R-e-s-p-e-c-t at Downey High School

Natalie Gomez, Arts & Entertainment Section Editor/ Staff Writer

On Oct. 28, principal Tom Houts led the Character Counts Assembly for each grade level in the school’s gym, where he went over the results of the My Voice survey and played a multimedia presentation made by Mr. Harris’ video production class.


Houts and administration prepared the Character Counts Assembly to promote good character at Downey High School. Character Counts is represented by the six pillars of character that students and staff are encouraged to abide by. The pillars include trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.


During the assembly, Houts explained the differences between perception and reception data through the My Voice survey results. The results shocked some students in the audience and Houts insisted that we needed to take initiative in making our school a better place.


“How you feel about Downey High School is how school goes,” Houts said. “If we’re going to make Downey High School a great school, we all have to be involved in that.”


After Houts’ speech, he played a presentation made by Mrs. Miller-Geiser, Mr. Harris, and the video production class. The video was narrated by Special Day Class teacher Mr. Thompkins and went over the history of Downey. It also featured different students, teachers, and alumni who defined what respect meant, how they acquired it, and how it relates to life at Downey High School.


“Sometimes I greet administrators every morning or afternoon when I see them,” senior Selma Laguna said. “I do it so often that I guess I gained their trust, and now I’m in charge of the school’s farm.”


By the end of the presentation, Houts shared that he planned to make a new committee with students and staff to work on promoting good character currently identified as the Culture of Caring and Respect Committee. He encouraged students to come up to him after the assembly if they were interested in joining this new upcoming committee that would make recommendations on how the school can improve on attributes of character.


Senior Carla Vargas volunteered for a spot on the committee because she believes that students at this school could benefit from a newfound respect for the school.


“I have so much school spirit and it just bums me out when I see or hear others trashing Downey,” Vargas said. “We say we go by the six pillars of character, but I think we need to improve on actually going by what character counts really is.”


The Character Counts Assembly was meant to engage the student body and to encourage student-faculty communication. With the Culture of Caring and Respect Committee on its way, Downey High School is expected to become an even friendlier environment than it was before.