Over the course of this school year it has been my pleasure to celebrate our school’s 80 year history through stories, interviews, and reflections on what life was like here on a campus that began with rented tents, grew to include pens for pigs and cows, saw the construction of shops and classrooms, and is now poised to open a wing of 21st century science labs that look forward to a future rich with technology. I’ve tried to capture both these physical changes to campus and the spirit of the students and adults who filled these breezeways. Admittedly, I’m more poet than historian, but the journey has been wonderful and I hope the modest scribblings that have come out of it have been worth a few minutes reading a week.
Having tromped through the 1930s and 40s, years of football teams and flower fields; the 1950s and 1960s, when more cars filled the parking lot and San Dieguito acquired a gleam that has never left its eye; the 1970s and 80s, when it felt at times as if “anything goes” was a school slogan; to the 1990s and 2000s, when San Dieguito began to take on more the look that it has today, I’ve now reached a strange point in my narrative: the present.
I’ve given some thought about how to approach this. Ought I turn the keys over to others (students and teachers) and ask them to pen a few words? They’re here after all, and know their school. Should I go out and drum up some current stories? Time encroaches on that pursuit; I’ve got a school to run, after all, and we’re already talking about building next year’s master schedule. So…
I realized that one of the biggest goals of this little blog is to celebrate life at San Dieguito, the students, the activities, and the spirit of our school. Over the past two years I’ve amassed more than a few entries on San Dieguito, and for a glimpse at life on campus circa 2017, I offer these.
Each fall Homecoming brings a crackle of electricity to campus. Here at San Dieguito, a school without football (or, as some maintain, a school “undefeated in football since 1996), “The Big Game” looks a little different. If our school had a motto, it would be “Keep SDA Funky” and homecoming week lives up to that as we enjoy a “Whirlwind” of activities.
Art matters much at San Dieguito. Construction is our current reality. Those two sentences fit together like cats and vacuum cleaners. Last fall, when two old buildings were razed to make way for our newest science and math building, the sacrifice that had to be made was years of student art. It was a wrenching moment for our school, but one that we’ve emerged from intact. The most dramatic day, involving chisels, tears, and smiles, looked like this: “Vertebrae.”
Exhibition Day at San Dieguito is, put simply, magical. Who we are today is reflected on that day in the multifaceted celebration of humanity that makes up “SDA’s Favorite Day.”
And finally, a little speech.
Each year the principals from our district schools are invited to make a presentation to the board of education. We’re given a few minutes to celebrate our school, share some highlights, and give the board members a taste of what life is like on campus. This year mine came in September, too early to talk about the year’s accomplishments, so I simply described the things about San Dieguito that “I Love…”
That’s us today, proud members of a school community with traditions and memories that reach back to 1936 and dreams that stretch forward into the distant future.