Dear Editor: This Tuesday, June 3, the Downey Unified School District Board of Education will have a discussion related to renaming a facility after Dr. Mary Stauffer.
In the late 1940’s and early 50’s, four junior high schools were constructed in the city of Downey: North, South, East, and the last being West Junior High School. Over the years, in recognition of a principal and superintendents, the junior high schools, now middle schools, have been renamed. First, North to Griffiths, South to Sussman, and East to Doty.
No doubt that sometime in the future, the stand-alone direction, West Middle School, will be renamed after a significant individual who has made an overwhelming contribution.
In the history of our community, it can be argued that no other private citizen has done more for the city of Downey, the Downey Unified School District, and our children than Dr. Mary Stauffer. As a community and a School District, now is the time to rename West to Dr. Mary Stauffer Middle School. What better legacy for the alumni and the future graduates to be associated by name with Dr. Mary Stauffer.
Over the years, Mary has been a staunch supporter of our non-profit organizations and the students of the Downey Unified School District. Many of these organizations have helped our citizens in time of need and bettered the condition of our community. Hundreds of students from our schools have also been given a boost by Dr. Stauffer’s foundation, whether it be making college possible or sending elementary school students to learn more about the history of our great city at the Columbia Space Center. Her caring has made the dreams of thousands come true.
Rarely does a community have an individual whose deeds stand out so clearly as an example of someone who exemplifies a spirit of service above self. Dr. Mary Stauffer is that individual and deserves to be a name that stands forever in our history as a person who gave more to this community than she could ever receive.
With Dr. Stauffer turning 97 this summer, as a student body, a school district, and a community, let us together honor Mary by renaming West to Dr. Mary Stauffer Middle School.
William J. Kirkwood, Ph.D.
On Friday of last week I witnessed Dr. Mary Stauffer handing out $100 checks to the junior students at Warren High that had achieved a cumulative 4.0 GPA as recipients of the Junior 4.0 Award sponsored by Dr. Stauffer.
The next day I found Dr. Stauffer offering her time in support of the students participating in the robotics competition at Stay Gallery. This project is headed by Mr. Glenn Yamasaki, who has made the Project Lead the Way program for engineering students such a success at Warren High. Dr. Stauffer funded the training of the teachers who are active in this program and much equipment needed to implement the program.
I have suggested in the past that a school be named to honor Dr. Stauffer for her contributions to the children, teachers and schools in Downey. I now propose that in addition to naming a school after her, the school district name be changed to Dr. Mary Stauffer Unified School District. It would be the proper recognition for a person that has done so much for the education of the children of Downey.
Published: May 29, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 07