Christopher Dock, Penn View Boards Approve Integration – Name New Superintendent and Board

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Unified school system on target for 2015-16 school year

The prospect of one school system providing our community with Christ-centered education for early childhood through grade 12 is now one step closer to reality. The Board of Directors of Penn View Christian School and the Board of Trustees of Christopher Dock Mennonite High School voted this week to merge the two schools, and will continue working toward the goal of implementing the new organizational structure for the 2015-16 school year.

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The boards also completed another piece of that organizational structure by naming 12 board members for the new unified school system. All 12 serve as current board members of either Christopher Dock or Penn View. Warren L. Tyson, current chair of the Christopher Dock Board of Trustees, and Mark Bergey, current chair of the Penn View Board of Directors, will co-chair the board of directors for the new school system. In addition, Dr. Conrad Swartzentruber, currently the Principal at Christopher Dock, has been named Superintendent of the unified school system.

“We look forward to building on the historical strengths of each school while encouraging the development of a new school identity deeply rooted in the Anabaptist Mennonite Christian faith stream,” said Tyson. “It’s been exciting to see how the theme of God ‘doing a new thing’ (Isaiah 43:19) has unfolded since the start of the merger conversation. While each board did its own due diligence, the prevailing theme of being attentive to where God was leading us together has been important.”

“The decision to unify these schools is the result of more than six months of due diligence, but decades of collaboration and cooperation between the two schools,” added Bergey. “We are energized to be part of God’s continuing work in the education and spiritual formation of children in our community.”

Christopher Dock and Penn View Board members who will join the board of directors for the new unified school system include:

Mark Bergey, co-chair                                           Beny Krisbianto
Warren Tyson, co-chair                                        Chad Lacher
Ken Clemmer                                                            Scott Landis
John Duerksen                                                         Jim Lapp
Sharon Fransen                                                        Katie Longacre
Scott Heckler                                                             Rina Rampogu

The boards have been mindful of the school’s vital relationships with both Franconia Mennonite Conference and Eastern District Conference. Since the merging of the schools will result in a new set of bylaws that will govern both Christopher Dock and Penn View, conference leaders are working with delegates to approve those changes. That work is already underway in Franconia Conference. Future changes in the new integrated school system’s bylaws will require the approval of leaders of both Franconia Conference and Eastern District Conference.

While both boards expressed gratitude for the significance of the two votes to approve the merger, there is understanding that work remains prior to the implementation of a unified school structure this fall. The new board will work together with Dr. Swartzentruber and the staffs of both schools to give clarity to the questions that remain.

“Both Penn View and Christopher Dock bring great strengths to this new venture,” said Dr. Swartzentruber. “Beginning in early childhood and continuing through high school, this unified school system will provide a Christ-centered education, preparing students to be lifelong learners.  They will receive the academic preparation needed to succeed in a global context, and will continue to learn, grow, serve, and contribute throughout their lives.”

“The path to a merger of these excellent Christian schools has been a deliberate one,” said Franconia Conference Moderator John Goshow. “Our conference looks forward to supporting the ongoing work of the boards and staffs of both schools.”

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For more information, contact:
Dr. Conrad Swartzentruber