The Adventist network of schools is the largest Protestant educational system in the world and includes preschool, elementary, and secondary schools, along with college- and university-level education. Our schools boast high achievement scores and an array of extracurricular advantages, including a focus on service, leadership, and community engagement. We employ committed, credentialed, and award-winning teachers with a passionate desire to serve Jesus through helping each student find his or her God-given potential. Our colleges and universities produce an array of highly skilled professionals, equipped with critical-thinking skills, a firm sense of vocation and purpose, and a desire to serve their communities.
Dr. Berit von Pohle has served as director of education at the Pacific Union Conference since June 2011 and was elected into the new role of vice president in August 2021. She has more than 40 years’ experience working in Seventh-day Adventist education. Her previous roles include teacher and principal in the Southeastern California Conference, academy principal in the Oregon Conference, and superintendent in the Northern California Conference. She has a bachelor’s in business education from Loma Linda University-La Sierra, a master’s in counseling and guidance from Loma Linda University-Riverside, and both an Ed.S. and an Ed.D. in educational administration from La Sierra University. Dr. von Pohle serves on the board of all of the secondary schools in the Pacific Union as well as the boards of Pacific Union College and La Sierra University. She chairs the board of Holbrook Indian School. She is regularly involved with the training orientations to teachers and principals as well as training for school boards. Dr. von Pohle also represents Adventist education in the Pacific Union Conference to external entities. She serves as a commissioner on the K-12 Accrediting Commission for Schools of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). She is also on the board of the California Association of Private School Organizations (CAPSO), currently serving as president of the board. She has previously served as chair of the California Department of Education Private School Advisory. Von Pohle is originally from Denmark and came to the United States as a toddler. She is a self-described “book addict” and especially enjoys reading up on education and leadership. She is known for her ability to help others find their strengths and talents in leadership, and she is motivated by her love for the life-changing work she sees in Adventist education. Von Pohle has a daughter, who is a principal in the Southeastern California Conference, and two granddaughters.
Teryl Loeffler has served as associate director of education at the Pacific Union Conference since 2012. He previously worked as superintendent of education for the Hawaii Conference. He has a master’s degree from the United States International University. Loeffler is a native of California and is married to Olivia. They have four children—two boys and two girls—and four grandchildren.
Martha Havens has been associate director of elementary education at the Pacific Union Conference since 2006. She previously spent eleven years as associate superintendent in the Southeastern California Conference Office of Education. Havens 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. She has taught in the Alvord Unified School District and at La Sierra Elementary School, both in Riverside, California, and served as a school principal in the Potomac and Southeastern California Conferences. Havens is married to Doug Havens, Director of EXSEED at Loma Linda University.
Julie Yamada has served as the early childhood associate director at the Pacific Union Conference since 2014. She previously worked as the director of the Pacific Union College Discoveryland Children’s Center in St. Helena, California. She has a master’s degree from Walden University in Early Childhood Studies with an emphasis in teaching adults in the early childhood field and bachelor’s degrees in Early Childhood Education and Spanish from Pacific Union College. Yamada is a native of Lemoore, California, and is married to Gregory Yamada. They have two sons, Calvin 14 and Logan 10.