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By Tammye McDuff

The Mayors Healthy Heart Award started four years ago recognizing individuals that have done a phenomenal job for a healthier Downey. ‘When choosing someone for the Healthy Heart Award, we not only look at the person, but what they have accomplished in the community,” began Mayor Fernando Vasquez,” the individual receiving the award this evening was very instrumental in establishing our ‘Character Counts’ motto.”

“Some may know him as a teacher, coach, principal or fearless leader,” said Vasquez, “but I know him as a friend.” As a former President of the Downey Kiwanis, Houts raised funds for computer labs, not only for Downey High School, but the entire district. “You can always count on Tom to be a huge advocate for the School District, the students and teachers,” added Vasquez. Houts is known as a problem solver, a driven science teacher, and enthusiastic football coach

Houts has been a member of the DUSD for 29 years and is a 30 year Downey resident. Originally from the mid-west, he is known to be firm but fair and can talk football all day long, he loves hunting and farming, and even housed a pig at Downey High School.

“Downey has been wonderful to me,” said Houts, “truly a home away from home. Being a principal you are out a lot – all day and many nights. It is an all consuming job, but I love it and I couldn’t be more proud of this city.”

Houts continued to praise the Mayor and City Council for the many accomplishments they have achieved over the years saying, “The vibe of Downey is strong, continuity of our leaders, sound and pride of the community, sincere.”


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