In the fall of 2010, Dr. Linda Ellis invited local educators to a meeting to discuss the possibility of applying with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for a charter school. On October 8, 2010 the Center for Teaching and Learning was approved by the Texas Secretary of State as a nonprofit corporation with a founding board including Linda Ellis, Treva McKissic, Mary Lou Chollar, and Darryl Morris. Additionally, on February 4, 2011, CTL was approved as a 501(3)c nonprofit by The Internal Revenue Service.
Dr. Ellis once again spearheaded a think tank consisting of strong, passionate experts she had known over the last 28 years as an educator, experts from every content area. On January 11, 2011 these experts met at the Montgomery County South Regional Library in The Woodlands and brainstormed on chart paper, using the questions from the TEA Charter Application as a compass, to design our dream school. CTL was born that day on the walls of the library.
At a public hearing on January 27, 2011, thirty-six interested community members, plus twelve advisory board members, gathered at the library for the announcement of the proposed charter school. CTL's advisory board quickly grew to over 30 passionate educators and community members with over 500 years of combined educational experience who were involved in planning and supporting the school. The CTL board with Dr. Ellis' leadership met numerous obstacles with unwavering determination to catapult the construction of this new school, not letting the flame die. Three years later, this winding journey led to the successful opening in the fall of 2014 of the Center for Teaching and Learning as a private school.
In the fall of 2014, CTL leased three classrooms from Congregation Beth Shalom at 5125 Shadowbend Place in The Woodlands where we began our educational journey with 52 students. The CTL Team consisted of Dr. Linda Ellis, President and 3-8 language arts co-teacher; Jennifer Chamberlain, Principal and 6-8 language arts co-teacher; Lisa Lipar, K-2 teacher; Stephanie Phipps 3-8 math/science teacher; Angela Bailey, 3-8 language arts co-teacher; Treva McKissic, 3-8 social studies and K-8 art teacher; Marci Murphy, K-8 physical education teacher; and Melissa Abbott, K-8 music teacher.
With increased interest in CTL's philosophy and vision, it became apparent that a new location was needed to accommodate our growth. In the summer of 2015, we relocated to Caring Hearts of Faith at 25925 Budde Road, Spring where we opened our doors in the fall to 84 students with 14 on our CTL Team. As CTL's philosophy and vision continues to gain interest locally, nationally, and internationally, we were experiencing exponential growth. To accommodate this growth, we moved to a 9,600 sq. ft. facility on four acres at 26131 Kuykendahl Rd. in the summer of 2016. In May 2018, we purchased Inspiration Ranch in the Panther Creek area of The Woodlands and planned for the construction of a new facility to be completed in the spring of 2021 and ready for our move in for the fall of 2021. In March, 2020 our plans changed when COVID-19 hit and our contractor lost funding for the building.
What happened next was a dream come true. Jim and Alison Spurlin, offered us an opportunity to purchase 8 acres of the Saddlebrook Equestrian Center, only four minutes from our previous location. We closed on the property in May of 2020 and began renovation of one of the horse barns for our school. Construction was completed in August, and we relocated there for the fall semester. To accommodate our growing high school, we.are now making plans to renovate a second horse barn with plans to complete construction in time for the 2021-2022 school year.
CTL's strength lies in the expertise of the founding team, expert teachers in every classroom, content specialists, and supportive parents who believe in and support CTL's mission and vision for their children. This combination allows our original dream to become a reality by igniting and growing a love of learning in every child.