Learning for lives of purpose

Two Campuses. One Community.

From the first day of preschool until graduation, each Dock student is nurtured by a community that serves as an extension of family. Teachers are caring and supportive. Parents are thoughtful and involved. Peers inspire and encourage. At Dock you will find a true community of learners.

Early Childhood - Grade 8

Grades 9 - 12

Dock Newsroom

Students consider what it means to lead
  • EC - Grade 8 Campus News

On Thursday, October 4, 28 students from grades 2-8 participated in the Pioneers LEAD Student Summit.  They explored ways to LEAD with:

  • Love of learning
  • Engagement with community
  • Appreciation for God's creation, and
  • Dignity for self and others. 

The students had great ideas for making our school the best it can be. Mrs. Histand, Mrs. Messina, Mrs. Longacre, Ms. Price and Mr. Freed led the group in several activities exploring what it means to be a leader. Student input, including responses to the question, "What does it mean to be a leader?" (see below), will be shared with teachers, who will then add their ideas!

What does it mean to lead/be a leader?

  1. A leader is someone who inspires others to the next level.  They help other people.  Leaders tell people, "You can do it!" and help them believe in themselves.
  2. A good leader is a good person.
  3. A leader doesn't just lead, but also follows.
  4. A good leader is a wise leader.
  5. A good leader takes leadership because they want to, not because they are told to. 
  6. The best leaders set examples for other people on how to change the world in your own way.
  7. Even though "team" doesn't have a "we" it does have "me," and it starts with me doing some work to make teamwork so that there can be a "we." 
  8. Don't think about yourself. Get some help, even if you don't succeed the first time.
  9. Greatness is not perfection. It is truth and caring for yourself and for others.
  10. Leaders aren't perfect.  They work harder than we expect.  You can't be a leader until you try
  11. A good leader is someone who leads people in the right direction by convincing people to go that way.
  12. Leaders are nice and kind. They are not bosses, but if you are a leader you can lead without bossing people around. 
  13. A good leader leads by example.
  14. A leader is only a leader when they know how to serve.
  15. To be a good leader, you need to listen to your teammates.
  16. A leader is someone who knows the right thing to do.
  17. Some leaders start as followers.

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EC-8 students rediscover the power of play
  • All School News
  • EC - Grade 8 Campus News
  • Grades 9 - 12 Campus News

Dock students enjoy play—and now they can play with a new sense of purpose on our new elementary playground!

Students began using the new playground in late September after an installation process that took several weeks and was truly an all-school service project. The new equipment is part of a three-year plan to update both of the playgrounds at the EC-Grade 8 Campus.

"We believe that play is fun, but that it is also transformational—empowering children to learn as they become active physically and socially," said EC-Grade 8 Principal Mrs. Bronwyn Histand. "At Dock, we invest in play in our curriculum, our daily schedule, special activities, and in our facilities. Play helps students develop large muscle groups, hand-eye coordination, social-emotional skills, leadership traits, and so much more. Of course,  we also value the sheer pleasure of play!"

Installation of the new playground was a massive project that required volunteer help from both campuses as well as assistance from the larger Dock community. The vendor for the playground, Lyons Recreation, offered Dock a special discount for using a “Community Build” to assist with the installation process. Lyons provided leadership and special equipment to facilitate the installation, while Dock provided volunteers to help unpack, lift, and assemble the new components.

Another important piece of info for this project was the excavation of the old playground. Dave Landis, who works at Bergey's Automotive and is a member of Finland Mennonite Church, volunteered to excavate and dismantle the old playground. Dock then donated the old playground equipment to Finland, and the plan is for Landis to help them install it on their property.

"The Dock community truly helped make this playground a reality, and we are filled with gratitude for all of the volunteers that came out to help," said Mrs. Histand. "We're especially grateful for the 30 students from the Grades 9-12 Campus who volunteered as part of their Service Day last Friday to help us finish the project."

 

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PALs learn about Native Americans together
  • EC - Grade 8 Campus News

Students in Mrs. Bonita Ness's Kindergarten and Ms. Mary Slemmer's 3rd grade classes have been participating in a project-based learning experience since the beginning of the year, designed to help students learn about Native Americans. 

The group went for a walk on the EC-Grade 8 Campus nature trail to gather items to use in art class and help students imagine what it might have been like to be a Native American. Ms. Slemmer's 3rd grade students then asked driving questions about the Lenni Lenape Indians that lived in our area. They researched these questions and created projects to teach their Kindergarten PALs.

