PAA Retiring Math Teacher Leaves Music Ministry Legacy

After 32 years teaching math at Portland Adventist Academy, Bob Johnson retired in June leaving a music ministry and legacy that will continue to bless PAA beyond measure.

One of Johnson’s most notable contributions is the school's music recording studio, a unique feature of PAA’s academic program that continues to draw talented young people to the school.

Twenty years ago, a thriving guitar program inspired early concepts of the recording studio. Not long after, Johnson got to work. “In September of 2002, I stepped out in faith to buy three recording interfaces that were on sale,” he said. “That was the beginning of an almost 19 year ministry for me and my wife, Rhonda.”

Piece by piece, they bought microphones, headphones, computers and professional software. He spent the summer constructing a professionally designed soundbooth. Before the 2003–2004 school year began, the music recording studio was ready for students. 

Since then, Johnson has faithfully maintained and updated equipment and instruments. His stewardship has fueled an incredibly successful program that carries on today with teacher Jeremy Long, a PAA graduate of 2011 who got his start at PAA. “Professionally, [this is] a unique opportunity to teach the very programs I’ve benefited from," said Long.

Long is one of many alumni who have built careers in music following their time at PAA. Hundreds of PAA seniors produced their senior projects in the studio. Some have gone on to have success as performers, sound engineers, producers and music teachers. Some have even built their own recording studios and are working with talented clients. Some have used their work in the studio to fulfill a personal mission and calling to serve Jesus. 

Danny Ramos, a 2020 graduate, is a great example. After receiving a rare perfect score on his senior project, he said, "[I'm] thankful to God for the chance to spread the Gospel through my first single. May all the glory and honor be given to Him."

Johnson says investing in the recording studio has been fulfilling. “It’s been a lot of fun to get to know how things work in the area of sound management. And it’s been a great way to make long-lasting friendships with both staff and students. It’s a connection that lasts a lifetime!”

Long plans to keep the studio opperating with Johnson's legacy in mind. "I will continue to remind students what a privilege we all share to simply have access to the state-of-the-art recording equipment and musical instruments. That is all thanks to Bob Johnson.”

Bob Johnson’s music ministry will live on through this unique program. “The music recording studio remains a priority,” says Mechelle Peinado, PAA principal. “Keeping equipment and instruments updated and maintained honors Bob’s hard work and generosity. The studio is a beautiful legacy and we are privileged to keep it alive and thriving!"


1. Bob Johnson's generosity has benefitted PAA in countless ways. Read more about his remarkable legacy.

2. PAA 2020 graduate, Danny Ramos is one of hundreds of past PAA seniors who have recorded and produced original music in the studio for a senior project. Danny’s project got a rare perfect score. More importantly, it served to fulfill a spiritual calling and mission to bring others to Jesus. Read more from PAA’s website.

3. PAA alumnus, Danny Ramos recorded and produced his original song “Surrender” in the recording studio. His post on SoundCloud said, “Thankful to God for the Chance to Spread the Gospel through my first single. May all the Glory and Honor be given to Him. This song is inspired to remind us all to Surrender, whether you’re in the midst of struggles and pain, or maybe just want something more, Surrender to Christ and He will fill you up and carry you all the way home.” Listen to Surrender.

Featured in: September/October 2021