Golden Handshake offered at semester

Cassandra Meuret

The semester had come to an end and a little Downey history went with it when long time teachers and staff members retired as a way for the district to save money during hard financial times. Those who left in January included: Al Holley, Don Hodges, Linda Riggs, Nancy Roth, and Will Capps.

The board of education agreed to hire: two math teachers, Michelle Gunderson and Adrian Navarro, two counselors, Pam Morse and Jayro Roman, a librarian, and a music teacher, Mathew Fell, to replace the retired staff.  The retirees had been a part of Downey for quite some time, which varies in the amount of years, and will not only be remembered but also missed by many students and fellow workers.

Don Hodges, who originally chose to work at Downey 36 years ago, has been more than just a long time math teacher to students.  During his years Hodges coached volleyball, golf, and baseball.  Coaching at Downey created some of Hodges’ best memories here on campus, which will be one of the many things he will miss.

“I will also miss the teachers and the students that have stood out to me,” Hodges said.

Librarian Nancy Roth, who worked at Downey for the past 18 years, really grew attached to the job she whole-heartedly enjoyed.

“I’ve really enjoyed my job and wasn’t sure if I was ready to retire. The students are really nice and we have a good faculty,” Roth said.

Despite current renovations, a more sufficient library, with half a million new books was installed for the students’ use during Roth’s employment. Roth made sure that the curriculum was aligned with what was available in stock at the school library.

Linda Riggs, who had been in the district since 1974, established the Senior Exit Project along side guiding many students on the path of success during her years.

Riggs could not have asked for a more fulfilling career than being a counselor for in her words a “wonderful district”.

“I loved my job and will miss making a difference in people’s lives. There were a lot of special students,” Riggs said.

Riggs will miss the students as she and all of the retirees will be missed. These members of staff may be leaving campus but they will not be forgotten. They have made an everlasting imprint on many students and fellow workers.