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

Dock senior is an eyewitness to history
  • Grades 9 - 12 Campus News

Back in January, Dock senior Josh Farmer was shadowing an uncle in New York City for his Senior Experience. On a tour of the offices, he noticed a framed photo of his uncle with Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy, a book Josh had read in English class.

“Before I had a chance to register what was happening, I was being invited to go to Montgomery, AL, for the grand opening of the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice,” Farmer says. Just like that, Farmer and two guests—he selected two of his English teachers, Mrs. Charlene Rauch and Mrs. Gretchen McTavish—were on their way to witness history.

The Equal Justice Initiative was founded by Stevenson in 1989 to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment, challenge racial and economic injustice, and protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. The Legacy Museum commemorates the victims of lynchings and other forms of violence after the Civil War during the Reconstruction era to the 1950s.

“It was an extremely sobering experience,” says Farmer. “It would be a complete understatement to say that I had a life-changing experience on this trip.” A highlight for him was meeting Bryan Stevenson and having him sign Josh’s copy of the book.

Josh’s teachers were impressed, too. “Meeting Bryan Stevenson was delightful,” says Mrs. McTavish. “He appeared gracious, friendly, and humble, and was glad to hear that Dock was requiring seniors to read his book. Hearing him speak twice was even more inspiring. Stevenson has worked with death row inmates for 30 years, and his passion to assist those who the justice system and segments of society have largely turned their backs on is remarkable and contagious. One of the most important take-aways for me was that the work of the Equal Justice Initiative is based on faith in God, hope in redemption, and love for all.”

“This was a stunning opportunity, and an event I will never forget,” adds Mrs. Rauch. “Last year we decided to have all our seniors read Just Mercy. They found it fascinating, and we did too. We knew he was behind the Memorial and the museum, but we had no idea that one of our students would make it possible for us to attend the two-day grand opening.” Being interviewed by a local Montgomery TV news crew was just the icing on the cake (see video, below).

In addition to meeting historic figures like Rep. John Lewis, Al Gore, and many others, the opening also included concerts featuring stars such as Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews, Patti LaBelle, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and other artists.

“Bryan’s hope with this museum is to acknowledge the wrongs of the past so they are not repeated in the future,” Farmer says. “It is hard to believe that a summer reading assignment in English class would lead to such an awe-inspiring opportunity.”

Watch Dock representatives interviewed on local TV

More photos

 

About the Legacy Museum

Located on the site of a former warehouse where black people were enslaved in Montgomery, Alabama, this narrative museum uses interactive media, sculpture, videography and exhibits to immerse visitors in the sights and sounds of the domestic slave trade, racial terrorism, the Jim Crow South, and the world’s largest prison system. Compelling visuals and data-rich exhibits provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity to investigate America's history of racial injustice and its legacy — to draw dynamic connections across generations of Americans impacted by the tragic history of racial inequality. Learn more at

 

About the Equal Justice Initiative

Founded in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, EJI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. EJI challenges the death penalty and excessive punishment and provides re-entry assistance to formerly incarcerated people.

EJI is committed to changing the narrative about race in America by producing groundbreaking reports and short films that explore our nation’s history of racial injustice. It recently launched an ambitious national effort to create new spaces, markers, and memorials that address the legacy of slavery, lynching, and racial segregation.

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Pizza and (College) Prep
  • Grades 9 - 12 Campus News

On Tuesday, May 22, Dock’s chapter of the National Honor Society hosted its annual “Pizza and Prep” panel during activity period. Students got to hear from several Dock seniors and alumni about their triumphs and challenges in the college application experience, and their freshmen year, and also learned more about gap year options. Following the presentation, there was a lively Q&A session where students were able to talk one-on-one with the panelists and ask follow-up questions.

Panelists included Liz Wanamaker (’16), Dylan Derstine (17), Alana Bergey (’17), Livia Anderson (’18), and Chris Keach (’18).

