White Salmon resident Ken Block, superintendent of Horizon Christian School has retired — for the second time.
“With heartfelt thankfulness and deep gratitude for 15 years of dedicated service,” Horizon Board Chair Don Hoffman said of Block’s retirement in a press release.
Block served his first five years as development director, helping raise money to build the campus Horizon built in 2006 on the Heights in Hood River. Horizon’s enrollment draws from throughout the Columbia Gorge.
“It was just time,” Block. “I tell people, ‘I only look 39 but I’m heading into my 71st year’.”
“My plan had been to stay five or 10 years, but God had other stuff in mind, and it’s just the feeling it was time for me to fully retire,” said Block, who had served as postmaster of the White Salmon Post Office for 23 years before retiring in 2004. He went to work for Horizon the next year. He and his wife, Carole, are active in their church, Grace Baptist in White Salmon, and have long hosted Bible study groups in the home they have owned for 38 years.
In the words of Block, as he inspirationally ended each email to his staff: “Praying always, and NEVER giving up.”
“We do what we can to minister and share the gospel,” Block said.
The Blocks are planning to lead a Bible study tour to Israel in June 2021, their second. They had planned a tour this year, but had to postpone due to COVID-19.
“Our love is to travel,” he said.
The Blocks have three grown children and five grandchildren aged 1 through 25.
Hoffman said that during the last 10 years as superintendent, “Ken was steadfast in his dedication to the mission of Horizon to teach truth and change lives through academic achievement, Biblical truth, and Christian character development.
“We wish him the absolute best in his retirement,” Hoffman said.
“A search committee has been set up consisting of three Trustees chaired by Bob Spotts. It may be some time before the position is filled, but we have a strong team in place to ensure the right candidate is selected,” Hoffman said.
“We have very capable administrators and they are more than adequate to the task,” Block said. “Whether they realign or stay with the current framework of administration I’m not sure.”
Effective with Block’s retirement, the principals and business director Carol Yates will report to Don Hoffman, as Board Chair, not as interim Superintendent. Principals are Faith Kempf, secondary; Renee Reike, elementary, and Jennifer Tomka, home school program.
“The Hood River community should continue to support having that option for people,” Block said of the private K-12 school.
“We’ve always been part of the community and have always felt supported throughout the community.”