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Brad Houk

HQ Phone: (802) 241-3535

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Community College of Vermont

103 South Main Street

Waterbury, Vermont 05676

United States

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Background Information

Employment History

Physical Education Teacher

Springfield School District

Teacher: Social Studies

Green Mountain Union High School

Assistant Coach

Bellows Falls Union High School

Teacher: Social Studies, Art, Physical Education

Windsor Southwest Supervisory Union

Teacher: Social Studies, Physical Education, Life Skills

Greenwood Friends School


Member of the Varsity Wrestling Team
Blair Academy


BS degree

Master of Arts

Teaching program

Western New Mexico University-Gallup

bachelor's degree

College of Arts and Architecture



master's degree

Graduate College of Design

master's degree

Graduate School of Design

Web References (25 Total References)

On The Road to Find Out: Passionate Engagement and Counter-Cartography [cached]


Brad Houk is an educator and counter-cartographer. After spending years teaching at-risk students in Vermont, Navajo students on a reservation in New Mexico, Quaker students in the mountains of Pennsylvania, and advanced degree People's Liberation Army officers in China, he now teaches at the Community College of Vermont. Pulling from his academic background in design and education, Brad has been using "counter-maps" to invigorate his classroom. Most recently, however, Brad has been counter-mapping his local community, as well as aspects of the Occupy Movement, in an effort to not only understand a community more deeply (and the many ways it can be experienced) but to explore how this process can be used as a tool for service-learning and a method in civic- and community-engagement.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Following the student project with counter-maps, Brad and his teenage son spent a few weeks in the summer with the Occupy movement in the United States, in part to explore new ideas for mapping projects.
"I had my doubts about Brad from the very beginning.
You may not believe in Brad, but I do. I believe Brad," Jake then turned and walked back to the tent he was taking down and packing.
That ended the confrontation between me and Troy. But I can't be sure if Troy believed Jake before he too returned to his business as one of the organizers of the march.

Brad ... [cached]

