2017-18 Downey Unified Retirees from left to right: Top Row- Kirby Drake (Warren), Marc Lurie (Warren) and Phil Davis (Downey Unified). Bottom Row – Jane Chandler (Sussman), Karla Hufenbach (Lewis), Suzan Wilson (Rio Hondo), Maggie Stava (Rio Hondo), Monica Taylor (Rio Hondo) and Mary Esposito (Lewis). Not shown in this photo: Joy Clark (Imperial), Tracy Garrido (Columbus), Steven Guthrie (Downey), Susan Heckert (Imperial), Jim Quick (Warren) and Jon Zack (Alameda).
It’s Retirement Season Across Downey Unified
Fourteen teachers and One administrator retire from across Downey Unified
On Friday, May 11, 2018, the Downey Education Association (DEA) and Downey Unified held a retirement celebration for the outgoing members of the district at the Rio Hondo Event Center. This group of 15 employees is comprised of one administrators and 14 teachers. In all, the retiring employees recognized at this celebration represented 390 total years of dedicated service to the students of Downey Unified.
The one administrator retiring in July is Director of CTE and Support Program, Phil Davis. Davis has been a member of the Downey Unified family for 32 years and has been an integral part of further developing Downey Unified’s Career Technical Educating (CTE) programs. In 2015, he worked tirelessly to obtain the Career Pathway Trust Grant which resulted in $6 million to expand Downey Unified’s CTE programs and pathways. The district is now one of the leading CTE districts in the state. Davis also facilitated the advancement of the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) programs into all 20 schools, along with being the driving force behind Downey Unified’s significant participation in the SkillsUSA state and national competitions.
“Phil has helped grow our Project Lead The Way programs at the lower levels, incorporating Launch at the elementary level, and Gateway at the middle school level,” proudly expressed Board of Education President, Bobbie Samperi. “Downey Unified is one of very few districts in the nation to provide PLTW from Transitional Kindergarten through 12th grade. This is the main reason why our district as a whole was designated as a National P21 Exemplar District!”
Retiring from the elementary school level are Joy Clark (Imperial), Mary Esposito (Lewis), Susan Heckert (Imperial), Karla Hufenbach (Lewis), Maggie Stava (Rio Hondo), Monica Taylor (Rio Hondo), Suzan Wilson (Rio Hondo) and Jon Zack (Alameda). The middle school level will only be saying their farewells to one retiree this year, Jane Chandler from Sussman Middle School.
Lastly, retiring from the high school level are Kirby Drake (Warren), Tracy Garrido (Columbus), Steven Guthrie (Downey), Marc Lurie (Warren) and Jim Quick (Warren).
“On behalf of the Board of Education, we want to thank you for the almost 400 years of dedicated service you’ve provided to our students,” stated Samperi. “Each of you has had a positive effect on childrens’ lives and you are the reasons why Downey Unified is such an amazing district.”