Vikings finishing regular season on hot streak

DOWNEY – The Downey High School boys’ volleyball team currently has an overall record of 25-8 and a San Gabriel Valley League record of 9-0.

The Vikings defeated cross-town rival Warren at Downey 3-0 on April 2nd, defeated Gahr at Downey 3-0 on April 4th and defeated Paramount at Downey 3-0 on April 9th.

The Vikings defeated Dominguez at Dominguez 3-0 on April 11th, defeated Gahr at Gahr 3-0 on April 12th and defeated Lynwood at Downey 3-0 on April 16th. Downey traveled to Warren last night to face the Bears in their league and regular season finale (score unavailable at press time).

At the time of this writing, Downey is in first place with a record of 9-0, Warren is in second place with a record of 6-2, Paramount is in third place with a record of 4-3, Gahr is in fourth place with a record of 4-5, Lynwood is in fifth place with a record of 1-7 and Dominguez is in sixth place with a record of 0-7.

Coach McCarthy, his staff and players are all looking forward to finishing league play on a strong note. C.I.F. playoff brackets will be released soon and postseason action will begin shortly thereafter. Downey competes in C.I.F. Division 2.


WARREN BOYS VOLLEYBALL:
The Warren High School boys’ volleyball team currently has an overall record of 10-7 and a San Gabriel Valley League record of 6-2.

Warren was defeated by cross-town rival Downey at Downey 3-0 on April 2nd, defeated Dominguez at Warren 3-0 on April 4th and defeated Lynwood at Warren 3-0 on April 9th.

The Bears were defeated by Paramount at Warren 3-1 on April 11th, defeated Gahr at Gahr 3-1 on April 16th and played Dominguez at Dominguez on April 17th (score unavailable at press time). The Bears played Downey yesterday in their much anticipated rematch, are scheduled to play Saddleback Valley Christian later today and will travel to Dominguez to face the Dons next Tuesday in their regular season finale.

At the time of this writing, Downey is currently in first place in league play with a record of 9-0, Warren is in second place in league play with a record of 6-2, Paramount is in third place in league play with a record of 4-3, Gahr is in fourth place in league play with a record of 4-5, Lynwood is in fifth place in league play with a record of 1-7 and Dominguez is in sixth place in league play with a record of 0-7.

Coach Lane, his staff and players are all looking forward to finishing league play on a strong note and qualifying for the C.I.F. Division 3 playoffs.


TRACK:
The Downey/Warren “Classic” track and field meet took place last Friday evening at Downey High School. Results of the track meet will be in next week’s Patriot.


WARREN BASEBALL: The Warren High School baseball team currently has an overall record of 22-6 and a San Gabriel Valley League record of 7-2.

Warren split their annual rivalry series with cross-town rival Downey at one win each. Downey won the first game at Downey 4-2 on April 9th and Warren won the second game at Warren 5-4 on April 11th.

In the home win at Warren, the Bears scored one run in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. The Bears pushed across two more runs in the bottom of the second inning and lead 3-0 after two innings of play. Neither Downey or Warren scored in the third, fourth or fifth innings and the score remained 3-0 heading into the top of the sixth inning.

Downey’s bats came alive in the top of the sixth inning and the Vikings scored four runs to take a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. The Bears did not score in the bottom of the sixth inning and the score remained 4-3 heading into the top of the seventh inning.

The Vikings did not score in the top of the seventh inning and the score was still 4-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. The Bears pushed two runs across in the bottom of the seventh inning and took the come from behind win, 5-4.

Warren hosted Kennedy of Granada Hills at Warren on Wednesday (score unavailable at press time) and will host Gahr at Warren next Monday and will travel to Gahr next Wednesday to conclude their regular season schedule.

The C.I.F. Division 3 playoffs will begin in two weeks and Coach Pearson, his staff and players are all looking forward to finishing league play on a strong note and competing for the S.G.V.L. title.


DOWNEY SOFTBALL:
The Downey High School girls’ softball team currently has an overall record of 13-12 and are 6-1 in San Gabriel Valley League play.

The Lady Vikings were defeated by Gahr at Downey 11-1 on April 9th, defeated Paramount at Downey 16-1 on April 11th and defeated Dominguez at Dominguez 19-0 on April 16th.

Downey hosted Lynwood yesterday (score unavailable at press time), will host Cerritos at Downey tomorrow, will travel to cross-town rival Warren on Monday and will travel to Gahr next Wednesday to conclude their regular season schedule.

At the time of this writing, Gahr is currently in first place in league play with a record of 7-0, Downey is in second place in league play with a record of 6-1, Warren is in third place in league play with a record of 4-2, Paramount is in fourth place in league play with a record of 1-5, Lynwood is in fifth place in league play with a record of 1-6 and Dominguez is in sixth place in league play with a record of 0-5.

Coach Garcia, his staff and players are all looking forward to finishing league play on a strong note and competing for a share of the S.G.V.L. title. The Lady Vikings need to beat Warren on Monday and Gahr on Wednesday to make that happen.

