PE

Put me in coach I’m ready to play!!!! My name is Julie Tojek and I am the Adapted Physical Education Teacher for CHC Learning Center. In 2003, I graduated from Canisius College with a degree in Physical Education but ended up pursuing a career as a Physical Therapist Assistant. I have been working at CHC as a Physical Therapist Assistant since 2008. This past year, I went back to my roots and began developing CHC’s adapted PE program while working on becoming recertified. I have two older stepchildren and a son that keep me very busy. When not running around with the kids, my husband and I enjoy camping, playing and watching sports and attending the many events Buffalo has to offer.

Adaptive physical education is a specially designed program of developmental activities, games, sports, and rhythms suited to the interests, capabilities, and limitations of students. All students at CHC will be provided safe and successful experiences in physical education, while meeting their unique needs. The activities, sports, and games will enhance self-actualization, including the development of abilities in their motor planning, coordination, knowledge of new games/sports, and learning about teamwork and sportsmanship.

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