Brad Houk

Brad Houk's Homepage
Project Based Learning: Curriculum
Biography: Brad Houk
Born and raised in the mountains of northeast-central Pennsylvania, Brad Houk was the offspring of teachers and summer camp directors but had no intention of following in their footsteps. Instead, Brad attended Penn State to become a landscape architect on one level ... on another (following a successful wrestling season at Blair Academy), Brad aspired to make a name for himself on the mat: competing five years as a member of the university's varsity wrestling team. But his performances fell far short of his dreams. Graduating with a BS degree in 1983, Brad organized a bicycle journey with two former roommates and rode through ten European countries for two months before returning to the States.
Together, Gerry and Brad also ventured through Tibet by bus (until the snows left them stranded and they hiked the last 15 miles across the border to Nepal).
Brad turned his journals, artwork and photographs into a master's thesis about his experiences across the landscape of the Gobi Desert. His thesis was titled, Big Ger and Little Brad: Their Adventures in China. Dr. Wood described Houk's project as "the most interesting thesis I have supervised in 20 years of graduate teaching."
In 1988, Brad graduated with a MLA before leaving for home to care for his terminally-ill father. (Brad's letters during this period of care-giving were later published as a chapter titled, "The Wrestler's Secret Yell" in a book by Dr. Tom Koch.) Following the death of his father, and feeling the need to find a sense of direction, Brad returned to China shortly after the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre to bicycle alone. While crossing the Loess Plateau, in the provincial wilds of northern Shaanxi, he decided to propose by phone to his hometown sweetheart, Daryl. Months later, Brad returned home to Pennsylvania, eloped with Daryl in Dushore, Pennsylvania, before settling down near Forksville.
While living at the camp, Daryl and Brad had two children before founding, publishing, and editing a North American quarterly called the American Wrestling Journal(a small artsy magazine devoted to exploring the history, literature, art, and relevancy of amateur wrestling -- and described by Olympic and sport historian Harvey Abrams as a "rough-cut diamond").
Brad taught wrestling and writing at the camp and his core wrestling staff produced stories, poetry and drawings for the magazine. By 1995, Brad had made a series of poor business decisions before evaluating his situation, values, family, and life. Together, he and his wife decided to leave the camp business even if that meant living in poverty - which it did (and led him on one of the most valuable journeys of his life [although the circumstances and stresses were not ones to which he would choose to return]). A year later, realizing that he was a teacher (albeit unlicensed) and curious about making it a career, Brad and his family moved to Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, China, on one-way tickets, $150 in his pocket, and a hope for a brighter future. In Shijiazhuang, Brad and his wife taught ESL and writing to advanced degree officers at one of China's top military colleges: The People's Liberation Army College of Ordnance Engineering. At the end of the year, they were invited to stay along with positions offered from 10 other Chinese colleges (including the prestigious Police Academy in Beijing). However, they decided to return to Pennsylvania where Brad accepted a teaching position at the Greenwood Friends School to help a Quaker community pilot a new, progressive, private, Friends middle school. Brad taught social studies, physical education, and life skills (carpentry) for the following three years (as well as K-5 P.E. for two of those years). While teaching, Brad also moonlighted with Learning Tomorrow, the educational division of Rand Whipple's mime theater company, now known as Box of Light Theatre, performing science shows in school assembly programs across Pennsylvania, southeast New York, and northern New Jersey. During the fall of 1999, Brad also taught beginning Chinese, and Chinese history, as a one-semester sabbatical replacement for Dr. Jing Luo at Bloomsburg University.
Unable to buy land and build a home in a region many call the Checkerboard Rez, Brad and Daryl researched public schools across the country as they considered moving.
Brad directed an alternative program for two years in Springfield before moving into his current position as the high school teacher at Opportunities. Through the process of teaching a broad range of content areas to a diverse spectrum of students regarding age, culture, history, economic class, and geographic region - and through what he has gained via his own personal struggles, failures, and successes - Brad feels enriched as an educator and what he brings into the classroom. Although Brad was accepted into the University of Vermont's doctoral program for Educational Leadership & Policy Studies in 2005, he decided instead to focus on his family while studying Chinese from home. In 2008, Brad was chosen as one of 10 Vermont teacher-ambassadors to travel to China in July and August for 22 days, just prior to the Olympic Games, representing the Freeman Experiment Teacher's Project through World Learning, The Experiment in International Living, at the Graduate Studies Program for The School for International Training (Brad's website documenting their journey can be found here). Currently, Brad volunteers as an assistant coach with the Bellows Falls Union High School Wrestling Team and he teaches two courses at the Community College of Vermont (The Paper Arts at the Springfield campus and Multiculturalism in Education at the Upper Valley campus).
Courtenay is a freshman at Bennington College, studying art, anthropology, and pungmul drumming; Sander, a junior at Green Mountain Union High School, is planning a journey with Brad to explore water issues from the glaciers of Greater Tibet to the Gobi Desert of Greater Mongolia.
People's Republic of China, 1997 (photo by Brad Houk).
Copyright © 2007 by Brad Houk, All Rights Reserved

Opportunities In Learning [cached]

Brad Houk, High School Teacher

Brad Houk, High School ... [cached]

Brad Houk, High School Teacher

Bellows Falls Union High School Wrestling [cached]

| BFUHS Home | Wrestling Home | Weather | School Closings | Daily Schedule | BFUHS Early Release | BFUHS Sports | BFUHS Administration | Wrestling News | Brad Houk's Homepage | Freeman Experiment Teachers Project 2008

Meet the Team
Brad Houk offering takedown advice during practice
Comments concerning anything on the many pages of this website should be sent to Brad Houk at
All photos courtesy of Courtenay, Sander and Brad Houk unless otherwise noted.
| BFUHS Home | Wrestling Home | Weather | School Closings | Daily Schedule | BFUHS Early Release | BFUHS Sports | BFUHS Administration | Wrestling News | Brad Houk's Homepage | Freeman Experiment Teachers Project 2008

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