C.I.F. playoff brackets will be released next weekend and postseason play will begin a few days later.

The arts are thriving at Downey Unified

Eye on our Schools

This is my third month of Eye on our Schools, I hope you have enjoyed the first two articles and hope you will continue with me on my journey through our schools. To save space in this article, I’m abbreviating the middle schools to MS and high schools to HS or sometimes I just drop the initials completely.

Words cannot express the great pride I take when asked what school district I represent. I reply the “Great and Wonderful Downey Unified School District” because that is exactly how I feel about this district and so much more. Education in Downey Unified is about much more than the three “R’s” (reading, writing and arithmetic). More specifically it’s also about creating students who value the Arts.

The past few weeks, I was lucky to see some of the activities associated with the Arts at the middle schools. Our drama teachers are the best around! They are excited about their plays and project energy onto their students, who in turn use that energy in their performances. We also have a great community full of supporters and parents who dedicate their free time in support of our students.

I laughed (and sometimes sang) along with the audience at the productions of “Shakespeare Goes To Gravel Gulch….” at Doty MS, “Haphazardly Ever After” at Griffiths MS and “Grease” at Stauffer MS. I love the “outtakes” and commercials that you get to watch during intermission at Doty; they made me laugh and kept me entertained while the crew got ready for the next act.

Watching the kids do the “hand Jive” during “Grease” took me back a few years, and I must give kudos to dedicated community member, Mr. Jeff Toussing, who carved and painted the Greased Lightnin’ car out of styrofoam for Stauffer.

At Griffiths, there was a student in the audience from another district and at the end of the performance I overheard her ask the person sitting next to her if this was a magnet school. The girl she asked replied that it was not. She then responded saying that this production was better than the plays at her own performing arts magnet school… What a great compliment!

These may be middle school productions, but our students, sets and costumes are a big step above standard middle school expectations.

Now moving on to the productions at the high schools, which seem like they could be seen live on Broadway! I recently saw the Downey HS production of “In The Heights” at the Downey Civic Theatre, with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and wonderful sets designed and built by Downey HS teacher Vincent Appel.

Downey High School students performing “In the Heights.”

Downey High School students performing “In the Heights.”

There was dancing, singing, cheering, crying and everything in-between. I was amazed by the students’ ability to remember the often long and fast paced dialogue. You would have thought you were sitting at the Pantages Theatre.

And let’s not forget the great productions at Warren HS. While they are always in a smaller and more intimate setting where they do not need to use a microphone, the students are spot on when it comes to being funny, engaging, dramatic and captivating.

I saw their most recent play last Saturday, “Yankee Tavern” and I have to say that it was another brilliant production. Warren’s drama teacher majored in set design and again he didn’t disappoint. The stage was turned into a working tavern where attendees could purchase a beverage for the evening…non-alcoholic of course. The only beer on tap was root beer.

My favorite annual play is “Night of the Living Dead” where a certain science teacher does a guest appearance as a Zombie. A few years ago, the construction teacher built a rotating platform into the stage floor that turns between scenes when necessary and has been used in multiple plays. That’s something you don’t see at every high school!

Warren High has another production coming up soon, the comedy “Mrs. California” beginning May 22nd through May 25th at 7:30pm. I highly recommend that you get to the Warren High theater early because seats sell out quickly.

The music programs at the middle and high schools are equally as wonderful as the drama productions. They all have opportunities for some, if not all, of the following activities such as choir groups, jazz bands, marching bands, jazz singers and the list goes on.

Downey HS just came in first place at the Monterey NextGenerations Jazz Festival against jazz bands all across the country. And Warren HS has won the Southern California School Band & Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) Division Championship two years in a row and this school year earned their highest points in school history with a 94.15.

Keep your eyes on the individual schools’ websites for opportunities to hear some of the best performances in Southern California.

I talked a lot about the drama productions, but our district also provides so many great opportunities in Music and Visual Arts for our students at all levels. I will revisit this area more during a later article.

As I close, let me put in a couple plugs… If you’d like to have some hands-on fun with animation, I recommend you go to Mr. Bill Austin’s class, Room K1, at Warren HS at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday nights where he opens his classroom doors to anyone that wants to learn about animation.

At the elementary level, please visit the Downey Foundation for Educational Opportunities’ website (DFEO.org) to see what our partner foundation offers our students to help supplement art education.

As you can see, I am very proud of the opportunities we provide our students every day at our schools to help them become citizens of strong character. None of this would be possible if it weren’t for the support of every one of our employees. Our teachers are always looking for ways to impact our students and our non-teaching Classified staff for providing food for them every day and keep our schools looking clean, safe and inviting.

Upcoming events:

  • Downey HS Band Spring Concert at the Downey Civic Theater - Thursday, May 2, 7:00 p.m.

  • Warren HS has another play coming up that I mentioned earlier. Visit: www.emersontheatre.net for details

  • Warren HS Spring Concert at the Downey Civic Theater - Tuesday, April 30, 7:00 p.m.

