Leaving the past behind


Monique Munoz

On February 12, Mr. Jones tells the story about why he is going to retire next school year, in room B-210. “If you don’t learn from your students, you’re really not doing your job,” Mr. Jones said.

Gabriela Sanchez, Arts and Entertainment Editor

After dedicating over 30 years to the students of Downey High School, government teacher Reggie Jones is on his way to retirement, leaving behind memories and hoping to have made an impact on his students after all his years of teaching.

Jones took an interest in teaching and soon realized that becoming an educator would best suit him. The government teacher began taking classes and grasped at the opportunity to work with junior high students to gain experience. Sophomore year of college rolled right around the corner, and Jones no longer had a doubt left in his mind; teaching was what he was meant to do.

“I wanted to go back to high school,” Jones said. “High school was the best time of my life, so I thought, ‘How do I get back there?’”

Reggie Jones finally landed a position on the Downey High School staff in 1981, and began his life as an instructor.

It has been more than thirty years since young Jones made the decision to jump back into high school and the experienced school teacher reflects on what he is going to miss most after retiring next year.

“There’s going to be so much to miss,” Jones said. “I’m going to miss the fact that the kids keep us young and I’m also going to definitely miss the staff here.”

Fellow colleague and economics teacher, Bernie Glasser shares his thoughts on his longtime friend and how his missing presence will be felt.

“We’re all going to miss his jokes, sense of humor, and knowledge,” Glasser said.

Indeed, the B-210 teacher is known for his humorous tactics and famous story telling, including his favorite one to tell, how he met his wife.

Arlene Sanchez, 11, shares thoughts about Jones and how other students speak about their government teacher.

“All I ever hear from his students is how funny his stories are,” Sanchez said. “I think that’s what he’s most known for.”

Although Jones will no longer be able to share his stories and teach after his retirement, he is happy that he has been an impact on his students after all these years.

“We as teachers are fortunate to have an influence on the upcoming generation, not a lot but just a little bit,” Jones said.

With the job, also came life-changing lessons where students provided Jones with their own insight.

“You never quit learning as a teacher, there’s always something you learn,” Jones said. “It’s unbelievable.”

Jones, although leaving Downey High School, leaves behind his legacy of famous story telling, and having filled the days of his students with humor and knowledge.