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Principal Adam Camacho greets the SDA Alumni as an old video reel plays.

Principal Adam Camacho greets the SDA Alumni as an old video reel plays.

Sylvia Young

Sylvia Young

Principal Adam Camacho greets the SDA Alumni as an old video reel plays.

Alumni Reflect on SDA at Founders’ Reception

October 26, 2018

Alumni met at the annual SDA Founders’ Reception Thursday in the Learning Commons to celebrate the history of the school. About 50 alumni, from the Class of 1940 and onwards, socialized, ate, and looked at yearbooks.


Principal Adam Camacho greeted the alumni. “Let me welcome you back home,” he said.


Many of the alumni noted how SDA has changed since their time as students. Jay Williams, Class of ‘42, described the malt shop and weekly assemblies that used to be commonplace at SDA.


Mary Armallo Mangana, Class of ‘40, the oldest class represented at the event, reflected on what SDA was like 78 years ago. “Our lives were a little different. Most of the kids had guns because they would go hunting,” she said.


Williams concurred: “Oh yeah, I had a gun.” Even as a teacher at SDA and Earl Warren, Williams kept a gun in his classroom closet: “I showed it to the kids because it was an early weapon used in one of the wars. I had it right there in my closet.”


Gun policies aren’t the only thing that have changed at SDA. Although students are still allowed to bring bibles to school, teachers can no longer provide them. “The Gideons brought in a box of New Testaments and I put it at the door and I said, ‘Anybody that wants a New Testament you’re welcome to take them,’” Williams said.


According to Magana, while many things at SDA have changed, not everything has: “We had quite an orchestra, musical system – you folks still do…You still have good artists that come from San Dieguito…[art] has helped cities like Encinitas.”


Magana also discussed what she notices makes SDA unique. “If you see someone that seems very lonely, approach them and become their friend,” Magana said. “From what I’ve seen at the Academy, you do a lot of that.”


“It’s very rewarding to find out that people are doing so well that have graduated from San Dieguito,” said Magana. “It’s very rewarding to be back here again.”

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