Sarasota Christian School
5415 Bahia Vista St
Sarasota FL 34232
The mission of Sarasota Christian School is to equip students with a love for Christ, a passion to learn, the courage to lead, and a commitment to serve.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Ryan Lehman
Board Chair Nancy B. Yoder
Board Chair Affiliation Community Volunteer
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1984
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt 0
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of DeterminationView
Other Documents
School ProfileView
School BrochureView
Chapel Program HighlightsView
Graduate ProfileView
Impact Statement



  • Spiritual Life:  The daily chapel program in middle and high school was expanded, the integration of Biblical concepts into all subject areas was improved, and the Olweus bullying prevention program is practiced school-wide. Students are also given the opportunity to make their faith their own and through mentorship become spiritual leaders among their peers.
  • Bible Knowledge: In addition to daily prayer and devotion time, elementary students study scripture and have weekly verse memorization. At the culmination of their elementary school years students are able to recite Psalm 23, the Lord’s Prayer, the Beatitudes and the Armor of God. In middle school, students have in-depth study during their yearly Bible class.  High school students dig even deeper into the Word during their four semesters of Bible classes; Old and New Testaments, Faith in Practice, Church History and Conflict Resolution.
  • Service: The school is committed to teaching students the importance of giving to others as Christ taught us. The eight grade class had a three-day service trip in St. Augustine, the entire high school (140+ students) volunteered at 13 local non-profits during a community service day, and seniors will have completed 150 service hours each by graduation.


  • Accreditation: Accredited by: Florida Council of Independent Schools, Florida Kindergarten Council, AdvancED, and Mennonite Education Agency.
  • Programs: Partnered with Southeastern University to offer an Associate of Arts Degree in Business.  Increased Advanced College Education Dual Enrollment offerings; Learning Support Program; and English for Speakers of Other Languages Program to meet needs of diverse learners.
  • Enrichment: Our Odyssey of the Mind team of dedicated sophomores and juniors made its seventh appearance at World Finals.  Last year, after placing 1st at Regional Competition, placing 1st at State Competition, and winning a Ranatra Fusca Creativity Award, the team took home the 1st place trophy at World Finals, earning the title World Champions. Over 25 countries and 820 teams competed at World Finals. Sarasota Christian School has enjoyed a successful past with Odyssey of the Mind over its 12 year involvement with the program, sending 29 teams to State Competition and 18 teams to World Finals. The school has also graduated a team that placed consistently in the top 8 at World Finals in its last five World Final appearances. Science enrichment opportunities are provided for each 2nd-5th grade student through additional weekly hands-on wonder and discovery classes taught by a gifted specialist beyond the regular Science classroom studies. 

Technology & Facilities

  • Master Planning: We recently completed feasibility study for a building and facilities expansion campaign by working with consultants, the Board, administration and lead donors.
  • Technology: As a "bring your own device" school, all 6th-12th grade students are required to have a laptop with them daily allowing us to enhance our curriculum by utilizing digital textbooks, learning management systems, web-based and cloud-based applications, and global collaboration.


  • To collaborate with schools around the world, build relationships and enhance curriculum.
  • To increase endowment and campus master plan funds to prepare for the future of the school.
  • To increase enrollment and broaden the mission of the school.
Needs Statement

1) Tuition & Program Assistance

  • To provide need-based tuition assistance. Gifts start at $100; average student receives $2,300 per year.
  • To provide need-based financial assistance for students in Learning Support and/or ESOL programs. Cost: $1,960-$3,190/student.

2) Technology

  • To outfit two classrooms with live-stream distant-learning abilities. Cost: $15,000/classroom.
  • To purchase 40 new Chromebooks with two charging carts for dedicated use in upper elementary math and science classes. Cost: $11,270
  • To purchase 10 new Surface Pro 4 laptops for Faculty. Cost: $12,200

3) Professional Development/Support

  • To enable faculty to attend conferences and continuing education courses and offer more on-campus training. Cost: $25,000.

4) Curriculum

  • To purchase K - 5 classroom science kits - $7429
  • Music Curriculum - all levels. Cost: $6040 

5) Campus Master Plan

  • To replace portables with new high school building, Cost: $5 million
  • To meet athletic/performing arts needs and plan for future growth by building an additional gym, new athletic complex and auditorium. Cost: $4.9 million.
Background Statement

Sarasota Christian School was established in 1958 by a group of Mennonite parents who were interested in having their children educated in an educationally excellent, Anabaptist-Christian atmosphere. For 59 years, Sarasota Christian School has been providing an academically advanced, Biblically-integrated curriculum to its students who come from a variety of upbringings and backgrounds. The school has shown steady growth from its small beginning of 15 students on the first day to over 430 students representing more than 75 local churches today. The fully-accredited independent school provides Pre-K through 12th grade education on a 25-acre campus. 

