Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Beacon of Success for CDE

The Digital Arts Technology Academy has been working to Focus Student Creativity at Cathedral City High School for 10+ years. DATA is once again honored, through it's collective program, to be recognized as one of 15 California Partnership Lighthouse Academies by the California Department of Education through 2015.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Game 3 from DI Grad

2008 DATA 3DI grad Bryan O'Neil is at it again with another mobile game app, Quantum! This new app is powered by the Unity game engine and is available on iTunes, Google Play, the Amazon App Store, and online via Kongragate. It offers players the chance to "bounce subatomic particles through 100 kaleidoscopic levels of agonizing, brain melting fun" while experiencing beautiful visuals and an original soundtrack.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

DI Designs in the Open Air

DATA DI student t-shirt designs can now be found at the Palm Springs Open Air Market every Saturday through May 2014!

The project, launched in partnership with The Right Stuff in downtown Palm Springs, currently features 14 different t-shirt graphics, with all proceeds benefiting students competing in DATA-SkillsUSA.

Can't make it out to Palm Springs on a Saturday? No worries, swing buy the DI studio at CCHS to see whats in stock!

Saturdays, 9am - 2pm through May 2014 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Return to UC Irvine

On November 13th, the Digital Arts Technology Academy returned to the University of California, Irvine for an excellent visit of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts and the Department of Computer Science. Students were treated to an outdoor admissions presentation, toured the school with Campus Reps, and reconnected with DATA alumni Linda Ha and Josh Bell.

While visiting the Trevor School of the Arts, they
While visiting the Department of Computer Science, they
  • learned about the annual Med App Jam while in the department's Smart classroom
  • connections and internships with local companies such as Blizzard Entertainment
  • heard from students and staff about 
  • the importance of taking math for four years and not lightening your load senior year!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Shooting for 2014 National Gold

In 2010, the Digital Arts Technology Academy's SkillsUSA chapter began with 24 juniors and seniors brave enough to compete in photography and video production contest areas. Four years later, this Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) at Cathedral City high School has grown significantly to 98 members, including four from Nellie Coffman Middle School.

Heading into the 2013-14 season, DATA-SkillsUSA is excited to see

Check us online @

Monday, November 4, 2013

Shooting Zombies in Palm Springs

On Halloween, DI students shot the 2013 Zombie Walk Palm Springs. They spent time with working around professional and budding makeup artists as locals were transformed during the live Village Fest event.

ZWPS is sponsored by College of the Desert 
and makeup artist Lynda Shaeps 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dia de los Muertos Awarded

Congratulations to DATA sophomore, Norma Vazquez, for her photograph being awarded 2nd Place at the 1st Annual Dia De los Muertos Art Contest!

The event was held at the Desert Memorial Cemetery and included food, mariachi music, folklorico dancers, a community alter, and crafts for kids of all ages.

Read more and see event photos on!

Sponsored by The Well in the Desert, Palm Springs Cemetery District, and Palm Springs Unified School District

Friday, November 1, 2013

Melissa Varner: Finding a passion for photography

As the DATA program enters it's second decade, we are fortunate to have alumni return to share their experiences in photography, graphics. illustration, and video game design with current students. On October 28th, 2003 grad Melissa Varner stopped by the DI classroom to talk about her college and career path as an artist and professional photographer.

Melissa received her BA in Art w/an emphasis in photography in 2007 from the University of California, Riverside. She currently lives on the east coast and travels to parts of the U.S. shooting weddings, engagements, and life style images for various clients.

Here are some valuable tips she gave students interested in turning their passion into a career
  • Create a niche for what you want to shoot
  • Learn to pose and direct people / Make them feel comfortable in front of the camera
  • Take the time to truly consider wardrobes and locations of shoots
  • Take advantage of social media to network and get your work out there
  • Know your camera
  • Prepare a professional web portfolio and always have business cards on hand
Make sure to check out her work @

Monday, September 30, 2013

2013-14 Teen Docent

Congratulations to DATA DI senior, Mayra Garcia, for being selected as a 2013-14 Teen Docent at the Palm Springs Art Museum!

Perspective students apply in Spring, are interviewed, and attend an exciting summer training where they learn art history, public speaking, tour development, and how to think on their feet in front of an audience. 

