News

From Classmates to Co-Workers

by Valley Forge Christian College | May 24, 2012
The typical Valley Forge Christian College (VFCC) graduate will spend four influential years with their friends, concluding with a celebratory graduation service and a well-meaning promise to “keep in touch.”

The typical Valley Forge Christian College (VFCC) graduate will spend four influential years with their friends, concluding with a celebratory graduation service and a well-meaning promise to “keep in touch.”From Classmates to Co-Workers, VFCC Alum all work together

But every once in a while, friends are blessed to continue to be a part of each others’ lives. Just like every weekday morning in Savage, Md., when eight VFCC alumni arrive at the same building, at the same time, for the same purpose. Their different hometowns, graduation years, college majors, and goals could easily have taken them on widely different paths, so all of them have no doubt that they are only at Bethel Christian Academy (BCA) by divine design.

Hannah (Bernstein) Scouten ’10, Myra Bynum ’97, Daniel Graham ’11, Kimberly (Green) Graham ’10, Ruthie Hemler ’11, Caroline Pilman ’10, Mandy Schmidt ’10, and Stephen Wecker ’11 all serve in various roles at BCA. These roles include a teaching assistant, a librarian, a media specialist, a middle school chaplain, coaches, and kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers.

Kimberly (Green) Graham’s mother is the principal of BCA, and Stephen Wecker’s mother is the business manager. Kimberly, Stephen, and Ruthie Hemler all attended the school as children. Hannah (Bernstein) Scouten and Caroline Pilman both heard about the school because several of their friends worked there, and Daniel Graham graduated and married Kimberly in 2011, beginning a position at BCA that fall. Kimberly’s father interviewed Mandy Schmidt for a position at his church, which consequently led to her working part-time for the school as well. Myra Bynum, originally from Maryland, found herself at Bethel Christian Academy after teaching in Philadelphia for 10 years.

Each morning, they begin the day with morning devotions with the rest of the BCA staff. They then move to their respective positions in classrooms, libraries, and chapels, and prepare to make an eternal impact on each child who comes through their doors. Throughout the day, and even outside of work, they continue to encourage, support, and challenge one another. Some are far from home, and the familiarity of friends has been comforting.

Caroline Pilman joked, “How does it feel knowing that I get to see my friends every day at work? It kind of feels like college all over again, but this time around we are usually less sleepy and are the ones teaching.”

Having shared such a significant period of life together has created a special bond between alumni. “Going to work everyday and seeing these friends is amazing,” Ruthie said.

“Whether they know it or not, they’ve taught me so much about professionalism, accountability, and the journey of life after college. I think I can speak for all of us at our amazement that God put just the right people together at Bethel. I’m truly thankful for the unexpected blessing of our friendship.”

Pictured (from left to right):
Mandy Schmidt – Middle School Chaplain and Bethel Assembly of God’s Youth Director.
Hannah (Bernstein) Scouten – Middle School English Teacher
Myra Bynum – Fourth Grade Teacher
Kimberly (Green) Graham – Librarian and Media Specialist, Cheerleading Coach
Stephen Wecker – Teaching Assistant 
Ruthie Hemler – Second Grade Teacher
Daniel Graham – Fifth Grade Teacher, Drama Director, Assistant Girls’ Basketball Coach
Caroline Pilman – Lead Kindergarten Teacher, Assistant Cheerleading Coach