“Allison embodies all three of our district themes. She is our graduation coach, but really, she will step into any role that is needed. She works with students on FAFSA, Oregon Promise, talks to them about GPA, grades, housing, jobs, and anything else they might need. She has candy in her office and in order to get one, students have to tell her one good thing about their day. She just requested a coat for a student after having a lunchtime conversation with her. She really cares about our students, not just what they will do after high school, but here and now, and the students know that she cares. Last year, she helped many of our seniors apply for financial aid and college while learning about the job for the first time herself. She is an amazing asset to BHS.”
She started working for the district 17 years ago. She has worked in the district office, JCMS, MHS, and now Bridges High.
Allison works with juniors and seniors at Bridges on postsecondary planning. She is there specifically to work with those students and help them figure out a plan to set them up for success once they graduate. She checks in with students on their credit situation, helps them research potential colleges or trade schools to attend, and works with them to make sure they have a plan and are sticking to their goals.
“I feel like building relationships in a nutshell is my biggest success,” Downing said. “There’s a couple key pieces that make you feel incredible like a student getting into college, a student getting a scholarship that they never dreamed about the potential or the possibility, and you know, the hugs and tears you receive as a thank you. That’s huge.”
Watch the video to learn more about her and the work she does in school!