PITTSBURG — For the last 18 years, Bonnie Houk has been instrumental in ensuring teachers and administrators have the resources needed to prepare youth for the future.

Houk, the director of grants management for the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center at Greenbush, has obtained more than $70 million in grant funding for school districts, municipalities and organizations.  

She was honored for her service at Greenbush for making resources possible in Crawford County through her grant writing.

“I was very excited to receive the award,” Houk said. “I was actually at a grant conference when I received the call … it is nice to give back to the community and be recognized that you made a contribution.”

Houk recently served as president of the national Grant Professionals Certification Institute and is an active member in the Grant Professionals and American Evaluation Associations since 2005.

Houk and other grant writers are working to make grant writing a recognized field as there are no degrees in grant writing, only classes are available, she said.

She has served on the Crawford County Planning & Zoning board and the secretary of Beulah Community Church since 2007. Since 2016, she has served as treasurer of the Kansas Association for Gifted, Talented, and Creative.

Also in 2016, her service to the community earned her the William & Allene Guthrie Van Meter Outstanding Alumni Award from Labette Community College.

After receiving her associates degree at LCC in secretarial work, she went on to Pittsburg State University and earned a degree in political science and then continued at PSU and where she earned a Master’s degree in history — which has been useful in her grant writing, she said.

“I think it taught a lot of research skills that benefit me in my job,” Houk said.

In her grant writing, she tells the reader about the story and history of the organization she is writing for.

“It is kind of a historical thing,” Houk said. “You have to paint the best picture you can.”

Aside from her talents in grant writing, Houk, has been a pianist for over 40 years and a church pianist at Beulah Community Church since 2006.

“It’s kind of an outlet for me,” she said.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.