by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Spark Photography

Love of Music

When it comes to music, Zak McGaugh does it all! He is in marching band, jazz band, orchestra, and wind ensemble at Scripps Ranch High School, and outside of school, he is in a jazz/funk band called the Vinyl Knights. Zak has played the trombone for eight years and currently studies with the principal trombonist of the San Diego Symphony. Within the music program at Scripps Ranch, Zak is one of the drum majors for the marching band. “For me, becoming the drum major as a junior and looking forward to next year’s competition and football season has been the ultimate achievement that I am most proud of in my life so far,” stated Zak. He is very excited to serve and lead his peers for both the marching and concert season.

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In addition to music, Zak is a participant in Mock Trial, where he has honed many skills, including public speaking. Zak is also a Boy Scout and is close to finishing his Eagle Scout rank. He enjoys his liberal arts classes at school and feels strongly about the power of language. “All my English classes have been eye-opening to the role of rhetoric in today’s society and how people tell stories,” said Zak.

“For me, becoming the drum major as a junior and looking forward to next year’s competition and football season has been the ultimate achievement that I am most proud of in my life so far.”

Looking to the future, Zak wants to be a high school music educator. His biggest inspiration is his band director, Russell Shedd. “He has been the driving force behind our music program’s success. He is the kind of teacher high schoolers need,” said Zak, who hopes to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s music performance program after graduating from high school.

Zak is also inspired and encouraged by his parents, Chris and Sarah, who are both teachers. Chris has taught physics and physiology at Scripps Ranch High School since 1994, and Sarah currently teaches special education at Walker Elementary in Mira Mesa. “My parents’ drive to help kids learn and shine to their potential is the foundation of our family. Each of us has different interests, but the same support for one another,” related Zak. As a family, the McGaughs enjoy backpacking, going to the beach, and attending each other’s activities. “My brother is a fantastic water polo player and skate boarder. It’s really cool to watch him compete. We both appreciate the value of practice and working hard, and I think that’s what makes us each other’s greatest cheerleader,” revealed Zak.


Name: Zachary Calvin McGaugh (16)
School: Scripps Ranch High School
Grade: 11
Parents: Chris and Sarah McGaugh
Sibling: Lucas McGaugh (13)
Favorite Spot in 92131: Lake View Park – when I was a kid, I nicknamed this park “The Bunny Park” because every night around 5:30 p.m., the bunnies would hop around during the beautiful sunset beyond Lake Miramar.

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