John Downey


John Downey has 20 years of classroom teaching experience, all at Royal High School in Simi Valley, California, where he teaches AP Macroeconomics, economics, and IB Theory of Knowledge. He serves as Chair of the Social Studies Department. 

John’s responsibilities outside of the include management of the Citizen Scholar Institute at Royal High School, which he helped create in collaboration with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. The CSI program formalized the six proven practices of quality civics education, as described in the Guardian of Democracy: Civic Mission of Schools report. 

John is passionate about preparing young people for enlightened and productive citizenship. To those ends, he has served on the California Department of Education’s State Seal of Civic Education Advisory Group and the Reagan Presidential Library’s Teacher Advisory Council to develop a reboot of that institution’s Discovery Center.

In recent years John has travelled with his family to most of the units of the National Park Service in the Western United States. Other interests include hockey, collecting pressed pennies, and wearing cufflinks like Madeleine Albright wears brooches.


I am proud to have been honored by CCSS as Outstanding Secondary School Social Studies Teacher in 2017 and I now look forward to serving CCSS by representing the teachers of Region 8 to the best of my ability. During my time serving CCSS I would like to support schools in formalizing civics education at their sites and in their districts by promoting proven practices and incorporating civics programming in district LCAPs.