If Hauser High School ever decided to construct a rough equivalent of its own version of a Mount Rushmore, the addition of Gerald “Butch” Jordan’s likeness to the monument would certainly play a major part of the construction discussion.

Jordan came to Hauser as a teacher/coach at the beginning of the 1966-67 school year before retiring at the conclusion of summer school in 2006. When all said and done, Jordan gave 40 years of his life to the school – touching the lives of countless students along the way. 

The 1961 Columbus High School grad graduated from Bob Jones University in 1965 and earned his masters from the University of Florida in 1966.

He easily remembers how his story at Hauser all began. It was due, in large part, to another longtime Flat Rock – Hawcreek educator – Glen Keller.

“Glen Keller (principal of Hauser at the time) called my mother – who was subbing some at the time – and asked if I might be interested in coming to Hauser as a teacher and coach,” a smiling Jordan recalled. “I came up spring break from college and interviewed. The rest, as they say, is history.”

As Jordan continued to recount stories from his four decades at Hauser, it only continued to become more evident his fondness for the school and Hope community.

“We had a real family atmosphere,” Jordan stated. “It all started with Glen Keller when he became the principal at the beginning of the 1964 school year. From then on, principals were careful about who they hired and how they would assimilate philosophically, morally and spiritually.”

The former English teacher was quick to admit how grateful he was to have principals that allowed him leeway to do as he saw fit in order to reach as many kids as possible.

“I was always very thankful for the academic freedom I had –no matter who the principal was,” Jordan commented. “They were always most interested in the final product and were not as concerned with the process.”

Jordan attributed much of his longevity at Hauser to the countless co-teachers over the years that he counted as friends.

“I had so many great colleagues, it would be impossible to even think about naming them all,” said Jordan. “I tried to be friends with everybody. I think it worked. I was even able to help get a lot of the shyer teachers out of their shells along the way.”

Besides earning the reputation as an accomplished teacher, the former WRTV “Teacher-of-the-Week” (1991) also touched many lives outside the four walls of a classroom while building a lengthy resume as a coach.

For 38 years, Jordan was the head coach of one sport or another. During the 1972-73 school year, Jordan was the head coach of three varsity sports (cross country, basketball and track) – a feat no longer heard of in today’s world. Jordan served 19 years as the cross country coach, 24 at the helm of the track program, coached the varsity boys’ basketball team for 7 (including several years at the 8th grade, freshman and JV levels) and had the varsity girls’ basketball team for 5 years.

“When I took the girls’ (varsity basketball) job, I said I would either go five years or until we won a sectional,” Jordan quipped. “Well, we won the sectional my fifth year (2005) and that turned out to be one of my biggest coaching thrills.”

Other coaching memories Jordan shared included the night Jeff Sneed scored 51 points against New Palestine in 1973.

“He was probably the best overall athlete I ever coached,” stated Jordan. Jordan also mentioned winning the 1986 Greensburg Sectional in Cross Country as a highlight along with his 1977-78 boys’ basketball team whom he said “could have gone a long, long way if we would have had class basketball at that time.”

Jordan was quick to credit the Hope community as a substantial source of his numerous positive memories as a teacher/coach.

“Whenever I might have had trouble with a student, I was quick to talk to one or both parent(s),“ Jordan remarked. “After that, the problem was often taken care of. That was tremendous.”

Jordan stressed how much the community was quick to take ownership of Hauser.

“The mentality was this is our school, these are our kids and we are going to help you help them,” pronounced Jordan. “I can remember getting the Heritage Day Cross Country Classic originated in 1983. So many people were willing to help and give freely of their time. That’s just one example of many.”

As a coach, Jordan never took for granted the community support his teams received.

“The support from the community was just incredible,” Jordan said. “That was not just at home, but also on the road. Their support was always positive for our teams and not negative towards our opponents.”

Jordan – who has been married to his wife (Joy) for nearly 53 years – made it apparent he remains very thankful for his chosen career and doesn’t doubt his decision to stay at one place for all 40 of his teaching years.

“I had opportunities to leave, but I certainly have no regrets having stayed,” Jordan said. “I enjoyed going to work and I had great colleagues over the years. It’s the relationships I built with the kids that really made it all such a treasure.”

In his retirement, it is evident that Jordan is practicing what he preached in the classroom for all those years…the importance of being a lifelong learner.

“I probably read eight or nine books a month and that’s a lot of books over the course of the last 13 years,” chuckled the history buff.