A long time coming


Amanda Lira

For the month of September, ASB members announce English teacher, Mr. David Kraus, as Teacher of the Month. Mr. Kraus has been teaching English at Downey High for the past four years.

Edward Valencia, Writer/Parents and Teachers Editor

English teacher Mr. Kraus, in his fourth year teaching at Downey High, has been awarded Teacher of the Month Award for September.

Although Kraus has taught different levels of English, such as 9th through 11th grade English, teaching was not his first job.

“I was a mechanic in the Air Force,” Kraus said. “While in the military, they gave me money for school and I took classes.”

After leaving the Air Force, Kraus attended Cal State Long Beach and majored in English with a minor in Creative Writing.

Kraus’s first teaching job out of college was teaching English at La Serna High School in Whittier. He then accepted an offer from Downey High to teach English 9 and 11. He now teaches 10th grade English. He enjoys teaching high school students because he feels he can have a mature conversation with them.

“I love [teaching high school students],” Kraus said. There’s a freedom there to talk to people about important issues.”

Kraus feels that the biggest challenge, or problem, facing him is the fact that he can’t help every single student of his succeed.

“I wish I could help every one of my students,” Kraus said.

Friend and colleague, Mr. Rios, met Kraus through coaching the JV football team, and knew that he deserved an award.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look up to him,” Rios said. “I think it’s overdue.”

English teacher, Ms. Stratford also commends Kraus’s teaching.

“He’s a great teacher,” Stratford said. “We can learn a lot from each other.”

Kraus’s life has changed drastically since he left the Air Force. He’s glad that he became an English teacher and that he has the opportunity to help students succeed academically.

“I feel happy when I wake up in the morning,” Kraus said. “I’m happy that I can help students. I love doing what I do.”

Mr. Kraus feels privileged to have been awarded Teacher of the Month. He looks forward to the future, and wants to use his minor in Creative Writing to publish short stories.