State of the School: our people, our property, our pennies

March 4, 2024 / Christine Coddington
Sign at Night (1)

Our People

With over a century of learning behind us, Eastern Mennonite School (EMS) honors its founders, while looking forward. Today over 370 students attend K-12 and approximately half identify as Mennonite. EMS emphasizes Christian faith, requiring a Bible course each year and a senior presentation reflecting on spiritual, academic, and co-curricular experiences. Writing is a focus across all courses, and EMS offers advanced courses like AP, Dual-Enrollment, Honors, and Optional Honors. The school encourages a balanced course load and personalized education.

Families are drawn to the EMS experience, resulting in strong enrollment trends. There are still spots available for our upcoming family visit days on March 28 and April 4. While our elementary school is at full capacity, we have additional seats available in the middle and high schools as our class sizes increase.

77 Faculty and staff, 466 donors in our last fiscal year, and 4,309 active alumni all contribute actively to the EMS learning community.

2024/25 Employment Opportunities

Please point educators you know who might be interested in teaching at EMS to our website’s employment page. We are currently accepting applications for the following teaching positions:


Eastern Mennonite School (EMS) recently completed its 10-year accreditation renewal process, receiving commendation for its strong sense of community, professional culture, and commitment to individual student development. Accreditation Reflections

The vision of EMS is guided by four strategic pathways: Culture, Community, Curriculum, and Capital. To read more about this vision click here 

Our Property

Our elementary school is thriving and still longer for a space large enough for the whole elementary school community to gather. The Gathering Space, an indoor/outdoor learning facility, will fill the need for a “family room”. Thanks to the generosity of over 200 donors, we are ready to start construction in the coming months.  This new dedicated age-appropriate space for K-5 gatherings will enhance learning, foster connection, and support emotional and social well-being. The finishing campaign will help raise funds for tables, chairs, and audiovisual equipment; lunch serving equipment, and outdoor furniture. To learn more click here.

On the edge of campus, a section of the Northend Greenway is currently being constructed between Park Road and Virginia Avenue. This path will be frequently used to connect people in north Harrisonburg. From Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community to residential neighborhoods, Eastern Mennonite University, Eastern Mennonite School, downtown Harrisonburg, and more.

In February, Blauch Brothers installed a new chiller for climate conditioning. This update will help the building stay consistently cool. We thank them for their consistent support and expertise when it comes to heating and cooling.

The class of 2022 leaves a lasting legacy with their generous donation of an EV (electric vehicle) charger to the school. Newly installed and ready for use, the EV charger reflects their commitment to sustainability and innovation. Special thanks to Hugh Stoll,  a parent of a 2022 graduate. His knowledge of renewable energy helped the EV charger class gift come to fruition. To learn more click here.

Our Pennies

The income and expenses of EMS are carefully managed to ensure the school’s financial health and sustainability. A major source of income comes from tuition and fundraising. On the expense side, the school incurs costs related to personnel expenses. EMS  strives to steward our resources wisely to ensure that the school can continue to provide a high-quality education while maintaining financial stability.

A slowly, but steadily growing endowment provides about $200,000 annually in funds, primarily for financial aid. Annual contributions of about $600,000 include Christmas Fund Drive, the VDOE tax credit program, and other regular support. Community benefits include strong financial aid, scholarships, church support plans, and tuition credits for faculty and staff.  

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  1. Alma Coffman class of 1962 on March 8, 2024 at 9:17 am

    I am praying for you from Combermere, Ontario, Alma Coffman class of 1962

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