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8th graders visit DC
  • EC - Grade 8 Campus News

In early May, the 8th grade made their annual trek to Washington DC. All the students and chaperones arrived on time by 6:30 a.m. We began our day with a group prayer and quickly got on our way. As we rode down to DC, the students got to watch the DVDs of their 2nd and 4th grade musicals. It was fun to watch the students react to what they looked like back then and sing along with the songs. 

We switched up the trip this year and started our adventure at the National Museum of the Native American, complete with an authentic meal. The buffalo was delicious! Next, we made our way to the Newseum. Here we got to see many interesting exhibits related to the daily news past and present. The Time photos were incredible to view. Our afternoon included a walk around the National Monuments. The Lincoln Memorial was a favorite for many of the students. After a long day, we enjoyed a baseball game at National’s Park complete with a free bag giveaway. We arrived at our hotel a little after 11 p.m., making it a very long 18-hour day for many.

After a good night’s sleep and a solid breakfast, the students were up and ready to go by 8 a.m.  We spent our second day at Mount Vernon, including a tour of George Washington’s home. We arrived safely back in Pennsylvania around 5 p.m. It was a fast two days, but an educational and exciting trip for everyone.

More photos

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Senior Presentation schedule posted
  • Grades 9 - 12 Campus News

In addition to the Commencement ceremony itself, the Senior Presentation is a signature event marking the transition from high school to the next season of life for Dock students. As part of the Communications class curriculum, every graduating senior at Dock gives a 20-minute oral presentation at the end of the year in which they reflect on their high school years and the ways they have grown academically, socially, and spiritually.

This year, those presentations will be held on June 4, 5, and 6. Family and friends are invited to support our students with your attendance.

View and download the Senior Presentation schedule

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Teacher helps SOLVE education challenges
  • Grades 9 - 12 Campus News

On May 17-18, Grades 9-12 math teacher Mrs. Gail Anderson attended the annual Solve conference at her alma mater, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. "I have been involved with MIT Solve since its kickoff event in 2015, and this was the inspiration for the research I conducted in online refugee education during my 2017 sabbatical," says Mrs. Anderson.  

The conference theme this year was "Healthy Planet, Healthy People." The mission of MIT Solve is to identify the best solutions to specific, actionable challenges through open innovation, and to build and convene a community of leaders and changemakers committed to partnering together to pilot and implement these solutions. "It's a very exciting group of people to work with," Mrs. Anderson says, "from directors of the World Bank, to executives of tech companies such as iRobot and Hewlett Packard, to leaders of UNICEF and Save the Children, to an engineer from Lichtenstein and a high school math teacher from Lansdale."

This year, the education focus question was, "How can disadvantaged youth learn the skills they need to prepare them for the workforce of the future and thrive in the 21st century?" The new topic for the 2018 challenge is, "How can teachers and educators provide accessible, personalized, and creative learning experiences for all?"

"These are both areas in which Dock has an interest," she says. "Discussions around topics such as '21st Century Skills' and 'Digital Literacy' both confirmed what we as a faculty have been talking about, and inspired me with fresh ideas and insights."

The highlight of the conference, she adds, was a plenary session by Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada. He spoke about working together to solve problems, encouraging us to embrace the rapid change in which we find ourselves, and helping to shape the change, rather than hide from it. "One thing I encourage students in my classes to do is to ask each other questions such as, 'What do you think?'" she says. "Mr. Trudeau has intentionally built a diverse cabinet for his government because he believes that 'having someone with a different perspective and different back-story working alongside you to try to solve [problems] allows you to see around those corners a little quicker and to come up with solutions.' This is just the skill we in the math department encourage our students to develop within the context of mathematics!"

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Learning to engage students globally
  • Grades 9 - 12 Campus News

Four social studies teachers, Mr. Jeff Hackman, Mr. Zach Bower, Mr. Preston Bush and Mr. Ron Hertzler, sojourned to the University of Pennsylvania Museum for a day-long seminar entitled, Engaging Students in International Issues: The Choices Approach.  We were welcomed by Ellen Owens, Director of Learning Programs at Penn Museum and Dr. Anna Viden, Program Coordinator of the Middle East Center. They explained their program at Penn and dangled the enticing proposition that we would be able to explore the museum on our own at some point in the day.

