Ascension Christian High dedicated

Aaron E. Looney
lead contractor Robert Wolfe, left, and Matt Miller with Miller Masonry place a commemorative cornerstone during the official dedication ceremony for Ascension Christian High School Wednesday.

Ascension Parish’s newest high school, Ascension Christian High School, officially held a dedication ceremony for its new campus Wednesday night.

The Gonzales school, which had been located on the campus of Faith Academy since first opening last year, offers “a quality education wrapped in Christian values,” Principal Mark Pellegrin said.

“This is an awesome place,” Pellegrin said during Wednesday’s dedication ceremony outside the school building. “If you’re looking for a place to belong, this is a place where we’re going to get you involved, families working together and children knowing who they are in God.”

Ascension Christian High School is a state-approved high school and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It also accommodates the 17.5 units of the TOPS Core Curriculum courses. In addition, the school offers electives and some courses that offer dual enrollment options with four-year colleges and local community and technical colleges.

Using the block schedule format, the school offers students the opportunity to acquire up to 8 total credits per school year by taking four courses in the fall semester and four courses in the spring semester, Pellegrin said.

The school currently has an enrollment of 62 students, up from only 17 last year, Pellegrin said. He added that he plans for the school to house up to 350 students in the near future and that the school is committed to maintaining small classes and a low student-to-faculty ratio.

Household of Faith Church purchased the former East Ascension Academy property off Germany Road in 2003 with the intention of opening a Christian high school, Pellegrin said. The campus, which was built in the late 1970s, included 15 classrooms, a football field, baseball and softball fields, a gymnasium and acres of open land for future development. Construction and renovation began in 2006.

“God has done a miracle with this place,” said Pellegrin, who also thanked the school’s faculty, numerous government agencies and members of the public for their assistance in bringing the school to fruition.

The school features numerous classrooms including a broadcast media classroom, state-of-the-art technology, dining area and athletic facilities. The foyer area between the gynmasium and classrooms currently houses pieces of artwork by local artist Terry Farrell.

The school will also expand its athletic programs next year, Pellegrin said. Already featuring volleyball, boys and girls basketball, tennis and golf, the school will add football, baseball and softball next year and will compete in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association as a Class A school.

“We’re hoping that we’re placed in the district with Ascension Catholic,” said Pellegrin, referring to the Donaldsonville private school that currently competes in Class A athletics in the LHSAA.

Pellegrin said the idea for the schools came from Ed Bledsoe, former pastor of Faith Tabernacle, which became Household of Faith Church. While serving as pastor in the 1970s, Bledsoe also opened Faith Academy.

“He opened Faith Academy with a vision of this being a reality some day,” Pellegrin said of Bledsoe.

Bledsoe said that while the school did not start with large numbers, he feels the quality education it offers will bring more students in the future.

“I always dreamed of something like this,” he said. “I’m so thankful today to dedicate this campus and see children come up all the way from kindergarten and graduate from this place and know that Christ was a part of their education. We belive this school will continue to grow and be blessed.”

Bledsoe’s son Scott, current pastor of Household of Faith Church, asserted that the school was not opened to compete with parish public schools.

“We didn’t get into education because we thought our public schools were bad,” he said. “I believe Donald Songy and the Ascension Parish School Board does a great job. They helped us to get organized and implement some things here to start our school. We really feld that God was leading us in a direction to touch a child’s heart as well as their mind.”

Bledsoe also said that built into the walls of the school is the first Bible his father used in starting Faith Tabernacle.

“That is an important book not just because it is the word of God, but it has special meaning to me, my family and this church,” he said. “It’s a part of us, and now it is a part of this school.”

For more information on the school, call 622-2800.

Ascension Christian High School Principal Mark Pellegrin speaks to those in attendance outside the school. The campus, which is an extension of Household of Faith Church, opened in August. The school had been temporarily housed at the Faith Academy campus.