by KELLEY GUSICH | photos by Soul of Photography

Art and Movement

San Dieguito sophomore Mary Loedel has lived in Leucadia her entire life, and has accumulated a long list of involvements and accomplishments in that time. “My favorite subject in school is art and painting,” she said, “because I have always had a passion for art since I was young, and I use it as a forum to express myself.” She got involved with jump roping competitively starting with an after-school class at her elementary school, and she’s been volunteering with Kids for Peace for the past 10 years.

In the midst of her early jump rope experience, Mary discovered the class was run by her future coach. She’s now been competing with her team, the Coronado Speed Spinners, for six years. To prepare for competition – regionals are coming up in March – Mary works on conditioning, choreographing new routines, and learning new skills and techniques. Mary and her partner won first place in their age division for their Single Rope Pairs routine the 2017 World Jump Rope Championships, and Mary praised the experience as an amazing one. “It felt as though all that I had worked for had finally been worth it,” she confirmed. “I had never been filled with so much joy in my life.” The team performs yearly at the San Diego County Fair, Harlem Globetrotters halftime show, and halftime shows for University of San Diego basketball. “Several of our team members, including myself, were recently in an episode of the Daily Planet show on Discovery Channel Canada!” Mary smiled. “We filmed in LA.”

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Name: Mary Loedel (15)
School: San Dieguito Academy
Grade: 10
Parents: Kai and Delores Loedel
Siblings: Michael Loedel (19), Will Loedel (15 – my twin)
Favorite Local Spots: Grandview beach, Downtown Encinitas, Leucadia Oaks Park, Little More Breakfast & Coffee shop


Mary’s mom is the leader of the Leucadia Kids for Peace chapter. Just before Thanksgiving, Mary helped deliver three carloads of food and personal supplies to the Encinitas Community Resource Center. “We also visit seniors, prepare peace packs (school supplies for schools in need around the world), volunteer with Feeding America, and many other events.” she added, “I’ve personally met Jane Goodall, Susan Sarandon, and Stedman Graham through the organization (they were three of our peace heroes).”

Mary’s days are happily filled with jump roping, Kids for Peace activities, taking piano lessons, and tutoring in the community, all while taking an AP class and maintaining a good GPA. With all of these commitments, it may surprise readers to learn she’s also taken woodworking and is becoming a proficient woodworker. She’s not sure what the future will bring, but she’d love to go to a good college and possibly work in a STEM field. Whatever the challenge, Student Star Mary Loedel marks her own progress as motivation to strive forward.