A woman of multiple countries


Alexandra Menendez

After leaving London in 1981, Mrs. Vadgama came to Downey and now teaches all six periods of the Career Technical Education classes: Principles of Education. She has been teaching for thirteen years and is also in charge of Skills USA.

Lucia Hernandez, News Editor

Mrs. Frida Vadgama has spent 13 years of her life teaching at DHS, and enjoys it just as much as her first day.

Vadgama is no ordinary American though she was born in Kenya, East Africa. She moved to London, England when she was six and has been in America for 32 years. She did all of her schooling in London, spending a total of four years at the University of London. When she was 24, she tied the knot and moved to America so her husband could finish his fellowship at University of Michigan, he is now a professor at UCLA. She now lives alone with her husband after raising three children.


“I’m proud of them,” Vadgama said “They are all very wonderful.”


Vadgama rarely gets homesick, because she visits London once a year, and technology plays a huge part in her life. She uses Facetime four or five times a week to keep in touch with her family.


“My family is here now, [and] my kids are here,” Vadgama said. “America is so family oriented, you can do anything with your family.”


When she does visit England, she enjoys spending time with her mother, going out to see plays and grabbing a bite to eat at local pubs.


“You know what I do miss is the pub food,” Vadgama said, “nothing beats a country pub.”


Vadgama happens to be quite the foodie and an adventurous eater, never afraid to try dishes from different parts of the world. She and her husband both have quite an appetite for new things; she often takes trips to Pioneer Blvd, which is the place to go to get a taste from India.


Mr. De La Torre, a math teacher here on campus has been working with Vadgama for the three years. He had nothing but kind words when asked to describe her.


“She is so hardworking,” De La Torre said. “Not only does she plan all the Skills trips, she books the hotels, venues, transportation, and doesn’t complain about it. She really enjoys it.”


Senior, Monica Rufino is in Vadgamas first and second period and she also had nothing but kind words for her teacher.


“She is super nice, super sweet and super chill,” Rufino said.


Vadgama plans on staying here in America after she has retired and accomplished her goal of being the best teacher possible and impacting the lives of many. She has found a new home in California and intends to live her life in the United States for the rest of her days.


After 32 years in America and 13 at Downey High School, the CTE/Skills U.S.A teacher still seems to have her English accent and the same love, dedication, and passion as her first day here.