Gratitude for Celtic Academy! » Gratitude for Celtic Academy

Gratitude for Celtic Academy

"My two children have been in the Celtic program for the past three years. This program is NOT just athletic development. It teaches the children respect, gives them confidence, makes them accountable, gives them problem solving skills, and teaches them the values of teamwork. Your child does not have to be the best athlete to benefit from this program. This program enhances skills and allows children to try new things, it pushes them to do things they would normally not try. I truly believe this program has so much more to offer then just creating good athletes. It is providing these children with life skills they need to take on the years ahead of them."




"My daughter loves the Celtic Academy program. Celtic Academy is teaching life lessons and life skills far beyond sport and athletics.  I believe Celtic Academy to be an integral influencing program that will have life long benefits to all student athletes growth as a person.


  • Celtic Academy is molding student athletes in unmeasurable positive ways.
  • Celtic Academy is an excellent option and opportunity for all aspiring students and athletes.
  • Celtic Academy is and will have instrumental effects on all student athletes as they navigate their way through all stages of their personal life development goals and aspirations.






"My name is Alyeska Silvester-Degen and as a Catholic School Board Trustee, I have always been aware of the Celtic Academy and had a pretty good idea of its purpose and goals. It wasn't until I experienced first hand the positive impact this program has on students however, that I gained a full appreciation for Celtic Academy and the opportunities it provides for our students. 


I am a mother of three children ages 9, 7 and 5. My oldest was diagnosed as autistic when he was 3 years old. He has a sweet and caring nature but is easily disregulated which can often lead to panic attacks and violent outbursts. 


As a means to accommodate him and to maximize his ability to sit and learn with his classmates, he would have several, scheduled movement breaks throughout the day. While we did see some success with this, I was always concerned that he would fall behind his class at some point. 


Although my son is gifted academically, socially he is far behind his peers and often prefers toys and activities geared toward much younger children. Thankfully, his peers have been very accepting of him, but in recent years, he had started to become aware that he is different. He had been known to break down and say that his "brain is broken" or that he is a "bad boy". 


I decided to enroll my son in the Celtic Academy as a means to meet his need for movement breaks. My hope was that this would increase his ability to focus in his core classes and that he wouldn't require as many interruptions. I will admit, I was not very optimistic. I wouldn't even enroll in the scheduled payment plan because I was almost certain that the Celtic Program, with the wide variety of activities they do, would be too overwhelming and unexpected for my son. He is also extremely sensitive to the cold and I knew many of the activities would be outdoors. I decided to go ahead and try the program, but had very little hope of it working out. 


Making the decision to enroll my son in the Celtic Program is the single most beneficial thing I have done for him - both for his academic and personal growth. While we still encounter the occasional panic attack/violent outburst, they are far fewer than they have ever been. His big achievements this year have been learning to turn his behavior around (a bad choice doesn't have to lead to a bad day) and learning to express his needs in the moment. His self confidence has also improved dramatically! The pride he feels when he accomplishes a new skill has had such a positive impact on his self esteem. He is physically healthier and stronger (he loves showing off his growing muscles) and he is learning healthy habits that I hope will have a lifelong impact. 


Kelsey Urban and Curtis Hodge have been absolutely wonderful to work with. They are approachable and willing to make reasonable accommodations when necessary. They both have a passion for this program and it shows. I am so grateful that I gave this program a chance. Needless to say, I am now enrolled in the scheduled payment plan! 


Although my other children do not have special needs, I plan to enroll them in this program as well. The health and emotional benefits are priceless. 


I can not say enough good things about the Celtic Academy. It has been life changing for my son and our family. Thank you to the staff who make this program possible. Words on paper seem so underwhelming compared to the gratitude I feel in my heart. 



Alyeska Silvester-Degen"




"Hi Kelsey,

I just wanted to drop a note and express my happiness with the Celtic Academy Program at Holy Cross School and the positive attributes it holds for my nine yr old son attending. 

Grayson has nothing but accolades for his instructor Mr. Hodges and I know my son always tries his best for him. The array of sport he has been exposed has been very beneficial as he comes home and talks about what he learned the day, I can see the benefits from him first hand like working in teams and in leadership situations, the comprehension he exhibits  when explaining various sports, and his genuine drive for the program. 

