People gather around a table in the basement of Southview Grace Brethren Church
People gather in the basement of Southview Grace Brethren Church for an open house for Genesis Christian Academy on Aug. 15, 2023. The event was the academy's first open house for the public.

ASHLAND — Genesis Christian Academy put on its first open house for members of the Ashland community to check out the school’s offerings on Tuesday night. 

With help from the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, Katie Carr, the academy’s financial literacy teacher, planned the event.

“A lot of people in the community don’t know who we are yet,” Carr said. 

Carr connected with Genesis through her children, who went to high school there. She said her daughter attends Ashland University now, and her son also graduated from Genesis. Now Carr sticks around to help out with the academy.

Genesis Christian Academy offers a Christian high school option for families in Ashland County. The school has been around for eight years. 

It’s non-denominational and requires students to pay tuition to attend. The school is run out of Southview Grace Brethren Church, where it rents basement space to host classes. Many of its students come from homeschool backgrounds.

Tables displaying textbooks and syllabi for classes at Genesis Christian Academy stand in the basement of Southview Grace Brethren Church on Aug. 15, 2023.

About 30 people attended the community open house on Tuesday night, including representatives from the Ashland Chamber of Commerce and Ashland University. Members of Genesis Christian Academy’s board and PTO were also present. 

It boasted a table of treats and coffee for attendees. The classrooms were on display, and people had a chance to look at syllabi and textbooks that students would use in their classes this year. 

Rick Karnosh, the IT director for the Ashland Water Group, serves as Genesis Christian Academy’s board chair. He attended the open house on Tuesday.

He’s been involved with the academy since 2015. His son was in Genesis Christian Academy’s first graduating class in 2016. He said all three of his kids have since graduated from Genesis Christian Academy. 

“What the school has always struggled with is people knowing about us,” Karnosh said. 

This year, he said the school will be making an effort to change that. According to Karnosh, the academy will work to ramp up advertising this year. He said he’s been working on a new website for Genesis Christian Academy over the summer, which rolled out this week. 

He added the school will work on increasing its donor base this year. Karnosh said it’s doing that to keep tuition at an affordable rate for families. The school’s long-term goal is to open its own facility, Karnosh said. 

A second open house for students and their families happened Tuesday night, too. Students had a chance to pick up their class schedules, supplies and meet their teachers.

For current students and parents at Genesis, Karnosh said the biggest change this year will be a new software package. For the last eight years, the entire school has run on Quickbooks. 

This year, Karnosh said the academy established a cloud-based software system, one that allows the school to store data across several different computers and data centers. The switch means parents and students will have the ability to sign into classes and check grades from home.

For Carr, the most exciting part about returning to school is watching the students interact with each other. She said new students are quick to be accepted at Genesis. 

“The kids just don’t like to see anyone left out,” Carr said.

Genesis Christian Academy’s first day of school will be Aug. 24.

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Ashland Source's Report for America corps member. She covers education and workforce development, among other things, for Ashland Source. Thomas comes to Ashland Source from Montana, where she graduated...