I love that San Dieguito is a school where the unexpected is expected, where school spirit is funky, and where people, students and adults, take the time to see past the outer masks we all wear and really listen to the content of each other’s character.
I love that at SDA students can find themselves, be themselves, and try and fail and succeed and know that they’re safe.
I love that right now you could walk up from this library to an art gallery on campus where you would see paintings and drawings by staff and alumni, and that if you made that same walk in a month you’d see student work that would astound you.
This is a place where students and teachers learn and laugh together.
In just a few weeks our homecoming game will see hundreds of students, male and female, freshmen through seniors, playing flag football, and we’ll end the night with students playing a game with our staff. Last year at halftime the student body came out onto the field and danced.
I love that we have a campus that embraces events like Cabaret Night, the Dorkathon, and the Homeroom Olympics, a place where students in AP Art history just celebrated our school’s 1936 opening by holding class in tents on the anniversary of the first opening day, when construction wasn’t completed and kids had class in canvas classrooms.
We have construction now, but no fear of tents.
I love that yesterday, when I was subbing in a Senior English class and stretching time as the sub plans were being delivered, in a delightfully unscripted moment a student raised his hand and asked: “No offense, but what do you do during the day?”
I did my best to explain what a principal does, though I’m not entirely convinced I did.
And I love that later that night at Back to School Night, when I went over to thank some students for volunteering to help parents find classrooms, that same student was there, and as I thanked him too, he said: “I’m not part of ASB; I’m just here because of the good vibes.”
And those good vibes are evident all over San Dieguito, at concerts, games, assemblies, dances, and performances. That spirit of SDA shows up in our Link Crew, students who help new students feel comfortable at our school; our PALS program, student listeners trained to help peers through challenging times, and the hundreds and hundreds of students who find quiet ways to make our school better every day.
These same students remind us to embrace life and be playful, passionate, and positive.
With every student I see in a cape or a costume, a Mustang jersey or a goofy hat, I’m reminded of why we all do what we do.
As educators, at our best, every decision we make is for the students.
“How will this help kids?” That is the question great teachers and principals, and all of us with a hand in education should ask ourselves every day.
I love that at SDA, where you can wear a Pikachu costume …or you don’t have to, we embrace respect, kindness, and a funky spirit that feels most like love.
This post is what I shared with our school board when I had my yearly opportunity to present a window into life at San Dieguito. It was too early in the year to catalog a bunch of successes and I didn’t want to simply talk about what we were going to do, so I opted to try to capture a little of the spirit of our amazing school.
Oh, and I wore a Pikachu costume.