Grayson is a high energy, hyperactive boy so this program adds more opportunities for him to expend his energy allowing him to better focus in classroom settings. I rarely hear Grayson complain about the classroom part of school and as awesome as Mrs. Musselman is, I’m betting it has a lot to do with how he enjoys the Celtic Academy program so much!

I’m so grateful for this program and our opportunity to participate, Thanks so much Kelsey.







"I can’t begin to state how wonderful the Celtic Academy program is with GPCSD. What I love is that my son has been exposed to so many activities that we generally wouldn’t do as a family and this has allowed him to decide what he truly enjoys and maybe wants to pursue further. Also, it is nice for students to experience activities that take them out of their comfort zone. This helps kids mature and learn to deal with different feelings and situations.


During their outings, the Celtic students don’t only get to experience fun and cool activities, they are also being taught and groomed on how to act in their community. The rules and expectations from all the instructors and different facilities is a wonderful opportunity to show the students how they need to behave away from their own families and teachers.


Lastly, the teachers within the Celtic program are wonderful!! They work hard to cheer on the students, encourage the students to support each other, and also join in the activities to be a part of the fun and exercise. Participating in the activities with the students shows such leadership!!


The Celtic Academy has made school days so fun for my son and has definitely helped him grow as an athlete and a young man! I can’t wait for my other children to experience the same.







 "It has been an amazing year!

Our daughter is having a wonderful first year of Celtic Academy.  She has always been a strong student academically and we were hesitant to enroll her in Celtic as we weren't sure if it would be a good fit for her.  I am happy to say that we are so thankful for her experience this year in Celtic Academy!  Her growth as an athlete has been such a lovely journey to watch. Not only has she gotten stronger physically, but her sense of adventure and willingness to try new activities is growing as well. We are thrilled with how she has expanded her social group at school. Her Celtic class is multi-grade which has helped her to form friendships that she may not have found on her own. She is very aware of the responsibility she carries as a representative of her school when she is in the community.  Our family is very excited to be able to help our daughter grow as a responsible young athlete and student with the Celtic program.






"My daughter and son have been in the Celtic program at St. Kateri school for the past 2 & 3 years respectively. The program has been amazing for our children.
The program being a MultiSport program is so important. It allows the kids the opportunity to try various activities, many which they have never tried before, May have wanted to try but have not had the time in our schedule or may have never gravitated toward.
It’s taught them about respect, team work, independence and perseverance- as some activities they may not necessarily like or are the very best at but they work hard at it and give it their best effort.
We have had an amazing Celtic coach in Chriss Koch for the past 3 years. She has been a excellent mentor for the kids. She challenges them respectfully and wants the very best for each of her students.
I also appreciate how organized the program has been over the last 2 years. The weekly agendas are laid out clearly and in a timely manner.
Would highly recommend Celtic program!





"Moving our child in to the Celtic Academy program is one of the best decisions we have made as parents. He loves getting to experience the variety of sports in such a positive and supportive environment. We love that he now comes home from school excited to tell us about his day."




"The Celtic Academy Program has been a wonderful experience for both our sons and our entire family.  As a result our 2 younger children are eagerly looking forward to attending the program when they are old enough.

We were not aware of the program when we started our kids at St. Kateri but it has turned out to be a pleasant surprise and an incredible experience that has grown our boys in athletics, character and many important life skills as well.   When our oldest son first started Celtic Sports Academy it was probably about a month into the program when he told us that he used to look forward to Friday’s but now he looked forward to Monday’s.

Both our son’s have been very fortunate to have the same academy teacher each year and she has challenged, inspired and encouraged them to try and achieve their personal best each and every day.  They are thriving in the environment of passion, patient guidance and a strong sense of belonging that has been created by their instructor and the program.  I would highly recommend it to any parent considering enrolling their child in the program.

Kristy L."




