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Portland Adventist Academy recently said goodbye to five incredible staff members. Each of their contributions at PAA have been a gift to our students and staff  and we are forever grateful for their dedicated service to this special community.

Ty Johnson

For 11 years, Ty Johnson has been a dedicated and valuable member of our PAA family. “Mr. Johnson has played an active and enthusiastic role in so many PAA programs and activities,” says principal Parris. “He has made a significant impact on our students and PAA staff family.”

During his time at PAA, Ty served as Vice Principal, Building Project Manager, and Capital Campaign Director. He was a skilled navigator guiding our building project through the city’s complicated legal and regulatory maze and we are grateful for his groundwork.

Ty also juggled many additional roles at PAA. He taught media classes, served as class sponsor, led mission trips, and was a beloved coach and mentor for both ladies varsity basketball and boys’ varsity golf athletes.

Ty’s decade-plus service means relationships run deep. His influence offered a cornerstone for so many students, many of whom have gone on to become gifted leaders in their communities. Ty also provided calm leadership for our faculty. He was often the last person to leave an event and he was never hesitant to take on messy tasks. He demonstrated servant leadership, integrity, and character throughout his time at PAA.

One of the greatest contribution Ty leaves with PAA is the development of the annual Senior Retreat, Junior Challenge, Sophomore Excursion, and Freshman Adventure. Every fall, the trips take our students to the wilderness to leave behind the chaos of homework, the pressures of social media, and the noise of an over scheduled life. The events have given hundreds of students the opportunity to understand what a Christ-centered and character-driven life might look like. Students examine their characters, maturity, and spiritual commitments all while strengthening their friendships. These powerful journeys are a reflection Ty’s life philosophy and will remain a powerful part of our program even while he is greatly missed.


Herb Terreri Herb Terreri has had a remarkable career. He was a pioneer in the field of American Sign Language education and was a part of laying the foundation for its legitimacy in the State of California. Herb’s dedication to ASL education made lasting changes that has benefited the lives of thousands of people. What’s more, his work and advocacy will continue to enrich so many generations to come.

Here at PAA, we know how blessed we are to have had Herb in his final teaching years. He helped launch our first American Sign Language classes and we are grateful for this gift.

“Herb is a brilliant man with great wisdom and experience,” says Sheldon Parris. “We wish him all the best as he embarks on his retirement from a truly successful and life-changing career.”


Frank Jin Mr. Jin spent the past two years at PAA teaching in our Math, Science, and Computer departments. Frank’s genius was his ability to marry his passion for science and math to his love of Jesus and mission work.

Frank was creative and forward thinking in the classroom. He was dedicated to implementing valuable experiences in Project Based Learning (read about one project here!) and inspiring his students to be curious problem solvers.

Best of all, Frank approached his classroom with a Christ-centered and character-driven mindset. “For this, Frank will be missed,” said Principal Parris. “I have valued his friendship and dynamic and innovative approach to his classes.”


Erik Peterson

“Erik Peterson had to fill big shoes this year,” says Principal Parris. Erik came to PAA after the passing of his mentor and our colleague and friend, Tim Ellis.

PAA was blessed to have someone as talented as Erik who also taught in reflection of Tim’s high standards and commitment to music. The connections Erik made with his students were a gift to those still grieving the loss of Tim. We are forever grateful.

Erik is a gifted musician and has a very bright future. “He did an exceptional job with his students in Performance & Production class as well as Guitar class,” says Parris. “We will miss him and wish him the best as he furthers his career in music.”


Jeanne Howard-Snodgrass “Jeanne was a godsend to PAA this year,” said Principal Sheldon Parris. “I will never forget where we were late summer last year when we needed to hire an Algebra teacher. I had searched all summer and was afraid that we would not find someone. Then I heard about Jeanne.”

After teaching home schooled students and tutoring math privately for 25 years, Jeanne was perfectly qualified to help fill that much needed role this year. Besides that, she had been a dedicated International Student host for PAA for several years and is also a former PAA parent. She knew our school well. “She was a perfect fit,” said Parris.

For Jeanne, teaching is a passion and work that will continue in her practice as a private tutor. She is fulfilled as she discovers each of her students’ learning styles. This gift will continue to inspire confidence in her students’ abilities to learn. They are blessed under her care. We were blessed to have her at PAA.


STORY UPDATE (June 22): Sheldon Parris announced his resignation. Read more HERE

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