Celeste and her husband, Kent Giles, have homeschooled their two children, Leila and Adam, from the start. What began as an alternative to attending preschool blossomed into a complete, enriching homeschool experience.
In 1998, after a call to then-VHEA simply looking for contact information, Celeste learned of the organization’s need for volunteers. Will Shaw recruited her as a Legislative Monitor for the Government Affairs Committee in 1999, and by 2001 found herself as the Director of Government Affairs. She became a board member in 2002. Though she spent time as a conference speaker and planner, article writer and presenter on homeschool advocacy issues, her greatest contribution was in maneuvering within the General Assembly. She built and sustained positive relationships with government officials, legislators, and families throughout the state. In addition, her articles on various homeschooling topics have been published in Growing Without Schooling and Home Education Magazine. Co-Legacy Circle member Shay Seaborne says of Celeste, “Her dedication is unrivaled. As the Government Affairs Chair, Celeste had more insights into the legislative ‘sausage factory’ than most people could stomach, yet she kept her interest and enthusiasm high. Her warm demeanor and ability to speak to the heart, balance Celeste’s reasoned perspective and encyclopedic knowledge.”
Now that she has “retired,” Celeste enjoys reading, playing piano, studying tae kwon do with her family and volunteering as a Girl Scout leader.