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Annunciation Catholic celebrating 75 years of education

Annunciation Catholic School, located at 511 Avenue C in Bogalusa, is celebrating 75 years of educating the youth of Washington Parish this year.

Nestled in the heart of Bogalusa, this school has grown and seen many changes over its 75-year history. What began as a small school in a wood frame structure is now a fully accredited pre-kindergarten through eighth grade educational facility.

Veda Matthews lovingly supervises the students and faculty as principal. Matthews has been leading the school for five years, but her association with Annunciation began many years ago. Her love for the school and her students is apparent and in part stems from the fact that she was once a student at Annunciation.

As a young career woman, Matthews taught kindergarten at ACS. When she heard about an opening in the Bogalusa public school system she prayerfully applied and was offered a position. Although Matthews enjoyed working at ACS, she needed to think about health insurance and state retirement possibilities.

Matthews said, “Father Hubert Bordenave was my pastor at the time and gave me his blessing to move on, with one request. Father Bordenave asked me to remember Annunciation when I retired from the public school system. I came back to my roots here at Annunciation to keep my promise to Father Bordenave. It is my way of giving back to a school and faith community that has given me so much.”

According to Matthews, “People walk into the school and are impressed with the sense of peace they feel. Prayer is an important part of our day here, and that has a huge impact on the school climate. When people start their day with God, it just makes for a calm, peaceful day.

“We are all God’s children and are a big, loving family here. The students respect one another and the staff, and we respect and love them. Although we celebrate Mass on Fridays and have religion classes as part of the curriculum, our faith family is diverse. We usually have about half Catholic and half Protestant students,” stated Matthews.

Students have many opportunities to learn and grow academically and spiritually at Annunciation. They learn the satisfaction of serving others by participation in a variety of service projects. Each month a new project is undertaken. Just a few of them are Saint Jude Mathathon, Relay for Life, Warm Hands, Warm Hearts and Pennies for Patients.

Cost can be a factor when considering a tuition-based school program, of course. ACS takes pride in offering an excellent education at the most affordable rate possible. This is because of many generous donors whose support is invaluable. The student body and parents work together with the community-at-large in fundraising efforts throughout the year. The latest fundraiser was a smoked chicken dinner, which netted more than $11,000. More than 2,000 dinners were sold.

Overall, Annunciation Catholic School is a place of opportunity for families who choose to invest in a Christian education alternative.