During the school year, docents give tours to elementary school children to help them learn how to look at and talk about art. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Welcome to a New School Year!

Many great things are happening in the DATA program as we continue into our 2nd decade

The entire document is reviewed with students the first day of school. As a means of saving paper, only the first and last pages are sent home for households to read, sign, and return.
If needed, a print copy maybe be requested.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Di Blog Makes EdTech Mag's Honor Roll

More great news! The DATA Di blog was selected as one of EdTech magazine's Must-Read K-12 IT blogs for 2013. The sites "are a mix of voices and include blogs authored by teachers, administrators and technology vendors" that share "real-world classroom experiences, offer inspiration and distribute valuable best practices." 

Monday, June 3, 2013

MyThology | A Global Challenge

"The myths we share provide a common framework for understanding the world around us and help us to construct meaning."

our fourth Student Creative global challenge is now available in print! 

For this year's theme, students from around the world were invited to create artwork based on their own modern myths or a modern version of a classic. The print version of the book is a compilation of many of the students' engagement with their world through this mythological lens. All proceeds go to benefit the Jacaranda School for AIDS orphans in Malawi.

For more information

Radio Production Skills for Kansas City

On May 30th, DATA-SkillsUSA freshmen Sebastian Gomez and Alan Anguiano visited RR Broadcasting in Palm Springs in preparation for SkillsUSA nationals. The two students earned gold medals for California and will be representing CCHS and the Coachella Valley in Audio/Radio Production this June in Kansas City, MO.

During their time at the station they toured with Public Service Director Tiffany Gardner, got feedback on their own production, insight into the process of radio promotions, and sat in with on-air personality Rich "Coach" Gilgallon.
"It was awesome to sit down with Todd and Mike to learn real-world production techniques. We learned how to maintain tone and avoiding peaking. They told us to speak normally, but exaggerated, and to fully get to know a piece before you record it. We also got tips on using effects so our audio stands out."
- Sebastian and Alan

A huge thanks to Tiffany Gardner and 
for providing this opportunity for DATA students!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

DATA-SkillsUSA Awarded in Hollywood

Congratulations to DATA juniors Jonathan Serna and Israel Chavez for earning the 2013 Best Promotional Video special category award from the California Student Media Festival! Their video, SkillsUSA: Building the Future, was originally created as part of the SkillsUSA California state Digital Cinema competition where they earned the bronze medal out of 16 participating teams.

Student award winners will be honored on June 15th at the 
TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
View SkillsUSA: Building the Future on 

Vimeo or YouTube!

DATA Earns $29k in Scholarships!

Congratulations to the following 2013 DATA seniors for earning over $29,000 in college scholarships!

Paul Acevedo - $7975
  • La Quinta Arts Foundation - $2500
  • Pathways to Success - $5000
  • Diane Mason Memorial - $475
Linda Ha - $7600
  • CV Alumnae Panhellenic Scholarship - $2300
  • Elks National Foundation - $300
  • Women’s Leaders Forum in partnership with Pathways to Success - $5000
Jessica Gallardo - $5000
  • Georgia Fogelson College Scholarship from the Palm Springs Art Museum
Courtney Stump - $5000
  • Pathways to Success - $5000
Fabiola Paredes Perez - $1000
  • National League of Pen Women- $1000
Kaylin Murphy - $1000
  • National League of Pen Women - $1000
Javier Correa - $1000
  • Fashion Group - $500
  • Palm Springs Modern Committee - $500
Karolina Ruiz - $500
  • Fashion Group - $500
A huge thank you to DATA Counselor and Coordinator, Deborah Applebaum, for her energy in making this happen!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Designing EdCamp Palm Springs

Di junior, Sebastian Vasquez, recently designed the all new EdCamp Palm Springs logo for local technology specialists from PSUSD. 

The design was modeled after the original logo created by Lorenzo Ibarra who is a graduate of Camden County Technical Schools. The EdCamp Foundation encourages the redesign of the original logo to emphasize the local flavor of where the various events are held and boosts a great collection here!
EdCamp is a user-generated "unconference", designed to provide participant-driven professional development for K-12 educators around the world. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Shooting DigiCom 2013

On Tuesday, May 7th, eight Di graduating senior ladies  photographed the 2013 DigiCom Student and Teacher Film Festival. This is the third year that DATA Digital Imaging has provided photography for this event.


and support DATA-SkillsUSA!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Intel Visionary - Washington, D.C.

