On Wednesday, October 9th, seventh grade students traveled to St. Julien Park in Broussard for our first annual 7th grade Leadership Retreat! Our time together started in prayer, scripture, and reflection led by Ms. Chelsie Guidry and Student Council Executive Officers, Ellie West & Josie Bourgeois. It was a beautiful day for a little fresh air and team-building. SMP Prefects joined us to talk about student leadership responsibilities and practice leadership skills in a few fun games and a super mega huge scavenger hunt! After a picnic lunch and free time, Ms. McDonald closed with a little boundary breaking before chaperones read a skit ending with the line, “SOMEBODY truly loves you.
While our website may provide a glimpse of what life is like at Ascension, the only way to truly experience the school is to see us in action. For that reason, we offer campus tours throughout the year, and we invite you to tour all three campuses to learn how each age-appropriate campus contributes to building educational excellence in a Christian environment.
Ascension Episcopal Blue Gators swimmer Ashley Gill continued her dominant showing this year during a meet last week. Gill, who is undefeated on the season, won both of her events — the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly — last week.
Ascension Episcopal understands what they've lost. It's no secret that Jillian Barczyk, a six-time Division IV state champion who is now swimming at the University of Georgia, meant a lot to the Lady Blue Gators' swimming program. And replacing her isn't going to be easy. "You don't get a Jillian very often," Lady Blue Gators swimming coach Colleen Barczyk said. "Jillian is a very talented athlete, so replacing her is going to be very challenging."
But the Lady Blue Gators, who are looking to repeat as the Division IV state champions, have several swimmers who appear up to the task of filling in for what the program lost with the graduation of Jillian Barczyk and others.
"Every year, we have some new swimmers who step up during the high school season and wow me," said Colleen Barczyk, whose Lady Blue Gators will participate in the swimming meet held at the Robichaux Center on Tuesday.
"I feel there is just a little pressure," Lady Blue Gators junior Lily Dore said. "We have some new girls who are still getting comfortable, but I feel that as we go further into the season, everyone will become more confident."
Two swimmers — Ashley Gill and Sophie Sierveld — are going to be counted on to help lead the Lady Blue Gators this season. Gill, a highly recruited junior, was the Division IV state champion in both the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke in 2018. Sierveld, a junior, was the state runner-up in both the 100 breaststroke and 50 freestyle last year.
"Ashley and Sophie are both two great swimmers," Colleen Barczyk said. "Ashley loves to race. She's not an overthinker. I believe she is going to go very far in swimming, because she has the bug.
"Sophie, is a versatile swimmer," Colleen Barczyk continued. "She is a workhorse and someone we can put anywhere. Whatever we need Ashley or Sophie to swim, they are more than willing to do it."
Ten Lafayette Parish high school seniors earned the distinction as semifinalists this year for the National Merit Scholarship, joining about 16,000 announced by program officials Wednesday. Ascension Senior, William Brien was named as one of the 10 semifinalist. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. Congrats to William on this outstanding achievement!
An injury to the starting quarterback usually leads to a long night for the team, but it did not take away the fight for Catholic-Pointe Coupee in its battle against Ascension Episcopal.
Instead, it led to the same kind of battle synonymous with the two teams during their series over the last five years. But in the end, Ascension Episcopal junior quarterback Cole Simon nailed a 38-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Anthony Quebedeaux to stop the Hornets 34-28 Friday at Blue Gator Stadium.
Ascension Episcopal's junior swimmer Jack Aldridge had a great performance at the LHSCA All Star Meet held at Lutcher High School last weekend. Alrdidge, who was representing the West, finished first in the 200 freestyle, second in the 100 butterfly and a member of the first-place 200-medley and 400-freestyle relay teams.
"I'm happy with my results, but I feel like I could have done better," Aldridge said. "There is always room for improvement. Overall, it was an honor to compete in the first ever East versus West All-Star meet."
A new chapter has begun for the Ascension Episcopal Lady Blue Gators volleyball team this season.
That's because their successful era with star outside hitter Addie Vidrine has finally come to an end. Vidrine had been a starter since she was in middle school and led the Lady Blue Gators to several deep playoff runs, including multiple state title appearances.
Just because Vidrine graduated, however, doesn't mean the Lady Blue Gators' run of playoff success will come to an end. The one thing they're still searching for is a state title, and coach Jill Braun is confident in the new group of girls.