Sarasota Christian School provides a positive environment in which students can grow and thrive. Students enjoy small class sizes and individual attention from accomplished and caring Christian faculty. Classroom concepts are linked from Pre-K through 12th grade through curriculum mapping, which exceeds Florida state standards. In addition to core subjects, Sarasota Christian School offers courses in the arts, business, technology and more.

Sarasota Christian School offers an accelerated college education program and an on-site dual enrollment program that gives high school students the opportunity to earn college credits. Sarasota Christian School students achieve ACT and SAT scores that are higher than state and national composite scores.

But Sarasota Christian School is about more than just academic excellence: the school is also focused on nurturing students’ spiritual and personal development. Students are invited to join in a variety of enrichment programs, FHSAA athletics, and performing arts. They receive daily Bible instruction through regular chapels, classroom devotionals, Bible classes, or small group meetings. The school participates in an annual giving project with school employees, students, and families; and high school students serve 150 volunteer hours before graduating—double the state standard.

Sarasota Christian School provides a safe environment where students receive outstanding, well-rounded academic instruction in a Christian environment and are encouraged to grow through broad educational experiences. Sarasota Christian School: experience the difference. 

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
FL- Manatee
FL- Charlotte
FL- DeSoto
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Education
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Religion- Related
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Sarasota Christian School was established 1958 by a group of parents interested in providing a quality education in a truly Christian atmosphere.  Today, that mission continues as SCS strives to honor God by developing academic abilities and broadening educational experiences while deepening Christian faith through partnership with the home, the church, and the community.  Sarasota Christian seeks to provide a Christian education for as many students as possible and is committed to keeping tuition affordable while maintaining a talented faculty and staff as well as quality facilities.  This is only possible with the support and encouragement of our local community and supporting churches.  Through our joint efforts, we hope to make our community a better place.
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

At Sarasota Christian School (SCS) we have an unwavering commitment to provide an exceptional, Christ-centered education for our students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.  Our biblically-integrated curriculum offers many advantages and opportunities which have been developed over Sarasota Christian School's rich 59 year history.  SCS is accredited through Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS), Florida Kindergarten Council (FKC), as well as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (AdvanedED), and Mennonite Education Agency (MEA).

Sarasota Christian School has been shaped and is being shaped by its mission to “honor God by developing academic abilities and broadening educational experiences while deepening Christian faith through partnership with the home, the church, and the community.”  Furthermore, each of the three schools reflects the six distinctive aspects of identity which states the school is to be Christ-centered, educationally excellent, provides faith enriching opportunities, takes place within a caring and supportive community, a community that emphasizes peace and service, and a place that is globally focused (academic and otherwise).  This commitment to a common mission and identity by the Sarasota Christian School community is a striking feature of the curriculum and evidence of both integration and continuity within the PreK-12 program.


The mission of Sarasota Christian School includes honoring God and deepening Christian faith through partnership with the home, the church and the community. Students of all levels are nurtured spiritually through things like daily devotionals in class, regular chapels, small group meetings, Bible courses, and more.

Through words and practice, students are taught that community service and mission outreach are an important aspect of one's faith. The school community participates in local and global service or giving projects annually, and individual classes may perform their own service projects. In 2012-13, Sarasota Christian School began a partnership with 13 school across the globe to increase students’ knowledge of world cultures and people groups.  Each grade provides financial support, integrates program countries into the curriculum, and builds relationships with program schools and students.

Budget $75,000
Category Religion, General/Other Christianity
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) K-12 (5-19 years) K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success
  • elementary students will recite Psalm 23 (K), the Lord’s Prayer (1st), and Beatitudes (2nd), Armor of God (5th)
  • middle school students will be able to recite from memory Matthew 5-7.
  • At least 25% of chapels will encourage students to think beyond themselves.
  • 17% of high school students will conduct community service activities above the required amount for graduation, with a goal of a 3% increase. (SCS's requirements are already double the state standard.)
  • High school students volunteered over 4100 community service hours last year.
  • High school students will participate in an annual retreat where many may begin or deepen a relationship with Christ.
  • High school students will participate in a day of service to give back to the Sarasota community.
  • SCS will participate in a school-wide local service or giving project each year.