  • Doty MS Spring Concert at the Downey Civic Theater – Monday, May 13, 6:30 p.m.

  • Griffiths MS Spring Concert – Tuesday, May 21, 6:00 p.m.

  • Sussman MS Concert on the Lawn – Thursday, May 16, 5:00 p.m.

I hope to see you there!

Nancy A. Swenson
President, Downey Unified Board of Education

Lucy Atlas, Kathleen Carter, John Glaister named Teachers of the Year

DOWNEY — Three teachers from across Downey Unified were recognized by the Downey United Masonic Lodge 220 at the Board of Education’s monthly meeting held on Tuesday, April 9.

This annual award, which first began in 1964, is presented to a teacher from each level in the Downey Unified School District. This year’s Masonic Teacher of the Year recipients are Lacy Atlas, Kathleen Carter and John Glaister.

Old River Elementary School’s Lucy Atlas accepts her Masonic Teacher of the Year plaque from the Downey United Masonic Lodge 220. From left to right: Stephen White, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220 Junior Warden; Ralph Lopez, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220; Lucy Atlas; Caryn Jasich, Old River Principal; and David Olmedo, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220 Senior Warden.

Old River Elementary School’s Lucy Atlas accepts her Masonic Teacher of the Year plaque from the Downey United Masonic Lodge 220. From left to right: Stephen White, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220 Junior Warden; Ralph Lopez, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220; Lucy Atlas; Caryn Jasich, Old River Principal; and David Olmedo, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220 Senior Warden.

Beginning at the elementary level, Lucy Atlas, a fifth-grade teacher at Old River Elementary School, was selected for her unwavering dedication to the success of every student.

Beginning her teaching career in Downey Unified at Gauldin Elementary School in 1986, Atlas transferred to Old River Elementary School in 1997 when the school was first opened. She currently assists in the GATE program, the Gator Glee and has coached students in the Carnival of Champions for the past 25 years.

“Ms. Atlas is humble yet determined to do the right things and to do right by our district, our school and our students,” expressed Old River Elementary School principal, Caryn Jasich. “She knows that the support she provides is essential in helping students build the confidence they need to navigate this ever-changing world we live in.”


Doty Middle School’s Kathleen Carter was recognized as this year’s middle school Masonic Teacher of the Year. From left: Stephen White, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220 Junior Warden; Ralph Lopez, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220; Kathleen Carter; Brent Shubin, Doty Middle School Principal; and David Olmedo, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220 Senior Warden.

Doty Middle School’s Kathleen Carter was recognized as this year’s middle school Masonic Teacher of the Year. From left: Stephen White, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220 Junior Warden; Ralph Lopez, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220; Kathleen Carter; Brent Shubin, Doty Middle School Principal; and David Olmedo, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220 Senior Warden.

Kathleen Carter, a Social Studies teacher at Doty Middle School, was chosen as the second Masonic Teacher of the Year representing the middle school level.

Previously an ASB Advisor for three years, Carter started at Doty Middle School in 1994 when it was still named East Middle School. Due to family priorities, she accepted a part-time position at the Downey Adult School assisting in the GED diploma program, then in 2013 she rejoined the Doty staff.

Carter is the co-chairperson for the Social Studies Department and played a key role in assisting the school in receiving the state and national Schools To Watch designation.

“She incorporates new teaching strategies and integrates new technology that she finds effective in always improving student learning,” stated Brent Shubin, principal of Doty Middle School. “Mrs. Carter is a shining example of what being an outstanding educator is all about.”


John Glaister, Columbus High School teacher, accepts the award of 2019 Masonic Teacher of the year. From left: Stephen White, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220 Junior Warden; Ralph Lopez, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220; John Glaister; Anthony Zegarra, Columbus High School Principal; and David Olmedo, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220 Senior Warden.

John Glaister, Columbus High School teacher, accepts the award of 2019 Masonic Teacher of the year. From left: Stephen White, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220 Junior Warden; Ralph Lopez, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220; John Glaister; Anthony Zegarra, Columbus High School Principal; and David Olmedo, Downey United Masonic Lodge 220 Senior Warden.

Selected from the high school level, Art teacher John Glaister from Columbus High School, was the final Downey Unified teacher to be honored.

Glaister has been a teacher at Columbus High for 15 years, teaching art and acting as an ASB Advisor. He provides support across the district, helping elementary schools by making classroom sets of student whiteboards and creating signage for various rooms. Glaister is also active in the Downey community assisting in building book boxes around the city while the public library is closed for renovations.

“Above all Mr. Glaister is an example for all on campus,” said Columbus High’s principal, Anthony Zegarra. “He helps in any way he can to make Columbus the best place for all who enter our doors every day.”

“All three of the Downey Unified teachers that were awarded the Masonic Teacher of the Year exhibit qualities that direct students down a path that leads them to be citizens of strong character and globally competitive, while providing them with the appropriate tools to be both college and career ready,” the school district said in a statement.