2017 Alumni of the Year
Learning that leads to lives of purpose
Dock Mennonite Academy is pleased to announce our Outstanding Achievement, Distinguished Service, and Young Alum of the Year awards for 2017. These graduates embody the significance of learning that leads to lives of purpose.
Distinguished Service Awards
Sarah (Weaver) Bergin '88
For my parents, sending their children to a private high school was really not a reality for their budget. But if you had the pleasure of knowing Horace [Longacre]…when Horace had an idea, he was going to make it happen. I attended Dock because of Horace and the Mennonite Education Plan.
Sarah is the Executive Director of Care and Share Thrift Shoppes, part of the Mennonite Central Committee Thrift Shop Network. Since 2008, she has provided leadership for all six of the Shoppes. Sarah engages with over 1,000 volunteers and 40 employees who support Care & Share’s success. She maintains the operation of the Shoppes on a day-to-day basis in the following areas: management and operational support, staffing, coaching, communications, and volunteer engagement.
At the age of 21, she became a foster parent, with her husband Ian, and was a stay-at-home Mom for many years. Sarah and Ian, with their children Michael, Madelyn and Isabel, are members of Blooming Glen Mennonite Church. Thanks to her daughters, she has rediscovered her joy of playing the flute and singing in the choir. In 2012, Sarah was part of a group of women who joined the male-dominated Souderton-Telford Rotary Club. Her passion for service remains energized as she serves locally and globally.
Dr. J. Eric Bishop '74
Over these 40 years, I realized that 18th century schoolmaster Christopher Dock was not the only educator with a 'special love for youth.' During my year as a Dock student, I felt genuine love [from my teachers], and it motivated me to care about school in all of its aspects.
Eric served as an inspirational and caring teacher and mentor at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School (now Dock Mennonite Academy) for 37 years. He dedicated his life to serving Christ as a stimulating and motivating educator for multiple generations of Dock students.
Eric earned his B.A. in English Education from Eastern Mennonite University and his M.A. in Education with an English concentration from Arcadia University. In 2005, he earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in English Education from Kent State University. The title of his dissertation is The Quiet in the Land: Core-to-Core Culture Confrontation in a Democratic English Classroom.
Eric became a Certified Anabaptist Educator in 2012. He taught numerous courses at the college and university level, contributed to the success of Dock by serving on many committees, and made presentations in many different venues throughout his career. He authored many articles and stories in Lamplighter, Christian Living, and Crossroads. Eric also co-authored an article about Dock’s “Building Community” curriculum that was published in Phi Delta Kappan.
Eric and his wife Linda live in Souderton and are members of Souderton Mennonite Church.
Outstanding Achievement Awards
Jennifer Halteman Schrock '79
For me, Dock was a safe place run by wise and caring adults. It was a place where I could learn and build relationships without distraction. Today the lives of so many youth are stunted by fear, violence, abuse, bullying and other dysfunctions. Knowing what I know now about the ways that wounds early in life can govern people for decades, I believe the value of a safe and nurturing environment simply cannot be overstated.
Jennifer divides her working life between two roles: she is the Leader of Mennonite Creation Care Network and the Communication Manager at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College. Much of her work involves writing, editing and overseeing websites and newsletters. Other roles Jennifer has held in the past include coordinator of public programs at Merry Lea, faculty on a team that designed and taught Merry Lea's Sustainability Leadership Semester, and editor of the Mennonite Health Journal for the Mennonite Medical Association.
She has also written a variety of Christian education curricula. This includes Every Creature Singing: Embracing the Good News for Planet Earth and Just Eating: Practicing Your Faith at the Table for adults as well as units for children and youth in the Shine, Jubilee and Generation Y series. She received her M.Div from Chicago Theological Seminary in 1990. She and her husband, Dan, live in Goshen, IN.
Sanford L. Alderfer, '70
Sandy has served on the Dock Board of Trustees and had significant impact on the Dock community through many committee and volunteer positions. For most of his career, he was the owner and CEO of Sanford Alderfer Companies—a Hatfield business begun by his auctioneer father that grew into a well-known company providing auction, real estate, and transition services.
Sandy continues to serve on various boards including National Auctioneers Foundation, Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association, Harleysville Bank, Montgomery County 4-H Foundation, Goodville Mutual Insurance Company, Spruce Lake Retreat, Indian Creek Foundation, North Penn United Way, and Grand View Health Foundation Board. He is a member of the Souderton/Telford Rotary. Sandy was inducted into the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame in 2016.
Recently, Sandy sold the auction house but maintains the commercial and real estate side of the business. He and his family are involved with the Salford Mennonite congregation and live in Harleysville.
Young Alum of the Year Awards
Jessica (Hedrick) Miller '07
After graduating from Dock, Jessica attended Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA, where she received her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and Teaching Certification for ages PreK- 6th grade. After college, Jessica taught high school for two years in Albania at Lezha Academic Center, working through Virginia Mennonite Missions. Jessica also served as the Pastor of Children’s Ministries at Souderton Mennonite Church and in May of 2015, was licensed as a Children's Pastor. Jessica served as an Early Childhood teacher at Dock’s EC-8 campus, as well as Pastoral Intern at Perkasie Mennonite Church.
Drew Skinner '02
[My] Dock experience was made up of passionate and compassionate leaders, who cared deeply for my story and the stories of my peers, who engaged us through rigorous academics as well as thoughtful spiritual and community formation. These influences shaped me and fueled my passion to become a teacher in Philadelphia—and to work to create opportunities for students in the city to have access to this same type of life-giving education.
Drew is a graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY. While student teaching in the city of Rochester, he experienced the deep poverty and educational dysfunction of one of Rochester’s high schools. After graduating, Drew sensed a calling to teach in the city of Philadelphia. Over the course of five years he had rich experiences by teaching at two very different Philadelphia urban schools: Philadelphia Mennonite High School and Mastery Charter High School.
After witnessing the profound impact of Christian schools on Philadelphia’s students, Drew realized he wanted to do more to support students in Philadelphia. In 2011, he served as a volunteer at Children’s Jubilee Fund, a scholarship organization that provides K-12 educational scholarships for students in the Philadelphia region. He eventually grew into the role of Associate Director and then became Executive Director on July 1, 2013. He has played a crucial role in the substantial growth of Jubilee’s scholarship fund. He has completed graduate work at Arcadia University, Biblical Seminary, and a course in the principles of fundraising at Villanova University.