Sarah McDowell, Master Teacher from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and Teaching Fellow in the Choices program led our workshop for the bulk of the morning. Our task was to learn pedagogical techniques that maximize student learning in the Choices program. Dock juniors are required to take a course called, Choices for Global Citizens, which uses this curriculum.  Ms. McDowell led us through an abbreviated lesson in the Middle East unit in the Choices curriculum. Being a student in this process allows us to build empathy as teachers for the students in our classrooms. We also toured a museum exhibit entitled, Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq. This was a high-impact moment, as the exhibit combined the ancient cultures and artifacts from early history which are being destroyed in the civil war which rages across these countries. In addition to cultural artifacts being destroyed, the lives of countless people are also disrupted, and sometimes lost. T-shirts with a name and date on them were reminders of human losses. 

Ms. McDowell led us through another unit in the afternoon, entitled Confronting Genocide: Never Again. Finally, we were given free rein to roam through the expansive University of Pennsylvania museum. One can imagine how it looked to others—four social studies teachers reading all the material in the displays as we examined their exquisite collection of fabulous artifacts! We found a Clovis point, a stelae from the Mayan culture and an incredible display of Egyptian history!

Read a recent story in The Reporter about improvements at the Penn Museum

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A busy spring for Dock faculty
  • All School News
  • EC - Grade 8 Campus News
  • Grades 9 - 12 Campus News

Faculty at Dock Mennonite Academy strive to inspire students to become life-long learners. One of the best ways they can do that is to model life-long learning themselves. Many of our faculty members have invested themselves in a variety of professional development activities this spring. Here are just a few examples:

  • On April 28, seven Dock Mennonite Academy teachers traveled to Chatham, NJ, for a full day "Nerd Camp" focused on literacy for grades K-12. The "Nerd Camp" consisted of over 50 workshop options for teachers to attend with sessions featuring authors discussing their books, writing seminars, library resources and student engagement strategies. Several keynote speakers addressed the attendees including Penny Kittle, author of Book Love and 180 Days, which are being used as mentor texts at the high school for redesigning the English curriculum. An additional powerful keynote speaker was Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis, a first grade teacher who survived the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in December of 2012. Faculty attending included (pictured above, l to r) Mrs. Joan Grega, Mrs. Kathy Moyer, Mrs. Joy Thomas, Mrs. Kelly Kratz, Mrs. Kipp GlassMrs. Kaci Hunsberger and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Sharon Fransen.

 

  • High school English and Learning Support instructors, along with Dock's Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, shared eight Friday lunches in recent months to discuss literacy expert Penny Kittle's text, Book Love. The book focuses on the concept that many students have lost the joy of reading, in part due to English instructional material mandated by schools and states. Many of the curriculums do not foster interest in reading for 21st century students. Mrs. Kittle advocates for student personal choice in selecting literature and writing opportunities. By incorporating student choice of what they read, we as educators can increase reading fluency, speed, stamina and depth of content. A blend of teacher guided novels and materials are also inserted into instruction as well as inviting strategies to get students excited about reading and writing. The Lunch Book Club attendees included Mrs. Gretchen McTavish, Mrs. Kathy Moyer, Mrs. Rebecca Nagy, Mrs. Joan Grega and Dr. Sharon Fransen.

 

  • In April, Mrs. Joan Grega and Mrs. Rebecca Nagy attended a full day Intermediate Unit conference entitled Writing with the "Write Guy," by nationally known literacy author, Jeff Anderson. Mr. Anderson, author of multiple books on how to engage children and young adults in the writing process, provided twentieth century techniques for motivating students to write creatively and with clarity and extensive vocabulary. Some of his techniques are already being used in Dock's high school classrooms.