Long Term Success

Sarasota Christian School has developed a graduate profile that, in part, defines how the school anticipates students may have developed spiritually as a result of their education.

It is expected that a graduate of SCS is a person who: 

  • is growing in relationship to Jesus Christ and a faith community
  • values and accepts the authority of Scripture
  • lives a life of discernment, spiritual growth, and the discovery and development of gifts by asking questions and seeking answers
  • through the practice of spiritual disciplines, the counsel of other Christians and the church has a faith centered in Jesus Christ as the final revelation of God
  • knows he/she is loved by God and shares this love with others by word and deed
  • cultivates a Christ-centered worldview
Program Success Monitoring The success of this program is monitored through regular reporting on initiatives as defined by the school's strategic plan.  Graduating seniors are also asked to complete a survey that coordinates with the school's graduate profile and are individually interviewed by the Superintendent. Each senior also presents a project highlighting their academic and spiritual growth.
Program Success Examples

High School Service Day

For the past three years, 140+ high school students participated in a day of community service.  SCS seniors planned a service morning for the entire high school to bless the Sarasota community.

Seniors researched local agencies that provide helpful services to Sarasota residents with needs.  Students select 10-12 agencies to serve and plan their on-site service.  They also teach in chapel after their visit concerning their holiday giving experience. 

Students have washed airplanes, sorted food donations, sang to nursing home residents, organized libraries and baby supplies, painted rooms, cleaned stables, raked leaves and washed windows for elderly residents, and much more.

The agencies have included:
All Faiths Food Bank
American Red Cross
Bethesda House Ministries
Calvary Chapel of Venice
Community Haven
Easter Seals
Everyday Blessings
Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranch
Save Our Seabirds
Southeastern Guide Dogs
Sunnyside Village Health and Rehabilitation Center
Wildlife Center of Venice


The mission of Sarasota Christian School includes developing academic abilities and broadening educational experiences.  SCS is committed to providing academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment to help students discover their full potential, ignite a lifelong passion for service and equip them to become spiritual leaders and transform the world.

Classroom concepts are connected from Pre-K through 12th grade through curriculum mapping, which exceeds Florida state standards. In addition to core subjects, SCS offers courses in the arts, business, technology and more. SCS also offers an accelerated college education program and an on-site dual enrollment program that gives high school students the opportunity to earn up to 27 college credits in small classes under the tutelage of qualified, caring faculty.
Budget $0
Category Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) K-12 (5-19 years) K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success
  • On average, elementary and middle school students score in the top third of the nationally-scored Stanford Achievement test.
  • SCS students achieve SAT scores that exceed local, state and national levels.
  • ACT college readiness results indicate that our high school students are more ready to successfully complete a freshman year at college than local, state and national students.
  • 100% college acceptance rate.
Long Term Success

Sarasota Christian School has developed a graduate profile that, in part, defines how the school anticipates students will develop academically as a result of their school experience.

It is expected that a graduate of SCS is a person who: 

  • infuses a Christ-centered faith into learning and understanding
  • has a love for learning and has developed skills that enable her/him to be a lifelong learner with the ability to solve problems, think critically, and to work collaboratively with others
  • exhibits competency in the basics, knowledge in the academic disciplines, the arts and workforce skills 
  • communicates effectively through speaking, writing and listening
  • incorporates technology appropriately and has the ability to access information
  • has the knowledge and skills for success in his/her personal life, management of money, relationships, and self-understanding
  • has a love for God’s creation
Program Success Monitoring

To ensure that the highest educational standards are maintained, the total program from Pre-K through 12th grade is regularly evaluated internally and by accrediting agencies. Last year, Sarasota Christian School was fully re-accredited by:

  1. Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS)
  2. Florida Kindergarten Council (FKC)
  3. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
  4. Mennonite Education Agency (MEA). 
Academic programs are also reviewed regularly against the school's strategic plan and by the school's administrative and guidance teams.  
Program Success Examples

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and world level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate.

This year the Regional Competition was held in March, and four of the school’s teams advanced to the State Competition in April. The 11th grade team earned first place in their problem and division at States, advancing them to the World Competition held in May, and putting these young students in a category with the best and brightest in the world.  At the World Competition the team finished in 4th place! This was the team's 7th appearance at Worlds. In each of the past three Odyssey seasons, the team has consistently ranked first in the State of Florida, won the coveted Ranatra Fusca Creativity Award, and placed as one of the top 4 teams in the world.

