Faculty & Staff
Mr. Stephen Herr, M.A.
Mr. Herr has been the principal of East Pasco Adventist Academy for seven years. This is his 16th year of teaching, and currently teaches Music for grades 5-10, Computers for 5&6, Math for 7&8, as well as Algebra. He received his Masters degree in Religious Education from Andrews University and his Bachelors degree in Religious Education from Southern Adventist University.He and his wife, Jamie, have two daughters, Savannah and Brooklyn, a son, Dylan, and another boy on the way.
Mrs. Merrilyn Johnson
Merrilyn Johnson has lived in Zephyrhills for over a decade and is no stranger to EPAA. Before joining the teaching team at EPAA, she was the hot lunch coordinator, active parent volunteer, and after school tutor. She graduated from Southern Adventist University and is married to James Johnson, pastor of the Carrollwood and Plant City Seventh-day Adventist Churches. Her children, Carys and Aiden, are students at EPAA.
Mrs. Julie Center, M.S.
Mrs. Center has taught at EPAA for 19 of her 21 years of teaching experience. She completed her Masters degree in Inclusive Education from Southern Adventist University in December 2012 which is also where she received her Bachelors degree. She and her husband, Doug, have two children who both attended EPAA. Lexie graduated from Southern Adventist University with a B.S. in Public Relations in May of 2016 and Parker is a sophomore at SAU this year.
Miss Tawsha Stiltz, B.S.
1st & 2nd Grade
This is Tawsha Stiltz's second year at EPAA. She is a graduate of Southern Adventist University with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts Education. She has lived in Orlando since the age of two, and relocated to Zephyrhills last summer to join the EPAA team. Miss Stiltz enjoys snow skiing and water sports of all kinds. She is an animal lover and lives with her two cats.
Mrs. Nirva Dorcin-Joseph, M.A.
3rd & 4th Grade
Nirva Dorcin-Joseph is in her tenth as a teacher within the Seventh-day Adventist school system. She grew up and lived in the Northeast for most of her life. Mrs. Joseph graduated from Andrews University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Social Studies. In 2010, she graduated with an M.A. degree in Educational Administration from the University of Phoenix. During her free time, she enjoy traveling, reading, meeting new people, and spending time with her family. She loves teaching and watching each child grow spiritually and academically.
Mr. Jesse Benton, M.A.
5th-10th Grades - Language Arts, Social Studies/History, PE
This is Jesse Benton's fourth year of teaching at EPAA. He teaches grades 5-10 Language Arts and Social Studies. This is his 13th year teaching. Before coming to EPAA, Mr. Benton taught in his hometown of Hagerstown, Maryland, for nine years, and in Gainesville, Florida, for one year. Mr. Benton graduated from Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, Maryland, with a Bachelor of Arts in History, and minor in philosophy. Mr. Benton and his wife, Tarah (who is an alumnus of EPAA), have a daughter named Odessa.
Ms. Frances Young, B.S.
Ms. Frances Young has taught in the Adventist school system for 21 years, most recently in Gainesville. She will be teaching Grades 5-10 Science and Biology, and Language Arts and Math to Grades 5 & 6. She enjoys fishing, horses, gardening, camping, writing, and her pet dog, Angel. Ms. Young is the proud mama of two adult sons, Scott and Adam.
Mrs. Tarah Benton, B.S.
Mr. Norman Claypool
Maintenance & Grounds
Ms. Christina Head
Ms. Lexie Center
Office & Marketing
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