The Mustang

Taylor Lee

Taylor Lee, Online Editor/Podcast Producer

Free hugs for anyone and everyone!

All content by Taylor Lee
Clock with changing change

The Haystack Episode 3: Changing Change

June 8, 2021

"The Haystack” is a personal narrative podcast from the San Dieguito Academy community. As we are wrapping up the school year, we are also charting a new chapter of our lives. A new grade level. Graduation....

Baseball players celebrate on the Don Crickmore field

San Dieguito baseball advances to CIF after ten years

June 4, 2021
San Dieguito Academy baseball will advance to the CIF after winning 3 to 4 against Mission Vista in the Avocado East League on June 3.
photo of the earl warren middle school building

[Photo] Revisiting the name of Earl Warren Middle School

May 24, 2021

Earl Warren Middle School in Solana Beach, CA

Group of dancers raising their hands

Second Annual Dance Ensemble

May 20, 2021
San Dieguito Dance team danced to a choreography by Nico DeJesus outside the PAC on May 13 and May 14
two boys giving a speech

Battle of the Bands Finale

May 18, 2021
Phipher won this year’s Battle of the Bands, followed by Jobb in second and Kraken in third place.
List of people who were nominated for Broadway Awards 2021

Semi finalist Ellery Bolton selected to compete in the Broadway San Diego Awards

May 15, 2021
Senior Ellery Bolton was selected into the Broadway San Diego Awards Top 20 to represent San Dieguito Academy. 
guys with a guitar, drumset, and more

Day Four: Battle of the Bands

May 12, 2021
Kraken wrapped up Battle of the Bands by playing a few cover songs like "Float On" by Modest Mouse during lunch today.
four band performers with crowd in front

Day Three: Battle of the Bands

May 11, 2021
Two acts played today at lunch for the third day. Jobb kicked off with "Are You Going to be My Girl?" by Jet and encouraged students to dance. Panacea performed next with a mini drum solo amping up the crowd with wild roars.
students sitting on the grass while watching in the pac

Day One: Battle of the Bands

May 3, 2021
Phipher (Gabriel Randol, Luke Haunart, Grant Campbell) and The Skeptiks (Delilah Campos, Ruben Duarte, Luke Haunert) kicked off Battle of the Bands during lunch today. 
two girls in blue shirts and red turtleneckpainting rocks

“Make your mark” rock painting event

April 29, 2021
English teacher Andriana Maude and Assistant Principal Celeste Barnette spearheaded a rock painting event for freshmen and the wellness club after school on April 29. 
Three girls in a row drawing with chalk

Senior Chalk a Lot

April 26, 2021
Class of 2021 seniors partook in the tradition most underclassmen look forward to—chalk a lot on April 24 and 25 bright and early in the morning.
A girl in a cart with art

Pass on Plastic club creates art display for Earth Day

April 22, 2021

Pass on Plastic club hosted an art display celebrating San Dieguito student's art culture while spreading awareness about how to help the planet through recycling guideline flyers. The club, which has...

Red underwear with word red underwear over it

The Haystack Episode 2: Red Underwear

April 20, 2021
In our second episode, an anonymous senior reflects on self-love and appreciation told through a story about her pride and joy: her favorite pair of underwear
Piper Ligotti Counting by Twos Art

The Haystack Episode 1: Counting by Twos

March 27, 2021
In our first podcast episode, Piper Ligotti counted in front of Mr. Nelson's first-grade math class, but as ordinary as it seemed, the impact was much greater.
While enrollment numbers are high, the entering class will not have to worry about a lottery in order to attend SDA as a freshman in the fall

[Photo] A future return to the lottery system

March 23, 2021

While enrollment numbers are high, the entering class will not have to worry about a lottery in order to attend SDA as a freshman in the fall

Opinion: The rise in anti-Asian sentiment

March 23, 2021

Trigger warning: The following information may be sensitive for some readers A revived disease, unlike others, has arisen during the pandemic. The heightened levels of anti-Asian sentiments have gained...

Freshman Torrey Wallace in sculpture class. Classes are going well despite the distance.

Students return back on campus twice a week

March 23, 2021
Some students who chose to learn in-person, with their teachers two days per week, are back on campus bustling in and out of class each period
Four girls sitting in a school chair desk writing

Seniors participate in time capsule activity

March 16, 2021
San Dieguito Academy seniors are participating in a time capsule hosted by ASB from March 16 to April 15.
Administrative Assistant Jennifer Beales (left) and Administrative Assistant Rachel Miller (right) with Micky headbands

Spirit Week: Disney Day

March 16, 2021
Students and staff dressed up in their Disney gear and costumes for March Spirit Week. Students who signed up for in-person learning once a week started their first day back on campus.
Li amassed more than 60k social media followers combined encouraging and informing others about wellness related content

Content creator Stacy Li uses her creativity to promote wellness

March 15, 2021

In the safe corner of the internet, Stacy Li, also known as @internetstacy, discusses mental health and wellness-related topics on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. Li is also a proud alumna that graduated...

