Anaheim Elementary School District
Christopher “Chris” Downing, is currently in his 30th year in education. As the new superintendent of the Anaheim Elementary School District, Mr. Downing leads the 23 elementary schools in the largest Elementary School District in Orange County.
During his career, Mr. Downing has served in many roles including primary and upper grade teacher, District-selected Mentor Teacher, Science Lead Teacher, Title I Coordinator, and as the Principal of Ambler ES Gifted Magnet, which was recognized as an Honorable Mention CA Distinguished School during his tenure. In addition, he has served as a central office administrator including leadership of the federally-funded LA Reads! Program (100 high-poverty Title I schools); Assistant Director and Administrative Coordinator of the Federal and State Education Programs (FSEP) Branch; and Administrator of the Parent Community Services Branch (PCSB). As the PCSB Administrator, Mr. Downing was responsible for parent engagement at all LAUSD schools and supervised the District Volunteer Program composed of over 15,000 school volunteers. Mr. Downing has served as a regional Instructional Director where he supervised high-poverty schools and helped foster 21st century teaching and learning in some of the most traditionally underserved schools in Los Angeles.
Based on his diverse educational experiences, Chris Downing was appointed by the CA State Board of Education as a member of the State Title I Committee of Practitioners and served as the chairperson of this state committee for three years.
Before joining Anaheim, Mr. Downing served as a Local District Superintendent in LAUSD, and under his guidance achieved strong academic improvement for 148 schools located in South Los Angeles, Watts, Carson, Gardena, Wilmington, Harbor City, and San Pedro with a focus on high quality instruction and differentiated support for over 88,000 students.
Mr. Downing constructed partnerships with several colleges/universities to create Promise Agreements with California State University, Dominguez Hills and Charles R. Drew University that guarantee priority enrollment for graduating students in 19 high schools. Additionally, he pioneered programs with community colleges that provided dual enrollment programs at 13 middle schools and all high schools in the Local District.
In Fall of 2016, Mr. Downing was selected as the 2016 Harbor Gateway Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year. In Spring of 2018, the Association of California Administrators Region XVI named him Superintendent of the Year.
Chris Downing is married and the proud father of two daughters that attend public schools.