A History Of Excellence

Ascension Lutheran School exists to provide an education of excellence in a safe Christian environment.

Ascension Lutheran School was founded in August 1999.  The supporting congregation had an intimate knowledge of the long history of Christian education in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) which has operated strong educational ministries for more than 150 years. Today the WELS is the fourth-largest private school system in the USA. 

The love for full-time education had been around for years, and in 1995, Ascension voted to begin a preschool to serve the community and its own members.  The Lord blessed that ministry, and the congregation was encouraged to expand into a K-8 program.  In 1999, three teachers were called to serve as the start-up faculty. Serving Ascension as principal was Kurt Rosenbaum. The other two teachers were Shelley Hildenbrand, who left in 2001 to begin married life, and Jane Wade, who accepted a call in 2005 to teach in Wisconsin. The staff today, complementing Principal Daniel Brands, is Sandra O'Laire amd  Brooke Carbon.

In its short history, Ascension Lutheran School has won some notable recognition.  In 2001, 2005, and 2006 the students placed first in their division in a national math competition (Meet Math), and they placed second in 2008.  In 2002 the school’s representative to the National Geography Bee sponsored by National Geographic qualified for the state of Florida level of the competition (meaning a rank within the top 100 students in the state) and finished in the top third of those competing in the state contest; that feat was repeated and bettered in 2006 when our representative placed fourth in the state of Florida.  In 2004 and 2005, Ascension Lutheran was the championship quiz bowl team for the South Atlantic District.  Ascension has had numerous recipients of the President's Education Award and many qualifiers for participation in the Duke University Talent Identification Program.  Other individuals have won awards in spelling and math competitions through the years.

The hallmark of Ascension's program is its dedication to God's Word as the foundation of all we teach and experience and its small size.  Pupil-to-teacher ratios for instructional purposes are typically between 5:1 or 8:1.  

After intensive work and self-study, Ascension was granted National Accreditation Status through NCPSA (National Council for Private School Accreditation - www.ncpsa.org/) and WELSSA (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod School Accreditation - archive.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl) in 2007.  This accredited status reaffirms our commitment to excellence in academics and beyond.  It is the mark of excellence in education that today's parents are looking for.  We are happy to have such a quality education to offer the Sarasota community.

In November 2008, Ascension celebrated its tenth anniversary year with a grand day.  Dedicated teachers, committed families, and eager students have combined with God's grace to bring us to these very successful accomplishments.

In its first ten years of operation, Ascension has graduated a total of twenty-two students, all of whom have gone on to notable “careers” in high schools: some to area public high schools and some to Christian preparatory and/or high schools. Most have enrolled in honors, accelerated, or even IB (International Baccalaureate) programs at their individual high schools.