College Board continues to adapt to the pandemic by offering in person and online AP testing

San Dieguito releases updates regarding AP exams this year

March 2, 2021
San Dieguito Union High School District sent out a notice regarding AP exams' management due to the ongoing pandemic on Feb. 25.
From left to right: Kevin Baum, Lisa Tucker, Stephanie Baum, and Kathy Urbanic volunteering at the booth in the front parking lot on Feb. 18, 2021

SDA Foundation hosts senior drive-thru event

February 18, 2021
San Dieguito Academy Foundation celebrated seniors by hosting a senior drive-thru event. Volunteers cheered as cars pulled up to pick up pizza and a goodie bag
Omar had a mini photo shoot after his picture day near the school garden on Jan. 9, 2021

Finding Omar: The Hashtag That Started It All

February 3, 2021

It all started with a photo Assistant Principal Celeste Barnette took of Omar Hernandez, a senior, who stuck his head out the window with a wide grin and two thumbs up on Oct. 1, 2019.  Now, Hernandez...

Class of 2021 banner near the art building and textbook pick up area

Seniors sign the “We love Class of 2021” banner

February 1, 2021

San Dieguito Academy seniors were encouraged to sign the "We love Class of 2021" banner outside the Mustang Commons during Seniors Materials Pick-Up on Feb. 1.

Wind I Saxophone Ensemble plays Allegro for the virtual winter concert on Jan. 28, 2021

SDA music ensemble performs in virtual winter concert

January 28, 2021
Flutes, trumpets, drums, xylophones, you name it. San Dieguito Academy music ensemble pieced video clips together to create a virtual winter concert. The concert featured baroque and classical music performances from Wind Ensemble I and Wind Ensemble II groups.
Romero contagious smile makes the campus feel a bit brighter

Cleaning with a passion: Romero’s exuberant energy shines on campus

January 27, 2021

As teachers and students are ending their school day, the custodians are just beginning.  Carmen Julia Romero is one of the seven custodians at San Dieguito Academy making her daily rounds in each...

There is one student at each table to maintain social distance

San Dieguito students engage in outdoor distance learning

January 19, 2021
About twenty-five San Dieguito Academy students started to show up daily on campus from Mondays to Thursdays on Jan. 11. The school makes sure all health guidelines are followed, such as social distancing and wearing masks while scattered around the math and science building, gym, and theater.
San Dieguito Academy alumna Anoushka Shankar poses with her newest EP Love Letters on a vinyl record on Aug. 29, 2020

Anoushka Shankar ’99 “Love Letters” nominated for the Grammy Award

January 12, 2021

Internationally renowned sitar player, humanitarian, and San Dieguito Academy alumna Anoushka Shankar ‘99 was nominated in the Best Global Music Album category for the Grammy Awards on Nov. 24. Shankar...

Best of 2020 Cover Art

[Photo] Best of 2020

December 21, 2020

You’ve heard of Elf on the Shelf, now get ready for...

The Elves are Back in Town

December 16, 2020
San Dieguito Academy received a special visit from the elves today. Assistant Principal Katie Bendix and Jeremy Meadows fully suited in their bright red onesie, pointy felt trim hat, and masks to take snapshots around the campus
Data map ASB

Meet your 2020 ASB Candidates

December 10, 2020
Get to know your 2020 ASB candidates on our interactive data website
The No Place for Hate Committee signs the pledge

SDA signs the ‘No Place for Hate’ pledge

December 4, 2020
All San Dieguito Academy community members were encouraged to sign the No Place for Hate pledge on Google Slides during homeroom today. If you’d like to sign the pledge, contact your homeroom teacher to see if you could access and sign on the Google Slides.  
Outage map shows red marks as unplanned and blue marks as a public safety power shutoff on Dec 03 at 10:34 AM

Record-breaking wind speeds causes a power outage

December 3, 2020

As wind gusts with a peak of 94 mph in San Diego, SDG&E announced on Wednesday evening that it was necessary to do a round of safety outages to reduce wildfire risks and for public safety. The estimated...

