"NPC helped shape where I am today," businessman Ronald G. Bishop Jr. told members of the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board after receiving the September Outstanding NPC Alumnus Award at the Sept. 21, 210 meeting in Holbrook.
Bishop, a Show Low resident, works with his father operating The Home Source, a local Cavco manufactured housing dealership and land packaging business.
Former Heber Center Manager Mary Lou Schroeder, left, presents the Alumnus Award to Bishop during the September 2010 Governing Board meeting.
Long a high achiever, Bishop got a jumpstart on earning college credits while attending Mogollon High School where he took advantage of dual enrollment math and science courses. And as a result of graduating near the top of his high school class in 2001, he earned a prestigious NPC President’s Scholarship.
While at NPC, Bishop was vice president of the college chapter of the international honor society, Phi Theta Kappa. He graduated in 2003 with an Associate of Business (ABus) degree and during his final year received an All-Arizona Academic Team scholarship. This statewide honor meant a full tuition-waiver to an Arizona university of his choice for completing his bachelor’s degree. Bishop selected ASU, graduating in December 2005 with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in finance with a minor in justice studies.
Bishop has not always lived in the White Mountains. His first decade was spent in Houston before his family moved to Phoenix; and after NPC he attended ASU in the Valley. Yet when it came time to settle down, he opted to leave the big city. “I wanted a better quality of life,” he explains. He married his high school sweetheart, Kathi, and they chose Show Low as the community in which to live and raise their two young daughters.
Bishop realized the importance of family during the time he was at NPC and took part in the Heber-Overgaard community clean-up effort in the wake of the Rodeo-Chedeski Fire. In a biographical piece written to accompany his All-Arizona Academic Team application he said, “Dealing with the aftermath of the wildfire has changed my outlook on life. I know now, more than ever, that family is THE most important thing. It is not having fast cars or nice houses, but having family.”
Bishop has been working at The Home Source business with his father for four years now and is currently manager of sales. He says working with his dad gives him an even greater appreciation of family: “We have more leeway and more flexibility working with each other.” And despite the economy, he adds, “business has been better this year than last.”
Bishop took the majority of his classes in the interactive audio/video classroom at the small NPC Heber Center. For science classes requiring hands-on lab assignments he attended the White Mountain Campus in Show Low. “Overall,” he says, “I enjoyed NPC, the teachers, the offerings. There was so much value in using the school as a vehicle to get in my basics and find out what I wanted to do and not waste time or money at a university.”
For now, Bishop is content with life, but has a goal of retiring by the time he’s 40! “I’m investigating opportunities to see what the next chapter of my life will hold. But I do know that investing in yourself is the best investment there is, and I can’t say enough about the worth of getting an education. And NPC? Well, it was a great place to start!”
As an outstanding alumni Bishop receives a plaque, three-credit-hour tuition gift certificate, NPC merchandise and a pass to NPC Performing Arts events.
If you are interested in nominating a former NPC student for an outstanding alumni award, find the form and instructions on the NPC Web site at www.npc.edu/support-npc/alumni-association.