New Faculty Join Eastern Mennonite School

August 24, 2020 / Andrea Wenger
New faculty and staff 2020
New faculty and staff 2020

Eight new employees joined the school this fall. They are:

Nick Gardner, band teacher. Mr. Gardner has a bachelor’s degree in music education with a specialty in oboe from James Madison University, where he played alto saxophone in the marching band. Nick will also become sound technician for auditorium use and may teach elective classes as there is student interest in percussion ensemble, pep band, keyboard music theory, swing dance.

Merridy Gnagey, teacher assistant/teacher in 4th grade as Bethany Gibbs teaches from home due to COVID restrictions. Ms. Gnagey earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, art, and peace and justice studies from Goshen College and a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Pennsylvania. She is also an EMS parent.

Mark Gornto, English 7 & 8 teacher and drama coordinator. Mr. Gornto earned a bachelors degree from LaSalle University and master’s degree from Villanova University. He has 18 years of teaching experience coming most recently from Moorestown Friends School outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He brings additional skills in film making. He is an EMS parent.

Leah Huyard ‘17, teacher-in-training with long-term teacher, Larry Martin, in 6th Grade. Huyard’s three years of college at Hesston College and Eastern Mennonite University focused on history studies. She has worked as an assistant with several EMS drama productions.

Gwen Lantz, library assistant to Julianne Ross so EMS library can be fully open all day. Ms. Lantz brings earned a master’s in library science and has volunteered in the EMS library in previous years. She is an EMS parent.

Thomas Mitch, science 7 & 8, anatomy & physiology, environmental science teacher. Mr. Mitch earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology (pre-medicine track) from Duke where he was a star soccer player, and is finishing up his master’s degree specializing in teaching middle school science. He comes with many years of soccer player and coach instructional experience as well. Mr. Mitch is married to Sarah DeBrun Mitch, who teaches middle school science, AP biology and is the school’s boarding student coordinator. They are EMS parents.

Karen Suderman: English for International Learners. Ms. Suderman has a bachelor’s degree in literature and master’s degree in library science. She has lived internationally extensively and is part-time director of the Intensive English Program at Eastern Mennonite University.

Michelle Weaver: teacher assistant in the Spanish classroom for Valeria Eshleman-Robles who will be teaching virtually. She has been a regular substitute teacher in the past and is parent to two EMS students and two alumni.

Eastern Mennonite School is a K-12 learning community with more than 350 students, with emphasis on experiential learning, the arts, and faith formation. Read about all of the 60+ faculty and staff member here. Read about the latest happenings on the news blog, including all the COVID-related news.

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