Japanese teacher Rie Tsuboi with her cats Shun (left) and Momo (right) which is a Chinese/Japanese character that means really fast

Spirit week: Share your pet day

November 10, 2020
Furry friends made an appearance on Tuesday. Staff and students sent in photos to SDA ASB for the second day of spirit week. Check it out here!
Assistant Principals Katie Bendix and Jeremy Meadows pose in front of The Mustang Commons

Spirit week: Sleep for the weak? Sleep for a week

November 9, 2020
Homecoming week kicked off with pajama day. It’s no secret that pajamas have been on the rise since quarantine. Students and teachers alike opted in for comfy sweatpants and a baggie shirt. Although the participation rate was low (or disguised), Ms. Bendix and Dr. Meadows geared up in their PJ wear. 
san dieguito academy field

What reopening will look like at San Dieguito Academy

November 6, 2020
The San Dieguito Academy administration made a video presentation regarding our school and districts reopening information. In case you didn’t watch the video, here’s the reopening breakdown
Senior Niki Kaplan as Scooby (top left), Senior  Celeste Lagrange as Daphne (top middle), Junior Tegan Schlosser as The Mystery Machine/Van (top right), Zara Holdaway as Fred (bottom left), Theatre teacher Stephanie Siers as Shaggy (bottom middle), and Senior Rachael Baum as Velma (bottom right)

Spooky season and spooky costumes

November 1, 2020
Check out how San Dieguito Academy students celebrated Halloween in 2020
Juniors Ethan Fitzgerald (left) Lucas Casazza (middle) and sophomore Maisie Leeuw (right) pass out candy bags in the front parking lot for students to enjoy

Trick or Treat Drive-in

October 27, 2020
Juniors Ethan Fitzgerald (left) Lucas Casazza (middle) and sophomore Maisie Leeuw (right) pass out candy bags in the front parking lot for students to enjoy
A teacher attached Teachers are people too poster on their car window

Teachers host car rally to support school board candidate Katrina Young

October 19, 2020

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th– A parade of around fifty cars from all over North County San Diego gathered in the La Costa Canyon High School parking lot to support the teacher-endorsed school board candidate...

Dr. Gold is a nationally recognized expert for her contributions in areas of mental health, psychiatry, and media advocacy

A Conversation with Dr. Jessica Gold on Mental Health

October 15, 2020

Jessica (“Jessi”) Gold, MD, MS, is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Wellness, Engagement, and Outreach in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University in Saint Louis School of Medicine....

Protestors hold up signs such as Recess Is Over! Lets get Back to Class! SDUHSD Has NO Class! and more in front of the SDUHSD building

[Video] SDUHSD Students and Parents Protest to Reopen Schools for Second Quarter

September 29, 2020
Students and parents gathered outside the SDUHSD building to protest against the school board's decision to continuing online school through the second quarter
Zachary Joelson and Melia Lorch, both juniors,  check-in with freshmen to see how they are adjusting to high school and how classes are going

Link Crew Connects with Freshmen Virtually

September 25, 2020
Link crew leaders check in with freshman to see how they are doing and adjusting to high school
The Family Guide to Attendance & Engagement during the Distance Learning document lays out the engagement notes category from teacher input

San Dieguito Union High School adopts new attendance policy

September 25, 2020
San Dieguito Union High School District adopted a state-mandated attendance in accordance with SB-98 this past Tuesday
Counselor DeJesus presents her screen to show the resources SDUHSD has put together

SDA counselors host a senior college application Q&A session

September 22, 2020
San Dieguito Academy counselors answer seniors concerns, questions, and more at the Q&A session
PALs present their slides on Suicide Prevention over on Google Meets

PALs Talk about Suicide Prevention

September 18, 2020

The PALs presented a pre-recorded presentation about Yellow Ribbon Day during homeroom today. In alignment with the Suicide Prevention program, the yellow ribbon was a way to symbolize life and hope...

Students protest for San Dieguito to address racial inequalities in front of San Dieguito Academy on Aug. 14

‘Actions are created now, not later’ regarding racism, Encinitas4Equality youth leaders insist on implementing race and equity education in SDUHSD

September 14, 2020

What began as nightly vigils and peaceful protests at the Cardiff Kook, Encinitas4Equality evolved into a nonprofit organization Encinitas4Equality to support Black residents and address systemic racism. The...

Where are you headed?: 2020 Interactive Senior Map

Where are you headed?: 2020 Interactive Senior Map

June 12, 2020

Class of 2020, although our senior year may not have ended the way we imagined, one thing is clear, we are all going somewhere. Every year in our final issue we create a map of where all the senior...

The Kook was decorated with posters and photos to those lost to racial violence

Opinion: This Is Not a Political Issue, This is a Human Rights Issue #BlackLivesMatter

June 3, 2020

“I can’t breathe.” These last haunting words of George Perry Floyd and Eric Garner —Black men who died in police custody—have been echoed by millions of Black Lives Matter protesters as they...

