Downey Has Character

Oscar Flores, Copy Editor

Serving as a prelude to Downey vs. Warren Spirit week, Character Counts week was held from Oct. 16 – 20 to celebrate and uphold the morals valued in Downey and across the nation. The six pillars of character celebrated consist of: Trustworthiness, Fairness, Responsibility, Respect, Caring, and Citizenship.  


Character Counts week at Downey High School began with the decoration of trees in the quad; each tree was garnished with banners and decorative designs representative of a pillar’s color.  Beyond the decor implemented, students received recognition for their outstanding character and were given a shirt as a symbol of their strong values.


The Associated Student Body (ASB) had plans for Character Counts week from the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year and as senior Milena Medal, one of the commissioners for pep/spirit/assembly describes, they wanted to make it one of the best the school has had.

“We planned several activities such as decorating the trees in the quad; each tree representing a different color that resembles a certain honorable character,” Medal said.  “ASB had to be there at 6:30 a.m. but it was totally worth it! Link Crew helped by decorating the A, B, and C buildings.”


Link Crew was another major component of the week as they decorated the halls of A, B, and C buildings with inspirational posters and symbolic items of the six morals.  


Link Crew’s involvement in the week began after the Deans of Students (Mrs. Keeler & Mr. Crowe) and Mr. Fleming approached Link Crew Coordinator/English teacher, Ms. Simpson. From there, it was a matter of creating and setting up the decorations.


“It took us two weeks to make posters and we split it up so each of the link commissioners who are in class were in charge of a hallway,” Simpson stated.  “We [Link Crew] did the six hallways – 1 up and down in A, B, and C [buildings] – and the link leaders they were in charge of were also on their teams.”


These components comprised the bulk of Character Counts week that ended on Friday, Oct. 20.  As the week came to a close, students such as Allyssa Chan, 10, reflected upon the purpose of Character Counts and the annual celebration of the program.


“Character Counts week allows both teachers and students to embrace the six pillars of character,” Chan said.  “At DHS, it is important that students are not only both athletically and academically successful but that they have good character by following the six pillars.”


The educational concept was first articulated in the Aspen Declaration drafted in 1992 by the Josephson Institute of Ethics. Ethical morals incorporated in the declaration like the six pillars of character were decided upon by a coalition of 17 educational organizations and are meant to surpass socio-economical, cultural, and religious barriers.  The Character Counts curriculum was introduced and incorporated to Downey in 2005 and has served as a guideline to cultivate strong citizens and to instill a safe, positive environment.