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 Students Highlight Hope with New Name

​The San Diego County Office of Education sites that support detained students now have a new name that came straight from students: San Diego SOAR Academy.

The school incorporates Juvenile Court and Community Schools classrooms at Kearny Mesa and East Mesa juvenile detention facilities as well as Camp Barrett and Girls Rehabilitation Facility.

"We are trying to create a more positive environment for our students," Assistant Principal Nathan Head said.

Students from Theresa Fox's class at the Kearny Mesa facility came up with the name, which is an acronym for success, opportunities, achievement, and results.

Over the summer session, teachers asked students at the different sites to share what they thought would be a good name based on two questions:

  • What do you want the school to do for you?
  • What would you name a high school if the goal was to interest every college or business in the country in meeting students from that high school because the name was so awesome?

After collaborating with colleagues, Principal Joanne Finney picked San Diego SOAR Academy because it included aspects that were common in the different suggestions.

"We had many great names offered that spoke of opportunity, intelligence, talent, achievement, success, and resilience," Finney said. "I'm proud of the students' thoughtfulness. They took it very seriously."

Students now will have a chance to help pick the school's colors and mascot. All of the students will have a chance to give their thoughts.

Having the different sites be part of the same school will help standardize schedules, clean up transcripts, and increase the pride students have in their school. If students at the school move from one site to another, their schedule and learning plan will seamlessly follow them.