"I'm looking forward to this new chapter in volleyball," Braun said. "We've had the same core group of girls playing for pretty much four years that just graduated this past year, so this a fresh start with a new group, and we get to form our own identity. I think they're determined to earn their way and earn their spotlight finally."
Ascension Episcopal head coach Matt Desormeaux doesn't believe his team met its goals in 2018.
A 9-3 record was met with a second round playoff loss in a 'close but no cigar' kind of year.
"Our team goals are the every year are the same thing. Perfect at home, win district, and win a state championship," he said. "You know, that's what we prepare for, and that's what we work to strive to get to."
2019 is a new opportunity and AES has some new faces hoping to make an impact. Desormeaux has focused this spring on filling the void left by all-district running back Jhalen Brown. He's also looked at finding more weapons for quarterback Cole Simon. AES features 12 seniors and it's those players expected to make the impact.
Ascension Blue Gators safeties Andrew Stolzenthaler and Jaime Cordova have more in common than their position on the football field.
In fact, Stolzenthaler and Cordova were brave to even be on the field last season, as they both suffered shoulder injuries right when the season began.
Stolzenthaler suffered a torn labrum in Week 1, and Cordova had a separated AC joint right before the start of the season. Instead of taking the year off, however, the Blue Gators' dynamic safety duo decided to tough it out and finished their junior seasons strong.
Blue Gators' head coach Matt Desormeaux was impressed with how his star safeties were able to play through the injuries last season and still perform at a high level.
Along with TOPS achievements & athletic dollars awarded, this exceptional class has earned a total of $5,639,616 in additional scholarship opportunities...translating to an average of nearly $85,450 per senior!
With great pride and excitement, we are pleased to announce that Ascension senior Ella Sheets has been named a 2019 recipient of the Stamps Scholarship, LSU's top scholarship opportunity for select incoming students of the Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College.
Penelope W. and E. Roe Stamps IV began the scholarship program in 2006 to afford exceptional students an extraordinary higher education experience. The Stamps Family Charitable Foundation gives to over 40 colleges and universities, and LSU Stamps Scholars join approximately 730 other Stamps Scholars from various schools. All LSU Stamps Scholars receive the full cost of attendance for four years, with a maximum of $14,000 for enrichment experiences such as study abroad programs or research opportunities. Congratulations to Ella and her parents Andy and Christy Sheets for this very prestigious award!
SAIS President, Kirk Walker, joined Ascension Board Members, Administrators, Interim Head of School Pat Taylor, and Incoming Head of School Jeff Plunk for a strategic planning workshop during a weekend in April. With meetings on Friday and Saturday, this group participated in thoughtful discussion and dialogue about the future of Ascension. Thank you to these hard working volunteers and staff members for their time and dedication to our school.
Middle School students were recently invited by Mayor-President, Joel Robideaux, to participate in an exciting project opportunity to help showcase our city to the greater community. Tasked with making a "Downtown Lafayette Box City" for a cultural showcase after the Robideaux Report on March 14th, our Blue Gators eagerly accepted the challenge!
Our students’ impressive transformations of cardboard boxes into buildings such as the Lafayette Science Museum, Courthouse, Acadiana Center for the Arts, Dat Dawg, Rock N Bowl, and other notable landmarks were used to create a Downtown skyline entryway for the event at the Frem Boustany Convention Center at The Heymann Center.
Ascension Sophomore Ashtyn Raxsdale recently took 7th place in the American Journal of French Studies inaugural poetry competition. Out of 200 contestants, only the top 10 were honored during an award ceremony at the French House at LSU. Monsier Arnaud Leclercq, her SMP French teacher, was recognized alongside of her. Congrats Ashtyn on your accomplishments!
Congratulations to our 2019 LHSAA Division IV Girls STATE CHAMPIONS! Along with the team title, Alyse Cormier won Girls Singles, and Sophia Boatright & Emmie Gage clinched the Girls Doubles championship!
We are incredibly proud of our Blue Gators and coaches for their hard work & dedication. Way to go!
Congratulations to Bennett Boyd Anderson, III, Class of ‘15, on his acceptance to the University of Oxford in Oxford, England! Beginning in September 2019, he will pursue a Master of Studies in Creative Writing - a two-year, cross-genre program with creative and critical components. Throughout the first year, Bennett will experiment with prose, poetry, playwriting, and narrative non-fiction; in the second year, he plans to specialize in prose with emphasis on the novel. Currently, he studies management, marketing, and French at Tulane University, and eagerly anticipates exploring a wholly new subject at Oxford. We are so proud of you, Bennett!!
