Staff Member Makes Difference

Office worker impacts lives through role

Kayla Gonzalez, Staff Writer

Dawn Downe
Photo by Jada Boner


About  21 years ago, staff member, Dawn Downe, began working for DHS. She works with all different types of students in the office and the majority of students who walk by see how comfortable each of her workers look when they are with her. This not only makes her office a more welcoming place, but a safe place to sit and talk. 

“Working in the office, I feel that the students help to keep me updated on the latest fads and I feel more like a friend than a teacher,” Downe said.

With all the different students who come from various cliques around campus, she stays well rounded with what she knows and who she knows. Downe’s passion for her job shows when she makes her students feel safe and knows that her office remains open for them whenever they need it. For Downe, it seems she succeeded in that as well. Her job, just like every other dedicated staff member working, not only provides joy working with students that she likes, but also stress. 

“My main role is helping the counselors and assistant principals. You can feel the stress and tension in students, teachers and administration,” Downe said. “Everything from attendance to class work and more difficult.” 

With COVID hitting, it takes a lot more effort to make sure things stay accomplished. No matter how the new administration tries to make it easier on the office workers, Downe struggles with trying to tell concerned callers what they need to know when sometimes, she doesn’t know herself. For Downe, she maintains strong bonds with both students and her colleagues as well. 2020 brought a truckload of bad news, but also brought people together through the whole pandemic. Tardies and classwork remain a major tension between both the administration and students, but she hopes they know the office door remains open to talk. For her, the students’ lifestyles and personalities makes her job even more enjoyable.  

“I hope the students admire that I am here to help them in any way I can,” Downe said. “I really do enjoy the students.”