 

  • In March, Mr. Darwin Zehr, Ms. Carolyn Burgman, Mrs. Joy Thomas, Mrs. Claire Wanamaker, Mr. Marcelo Mast, Mr. Jeff Hackman, Mr.Zach Bower, and Mrs. Kathy Moyer attended the first annual Schoology ConnectPA at the Lancaster-Lebanon intermediate unit. As Dock continues to use Schoology as our primary electronic platform for school related communication and course materials, the conference provided a variety of speakers and workshops focused on many resources that Schoology has to offer.  Participants had over 25 sessions to choose from to learn and collaborate using instructional strategies focused on student learning within the Schoology system.

 

  • Dr. Annabella Silver Moon successfully completed two courses at Montgomery County Community College: Educational Psychology, and Safety/First Aid.

 

  • From January to April, Mr. Jeff Hackman took an online course through Eastern Mennonite University called "Creating a Tech-Rich Classroom." It was taught by Timothy Taylor of Woodstock, VA. Students were introduced to many online and technological tools to enhance the classroom experience. Projects were designed to be practical. We implemented several of the new tools and skills into classes we are currently teaching.

 

  • In February 2018 Mrs. Shelley Berg was invited by the Conn-Selmer Music Instrument Company and Zeswitz Music to become a Conn-Selmer VIP. She traveled to Elkhart, IN, the home of the last American-made band and orchestra instrument manufacturer, to experience in-depth factory tours to  see how band instruments are made. She also networked with members of Conn-Selmer’s Division of Education staff and other band directors from southeastern Pennsylvania. 

 

  • Mrs. Rose Lambright and Mrs. Melanie Baker attended the Pennsylvania Family and Consumer Sciences annual conference April 6-7 in Scranton, PA.  This year's conference was titled, "Accountability, Balance, and Collaboration."  Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Lambright heard speakers from various colleges and businesses focusing on topics ranging from brain development in the teenager to making sushi in the classroom.  There was variety and depth in the programming.

 

  • Additionally, Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Lambright attended the Montgomery-Bucks Family and Consumer Sciences Winter Warm-up at the Culinary Institute of Montgomery County Community College and the Spring Meeting at The Metropolitan.

 

  • Mr. Caleb Benner took three courses (Data-Informed Educational Leadership, Research Methods and Education, and Teachers as Action Researchers) as he works towards a Masters in Faith-Based Education at Bluffton University. As part of the program, he conducted a research study with his freshman Bible classes studying how effectively Scripture memorization and Lectio Divina help students make personal connections with the Bible.

 

 

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Hands-on learning about colonial America
  • EC - Grade 8 Campus News

Colonial Day was the culmination of the 5th grade classes' month-long study of colonial America! Students worked in pairs and small groups to learn more about a colonial trade. They researched their trade, wrote an essay, and created a window display and infomercial about their colonial “shoppe,” which they presented to their classmates. The final event on Friday was our Colonial Mall Walk-Thru for families and friends. They were invited to visit the “shoppes” and hear about what the students learned. Some students even shared their informercials with visitors! The students dressed in colonial attire for the entire day and participated in a variety of colonial activities, including toys and games, embroidery, and making Johnny cakes!

More photos

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Elementary Spring Concert
  • Arts News
  • EC - Grade 8 Campus News

Dock's EC-Grade 8 Campus held its Elementary Spring Concert on Tuesday, May 8, and it featured something for everyone. Performing were the Beginner and Elementary Orchestras, 3rd Grade Recorder Ensemble, 4th Grade Band, 5th Grade Band, 5th Grade Orff Ensemble, and 5th Grade Ukelele Ensemble. Thanks to our talented students as well as our fantastic music department—Mrs. Shelley Berg, Mrs. Katie Litzenberger, and Mrs Laura Landes—as well as Ms. Carolyn Burgman, who provided audio-visual expertise.

Visit the Spring Concert web page for complete program and more photos

Read more about Elementary Spring Concert

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) and Erica ('18)

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