Several hundred Ascension Episcopal School students gathered in the Sugar Mill Pond campus’ gymnasium Tuesday to celebrate as two seniors committed to premier collegiate performing arts programs. Seniors Catherine Anderson and Ben Tyrrell committed to Texas Christian University and the University of Arizona, respectively. Anderson will be joining the university’s vocal performance program and Tyrrell will be joining the university’s musical theater and acting program.
A big congratulations to our Upper School choir for achieving sweepstakes at the LMEA Regional Choir Festival at UL on Monday, March 26, 2019. This dynamic group of students received straight superior ratings from all judges, both for their stage performance and sight reading performance. We are incredibly proud of the vocal talents and hard work of our students! Bravo!
Congratulations to the Rev’d Palmer Bourne Kennedy who was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests by the Rt. Rev’d Greg Brewer, Bishop of Central Florida on Monday, March 18, 2019. Rev'd Kennedy currently serves as our Sugar Mill Pond Campus Chaplin and Theology teacher. Our Sugar Mill Pond students were able to join our church family in the services and celebration, a very special day for our church and school family.
Our 2019 "Fore the Gators" Athletic Booster Club Golf Tournament was a great success, raising approximately $29,000 for the benefit of Ascension’s Middle and Upper School athletic programs! We truly appreciate the hard work and dedication of our Booster Club and Naomi Maraist, Tournament Chair, for volunteering countless hours making preparations and orchestrating the fantastic event!
Students from all three campuses got into the Mardi Gras spirit yet again this year at Ascension. Our preschool Mardi Gras Parade tradition continued as our decked out youngest Blue Gators rolled through the parking lot of our River Ranch Campus, throwing beads and other festive trinkets to parade goers from wagons pulled by students from the Sugar Mill Pond Campus. This sweet, long-standing tradition is a favorite among many of our Blue Gator Families. Meanwhile on the Downtown Campus, thanks to Madame Gerard and her 6th & 7th grade French students, our students were ready to dance, catch, and celebrate as the traditional French Mardi Gras celebrations paraded through the halls, classrooms, office, and gym. We had a wonderful week of embracing and celebrating our cultural heritage. Allons au Mardi Gras!!
For over 20 years, Ascension Episcopal School and The Episcopal Church of the Ascension have been active contributors to the Reaching the Pygmies Ministry, dedicated to the service of the displaced Batwa Pygmies of Uganda by helping with housing, medical care, and children’s education. From this ministry, the Epiphany School was established to help educate the Batwa Pygmy people, the indigenous tribe that has been displaced by their Ugandan government into the Bwindi rain forest. In 1999, The Church of the Epiphany in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania established a resettlement program for the Pygmy people and built the Epiphany School, which currently accommodates approximately 225 students and 14 faculty and staff members.
Over the past several years, funds raised by Ascension during Lenten fundraisers have been used to build a library, kitchen, classroom space, and a freshwater system on the school's campus. Each year, 80% of Epiphany’s annual school budget has been made possible due to donation raised by Ascension families. In 2018, our community raised approximately $20,000 for The Epiphany School, as well as sent 30 iPads for officials to take back to the school in Uganda.
Please join us during the 2019 Lenten season to help raise money for our sister school in Uganda!
Earlier this year, several SMP students were selected to participate in the Louisiana Music Educators Association District III Honor Choir. As such, Ela Acevedo, Catherine Anderson, Emily Brown, Emery Doga, and Steven Loupus performed at Angelle Hall under the direction of Dr. Meg Frazier of Loyola University New Orleans. In addition, Emily Brown was named to the LMEA All-State Choir and achieved Academic All-State honors! Congratulations, Blue Gators!
In a spirit of celebrating our classmates and friends, the Innovation Lab on our River Ranch Campus initiated a Collaborative Art Project and made beautiful heart displays during the month of February. These friendship hearts have lined the campus halls reminding us to be grateful for our friends. Thank you Ms. Barry and Ms. Womack for spearheading this project for our youngest Blue Gators.
The results are in...our Blue Gator community has once again made an impact through their generous donations to the Miles Perret Cancer Services Change for Miles program. Our school raised $6,821.11! Thank you to everyone who contributed to help this local organization fight cancer in our community. We continue to honor the life and legacy of our former lower school student, Miles Perret, as we support this worthy organization.