Mrs. Ness then came to Ms. Slemmer's class to help third graders understand what it is like to be a Kindergartner—and what they needed to know in order to "teach" their younger counterparts.

Kindergartners then came to the 3rd grade classroom to play games and to be "taught" by the 3rd graders, who shared what they had learned about the Lenni Lenape. Thanks to Mrs. Ness and Ms. Slemmer for collaborating on this project-based learning experience!

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Biology students learn about local ecosystems
  • Grades 9 - 12 Campus News

The Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy once again hosted Dock's 9th grade Biology classes this week for two amazing days of hands-on learning about the Perkiomen Creek ecosystem. Students performed measurements and analysis of stream flow rates, alkalinity, and other criteria to determine the health of this important local stream ecosystem. From what we could tell, the Perkiomen seems to be in good shape! Thanks to all the terrific volunteers from the PWC—they do a great job!

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Windows onto a Souderton century
  • Arts News
  • EC - Grade 8 Campus News

When Univest Bank & Trust Co. renovated their office building at 14 N. Main Street in Souderton recently, they saw a unique opportunity to help create artistic interpretations of the borough's past, present, and future. Univest decided to donate the building's original windows to the Souderton-Telford Historical Society, which in turn gave local artists an opportunity to re-create the windows as works of art that help tell the Souderton story.

Dan Yocum of the Souderton-Telford Historical Society is a Univest colleague of John Duerksen, a former Dock board member and current Dock parent—and that is how Dock came to be involved in this amazing project, which is sponsored by Univest and entitled, Windows of History: Souderton Past, Present and Future. Kimberly Stemler, a local artist and also a Dock parent, with two boys at the EC-Grade 8 campus, was chosen to convert a century-old window into art that would reflect the borough's past, present and future.

"Through these original windows, residents have watched Souderton develop ever since the building was constructed in 1893," says Yocum. "The Souderton-Telford Historical Society is proud to partner with Univest on this project to preserve a part of our town's history in a unique way."

Guidelines for the artists were kept fairly loose so that creativity would not be hindered. "We wanted these old windows to become artistic interpretations of Souderton's past, present, and future," Yocum says.

Kimberly Stemler and her husband Jonathan had recently finished a large glass installation at a local church and felt like glass would be a good medium to use for the window project as well. "Our installations are generally larger in scale, and much time is spent in the location where they will be displayed," she says. "More often than not, they're even assembled on site, which lends itself to an intimacy with the space. This project was on a smaller scale, and it didn't require us to spend days installing our work on site, so we didn't have an opportunity for that same attachment. What we gained instead, through our extensive research, was a newfound connection to both Souderton and to Dock's EC-Grade 8 Campus."         

The window created by Kimberly and Jonathan Stemler, as well as all the other Windows of History, will be on display during Souderton Art Jam, this Saturday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Souderton Community Park.

See more photos on our web site

 

About the Stemlers' window

The intent behind this piece of artwork was to create a layered map with a historical narrative of the Souderton -Telford area. Aside from exploring online during our research, we also visited the Mennonite Heritage Center and discovered multiple maps which represented the area both before, and after, any substantial development had begun in the region.

The first layer of the map is a two-dimensional plane based on an atlas from 1848, which was before the railroad was established. The geography of the land was broken up into family plots labeled with landowners' last names. The space is vast, awaiting growth and expansion.

The three-dimensional layers of glass feature growth and development from 1857 to the present. After reading Images of America's Souderton, we recognized that the railroad brought forth by Henry O. Souder is when Souderton truly began to develop and grow.  This important characteristic is defined by the negative space between the glass shapes where the tracks cut through town.

The map is also semi-topographical, which can be seen in the glass tiles and their relative positions to each other in space—especially in the areas near the Main St. hill, that iconic presence which defines Souderton. Finally, there are areas in red: Univest Bank, location of the original windows, and Dock Mennonite Academy's initial Penn View and current EC-Grade 8 campuses. It was Dock that invited us to participate in this project.

—   Kimberly and Jonathan Stemler

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Creativity flows as EC-8 celebrates Dot Day
  • Arts News
  • EC - Grade 8 Campus News

International Dot Day is an event staged to encourage people of all ages to harness their creativity. The inspiration behind the event is the children’s book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. It relates the tale of a teacher who challenges one of his female pupils to take courage in her abilities, and from a simple dot on a page the youngster goes on to make her mark. Dot Day has grown to be a worldwide celebration each year. Teachers encourage students to celebrate the day with writing, drawing, painting, or other creative outlets, and then share students' on the Dot Day website to inspire others. There was quite a bit of creativity flowing on the EC-Grade 8 campus as students of all ages got into the creative flow. Here are just a few examples:

• The Dot – students used Dot candies and toothpicks to create a structure
• Happy Dreamer – students made an origami fortune teller (kind of like the fortunes you find in a fortune cookie – based on being your best)
• Ish – students created a star and included a wish
• Sky Color – students created an elementary school mural, with each student contributing a part
• I’m Here – students decorated paper showing places they'd like to go, and then they turned it into a paper airplane.

