Lancaster Mennonite announced Tuesday that its high school and middle school principal transitioned into a new role as the private religious school’s first Black superintendent, effective last Friday.
Michael Badriaki, 42, who began as the middle and high school principal exactly one year ago in July, was named the school’s new superintendent. He replaces interim superintendent Elaine Moyer, who has filled in for former superintendent Pam Tieszen since Jan. 18.
“We believe that Dr. Badriaki will lead LM into the unified campus with wisdom, innovation and strength, and look forward to working with him in this role,” Lancaster Mennonite’s board Chair Kathy Beiler wrote in the statement.
Lancaster Mennonite sold its Lancaster Grove campus at 2257 Old Philadelphia Pike in East Lampeter Township for $6 million to restaurant supplier Clark Associates in December 2021. Its New Danville campus at 393 Long Lane in Pequea Township is listed for sale for $3.4 million. It will operate solely from its main campus at 2176 Lincoln Highway East in East Lampeter Township beginning in the 2022-23 school year.
As Lancaster Mennonite High School and Middle School principal, Badriaki has been involved in the process of planning for and implementing this consolidation. Lancaster Mennonite, the largest private school in Lancaster County, will use the sale of its campuses to pay down debt and reposition itself in the face of an enrollment decline dating to 2006, LNP | LancasterOnline previously reported.
The private religious school was founded as Locust Grove Mennonite School in 1939 and currently teaches 687 students.
Lancaster Mennoninte declined to release the number of candidates Badriaki was selected from or his salary.
“Dr. Badriaki stood out from a group of well-qualified candidates for his vision, wisdom, passion and proven leadership,” Beiler wrote in her statement.
With professional experience from business ventures to educational projects in Africa, Asia and South America, Badriaki’s “cultural background and American experiences make him a highly effective leader,” according to Beiler’s statement. He was born in Kenya and raised in Uganda, where he was inspired to work with children in an educational setting.
Badriaki earned a Doctorate of Ministry in Leadership and Global Perspectives from George Fox University in Portland, Oregon, and is currently studying to earn a PhD in Intercultural Education at Biola University in La Mirada, California.
“He is oriented toward the future and brings a strong strategic approach to his work,” Beiler wrote. “He has a deep faith in Christ that he lives out, and the foundation of Jesus’ loving kindness and mercy throughout the gospel he notes as foundational to his professional and personal life.”
Throughout his career, Badriaki has formulated educational programs in a variety of contexts – a strength he brought to Lancaster Mennonnite – wrote Beiler.
“I am enthusiastic about the Christ-centered education at LM, which propels Anabaptist values that transcend the temptations of hopelessness, division and polarization by restorative practices, reflection, healing, love, truth and hope,” Badriaki shared in the statement. “LM has positively impacted our community for decades, and LM’s Christ-centered mission is a beacon of hope for the present and the future. I am excited to continue to be a part of this work together in this new role.”
Badriaki lives in Lancaster with his wife Kristen and daughter Teniel, who are all active participants in a Mennonite congregation. Teniel, 10, attends Lancaster Mennonite. The family moved to Lancaster from Oregon in 2018.
He previously told an LNP | LancasterOnline reporter, “My wife Kristen and I see ourselves here for a very long time.”