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Sophomore pursues excellence despite busyness

20160509-fc-celeste-002 | The Feather Online

May’s featured student is Celeste Counts, nominated by English teacher, Andrea Donaghe.

Every month The Feather highlights one individual from the student body who demonstrates exemplary character and or admirable dedication to classes or extracurricular activities. Teachers choose those who display the before mentioned characteristics in the classroom setting. The objective of the following article is to honor the effort of students to live by Caleb Code Standards: Seek truth, speak life, serve others.

May’s Featured Student is Celeste Counts, nominated by English teacher, Andrea Donaghe. Donaghe says Counts pursues excellence regardless of her busy schedule and takes the time to help others in the classroom.

“Celeste is a joy to have in class,” Donaghe said. “Despite a busy schedule she strives for excellence and to make those around her know Christ’s love. She is always willing to help others, explain details and listen to others. Celeste is a student I look forward to teaching and seeing each day.”

Counts enrolled at FC as a 7th grader after attending Oraze Elementary School. Today she partakes in sports, music and stands as an active member of the student body. Counts began choir in the sixth grade and now makes up one of the 15 members of FC’s Bellezza Ensemble. This soprano singer also used to take piano lessons from her mother, who teaches the instrument. For all the hard work that Counts puts in, she feels joy when the Bellezza girls receive awards and recognition for their work.

In addition to ensemble, Counts has partaken in softball and volleyball. She enjoys the fast pace style of volleyball and the sense of pressure behind each swing in the softball diamond.

“I love softball because when you get up to the plate it’s kind of like what you do in that moment it’s all on you,” Counts said. “You have to make the decision and whatever you do kind of determines the rest of the game. Volleyball on the other hand is just a fun fast paced game that always keeps you on your toes.”

Count’s spends much of her time at Foundation Baptist Church. Her Father, Russ Counts is the pastor and her mother Angie, the Worship Leader.  Celeste leads worship alongside her mother as well as helps out in the church’s toddler class. Count’s also attends Youth Group on Wednesday nights.

“Celeste is a joy to have in class despite a busy schedule she strives for excellence and to make those around her know Christ’s love. She is always willing to help others, explain details and listen to others. Celeste is a student I look forward to teaching and seeing each day.” –Andrea Donaghe

For the many years that Counts has been involved with her church she has strengthened her faith.

“I accepted Jesus in my heart when I was 7, growing up in church has helped me have a firm foundation in my faith,” Counts said.  “Whenever I had a question about heaven or God, I knew I could always go to my parents. My church is pretty much my second home with my Dad being a pastor but I don’t mind at all.  People sometimes have high expectations for my sister and I because we’re pastors kids but one thing I’ve learned is that you have to have confidence in yourself to be able to put aside the negative and just be thankful that God made you the way you are. At the end of the day it may be exhausting to have a dad who’s a pastor but I think I’m very lucky to be able to experience that.”

Both Counts and her sister were adopted from birth. The process of her adoption occurred while her birth mother was still pregnant with her. Unlike many adoption cases, the Counts family stayed in contact with their daughter’s biological family. When Angie Counts was diagnosed with cancer when Celeste was two years old, she wanted her daughter to meet her biological mother.

Since then Angie Counts defeated her cancer and the two families continue to keep in contact.

“I actually still do have a relationship with her (Count’s biological mother) which is kind of cool,” Counts said. “I’m going to go see her over the summer and my two half brothers. The first time I met her was when I was six and my adoptive mom had cancer. She wanted to see me meet her because we thought she would pass away. She’s fine now, she overcame that but we kept up the relationship which was really cool. I see them about twice a year.”

Counts says her advice to anyone who deals with struggles of any kind would be to turn to the Word of God and to trust Him above all else.

20150509-celestecounts-001 | The Feather Online

Celeste Counts, lower center, sings along with the Bellezza women’s choir.

“I would say look to your friends and family to lift you up and pray for you and read your Bible more,” Counts said. “When you pray it’s like having an actual conversation with Him. Ignoring Him won’t help you or your relationship with Him. Trust Him and He’ll give you guidance! Plus He only gave you this challenge because he knew you could handle it.”

In the future Counts plans to pursue a profession in nursing or sports medicine. She says this profession suits her personality and desire to serve and care for others.

Friend, Erin Wilson,’18 says Counts posses a humorous spirit and always shows loyalty in her relationships.

“Celeste is amazing, she is hilarious and caring and just a beautiful person,” Wilson said. “She is an amazing friend. She always manages to make me laugh and cheer me up. We always have a great time whenever we are together.”

Angie Counts describes Celeste as an often quiet but caring person. She says she and her husband hope Celeste continues to follow Christ with a steadfast spirit and pursue the path God sets before her.

“Celeste loves to be a behind the scenes person,” Counts said. “She definitely doesn’t like the limelight. She can come across a little unapproachable, but has a sweet and caring spirit once she opens up. We want Celeste to always be in God’s will.  We want His best for her!  We want to see her go to a Christian University, honor God with the profession that He calls her into, and hopefully find a guy who loves Jesus and will honor and love her.  Celeste is a very special person, and her Dad and I believe that she has an amazing path ahead and that she will become an amazing woman of God.  We hope to see her get out of her comfort zone (that “box”) and really go for it!”

For last month’s Featured Student read Javier Carrillo shares interest in cars, strong work ethic.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @skylerklee and via Email: Skyler Lee.

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