See more Dot Day photos

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Frog jumping: The intersection of math and...literature?
  • EC - Grade 8 Campus News

If you know your Mark Twain, as Dock 6th graders do, you know that Calaveras County, California, is the setting for Twain's story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" Now, thanks to the innovative College Preparatory Mathematics curriculum, Twain's story is serving as a backdrop for Dock middle school students to learn mathematics.

"The CPM curriculum features math problems that try to connect to other areas of study," says middle school math teacher Mrs. Claire Wanamaker. Students recently tackled a math problem that incorporated the story of frog jumping in Calaveras County. "Instead of just using the data in the textbook, students had an opportunity to create their own set of data," adds Mrs. Wanamaker. 

Students began by learning the history of frog jumping in Calaveras County by watching a video and reading a short children's book. Then the big day arrived, when students brought in their own frogs and become "frog jockeys." Naturally, the frogs all had names, including Toadee, Frog, Drako, Travis, Larry and Big Joe. Each frog got to jump three times before a measurement was taken. Students learned that frogs don't always jump in a straight line, which could affect their frog's jumping distance. "Our record jump was 110 centimeters—or a little under four feet," reports Mrs. Wanamaker. The world record is over 17 feet. 

"The CPM book provides the students with data on frog jumping distances to teach them how to make histograms," she adds. "It was fun to connect math problems to their other core classes, especially English, since many students have read some of Twain's works."

In case you were wondering, Calaveras County hosts an annual fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee, featuring a frog-jumping contest, to celebrate the association with Twain. Each year's winner is commemorated with a brass plaque mounted on a downtown sidewalk known as the Frog Hop of Fame. Now you know!

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Dock honors Kindergarten aide
  • EC - Grade 8 Campus News

Mrs. Cathy Derstine was honored September 4 on the EC-Grade 8 Campus for her 20 years of service to the Dock community as a kindergarten classroom aide. She has also served as recess aide and playground supervisor. 

"Cathy has a genuine love and passion for every student," said Mrs. Jillian Immel, a Kindergarten teacher who has worked with Cathy for nearly a decade. "She is always there to help them with anything they might need, from walks to Mrs. Shelly's office, adjusting the volume at the listening center, to helping them open their yogurt tubes and carrot packets at lunch. Cathy is so full of energy! You might think that after a full morning of keeping busy with kindergartners that she is ready to take a break. Never! She can be found visiting at the Souderton Home, painting, mowing her lawn or Facetiming with her sweet grandchildren.

"As loving and energized as Cathy is, the easiest attribute for me to talk about is her strong Christian faith.  She lives this out every day in the way she interacts with students and colleagues. Her love for Jesus is shown in how she relies on him for everything and prays continuously. I always know when I have a prayer concern that Cathy is praying and remembering." 

Cathy was presented with a custom fraktur, designed and created by Dock alum Emily Smucker Beidler ('83). Congratulations, Cathy—and thank you for investing so much of yourself in our students!

Read more about Dock honors Kindergarten aide

Purpose Beyond Academics

On the field, court and stage—these are the places where memories are made. At Dock, the arts, athletics, and other co-curricular opportunities are an essential component of the learning experience.

Athletics

Play here. Excel here. Win here.

Theater

Follow your passion here.

The Arts

We celebrate creativity here!

Robotics

Learn technology here.

Music

Find your beat here.

Dock By The Numbers

88%

of students receive financial aid or discounts

Aid can include direct support from Dock or assistance from churches

95%

Percentage of graduates who attend college

Others take a gap year for service or enter the workforce

75%

Percentage of Faculty with Advanced Degrees

Dock strives to develop a life-long love of learning—and our faculty lead the way.

