by KELLEY GUSICH | photo by Soul of Photography

Encinitas Elocutionist

Planning for the future is the biggest ‘scary unknown’ for a student. The pressure to choose can be immense. San Dieguito Academy student Stacy Li has, instead of choosing right now, decided to explore and excel down many different avenues and inspirations, from music to science to speech and debate.

A San Diego native, Stacy has lived on the Encinitas/Carlsbad border since she was about 2. She loves being a Mustang at San Dieguito Academy, and feels the atmosphere is very different compared to a typical high school setting – not only the physical atmosphere of beaches and ocean breezes, but a genuine and open campus aura. Stacy confided, “Being around the energy of my peers makes me happy.” Her favorite academic subject is anything science. She participated in the San Diego Science Olympiad competition for the first time this year, and will be co-captain of the team next year. “I really want others to be able to appreciate the beauty in science,” she shared. “Science is the future!”

“Creativity plays such a vital role in society,” Stacy declared, “and is responsible for innovation and for solving problems on basic and global levels.”

Outside of school, Stacy’s focus is music, music and more music. A classically trained pianist, she has played since a young age, earning her Level Ten Certificate by her sophomore year. Although she feels the certificate is nice, “I think the true reward was the appreciation and understanding I now have behind music,” she shared. She joined the school band in middle school, playing euphonium, and has continued to play in SDA’s Wind Ensemble. The ukulele and guitar are the newest instruments in her explorations.

Her Speech and Debate awards in the San Diego Imperial Valley Speech League are many and varied. With three years of wins in events like Original Prose and Poetry, or Duo Interpretation, she began her career with multiple victories in Policy and Debate. Stacy considers herself to be a school-wide activist and is always trying to make the community into the best it could be. She is currently heading a student forum where the entire staff and student population meet to discuss school-wide issues and events. Her biggest inspirations are people who create things: inventors, artists, authors – people who mold what’s available into beautiful creations. “Creativity plays such a vital role in society,” Stacy declared, “and is responsible for innovation and for solving problems on basic and global levels.”

Whatever she chooses as a career path, Student Star Stacy Li knows there is a kaleidoscope of possibilities ahead.


Name: Stacy Yingshan Li (17)
School: San Dieguito Academy
Grade: Incoming senior
Parents: Xuguang Li and Xinlei Tu
Siblings: Claire (20), Roy (13)
Favorite Place in 92024: The 101!