Who remembers Drake Bell from Nickelodeon’s Drake & Josh TV show? Whose listened to the punk-rock beats of the band The Burning of Rome? Who supports anti-bullying, individuality, and freedom of expression? Who enjoys viewing colorful artwork at a gallery opening? San Dieguito Academy (SDA), home of creative opportunities and unexpected possibilities, would answer “I do!” to all of the above.

Music has forever been an important aspect of the SDA culture. Every year, Battle of the Bands takes place where student bands compete against each other for the winning title. This year, there was a wide range of genres, from alternative to heavy metal and jazz to indie-rock. Battle of the Bands is typically judged by teachers, but this year, Drake Bell, a famous Hollywood TV star, made a special appearance. Countless photos were taken by screaming fans, mostly girls, and posted on Facebook that very night. His appearance complimented the culture of SDA: unpredictable, memorable, and unique.

In addition to Bell’s presence, The Burning of Rome, a band founded in San Diego, performed in the Mosaic Cafe during lunch on Nov. 20. This alternative-rock band has opened for acts such as The Black Keys, MGMT, and Skrillex. Crowds of students watched the performance, bobbed their heads, and even danced to a few songs. The month of November was truly a music infestation at SDA.

Community, a word that resembles both the character of the Mustang students and SDA. Community Day, a day where volunteered students promoted expression, anti-bullying, and school spirit, took place for the first time ever at SDA. I, being a volunteer, spoke out against bullying and shared personal experiences with my classmates. The students bonded and learned more about each other, ultimately making it a memorable moment for the school.

Art is seen everywhere throughout the campus of SDA. It is visible on the walls, in the classrooms, in the courtyards, and in the student art gallery. SDA’s art gallery opened during Veterans Day week to showcase the Mustangs diverse art pieces: sculptures, paintings, acrylic drawings, and photographs. The students also had the chance to display their pieces at the Del Mar Art Center Gallery, where an award ceremony took place. In addition, throughout the school year, “live action painting” occurs, where students put up a wall on campus and paint it. That’s pretty awesome, considering that most public high schools lack emphasis on art.

To wrap it up, talent, community, and infinite possibilities equal SDA. You never know what you’ll find on campus and what you’ll learn beyond the school.

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Gabby Catalano is an incoming senior at San Dieguito Academy. She is the ‘Mustang Insider’ for the 2013 – 2014 school year and can be contacted at info@92024magazine.com.