12:1

Faculty to Student Ratio

Class sizes offer opportunities for quality teacher-student interaction and individual attention

8

countries represented

A global perspective is a strength of the Dock experience

134

churches represented

Dock serves many other denominations; less than half of our students are Mennonite

99%

Percentage of students who participate in a co-curricular activity

From athletics to music to drama to robotics and more, students have rich opportunities beyond the classroom

33%

Percentage of students annually who take and pass at least one AP Exam

Our faculty encourage students to stretch themselves to reach their full potential

66%

Percentage of students participating in one or more sports

Student-athletes find excellent opportunities to participate in spor(s) they love, even as freshmen

102

Number of league championships claimed by Dock teams

The Bicentennial Athletic League provides strong competition from both public and private schools
We love our school! It has a Mennonite heart with solid, serious academics, beautiful families and children, and a superb high school.
Jenny Fujita, with daughters Pi'ikea (6th grade, right) and La'akea (10th grade)
My experience at Dock has been amazing. The opportunities provided here are great for helping you figure out what interests you most! I have participated in a wide range of activities—from ceramics to sports to student government. I am truly grateful for the ways Dock has allowed me to express who I am and discover my unique qualities.
Lindsey Bernd '18
When my daughter graduated from Dock she was totally prepared for college. The level of academics gave her a sense of achieving her goals, and her self-esteem soared. Homework was heavy, but if your child plans to go to college, he/she will be totally prepared. I found the teachers to be attentive to the students, and available to parents, even on short notice. We lived quite a distance from Dock, but with the level of academics and teacher-parent involvement, it was worth the commute and tuition.parent review on greatschools.org
We have two children at Dock's EC-Grade 8 campus. We have been very happy with our experience. The teachers are great! They care about the students, and the students can feel it; I believe this helps them succeed. Every child has a gift, and Dock allows that gift to grow; children are encouraged to find and nurture their gift. We feel blessed that our children can attend Dock Mennonite Academy.The O'Rourke's, EC-Grade 8 parents
I fell in love before I even stepped out of the car. I saw the wide open campus and thought it would be amazing to walk outside from class to class. The style of teaching is so different; hands-on and interactive, so students actually pay attention to what is being taught. I realized I could play soccer and create the art I was always interested in, and be completely devoted to both. I was sold—I made my decision to join the Dock Class of 2017.Mia Bevilacqua '17

"Teachers expressed genuine concern for each of our children through words and actions. They recognized the individual qualities, traits, and strengths of each child and focused on their spiritual, academic, social, and athletic qualities."

Jim and Suzanne Gunden, parents of Michael ('16), Erica ('18), and Gabriel ('22) 

"We give thanks to God for the friends, faculty, and experiences that have shaped each of our children. It is so rewarding to see what God has created in them. From establishing a Christian foundation in grade school, to encouraging and creating service opportunities, to living out their faith in high school, Dock has partnered with us as our children have matured over the past 16 years."

Howard and Bonnie Anderson, parents of Lauren ('14), Haley ('16), Brian ('18) and Jonathan ('20)

"One of the best decisions we’ve ever made was to send our girls to Dock. You provide kids with a holistic and individualized education and you help them to recognize their abilities and their limitless potential. Emma is a different person today than she was walking into that school in September. We are so grateful to all of her teachers.  Each one made an impact on her—that’s not an exaggeration."

Tim and Erica Celenza, parents of Emma ('22, bottom right) singing during the 8th Grade Celebration on June 7, 2018 

"Olivia is thriving at Dock. She knew she was home the first time she toured the campus. We appreciate the fact that it’s OK for our girls to speak about their faith, to ask questions about what they believe in. Our girls are growing spiritually and building a stronger relationship with God, and they see that we all have a role to play in changing our world. The teachers at Dock are sincerely interested in and care about our girls. What you all do is very important—it goes beyond textbooks. Olivia and Emma are happy."

Tim and Erica Celenza, parents of Olivia ('20, far left), performing in Dock's 2017 fall musical, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  

Purpose That Inspires

We believe that school should inspire students—and parents. Our faculty create a challenging but supportive environment that makes students want to learn, but also provide a meaningful faith context for learning. That's what learning for lives of purpose is all about.

Beyond Dock: Lives of Purpose

Investment in a Dock education begins yielding a return almost immediately, as graduates place a high value on their high school experience and discover they are exceptionally well-prepared for college. Yet the dividends continue to grow for a lifetime.

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Rachel Derstine '03

Henry Rosenberger '63

Angela Leidig '92

American University - Washington, DC
Berkeley - University of Califnoria
Boston College
Brown University
Cairn University
Carnegie Mellon University
Eastern University
Eastern Mennonite University - Serving, Leading, Transforming
Fashion Institute of New York
Franklin & Marshall College
Goshen College
LeHigh University
Messiah College
University of Michigan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
New York University
University of Oregon - College of Education
Parsons School of Design
University of Pennsylvania
Princeton University
Purdue University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Savannah School of Art and Design
Villanova University
University of Virginia