Thanks from Dr. Stauffer

Dear Editor: Thanks to all for changing the name of West Middle School to Mary R Stauffer Middle School. It is an incredible honor and I want to thank the Downey Unified school board and Superintendent Dr. Garcia for approving it. Thanks to Jorge Montero who thought about it long ago and promoted it. Thanks to the principal and teachers who liked it.

Thanks to all who came to celebrate the name change on September 3.

Thanks to Dr. Garcia who planned the once-in-a-lifetime celebration. It was truly spectacular and enjoyed by all.

I have been interested in West for many years. In 1991 my granddaughter, Mary Suzuki, was playing in the band at West. I went to a performance and was so impressed with the ability of the band director, Mr. Miller, that I wanted to do something to promote his program. I asked if I could pay teachers to give after-school lessons. He said they already do it and are glad to. What they needed was instruments.

The next day I sent Mary to school with a $5,000 check for band instruments. This caused quite a surprise. It ended up with matching funds from Larry Hoag.

In 1992 the very first grant from the Mary R Stauffer Foundation was to Dan Latham for the Cyberobic Center. This was a very sophisticated computerized center. We had the same excellent  programmer that Ronald Reagan had. There was eye recognition, yes in 1992. It was considered the best in Southern California. It won the Golden Bell Award for the DUSD.

Project Lead The Way is a treasure. Stan Hanstad  presented PLTW to the principal of West, Craig Burtch, who said he had the teacher that could do it. It was Tri Tansopalucks. Tri not only could but did. Tri became a leader in the field and is now teaching classes at Cal Poly Pomona and teaching teachers to teach PLTW throughout the USA.

We helped fund a culinary art department under the direction of Mary Jo Enyeart. We bought computers for the library, a shared resource in 1994. We funded the broadcasting equipment, changed the gym into a multipurpose cafeteria, performing arts and basketball court. Thanks to all the others that got grants and used them so effectively.

I am very proud of this school and I hope in every way I can to inspire the pupils and teachers to achieve their full potential.

Thanks to the Downey Patriot for their incredible coverage, even printed in yellow and black, the Mary R Middle Stauffer School colors.

Many thanks to all.

Dr. Mary Stauffer




Published: Sept. 18, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 23