Meet the CELA Staff

Dr. Don Galster

Head of School

I am extremely pleased to introduce myself to you as the Head of School for the Christian Education Leadership Academy (CELA). I believe wholeheartedly in the mission of CELA and the three pillars that equally define and support its purpose. My values and identity as an educational leader are strongly aligned to the three pillars:  Academic Excellence, Christian Values, and Leadership Development. I am passionate about education and I also understand that education, as we know it, needs to change. I believe, unequivocally, that the transformation in how and what children learn can only be achieved under optimal conditions such as those found at CELA. Through working with the staff, students and families of CELA, I look forward to becoming part of the team that will transform education in the 21st Century!

As a professional educator, I bring a substantial breadth of experience and credentials to CELA. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree (BA) from Beloit College, a Master’s Degree (MA) in Education and Curriculum Development from DePaul University, a Specialist Degree (EdS) in Educational Leadership and School Administration from NOVA Southeastern University, and a Doctoral Degree (PhD) in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service from Cardinal Stritch University. I consider myself a life-long learner, always open to innovation and change.

My current certifications through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction include licensures as a Superintendent, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Principal, and Teacher (Social Sciences). My next area of study will be in gifted/talented student education.

I have 24 1/2 years in the field of education, working as a teacher, coach, associate principal, and principal, spanning my professional experience between Chicago, IL, Sarasota, FL, and the suburban Milwaukee region. Most recently, I had served as the Principal of Bayside Middle School for eight years in the Fox Point-Bayside School District on Milwaukee’s North Shore. Previous to that, I spent four years as Principal of Pilgrim Park Middle School in the Elmbrook School District. Both of these schools are among the highest performing schools in the state. I have also served as an associate principal at a 4K-8th grade school, a middle school, and a high school within the Sarasota County School District in Sarasota, Florida. Prior to that, I was a high school teacher in Chicago, Illinois, where my career in education began.

Interestingly, I was not always in the field of education. Before coming into education in my late 20’s, I worked in the business arena for a brief time at the Chicago Board of Trade and, before that, at a corporate video production company in Chicago. I also spent over a year out of the classroom working in the non-profit world in the area of community redevelopment with an organization called Careers for Youth, in collaboration with the Chicago Public Schools, AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, and the City of Chicago. Growing up, I worked summers in the family landscaping business where I learned the definition of hard work from my father!

Regarding my family life, I am the youngest of seven children, having three sisters and three brothers who now live around the globe. My mother lives is Sarasota, Florida, and my father passed away in 1994, but not before instilling in me his strong sense of integrity. I currently live in Brookfield with my wife of 18 years, Laura, and our three sons. We are active members of Brookfield Lutheran Church. We are excited for our children to experience the type of education that CELA will provide and proud to be a part of the school that will soon be known around the region, state and country as the premiere education for students in grades 4K-8.

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