Ms. Senior Alabama 2022
3rd Runner Up
Ms. Senior World
Susan Downs is a graduate of Samford University and the University of Louisville, and has experience as a teacher, school administrator, and educational consultant. She is the founder and executive director of a local non-profit, Kids Play Alabama (click to visit the website), and currently serves as Head of School at the Joseph Bruno Montessori Academy. Susan previously worked for Mountain Brook City Schools as a Gifted Specialist. Ms. Downs has judged pageants at the local and state level for over 20 years, including Miss Alabama and Miss Louisiana. She has also served as the director of the Miss Metropolitan and Miss Steel City pageants, local preliminary pageants to Miss Alabama. Ms. Downs worked extensively with the planning and grassroots efforts of the Curing Childhood Cancer car tag, an Alabama specialty car tag which has raised over two million dollars for childhood cancer research. She has two grown children and two grandchildren, and is the mother of Miss America 2005, Deidre Downs Gunn. Her interests include reading and architectural design.
Susan Down’s message to senior women: “As senior women, we have the opportunity to use our life experiences, leadership, and resilience to make a positive impact in the communities where we live. Over the next 15 years, people aged 65 and older will outnumber those 18 and under for the first time in our history. By staying connected, giving back, and sharing our talents, we can be the example for others to follow.”
Susan Down’s recipe for success: “Success is not always easy, but I have found that attitude and an adventurous spirit have helped me tremendously. I intentionally make a choice each day to be happy. Rather than be bitter or unhappy with circumstances, I choose to find joy as much as possible. I also welcome opportunities which take me out of my comfort zone. Opening myself up to new experiences has resulted in rewarding opportunities which I would not have otherwise experienced. Success looks different for each person, but for me, attitude has been the critical ingredient.”
Susan Down’s philosophy of life: “Dare to dream! Life is a journey and opportunities and adventures don't always find us, we have to find them. Search for ways to grow, whether it is learning a new skill, taking a class, joining a group, making a new friend or volunteering where needed. I decided to make a life-long dream come true at age 65 when I founded a non-profit. I am constantly amazed at the impact that decision has had on my life. Experience life to its fullest each and every day, grab every opportunity and dare to dream what you thought was impossible.