"When I first heard about the Celtic Academy option at St. Kateri, I pictured a program that was elitist, ultra-competitive, and likely focused on hockey. I figured we could safely give it a miss. Fortunately when we registered our daughters to move to St. Kateri for the following fall, someone mentioned how good the experience had been for them. I learned the focus is on leadership, sportsmanship and individual growth and athleticism while working as a supportive class team. The experience has been incredibly positive for our two girls and we’ll definitely put our youngest in when she’s old enough. When the girls come home after trying something new, maybe something they weren’t looking forward to as much or were intimidated by, and they grin about the shout-outs they earned, its easy to see how this program is developing them into hard-working, health-focused young people who feel capable in sport. Then you add in the community feel of St. Kateri and the combination makes for a school and program we are incredibly grateful for and proud to be associated with.

- Steve and Ali F."




"Hi Kelsey, I am writing to let you know what I as a parent I love most about the Celtic Program and it is this: For my son who absolutely loves sports, it gives him a whole new enthusiasm for school. The Celtic program actually boosted his academics. 







"We are so happy with the Celtic program. It has made school so much more of a positive influence for Cade. Cade specifically moved to St. Kateri for the Celtic program offered there. We had heard great things about the multi sports, and so Cade did a shadow day there to see what it was like. He loved it and we haven’t looked back since.

We are extremely happy with the teachers who run it. They are fun, athletic, and supportive to all of the students. We love that it is multi sport, as well, that the students get to try a wide variety of activities that they may not be ever exposed to if they weren’t in the Celtic program.

Cade looks so forward to every day with Celtic. He has enjoyed everything he has done so far. There are times he may be a bit nervous about an activity as he hasn’t done it before, but comes home loving it. They are able to be with like minded kids which is also very important. It also enables the kids to bond. I also find they are great at encouraging the kids with shout outs, etc.

We feel the Celtic program has also helped him academically, as he is able to focus on school when he is there. It gives the kids something to look forward to.

We are extremely happy with our decision for Cade to move schools. He has a little sister who can’t wait to do a shadow day with her brother and see if this if what she wants to do as well.





"My 3 children live the Celtic Academy. They love trying new sports, as well as getting better at a sport.
They enjoy the challenges of it and the physical fitness of it.
The kids feel good about themselves and their accomplishments. They do say some sports are difficult and so they should be. All things shouldn’t be made easy. They are proud to applaud others when they do a great job. They are also pleased to give away the athlete of the day award to someone else if they feel a child has struggled or needs a “ pick me up”. They enjoy getting a reward if they have earned it.
They are proud to wear the clothing when out and about and take it seriously when wearing it.
I am happy to see the clothing has improved in that it is quick dry wicking materials and can be worn with most of the sports.
As  parents we are happy to see our kids being physically active and getting in the outdoors even when it is cold out. They aren’t afraid of that or the challenges of a new sport. We are pleased to see they are confident with themselves.
Also we are feeling assured that they are learning safety with practical things in life like learning how to swim and building a fire and orientation and mapping and compass work so that they are not lost.
They are learning to work together with their peers in a team environment at times no different then what they will have to do in life.
Overall pleased with this program.


Lisa L."




"Both of my children have had the opportunity to participate in the Celtic Academy Program and I can’t say enough great things about it. My daughter is in the Athletic Development program. It has been great for her overall fitness and knowledge in health. She works with a trainer who has great credentials and has an honest respect for the students. My son has done the multi sport program for a couple of years now. In these years, he has been exposed to 15+ different sports and a wide range of knowledgeable people. 

The program coordinator is very thorough and maintains great communication so that we always know what to expect.

As an active family, I love that they have the opportunity to be active during school hours so that it pairs nicely with their education. My husband and I would have loved to have this program in our school growing up!


Danielle S."




"Celtic has given my son the confidence to try a new sport without having the pressure to commit for a full year.  Having professionals lead the small groups gave him ample opportunity to learn basic skills without the pressure a team would bring.   

Brad loved having a variety of sports each month, and found that he even enjoyed trying new ones. It has expanded his life in other ways, too.  He started golfing with his father, was willing to snorkel on holidays and tried out scuba diving last week on Try it Day.

Because of his positive experiences, his younger brother has now joined and loves every day- especially Fit for Life. 


Kristy W."