Students weigh in on how distance learning is working for them and what can be improved upon

June Forum: Building Digital Communities, Distance Learning, and Future Plans

June 1, 2020

The Forum wrapped up their last meeting for the school year. Along with administration members like Assistant Principal Katie Bendix and Celeste Barnette, Principal Adam Camacho, and Leslie Saldana from...

The learning from home survey was sent out to all schools in the SDUHSD district

Learning from Home Survey Results

May 29, 2020

San Dieguito Academy released a Learning from Home survey from May 13 to 20 during the seventh week of distance learning. This was developed by California School Climate, Health and Learning Surveys in...

SDUHSD has updated their grading policy for this quarter.

Everything SDA students need to know about the temporary grading policy for fourth quarter

May 22, 2020

The San Dieguito Union High School District officially voted to modify its grading policy at the board meeting on May 21, 2020. Here’s everything you need to know about the decision.    High...

SDUHSD holds a special virtual board meeting over Zoom to discuss new changes to the grading policy.

SDUHSD Hybrid Grading Policy Decision Faces Uncertainty

May 18, 2020

After many complaints and protests from community members, San Dieguito Union High School District announced that students will have a choice between a letter grade or a credit/ no credit grading policy...

The Thunderbirds flight path today.

Thunderbirds honor frontline COVID-19 respondents with SoCal flyover

May 15, 2020

Six Air Force Thunderbirds soared through the Southern California skies to honor frontline COVID-19 respondents on May 15 at noon. “I thought this event was such an amazing way to salute the first...

The SDUHSD survey asked students to answer how they feel about online schooling.

New survey administers how students are learning from home

May 13, 2020

San Dieguito Union High School District released a Learning from Home survey on May 13 in hopes to assess the current nature of students’ connectedness and how to best support schools now and in the...

SDA admin recognizes SDA teachers virtually.

An Open Thank You Note to Teachers

May 9, 2020

Associated Student Body (ASB) at San Dieguito Academy posted kind thank you notes to San Dieguito Academy teachers on @sdastudentlife Instagram for Teacher Appreciation Week from May 4-8.  All notes...

A transcript illustration

Grade Paradigm: SDUHSD students advocate for a new grading model for fourth quarter

April 27, 2020

In response to the San Dieguito Union High School District decision to do credit/no credit grading system, students are petitioning for a “Double A” system that would allow for an A or A- on their...

Students and staff showed their support through social media.

Finding support: You are not alone

April 17, 2020

The San Dieguito Academy community was informed through an email from Superintendent Robert Haley on Tuesday that the San Dieguito Union High School District lost two seniors at Torrey Pines High School...

History teacher Kerry Koda presented notes while students discussed in the chat.

April Forum Recap: Going Virtual

April 3, 2020

The Forum has found ways to alter the unconventional nature of in person meetings to its first ever virtual forum held on April 3, 2020.  With seventy three students and staff members gathered in the...

This years AP Exam schedule is the same, but the exams are changing.

The College Board announces AP Exam changes in response to COVID-19

April 3, 2020

Students registered for Advanced Placement (AP) exams in the San Dieguito Union High School District will not take their exams in the large Del Mar Fairgrounds halls or high schools but at their homes...

Taylor suggests 12 apps to keep you entertained and on top of things.

12 Apps You Can Use During the COVID-19 Break 

March 19, 2020

Tired of Netflix and Tik Tok? Here are 12 apps you can use to stay productive, distracted, and connected with others.     Habitca  Category: Productivity Turn your to do list into a...

 Trash can at school filled with a swarm of ants from bottom up.

The Intricate Science of Ants 

November 22, 2019

An estimated “one billion million” ants live on earth—that is to say, there are 7.7 billion people on this planet and counting. Still, the ant population dominates with over one million ants to the...

Senior Maya Hamson, junior Marley Jaoudi, and senior Rachel Kanevsky chose country attire.

Spirit Week: Country v. Country Club

March 15, 2019

To cap off spirit week, SDA students had two options for dressing up-- country (cowboy hats, plaid, you know the drill) or country club (shoulder sweaters, polos, just a general air of condescension). Students...

This superhydrophobic art piece is done by the weight training room.

Artwork is reigning around the campus

December 5, 2018

It’s rainy midday on a Thursday at San Dieguito Academy, and walking to class; you find what seems to be a depiction of Spongebob, Patrick, and Squidward’s house near the PAC. These were no accidents,...

People from the community came to a forum hosting our school board candidates.

[Photo] School Board candidates speak at SDA

October 23, 2018

People from the community came to a forum hosting our school board candidates.

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