By Kelsie Hoitomt
GLENWOOD CITY — After 19 years of service and memories at the Glenwood City Elementary, Jim Celt has decided to hang his hat up as Principal and officially retire.
“My memories will be the support of the parents, students, staff and community we have at Glenwood City and the pride that all of us have for our students,” said Celt.
Celt spent those 19 years in the school district solely as the principal, overlooking the entire elementary. All together he has spent over 30 years changing young lives through his teaching as he was a fifth and sixth grade teacher in Ellsworth for 14 years prior to coming to Glenwood City.
Celt graduated high school from Ellsworth and then earned his teaching degree at St. Thomas University in Minnesota. Afterwards he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Superior where he received his Masters in Education Administration in 1993.
Then in 1994 he decided to interview for the principal position at Glenwood City and was hired so he and his wife Wanda moved themselves and their three children Nicole, Tony and Adam to town.
After renting for a year, they built their home where it currently stands, which in 1994 was just one of two houses on Blue Sky Drive.
Celt shared that the class of 2008 was his first group of preschoolers when he started as principal. The students were still at St. John’s and he watched them travel through school until they graduated.
In those 19 years, Celt shared, some specific memories he will cherish are all the pep fests, open houses, Grandparent’s Days, first days of school, student led conferences, special holidays that were celebrated and the interaction with the children and adults.
Many of those memories were also events that Celt himself created and made long standing traditions in the elementary.
Students now participate in every pep fest including homecoming and state send offs.
Each Thanksgiving, grandparents anticipate spending their afternoon with their grandchildren.
For the past four to five years now, the first day of school is an open house.
More recently there are now student-led conferences where parents go to the classroom instead of the gymnasium. A daycare is also provided at this time.
But with everything Celt has created, he may be most famous for making chocolate milk available every day.
Along with his duties as elementary principal, Celt has also been the Athletic Administrator for the past three years. He is the one that would evaluate coaches, handle any athlete code violations and generally over see each sport.
With school officially out for the summer, Celt will begin his retirement. He shared he has no specific plans, but looks forward to seeing what this new journey will bring.
“I want to thank the Glenwood City community for all you have done to make my 19 years here so enjoyable. You have embraced the school and the pride you show is outstanding. I will miss the daily interaction of the students and adults, however the memories of 19 years serving the district will remain,” expressed Celt.