Garibaldi secondary is mourning the loss of beloved teacher Gord Hausknecht as the long-time social studies instructor passed away Wednesday from heart failure.
He was 58.
Having taught at Garibaldi for 30 years, Hausknecht was an integral part of the school.
“He had a real connection with his students, and a real passion for teaching,” said principal Grant Frend. “Everyone here is just so thankful for having known him, and the impact he had on their lives.”
Hausknecht was responsible for a number of annual events and traditions at the school, including the annual Grade 8 hike, leadership retreats, student government, and the 40 Hour Famine fundraiser. Frend said the events will continue, and this year’s grad dance will be dedicated to him.
For Garibaldi teacher Steve Moore, Hausknecht was more than just a colleague, he was one of the reasons Moore decided to become a teacher in the first place.
“I first had him as my teacher when I was in the eighth grade at Garibaldi,” said Moore.
That was back in the 1980s, when Hausknecht was still starting out on his teaching career.
“He always impressed students with his humour and mischievousness,” said Moore. “He had so much joy for what he did. As teachers, we all hope we have that gift.”
Hausknecht had no children of his own, and was deeply devoted to the kids at Garibaldi, often keeping in touch with them after they graduated.
When Moore returned to Garibaldi to teach, he said Hausknecht took him under his wing.
“He really made me feel welcome at the school,” he said. “He mentored me, treated me like a colleague, and every day I’d be in his classroom after school.”
Moore said Hausknecht’s death came as a shock to many at the school because Hausknecht never complained about his health.
“That’s the kind of guy he was,” said Moore. “He never complained about anything, never shared his problems. He was always more interested in what was going on with you.”
For the students and staff at Garibaldi, ‘Hausy’ or ‘Mr. H,’ as he was sometimes called, was one of a kind and will be sorely missed.
“Garibaldi is a real family, and Gord was instrumental in making it like that,” said Moore. “A special person like this doesn’t come along too often. He’s going to leave a huge hole, that’s for sure.”