JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - "The biggest mystery will always be what she put in her hair to make is 'sparkle.' Did she sprinkle it with silver glitter, or was it just the hairspray she used?" Jenna Stafford, a former PATHS President at VPA, said. "I'm pretty sure years from the now, the janitors will still be finding silver glitter from Ms. Downs' hair on the floors of VPA. Whatever it is, we will never forget her "sparkly" hair that matched her even 'sparklier' personality. Ms. Downs helped make school fun, but she also made school safe."
"Ms. Downs is a very sweet person. She kept me safe on the playground all six years I was at VPA," Lexie Burris, Jonesboro High School sophomore said. "Ms. Downs is hilarious, as well. She always kept me in stitches. She also gives the best hugs all day every day!"
"Ms. Downs has always been an amazing example of kindness and caring to the students and staff of VPA, Melissa Burris, VPA Drama instructor and parent, said. "I have been in this building for nine years, five of those just as a volunteer parent, and the remaining four as the drama teacher. I have always had a feeling of relief knowing that she was there to take care of my kids, when I wasn't."
"I've seen her physically stand in front of moving cars to block them from going the wrong way down Hillcrest Drive in order to protect the safety of "her" children at VPA," Jenna Stafford, remarked.
"She is always super nice. She is very funny. She would crack me up on the playground," Blake Burris, a MacArthur ninth-grader said. "She was right there if you needed anything. She made sure that when we played football or soccer that none of us got into trouble. She would help select our teams so that we didn't fight about it. We knew that she meant what she said, but we always knew that she loved us!"
"Ms. Downs is one of the hardest working school employees I've ever met," Jenna Stafford said. "Whether she's monitoring recess, PE, or school traffic she always gives 100 percent. She knows all the kids by name and makes it a point to interact with them and their parents."