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Ryan Lehman
CEO Term Start Oct 2015
CEO/Executive Director Email
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Mr. Eugene Miller July 1996 - June 2009
Mr. Jeffrey A. Shank July 2009 - June 2015
Senior Staff
Christine Bradford Elementary/Middle School Principal
Pete Conner High School Principal
Dawn Graber Director of Academics
Larry Litwiller Director of Business Services
Amanda Stutzman Director of Advancement and Communications
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 67
Part Time Staff 8
Staff Retention Rate % 90
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 2
Volunteers 250
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
  • Sarasota Christian School is supported by four local Mennonite churches: Abundant Life Church, Bahia Vista Mennonite Church, Bay Shore Mennonite Church, and Bethel Mennonite Church. Representatives from these four churches make up the school's Board of Directors and Corporate Board.
  • Sarasota Christian School partners with Sunnyside Village, a neighboring non-profit senior citizen community and health center. SCS and Sunnyside Village representatives regularly visit each other for field trips, games, learning experiences, volunteer opportunities, and more. SCS looks forward to continuing to build this relationship in years to come.
  • Sarasota Christian School partners with local, national and international giving partners to help spread Christ's love throughout the world by supplying food for the hungry, water for the thirsty, clothes and supplies for the needy, etc. SCS also has a school-wide partnership with Mennonite Central Committee's Global Family program in which each grade sponsors an international community-based education program. 
Mennonite Schools Council (MSC)
National Honor Society
National Association of Independent Schools - Full Member
External Assessments and Accreditations
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS)
Florida Kindergarten Council (FKC)
Mennonite Education Agency (MEA)
Awards & Recognition
One World AwardSarasota Sister Cities Association2012
Best Private SchoolGulfcoast Family Living Magazine2013
Best Private School FinalistSRQ Magazine2014
Best Private SchoolGulfcoast Family Living Magazine2014
#1 Athletic Program in State - Class 2AFHSAA2014
Best Private SchoolGulfcoasts Family Living Magazine2015
Best Private School Runner UpSRQ Magazine2015
#1 Athletic Program in State - Class 2AFHSAA2015
Best Private School Runner UpSRQ Magazine2016
Best Private SchoolGulfcoasts Family Living Magazine2016
Best Private School Runner UpSRQ Magazine2016
#2 Athletic Program in State - Class 2AFHSAA2016
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government Yes
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan Yes
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Board Chair
Board Chair Nancy B. Yoder
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Term Nov 2016 to Oct 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mr. Darrin Campbell Campbell Cabinetry
Dr. Shirley Good Alliance Counseling Services
Mr. Mitch Helmuth Harry Robbins Realty
Mr. Gary Helmuth Greenway Lawn Service
Mr. Darrin Miller eCom Systems
Mr. Ryan Schrag Schrag Lawn Care, Inc.
Mr. Rich Shue Shue-Kauffman, Inc.
Mrs. Cheryl Sommers Community Volunteer
Mr. Vernon Sommers Alvin Sommers Masonry
Mrs. Julie Stutzman Nurse
Mrs. Andrea Wagler Wagler Construction
Mrs. Nancy Yoder Retired Teacher
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 7
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 10
Board Meeting Attendance % 90
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 50
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Campus Planning and Development
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month July
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2017
Tax Year End Month June
Tax Year End Day 30
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $3,986,968.00
Projected Expenses $3,834,977.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $751,774.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$81,965$90,265$170,530
Investment Income, Net of Losses($2,799)$4,069$93,735
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$234,700$283,797$191,281
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$2,626,348$2,595,207$2,485,675
Administration Expense$1,149,946$1,191,899$1,112,959
Fundraising Expense$58,683$51,720$60,539
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.041.071.06
Program Expense/Total Expenses68%68%68%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue19%14%17%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$4,372,481$4,375,785$4,070,514
Current Assets$1,208,244$1,203,660$877,514
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$775,648$930,943$885,129
Total Net Assets$3,596,833$3,444,842$3,185,385
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountTuition and Registration $3,329,444Tuition & Registration $3,408,411Tuition and Registration $3,160,605
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $236,700Fundraising $283,797Fundraising $191,281
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountStudent Activities $125,632Other $107,868Contributions, gifts, grants $170,530
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.561.290.99
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the financial statements.  Financial figures were taken from the financial reviews as the nonprofit is exempt from filing a Federal tax return.
Nonprofit Sarasota Christian School
Address 5415 Bahia Vista St
Sarasota, FL 34232
Phone 941 371-6481