Ascension Fund awards $54,000 in grants to educators ?for the 2012-13 school year

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Thirty-three teachers and nine schools across Ascension Parish received back-to-school surprises in the form of grants to fund innovative teaching.  The Ascension Fund, a non-profit organization, awarded a total of $54,000 last week in its latest round of competitive grants.

“Grants through the Ascension Fund are offered on a competitive basis, with each entry focusing on fresh and new techniques for learning.  By rewarding good practice and ideas, the Ascension Fund adds to the classroom experience,” said The Ascension Fund Board of Directors President Buddy Wells.

A record number of 92 applications were received this year.  The successful 33 Teacher Grants and nine School Impact Grants are available to view at

“Ascension Schools are among the best in Louisiana.  A large part of our success is the support of the community and partners like The Ascension Fund that allow our educators to integrate cutting-edge techniques in the classroom,” said Ascension Parish Superintendent of Education Patrice Pujol. 

The Ascension Fund was established 21 years ago as a project of the Rotary Club of Gonzales.  Original pledges of $800,000 for the creation of The Ascension Fund were placed in an endowment, the income from which now funds the grants. The Fund provided its first grant in 1992, and since that time has given over 1,000 grants representing $1.2 million in awards to area public schools and teachers. The Ascension Fund is guided by a board of directors and the invested funds are overseen by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

Serving on the Board of Directors with Wells are Vice President Donald Songy, Secretary Lisa Philippe Dunigan, Treasurer Brad J. Walker, Robyn Penn Delaney, Sherrie Despino, Malcolm J. Dugas, Jr., Fritz Englade, Sr., Sonny Graugnard, Joell P. Hebert, Angela Lambert, Martin McConnell, Dr. Cherron Philippe, Paulette Rosamond, Beryl S. Smith, Donald Songy, Sam Speligene, Peggy Walker and Donna Whittington.

Fundraising activities throughout the year include the annual Ascension Idol.

Visit for information about fundraising activities, including the annual Ascension Idol, and next year’s grant process.