By Emily Sundblad
Gordon Houk was recently selected to be grand marshal for the 2017 Prairie Days in Lester Prairie, including the opportunity to ride in the grand parade.
Houk has lived in Lester Prairie since 1961. That year, he also began teaching there, and he has been teaching ever since.
As teacher, Houk mostly taught high school science, but his since retirement in 1996, he has branched out to teach a broader scope of subjects to a wider range of ages.
He enjoys substitute teaching in Lester Prairie, as well as in schools in the surrounding area.
This experienced educator has taught in Lester Prairie so long that it is not uncommon for him to teach the grandkids of one of his former students.
Houk has also involved in various other activities during his time in Lester Prairie, including being an advisor for a rocket club, participating in Bible studies, joining a tree survey committee, serving as president of the Lester Prairie Education Association, helping with cleaning along Highway 7, as well as cleaning up the town once a year. He also was on the teachers committee in 1970, and helped form a Master Agreement.
Currently, Houk participates in the Lester Prairie Lion’s Club, a choir in the Twin Cities, and Gideons International, for which he speaks at churches in Lester Prairie and distributes Bibles at school and at the McLeod County Fair. He also participates at a church in Hutchinson, where he sings and is an accompanist on the keyboard.
One skill Houk has kept up since high school is the ability to repair clocks, particularly grandfather clocks. As a self-taught repairman, he goes to people’s homes now, to fix their clocks. Next to his front door hangs a grandfather clock that he built from a kit.
Another significant part of Houk’s life has been traveling. He has become a world traveller, going to many countries including Poland, Lithuania, Brazil, Germany, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, and, most recently, South Korea for the wedding of one of his former foreign exchange students. Houk has also visited China, and taught English there.
Houk commented he believes he has a pretty strong faith. When teaching would become tough and he was ready to give up, Houk would pray. He believed, with God’s help, he could carry on.