Jeffrey A. Shank, currently superintendent at Sarasota Christian School in Sarasota, Florida, has been named the new director of alumni and parent relations and annual giving at Eastern Mennonite University. (Courtesy photo)

Veteran Mennonite educator Jeffrey Shank is named the new director of alumni and parent relations and annual giving

Jeffrey A. Shank ‘94 has been announced as the new director of alumni and parent relations and annual giving at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU). Shank brings a wealth of fundraising and administrative experience to the position. Currently superintendent of Sarasota Christian School in Sarasota, Florida, Shank previously served as executive director of development/alumni relations at Lancaster Mennonite School (LMS) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He will start July 1.

Shank replaces outgoing director Doug Nyce `86, who after 11 years with EMU, will become resident services manager for Park Village at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community.

“We are very pleased that Jeff Shank is joining our advancement team,” said Kirk Shisler, vice president of advancement. “He brings significant experience and vision for engaging our students, alumni and parents in ways that will energize them as advocates and supporters of EMU’s mission and vision.”

Shank, who has served on the EMU Board of Trustees, looks forward to contributing to the EMU community in a different way.

Jeffrey A. Shank
Jeffrey A. Shank

“As an alumnus of the school, I have always valued my education, the professors, friendships, and experiences I had at the university,” he said. “It will be a joyful experience to relate to other alumni and parents who appreciate EMU as well, and I hope to enhance the alumni and parent experience in ways that keep everyone connected.”

Shank’s extensive experience contributes to his readiness to fill what is essentially a new position in EMU’s advancement division focused on enhancing the advocacy and annual giving of alumni and parents.

Since 2009, Shank has been superintendent of Sarasota Christian School, a pre-K-12 academy, where he oversees a $3.6 million budget, approximately 60 employees, and 420 students. Under his leadership, the school earned several awards, including “Family Living” magazine’s Best Private School award; Florida High School Athletic Association’s Floyd E. Lay award for the top 2A program in Florida; and the Sister Cities One World Award for development of global partnerships.

Prior to that, Shank served in a variety of positions at LMS in an association that spanned 14 years and several promotions. He began his career at LMS as a special education teacher from 1995 to 1999, then worked the next four years with Baltimore County schools, and returned to LMS in 2002 to take an administrative position as the K-12 special education coordinator.

Over the next seven years at LMS, Shank was also a development associate and alumni relations director and internal coordinator for accreditation, before serving one year as assistant principal of the Locust Grove Campus and finally becoming executive director of development/alumni relations.

During that time, he also earned an MA in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in leadership from Penn State University. In 2014, he was elected to the executive committee of the Mennonite Schools Council.

Shank and his wife Julie Litwiller Shank ’95 have three children: Ryan, 12, Tyler, 9, and Emilee, 5.