LearnBoost welcomes Thomas Downey High
Thomas Downey High School is a High School in Modesto, California. It is one of the six high schools in Modesto. George Lucas, Tony Graziani, Laci Peterson and Olympian and American Discus Record Holder Suzy Powell, are some of its notable graduates.
One of the six high schools in Modesto, Thomas Downey High is the second oldest in the city. Its mascot is the Knight, but they are sometimes humorously referred to as the "Downey Ducks."
The movie American Graffiti, written and directed by Downey graduate George Lucas, is based in Modesto but filmed in Petaluma, California. The school that students in the film attend is called "Dewey High", but is actually Petaluma High School, the architecutral twin to Downey High. "Dewey High" is a likely reference to Downey.
Downey's yearbook and newspaper have received awards. Yearbook adviser John Scott was one of three finalists for the Stanislaus County Teacher of the Year award in 2007.
The Agriculture Department at Thomas Downey was first created to work the school's early orchards. The orchards have been since cut down, with the department serving as the main welding area for the students of TDHS. Proficient students in welding go on to competitions for the National FFA Organization. If students win competitions, they have a chance to be recognized by superiors in the welding industry. Companies include West-Mark, Caterpillar, and others. Students also raise animals for the Stanislaus County Fair, hoping to gain a profit. The projects range from 3 to 7 months and focus on gardening, animals, and home improvement. Students also have the opportunity to take a floral design class in which students design and sell arrangements.
The school has designated dress-up days during fall and winter homecoming weeks, Unity Week, and Red Ribbon week. A large rally is usually thrown at the beginning of each year for fall homecoming, where dance performances are given and homecoming court nominees play games meant to be somewhat embarrassing, but all in good fun for the spirit of Homecoming Week.
On Saturday, February 23, 2008, the Downey Science Bowl Blue Team won the Central Valley Regional Science Bowl Competition. They defeated the other 23 teams from the area.
Downey is also notable for its strong tradition in choral singing. Downey has six choirs: Concert Choir (mixed ensemble), Madrigals (advanced mixed ensemble), Knightengales (advanced women's ensemble), Knights(men's ensemble), and Gloriana (beginning women's ensemble). The choirs usually perform three concerts each year: Knight Magic in fall, the holiday concert in the winter, and the spring concert in spring. They also perform at various locations throughout the year and especially throughout the holiday season. The choirs also go on an annual choir tour to Southern California in the spring.