Founding Families

Ferrell_family.jpg Robert and Lori Ann Ferrell Family

The Ferrell family has nine children ranging in age from 8-25 and has been homeschooling for 20 years. Education is their life!!!!! Their children all play a musical instrument, even Lori Ann (mom) has returned to taking piano lessons! They are involved with numerous activities outside the home ranging from drama to high school sports.

Lori Ann served an LDS mission to Peru and is fluent in Spanish. She obtained a BA from BYU and has continued to be a student ever since. She is a powerful and dynamic teacher and has taught a variety of classes including early-morning seminary and institute classes for the LDS Church, Spanish, Key of Liberty, TJYC and many others. She is an avid runner and has raced in half-marathons, triathlons and relays. Most of all, she loves being a mom and has committed her life to raising her children.

Robert is a Periodontist (dental surgeon) and has been practicing in South Ogden for 20 years. He received a BS in Psychology from BYU, a Doctorate from University of Louisville and a MS from University of Nebraska. His real love is speaking and he dreams of becoming an inspirational speaker when he grows up! He has served as a mentor in dentistry throughout the country and locally as a mentor for a large youth group, striving to help the rising generation reach their potential.

The Ferrell family created “The James Ferrell Foundation”, in honor of Robert’s father who passed away over 30 years ago. The foundation is built upon principles of providing international opportunities to serve, developing educational experiences for families and lifting families out of poverty in third- world countries by building local family businesses. The Ferrell’s have been blessed to serve in countries from the South Pacific to Africa.

Poll_family.jpg Dr. Val and Heather Poll Family

We are ecstatic about the creation of Ascend: A Mentored Education! After seriously evaluating the many intense needs of youth in today’s world we knew we must have mentors for our daughters with personal virtue and ones who have paid the price to achieve academic depth and breath. We did it! Mr. Eckersley and Mr. Smith are a perfect fit. Our dream at Ascend is to create a rich environment that nurtures youth and helps them to become the men and women the world needs them to be.

Home educating our 5 girls has been the focus of our last 19 years. We love studying principles of freedom and gaining a liberal arts education as a family. Our daughters enjoy the performing arts, four wheeling and are carefully preparing to become women who will rise up and take their place as wives, mothers, and stateswomen.

Heather graduated from USU in education with more questions than answers about how to teach. These questions led to a study of education far beyond what was offered in college. Seeking environments for herself and children that encourage leadership and true understanding of life changing principles has been a continual quest. She devotes a good portion of her time to different mom schools; her favorite is directing children’s operas and choirs. She regularly makes appearances on stage with her daughters in local theater and is inspiring her children (she hopes) to master an instrument as she is learning to play the harp. Her latest joy is speaking to women about their innate power in being feminine and rising to the sacred role of a wife.

Val is a Colorado State University graduate in veterinary medicine. He has been practicing for 26 years and has started 2 successful veterinary hospitals. He is also a management consultant for other animal clinics. His passion is directing a training program where he mentors 20 or more students each year in becoming veterinary technicians. He enjoys digging in the dirt growing all kinds of produce. His latest learning adventure is keeping bees. Time spent teaching scouts, 4-H youth and serving in professional groups brings him great satisfaction.