Eastern Mennonite School will welcome 354 students this fall, up 11 students K-12 from the previous year with 94 students in K-5, 100 students in middle school and 160 in high school.
“We are thrilled with the high energy and growing diversity of our student body, faculty and staff,” says Paul Leaman, head of school. “Our vision is to be a school where every student thrives and belongs,” he continues. “We are working hard to fulfill that vision and welcome each person and the unique story they bring.”
This years’ students come from a wide range of communities with family addresses in Bergton, Bridgewater, Broadway, Churchville, Dayton, Edinburg, Elkton, Grottoes, Keezletown, Linville, Hinton, Harrisonburg, McGaheysville, Monroe, Mount Jackson, Mt. Crawford, Mt. Sidney, New Market, Penn Laird, Port Republic, Quicksburg, Rockingham, Singers Glen, Staunton, Timberville, Waynesboro, Weyers Cave and Woodstock.
Two out-of-state students are coming from Illinois and Michigan to live with local host families, while eight international high school students come from Nigeria, South Korea, China, and South Africa, also will live in local homes.
Faith traditions represented among students include Anglican, Buddhist, Catholic, Church of the Brethren, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Evangelical, Judaism, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Mennonite, Muslim, Nazarene, Seventh Day Adventist and United Methodist.
The 12 people joining EMS faculty and staff bring varied experiences as well. Pictured front row, left to right: Erin Williams (EMES art and K assistant), Claudia Fencer (HS science), Jen Stoltzfus (EMES office assistant), Erika Gascho (5th grade teacher), Laurie Loucks (academic lab, English for Internationals), Sarah Mitch (HS science and boarding coordinator). Back row, left to right: Kristi Sturm, Edith Emswiler, Deb Pardini, Devin Archie (dining hall team with Pardini as manager); Emily Moyer-Warren (reading assistant, 3rd grade assistant teacher). Not pictured, Valeria Eshleman-Robles (HS Spanish). Photo by Andrew Gascho.
Two are native Spanish speakers. One is a veterinarian, one is a dance choreographer, another a mixed media artist, and one played professional basketball in Croatia for a year.
“What a diverse community of learners we are,” concludes Leaman. “Celebrate with us!”