Encinitas Advocate News

Principal Bjorn Paige leaving San Dieguito High School Academy

San Dieguito High School Academy Principal Bjorn Paige recently announced he will be leaving the school at the end of the school year. In July, he will become the principal of the Arts & Communication Magnet Academy in Beaverton, Oregon, a school of over 700 students in grades 6-12 with a focus on fine and performing arts.

"If SDA could be personified, that person would be Bjorn Paige: kind, funny, accepting, quirky and smart. He truly supports what is best for every student and he values the work of the Foundation,” said Leslie Kulchin Saldana, executive director of the San Dieguito Academy Foundation. “He embraces San Dieguito's history and celebrates its alumni and traditions of its 80 years. We are extremely sorry to see him go and he will be missed.”

Instead of saying “goodbye,” Paige said he wishes to say “thank you” instead.

“This is not a move inspired by leaving, but a move about going to,” Paige wrote in a message to the community. “In my heart I am an Oregonian, a fellow of moss and foggy afternoons, of flannel shirts, rainstorms and used bookstores. I grew up beneath fir trees, and while I have loved my time in California, I have never stopped missing green. My path leads through a forest.”

“I’m excited, a little nervous, and ready to begin a new adventure.”

Paige was named the principal at San Dieguito in 2015 and was an enthusiastic leader of the school — he once addressed the San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD) board in a full Pokemon costume and kept the community updated on everything SDA on his active Twitter feed. Prior to coming to San Dieguito, he was the principal of Diegueno Middle School and assistant principal at La Costa Canyon High School. In his message he wrote that the person he is today is the result of the experiences he has had at the three SDUHSD schools over the past decade.

He wrote he was thankful for the Maverick spirit and kindness of La Costa Canyon and the “magic” of the great teachers and staff at Diegueno, who once all dressed like pirates.

“To San Dieguito, my kindred spirit of a place, my gratitude is matched only by the love I feel toward the people who make up this great school. I leave San Dieguito more changed by it than it will ever be by me. For that I am thankful,” wrote Paige.

“Our school district is more than just a collection of great schools; SDUHSD is a life-changing force for good, filled with nurturing adults, curious students, caring parents, and a sense of hope.”

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