Hats off to our Lower School Visual Arts Teacher, Tina Frederick, who was recently named as a presenter for the prestigious InSEA World Congress Art convention this summer in Vancouver. The InSEA World Congress offers art educators an opportunity to theorize and practice aspects of "making" in art education. Making is concerned with a sense of material and immaterial approaches, global movements of ideas, anticipated changes and perceptual shifts. Tina's presentation will focus on "Making, and a Sense of Place" how visiting the prehistoric caves in Lascaux, France, influenced her own personal art methods and classroom teaching.
A huge congratulations to Ascension's Middle School Media Teacher and Student Council Advisor, Heather Gros, for earning Louisiana Association of Student Council's Junior High Advisor of the Year award this month at their convention. Heather has been our Student Council advisor since 2015 and is such an asset to our Ascension Family! Way to go Heather!
Two Ascension athletes were awarded All-State honors in Baton Rouge at the LVCA All-State Banquet! Ascension Seniors Hannah Mattke and Addie Vidrine were honored along with the best volleyball players in the state, and Addie was named Player of the Year. Congratulations to Coach Jill Schwartz Braun, Hannah and Addie, and all of the All-State honorees celebrated!
Thanks to the enormous efforts of our Fine Arts Alliance and several individual donors, Ascension has made significant improvements to the sound and lighting equipment in the Downtown Activity Center.
With our new Crestron ® system, we now have individual control of each set of speakers in the bleachers, front of the house, and on stage. Our new digital snake allows us to run one Cat-5 cable from the wall into our soundboard, giving us complete control of the sound rack on stage. We are now also able to control sound remotely from an iPad, allowing us to make adjustments as needed from anywhere in the room. We added new antennas on the stage to extend the range capability of our microphones; this minimizes our susceptibility to interference, which alleviates the issue of sound ducking.
Our lighting system for Downtown performances has also undergone a complete overhaul. We now have twenty-four LED lights installed on stage and six front lights mounted beneath the track. We also have a new console that gives us wireless control over the system. This upgrade has nearly a dozen pre-designed lighting effects and limitless color capabilities, and will allow us to program and customize the lighting design for our shows completely.
Many thanks to our Fine Arts Alliance President, Michelle Franques, and the generosity of the following donors: Brenda and Larry Curtis, Michelle and Leonard Franques, Leslie Jacobs, Jacy and Mike LeBlanc, Stacy Ste. Marie, Carol Ann and Jim Piccione, and Tiffany and Chris Taulbee.
Our Middle School Blue Gators were inspired this semester by the influence of STEM and the role that art plays in our the world. Gaining insight from a recent professional development conference, Ascension’s Middle School art teacher, Danielle Bacque, has chosen to focus on creative problem solving, STEM, and community projects for this school year. The wave pendulum project was a collaboration with math teacher, Mrs. Daly, media teacher, Ms. Gros. Middle School media students are assisting with documenting, filming, and editing the film you see here, which demonstrate the early steps of the project. In the spring semester, the art and media classes will be calculating the final calibrations and will film with black lights in the media lab, and still have some final calibrations to make before final filming in black light to music. When asked about the project, Ms. Bacque says, “I wanted our students to experience the real world of engineering, successes, AND failures through teamwork and creative problem solving this year in art classes. I am excited about how this project is turning out.”
Ascension Episcopal School joined the nation in celebrating Computer Science Week in the largest learning event in history: The Hour of Code! This global movement shows kids that computer science is fun, creative and accessible at all ages, for all students, regardless of background. Students across all three campuses participated in online or off-line activities to learn commands and tasks needed for computers, apps, and websites to function.
River Ranch students paired up to "code" each other around a track and used coding fundamentals in their Makerspace. On the downtown campus, the middle school coding club planned a variety of student-led stations for 1st-7th graders. These stations included programmed robots moving through obstacle courses, a Breakout EDU escape game, and an Hour of Code dance party. Upper school students explored a Technology Expo, led by senior Ian Carlisle, with presentations on building a computer, Ethical Hacking, Robotics, and coding their own games!
We hope that students will go beyond one hour- to learn for a whole day or a whole week or longer! Visit www.code.org for more information!
