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Class of 2021 Lifers

    • Top row, left to right: Phoebe Valenzuela, North Reid, Danny Sambold, Kian Power, R.J. Parry, Daniel Rosenberg, Phillip Gooding. Middle row, left to right: Walter Chen, Sydney Helfand, Alexcia Doak, Marissa Erickson, Lauren Miller, Jenna Hernandez, Ethan Sanders. Bottom row, left to right: Elle Mangini, Devon Jha, Riley White, Ellie Preovolos, Litsa Preovolos. Not pictured: Luke Lindlan

Lifer Q&A

La Jolla Country Day School is proud to recognize 20 lifers from the class of 2021. Our lifers have called LJCDS home for 13 or more years. Below, five of our lifers reflect on their time in the Torrey community. 

Lifer: A student who has gone to the same school for 13 or more cumulative years from Tiny Torreys/nursery, junior kindergarten or kindergarten to senior year.

Devon Jha

    • Devon joined LJCDS in junior kindergarten and will be attending Washington University in St. Louis in the fall.

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • How have teachers inspired greatness in you?

    Almost every teacher has challenged me to become a better student, artist and athlete. They all have instilled in me a better understanding of myself and have given me the resources to succeed throughout my life. I’ve also had strong male role models in teachers and coaches all through my time at LJCDS.
  • What are some of your proudest moments?

    Going to the CIF championship in my sophomore year for lacrosse, finishing my junior year with good grades after taking challenging classes, designing the lights for my first show in the theater, and becoming a captain on the lacrosse team
  • What advice would you give to incoming ninth-graders about high school?

    Don’t be afraid to ask for help from teachers. Be comfortable with who you are and try your best not to dwell on trivial things like mistakes and other peoples’ opinions.
  • How will you make the world a better place?

    I plan on pursuing an M.D. and working in underserved communities around the world to bring life-saving medical care to those that need it.

Elle Mangini

    • Elle started at LJCDS in kindergarten and will be attending Pennsylvania State University in the fall.

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • What will you miss the most about LJCDS?

    I will miss the community and sense of belonging at Country Day the most. The school is such a safety net for me, and I will miss passing by teachers and students who always make me happy. I will always remember the times that Mr. Wagner would come up to me and say, “How are you feeling today?” with a big comforting smile across his face.
  • What advice would you give to incoming ninth-graders about high school?

    I would tell ninth-graders to take in all the opportunities that LJCDS offers them because they could find their passion. Also, do not try and please everyone, be yourself and the right people with gravitate towards you.
  • What do you think is the benefit of being a lifer at LJCDS?

    I think that being a lifer has given me a strong and consistent family for so many years. I always know that my Country Day family is there for me and that I am a part of a safe and comfortable community.
  • What are some of your proudest moments at LJCDS?

    One of my proudest moments at LJCDS was performing in The Lion King, Jr. in seventh grade. It was my first year doing musical theater and the Upper Schoolers made me feel so comfortable. Other proud moments are when I'm organizing and participating in community service projects like the bocce ball tournament for special needs athletes and the Dig for the Cure breast cancer awareness events.

Kian Power

    • Kian entered LJCDS in junior kindergarten and will be attending Whitman College in the fall.

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • What will you miss the most about LJCDS?

    I will miss the friendships that I have spent so many years making, but I will forever remember the memories made through them. I will miss the beautiful campus and being able to approach everyone as I walk around it.
  • How will you make the world a better place?

    I would like to contribute to the mass of scientific research or create a product that will change lives. I would ideally like to have as large an impact on the world as I can, but I understand that I can make the world a better place on a local level, including making people smile on a daily basis, like in a small Italian village, in whatever employment I find myself.
  • What are some of your best memories from Lower School?

    All the field trips and the trip to Sacramento, Olympic Day, the visits to the San Diego missions, the small plays and projects, all the hours spent in Extended Day, Camp Torreys during the summer, time spent with Ms. Mindel (the greatest teacher in the world), Ms. Middleton reading to us, spending time up in the lofts in the Lower School classrooms, and running around and eating way too much candy while watching teachers get dropped into a dunk tank at Torrey Fest
  • What are some of your proudest moments?

    Winning awards, winning sports games through hard work and transitioning into a modest, mature adult. I am proud of the experiences I had that led me to the place I now am, and that will guide me in the future.

Ethan Sanders

    • Ethan began at LJCDS in junior kindergarten and will be attending Lewis & Clark College in the fall.

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • What do you think is the benefit of being a lifer at LJCDS?

    I think the benefit of being a lifer is being able to enjoy all the adventures Country Day has to offer. I went to Sacramento in the fourth grade, outdoor education trips in Middle School and high school, and visited colleges my junior year, all with friends that have come and gone. I’ve also maintained connections with teachers I had years ago. These teachers continuously encourage me to be the best version of myself.
  • How will you make the world a better place?

    I hope to bring aspects to the entertainment industry that create a space for people to feel happy and empathize with others. I love making people laugh, and I hope I can continue to do so.
  • What is a proud moment at LJCDS?

    I’m most proud of my work in play production, especially the show we did my junior year, The Government Inspector.
  • Who are your mentors and why?

    My mentors are Mr. Wagner and Mr. Peveich. Mr. Wagner helps give shape to my creative process and has given me the tools to create nuanced characters. Mr. Peveich always reminds me of what’s possible when my artistic endeavors become too ambitious.

Riley White

    • Riley started at LJCDS in junior kindergarten and will be attending Whittier College in the fall.

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

Lifers in Lower School

    • From top left: Walter Chen, Alexcia Doak, Marissa Erickson, Phillip Gooding, Sydney Helfand, Jenna Hernandez, Devon Jha, Luke Lindlan, Elle Mangini, Lauren Miller, R.J. Parry, Kian Power, Ellie Preovolos, Litsa Preovolos, North Reid, Daniel Rosenberg, Daniel (Danny) Sambold, Ethan Sanders, Phoebe Valenzuela, Riley White

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