Happy Fall morning Smarties! I just absolutely love this time of year, and especially after the HOT,HOT, HOT summer we just experienced. I am in love with our Smarty Mom, Celeste Bailey. I have know Celeste forever it seems, but I can not remember how we met because our paths have crossed in so many places over the years. Celeste has always inspired me to better myself. She is the Early Childhood Development Director at the Harris YMCA, and the growth that department has seen over the past few years is in part due to Celeste and her drive. Enjoy getting to know our Smarty Mom Celeste!
Smarty Mom: Celeste Bailey
Name: Celeste Bailey
Originally from: Richmond, VA
‘Hood: Sharon Hills
Family: Jason- Hubby, Caroline (11), Cole (9), Colin (7) and Luna and Zoey (the dogs)
Job: Early Childhood Development Director at the Harris YMCA
When did you first start working for the Y and what position? I started at the Y during the Spring of 2008. I worked in the Childwatch department on a every other week schedule as a classroom assistant.
In winter 2008, some co-workers in Childwatch decided to start a preschool program for the staff children at the Y. They asked if I would be interested in working in the preschool class twice a week. So in January 2009, we opened a one classroom preschool (12 students). I assisted Tuesdays and Thursdays. In Summer 2010, I was asked to be the preschool coordinator of 3 preschool classrooms. Since then we have grown more and more each year. In 2012, I went full-time as the Preschool Director. We have added classes each year and now have over 175 students enrolled. Our classes range from toddler to TK. We offer two Spanish Immersion classes as well. In addition to preschool, I run the preschool aged summer camps and K-5 educational camps.
What is a typical day for you? I take my “me” time first thing. 5:00am every morning I hit the gym or go for a run with good friends. After that, game on!
First I get the kids off to school. Two different bus schedules (elementary and middle school) have thrown me for a loop, but we are making it work.
I head to work at 8:30 and my other full time job starts. Finding subs, carpool, checking emails, budgets, marketing for programs, planning field trips or community helper visits, calling parents, giving tours to name a few things that get done before noon. At some point I grab a Larabar or a handful of nuts to tide me over until I can get lunch. After preschool dismisses at 1:00, we have preschool clubs (art, fitness, cooking and many other themed clubs happen Monday-Thursday). As the branch expands, I am working on starting a homeschool program and have been meeting with teachers, parents and directors about that.
Some days I am able to go home and get the kids off the bus, other days my kids come to the Y after-school. No matter what, there is always some sort of sport practice that I am driving to in the evenings. If I plan ahead, dinner is in the crock pot and we eat prior to practice, but many days it is afterwards. We always try to eat dinner together. These days, it can be pretty late, since my husband doesn’t get home until late, but dinner time is when we regroup and talk about our day.
After dinner, we put the kids to bed, I make lunches for the next day. Finally, at 8:30 I sit down and catch up with Jason……I will also answer a few more emails or work on a project that did not get done earlier in the day. Lights out by 10 though so I can get up for the next day’s excitement.
Anything else in the works? I love to run and try new clean eating recipes. I also LOVE watching my kids play sports. My love of running inspired me and another friend to start a running program at the Y, Y Kids Run for ages 9-12.
Very enjoyable piece Celeste!