School History

  • Portrait of Dr. John R. DownesJohn R. Downes Elementary School (1965)

    Downes Elementary School opened on September 9, 1965, as the 15th school in the Newark Special School District, the Christina School District's predecessor.

    The school's namesake, Dr. John R. Downes, was a prominent physician in Newark. Interested in athletics, Dr. Downes served as team doctor for several sports teams at Newark High School and was active in the American Legion Junior Baseball League. He served as chairman of the local Police committee, working with the police to restrict juvenile delinquency in Newark. He also served as a Newark City Councilman

    Dr. Downes died on September 4, 1958, at the age of 79.

    Photo credit: Newark Post, November 18, 1965 (University of Delaware: Library, Museums & Press)