Ascension Fund awards $50,500 in grants to educators 
for the 2015-16 School Year

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
From left: Ascension Fund Board Member Sherrie Despino, East Ascension High Principal Traci McCorkle, Grant Recipient Eric Brownfield, Grant Recipient Nicole Mlynczak, Ascension Fund Grant Sponsor Martha Wells and Ascension Fund Board Member Buddy Wells.

The Ascension Fund Board, sponsors and volunteers managed to surprise teachers at 20 schools across Ascension Parish with the news that they have received grant funds to support innovative and creative methods of learning for our students. The Ascension Fund, a non-profit organization, awarded a total of $50,500 in its latest round of competitive grants.

A total of 41 Grants were awarded this year including eight School Impact Grants for $2,500 each and 33 Teacher Grants ranging between $500 and $1,000“Here in Ascension, we get to count our blessings. We have wonderful, talented teachers who are willing to go the extra mile to enrich the learning experience for their students, and we have local businesses and individuals who appreciate the value of our children’s education and are willing to invest in them,” said Michael Buturla, Ascension Fund Vice President.

The Ascension Fund was established in 1991 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 1,100 grants representing $1.3 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 are President Donald Songy, Vice President Michael Buturla, Secretary Lisa Philippe Dunigan, Treasurer Brad J. Walker, Leana Chatman, Sherrie Despino, Sally Diez, Malcolm J. Dugas, Jr., Fritz Englade, Sr., Sonny Graugnard, Amy Hathorn-Lambert, Martin McConnell, Dr. Cherron Philippe, Timothy E. Pujol, Paulette Rosamond, Glenda Shaheen, Beryl S. Smith, Peggy Walker and Buddy Wells.

Please join us in congratulating our 2015-2016 Grant Winners and thanking our Grant Sponsors:

APPle Digital Academy:

Sherice Palmer received $1,000 from the Randy J. Braud Memorial Endowment.

Central Primary:

Erica Kraemer received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the AllStar Ford/Lincoln Endowment.

Noelle Graham received a $2,500 School Impact Grant from the AllStar Ford/Lincoln Endowment.

Donaldsonville High:

Marc Ward received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Ascension Idol 2015 Fundraiser.

Donaldsonville Primary:

Vanessa Bartlett received a $500 Teacher Grant from the Honeywell, Inc. Endowment.

Sara Ward received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the CF Industries Endowment.

Duplessis Primary:

Kristi Hebert received a $1,000 from the Neese Industries, Inc. Endowment.

Dutchtown Middle:

Jolie Rousell received a $500 Teacher Grant from the Turner Industries Endowment and a $2,500 School Impact Grant from the Rubicon Endowment

Dutchtown Primary:

Andy Kling received a $2,500 School Impact Grant from the Air Product Endowment.

East Ascension High:

Eric Brownfield received a $2,500 School Impact Grant from the Roy Stern Memorial Endowment.

Nicole Mlynczak received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Buddy & Martha Wells Endowment.

G. W. Carver Primary:

Kara Erickson received a $500 Teacher Grant from the Play Dirty 2015 Fundraiser.

Sheena Prelow received a $2,500 School Impact Grant from the Philippe Family Endowment in memory of Raymond Philippe, Sr., A. S. “Blue” Philippe & David “Wolfie” Philippe.

Tracey Templet received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Chester, J. & Penny Diez Endowment in memory of Chester, Sr. and Mildred Diez.

Kaylynn Henry Deslatte received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Bill & Pauline Buxton Memorial Endowment.

Louisa Palmer received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Claude & Carolyn Endowment.

Galvez Middle:

Cathy Town received a $1,000 Teacher Grant and a $2,500 School Impact Grant from the BASF Endowment.

Gonzales Middle:

Carla Duplechin received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Viola Philippe Endowment in memory of Ed & Virginia Braud, Jr.

Gonzales Primary:

Anne Bergeron received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Rotary Club of Gonzales Endowment in memory of its deceased members.

Ashley White received a $500 Teacher Grant from the Have a Steak in Education 2015 Fundraiser.

Lakeside Primary:

Jennifer Guttery received a $2,500 School Impact Grant from the Shell Companies Louisiana Endowment.

LeBlanc Special Services:

Shannon Fields received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Ascension Health & Nutrition Alliance.

Oak Grove Primary:

Shannon Rodi received a $500 Teacher Grant from the Capital One Endowment.

Sorrento Primary:

Lauren LaCour received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Terra Mississippi Nitrogen, Inc. Endowment.

Spanish Lake Primary:

Britt Colon received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the InfiniEDGE Software Endowment.

Glynis Kimball received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Shell Companies Louisiana Endowment.

Katye Secrist received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Rotary Club of East Ascension Endowment in memory of Sgt. Jay Ryan Gauthreaux.

St. Amant High:

Mia Edwards received a $2,500 School Impact Grant from the EATELCORP Endowment in memory of Mrs. Anona C. Banker.

Mark Lambert received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Southwest Computer Bureau Endowment.

Laney Gautreau received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation Endowment.

Melissa McCormick received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Oxy Chemical Corp. Endowment

Elizabeth Wallace received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Ascension Idol 2015 Fundraiser.

Karen Murphy received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Regions Bank Endowment.

Holly Eubanks received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Whitney Bank Endowment.

Nicole Tanner received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the St. Elizabeth Hospital Endowment.

Tara Jones received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Williams-Olefin Endowment.

St. Amant Middle:

Misty Lyngaas received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Art & Ruth Scanlan Memorial Endowment.

Kelly Smith received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Vulcan Materials Endowment.

St. Amant Primary:

Jessica Paz received a $1,000 Teacher Grant from the Lion Copolymer Endowment.

For more information about our grant program or to make a donation to The Ascension Fund visit www.ascensionfund.com or call 225.290.3322.