Welcome to the K-12 Office of Education
Berit von Pohle, director
The Education Department oversees the administrative supervision of Seventh-day Adventist schools within the Pacific Union Conference territory (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah). Services include participating in administrative boards, development of policies, training and more.
Berit von Pohle has worked for 35 years in several educational settings. Most recently, she served as Superintendent of Schools for Northern California Conference. She has also worked as an Academy teacher, guidance counselor and principal. Von Pohle has served on several committees for the North American Division. Von Pohle earned a Bachelor’s degree from La Sierra University as well as a Master’s in counseling, a Specialist degree in Educational Administration, and a Doctorate in Education.
High resolution photo of Berit von Pohle
Teryl Loeffler, associate director for secondary education
Teryl Loeffler began his education ministry in 1975, serving in the Northern California and Southeastern California Conferences until 1992. From 1992 - 2002, he served as principal of schools in the Georgia-Cumberland, Central California, Kansas-Nebraska, and Hawaii Conferences. His experiences as a school administrator include the elementary, junior academy, and K-12 academy levels. In 2007, Loeffler was invited to be Superintendent of Schools for the Hawaii Conference where he served until his appointment in July 2012, to the Pacific Union Conference K-12 Office of Education.
Loeffler earned his Bachelors degree from Pacific Union College, his Master’s degree from United States International University, and his Administrative Certification from La Sierra University.
He is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
High Resolution Photo of Teryl Loeffler
Martha Havens, associate director for elementary education
Martha Havens, who came to the Pacific Union office in 2006, earned a Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Arts in French, both from Loma Linda University. Besides English and French, Havens in fluent in her first language, Spanish. Before coming to the union office, Havens spent 11 years in the Office of Education in the Southeastern California Conference.
After completing her education, Havens taught in Riverside, California, first in Alvord Unified School District, then at La Sierra Elementary School. At the latter, she directed the on-site training of 18 student teachers in multigrade teaching (grades one to eight) for the School of Education at Loma Linda University. After several years of teaching and training, Havens served as principal of schools in the Potomac and Southeastern California conferences-interrupted by a year as an administrative assistant in the Colombian Embassy in Beijing, China.
Havens is a member of Southern Counties Women in Educational Management, the Association for School Curriculum and Development, and Phi Delta Kappa.
High resolution photo of Martha Havens
Collaborating to Educate for Eternity
Our Role and Function
The directors of the Office of Education provide administrative, supervisory and leadership assistance to the seven conference offices of education in the five states that comprise the Pacific Union Conference territory—Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah. Our role and function is to assist the conferences implement a distinctive Seventh-day Adventist curriculum and meet the challenges that face Adventist education.
The distinctiveness of Adventist education is found in the philosophy, mission and goals that provide the purpose and direction for the schools. The beliefs are:
1. That God is the ultimate source of existence and truth, and the Bible is accepted as God's revealed will. Thus, students are directed to the loving and redeeming God of Scripture in all areas of the Christ-centered program.
2. That each person is endowed with characteristics similar to those of the Creator; "individuality, power to think and to do." Thus, there is emphasis on academic excellence and high achievement where students are challenged to be "thinkers and not mere reflectors" of other persons' beliefs and philosophies.
3. That education should be more than just completing a particular course of study or preparing for life on this earth. Thus the emphasis on character development.
4. That each person is created in the image of God and is of inestimable value. Thus the total program is to provide for the balanced and harmonious development of the whole person—intellectually, spiritually, physically and socially—that the divine purpose for each one might be realized.
5. That unselfish service is a basic principle of life. Thus there is an emphasis on meaningful and productive work and on participation in witnessing/service learning activities and projects where the emphasis is on unselfish service and on developing sensitivity to the needs of others.
6. That the education of children and youth requires the cooperative efforts of the home, the church and the school. Thus the emphasis on connecting students to a system of support services, activities and opportunities at the school and within the constituency that meet the challenges of the curricular/cocurricular program.
Beverly Benson, certification registrar/administrative assistant
Beverly Benson grew up in Riverside, California with a 5 year stint in Singapore. She attended La Sierra University and graduated with a degree in Secretarial Administration. Over 41 years ago Bev started with the Pacific Union Conference at the Glendale location. She made the move to our current office and over time has served four different union directors. Firm and steadfast-like a brick in the building-Bev gives unending support to our education team. She is right hand to the director and manages to still maintain the service records for all teachers, updates and issues certification, processes teacher job applications and education scholarships, etc.
Kimberly Stubbert, administrative assistant-elementary and secondary
Kimberly Stubbert grew up in Collegedale, Tennessee where she graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She has been with the education office for 7 years and has mastered the dual multi-tasking of responsiblities for both the elementary and secondary associate directors.