Bob Johnson, a mathematics teacher at Portland Adventist Academy (PAA), is retiring this June 2021 after 39 years of teaching. Initially, Johnson had planned on a career in medicine, but after a year at Loma Linda University, he decided he wanted to teach. He taught for a few years in California and then was hired at PAA where he has spent the last 32 years instructing mostly mathematics but also chemistry some years. Johnson likes to amaze his students by sharing that he has been in school for 60 years straight now between his time as a student and teacher. He remarks with some humor, “I must like school.”
In his many years at PAA, Johnson has made an impact on generations of students. Principal Mechelle Peinado reflects, “Bob is a legend at PAA. He was a student here years before he returned to teach science and math. He taught many of the current staff. Bob cares deeply about each student. He does all possible to help each one make it through. He believes in the kids.” Being able to watch his students develop over the years as some came back to teach at the school or their own children attended PAA has been among Johnson’s favorite memories.
Johnson also particularly enjoyed working with students in running the sound system for assemblies, graduation, and other gatherings. Additionally, Johnson built a recording studio for the school to use for music and performance and production classes. Peinado also notes his influence in this area, commenting, “His love for music and the studio and students is deep. He envisioned the studio, created it, funded it, maintains it—it is a work of love.”
As he moves into retirement, Johnson shares that he will miss “the whole day academy routine, especially the interactions with the students and the staff.” Included in these interactions that Johnson appreciated were the opportunities for “spiritual thought, action and reflection” that PAA has provided through small student groups guided by teachers or larger group events like Bible camp. He also will miss teaching itself and then being able to watch “students learn and develop into hopefully thoughtful and productive workers for God.”
Another area of the school where Johnson has been involved is with the grounds. He states, “I’ve put a lot of time and effort into the campus here. I’ll miss doing those kinds of things. I have a vineyard out back with grapes. I’ll probably leave that to somebody to take care of.” Johnson has shared grapes with a friend to turn them into jelly each year. He has also given vines to church members and former students so they can plant grapes themselves. Students have also been happy to partake of the grapes throughout the years.
Johnson’s contributions to the campus—both in his interactions with the staff and students and the physical plant—have been greatly appreciated by the school. Peinado shares, “Bob is incredibly generous and kind-hearted. He does so many extra duties. He is often one of the first here and almost always the last to leave. He is wise and shares his wisdom freely with students and staff.”
Thank you, Bob, for sharing your talents over the years to provide quality, Christ-centered Adventist Education to generations of students!
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