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Kerry Downs – Orem High School

My English teacher, Mr. Downs, would be a very deserving winner of the KSL “Teacher Feature” award. Every time I come to class, my admiration for him grows. He has a unique way of teaching students not only how to form proper sentences and highlight and annotate essays, but also how to live high morals and standards. He connects with his students by actively involving himself in our lives.

Mr. Downs is passionate about his school. He graduated from Orem High and has been teaching English there for 32 years. His school spirit is illustrated at the beginning of every class period. He reminds his students of upcoming sporting events, school plays, and other activities going on at Orem High. He recognizes the students in his class who are involved in these activities, congratulates them on their accomplishments, and wishes them well at upcoming performances. Mr. Downs doesn’t only encourage students to attend these events, but goes to them himself. I just finished my last season playing on the Orem High ladies’ tennis team and it was always a delight to see him on the bleachers cheering us on.

At the beginning of this school year, we each received a textbook that teaches us about the patterns for college writing. I’m not a fan of textbooks, but Mr. Downs’s enthusiasm for this book and his love for writing has transferred to me. In this textbook, there are numerous sections on different styles of writing such as Exemplification, Cause and Effect, and Argumentation. We use these styles to form our own essays. Every time I read my finished paper to the class and hear other students’ papers, I am always amazed at how well written they are. It is unquestionably a product of the time Mr. Downs has taken to make sure we fully understand each concept of writing. When we turn in assignments, there is a high-quality expectation required that has motivated me to always turn in my finest work.

Aside from being an English teacher, Mr. Downs is also a Driver’s Education instructor. Every morning at 5:00, Mr. Downs will be at the driving range ready to teach two students about the rules of the road. Driving for the first time can be an intimidating experience, but Mr. Downs made me feel at ease and ready for his driving tips and instructions. I probably owe my life to him. There have been several situations after receiving my license when I remembered something he taught me that has benefited my driving ability and prompted me to act safely.

Mr. Downs will always be a marvel at Orem High School as he makes certain the moments spent with him are well worth his students’ time. He continues to teach different styles of writing that will benefit me in college while his sense of humor keeps me laughing throughout the class period. This is why Mr. Downs is my favorite teacher and highly deserves this award.

–Emily Nelson