Our Sugar Mill Pond Theatre Program proudly announces they will be performing Freaky Friday, The Musical at the Acadiana Center for the Arts on October 25 through 27, 2018. When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again. Freaky Friday, a new musical based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and the hit Disney films, is a heartfelt, comedic, and unexpectedly emotional update on an American classic.
Ascension Episcopal School is proud to announce the opening of our Innovation Lab at the Preschool. Led by veteran River Ranch teachers, Allyson Womack and Leigh Barry, the Innovation Lab will function as a dedicated learning space for students to engage, explore, and exercise their creativity.
The senior class of 2018 has been offered a collective $5 million dollars in college scholarships. This dynamic class is the epitome of balanced excellence! While also excelling in academics, 56% of this class has participated in Fine Arts and 83% in athletics during their time at Ascension. Way to Go Gators! We wish you the best of luck as you venture on to your next adventure. Thank you to our Senior Parents who have made the commitment of Educational Excellence in a Christian Environment for their children.
Recently, the Rev. Charles and Alice Busingye from Epiphany School in Uganda visited Ascension Episcopal School in Lafayette to express their gratitude for the school's years of support. Ascension Episcopal students and staff presented a $20,000 check to the Busingyes for the Epiphany School, as well as 30 iPads for officials to take back to the campus in Uganda.
Through a partnership with local surgeons, Dr. Uyen Chu and Dr. Jim Garcelon, Ascension Episcopal School Upper School students will be allowed a unique, hands-on experience with the da Vinci Robot and learn the most up to date surgical techniques. Dr. Chu and Dr. Garcelon are surgeons with Lourdes Physician Group in Lafayette. The da Vinci Robot is a product of Intuitive Surgical.
Ascension's Blake Pearson admits to being confused. Standing at second base, his Ascension Episcopal teammates sprinted toward him to begin celebrating. Friday’s home game against Catholic-New Iberia was, suddenly and dramatically, over.
Congratulations to the following Senior athletes who are moving on to complete in collegiate athletics:
Eli Mouton - University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Basketball; Christian Deville - Saint Anselm College, Football; Kenny Odinet -Texas A&M, Track & Field
Hearing the phrase “fourth-year starter” in high school sports, one could assume that it is being used in reference to a senior. But at smaller schools like Ascension Episcopal, some talented athletes become starters on the varsity teams as soon as the seventh or eighth grade. Sean Michael Brady is among the latter of the two, a junior pitcher and infielder for the Blue Gators who is more than midway through his fourth year as a starter.
Wendy Rodrigue speaks at Ascension Episcopal School about the life and legacy of her late husband and famous Louisiana painter, George Rodrigue.
During the fall of 2017, Ascension Episcopal School established a partnership with the Coalition for Grieving Students. Through the Coalition, the school received a grant from New York Life Insurance Company that has been used to develop the first-ever Coordinated School Wellness Initiative (CSWI). The purpose of the Coordinated School Wellness Initiative is to improve the scope and quality of holistic wellness programs for Ascension students, families, and employees.
Sydney Smith is Ascension Episcopal Soccer's leading scorer and a starter on the Blue Gators basketball team. It's not uncommon for her to play both games in both sports on the same night. The role of an athlete, however, is just one of the many things that make up Sydney Smith's life. She's also a business owner, creating jewelry for the company she started last year --The Tangled Jewel.
Can’t get to school because of weather? It may not be an issue for students at Ascension Episcopal School for long. During the recent weather related school closures, students on the Ascension Episcopal School Sugar Mill Pond campus participated in a pilot version of a Virtual School Day.
Congratulations to the following Sugar Mill Pond students who have achieved the designation of Academic All-State for the fall of 2017. To be a recipient of this honor, the student must be a senior, must have participated in the sport at least two years in high school and must have a 4.0 (all A’s) for their first three years in high school. The honorees are Olivia Brown, Swimming, Connor Landry, Swimming, Greer Leleux, Cross Country, Christian Deville, Football, Leo Franques, Football and Jack Leoni, Football. Congrats to these Blue Gator athletes on a job well done! By living out balanced excellence, they make our whole school community proud!
Our PTO has put in countless hours for our 2017 Auction, Louisiana Saturday Night. Check out the awesome video they put together to celebrate our unique school community.
Our welcome video gives an introduction to who we are, a glimpse of our halls filled with the leaders, developers, and creators of tomorrow fueled with enthusiasm and a thirst for innovation. Our students are tailoring their future though our emphasis on 21st century learning.