On April 25, 2013 Di instructor Matt Cauthron had the rare opportunity of sharing the Rio Vista Collaborations as part of an English Language Arts presentation with Adobe Education Leaders at Intel's 2013 Visionary Conference held in Washington, D.C. The conference held in partnership with Tech & Learning, aimed to take educational and corporate leaders from across the country from "talking the talk" to "walking the walk" by providing real world examples of innovative, collaborative and globally connected classrooms.

Monday, April 29, 2013

An Apple Distinguished Program

Cathedral City, CA - April, 26, 2013
The Digital Arts Technology Academy’s Digital Imaging program is pleased to announce that it has been named an Apple Distinguished Program for 2012-2013 school year.
The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, educational excellence, and demonstrate Apple’s vision of exemplary learning environments.
The selection of DATA Di as an Apple Distinguished Program highlights its successes in enhancing and extending teaching and learning with thoughtful and innovative implementations of technology. Lead by Matt Cauthron, an Apple Distinguished Educator, this program “Focuses Student Creativity” by connecting a variety of digital arts technologies with local and global community collaborations. Students produce high quality professional work in photography, animation, graphic design, video, and digital books that connect student passions with real-world professional opportunities. 
You can learn more about the strength of this amazing program, see its successes, or download their free iBooks at
The Digital Arts Technology Academy at Cathedral City High School prepares students for college and career, while developing their passion for one or more digital arts areas. Students in the Academy graduate at a higher rate, are provided access to a range of technologies, interact with a variety of design, arts, and media professionals, and have attended nearly 40 different colleges and universities. Alumni have gone on to start their own businesses, become game designers, photographers, illustrators, artists, educators, medical practitioners, and work in the media. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Earning California Gold at SkillsUSA

53 students and four DATA teachers had an amazing experience at the 46th Annual State Leadership Conference and SkillsUSA Championships, April 4th-7th, at the Town and Country Resort down in San Diego. 

18 students received medals in 10 out the 15 skill and leadership competition areas entered. Four golds were earned with the opportunity to compete at the 49th Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City this June against other students from around the U.S.

6 students will be representing Cathedral City and the State of California in Screen Printing Technology, Audio/Radio Production, and Promotional Bulletin Board. DATA also earned gold in Graphic Communications and had four students who donated their time as Courtesy Core volunteers.

Congratulations to the follow students!

Screen Printing Technology
Gold - Paul Acevedo
After 5 years in the States!

Audio / Radio Production (Team)
Gold - Sebastian Gomez and Alan Anguiano
1st Place as freshmen

Graphic Communications
Gold - Sebastian Vasquez
Returned as a junior to take 1st!

Promotional Bulletin Board (Team)
Gold - Crystal Zacarias, Mariah Wells, Tammy Melendez
Simple designs make a difference!

Career Pathway Showcase - Art, Technology, Communications (Team)
Silver - Jessica Gallardo, Melissa Munoz, Jazmin Simon
They were completely surrounded by the enemy

Chapter Display (Team)
Silver - Kaylin Murphy, Melissa Munoz, Jazmin Simon
PDP test broke the tie
Silver - Antonio Arce
Our bravest freshman yet!

Broadcast News Production (Team)
Silver - Kaylin Murphy, Sara Lopez, Taylor Burns, Linda Ha
Missed Gold by .4%!

Digital Cinema Production (Team)
Bronze - Jonathan Serna, Isreal Chavez
Waited 12 hours after finishing to see the judges

Prepared Speech
Bronze - Moises Murillo

Courtesy Core Volunteers
Jeanette Segoviano, Geraldine Morataya, Kenia Meza, and Maria Gonzalez
SkillsUSA CA wouldn't have gone on w/out ya!

View State photos here!
or visit for more information

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hot Purple Festival Photography

Ever thought that a digital arts classroom could partner with a local solar energy company? Well, this year DATA Digital Imaging and Hot Purple Energy teamed up to shoot "where art is happening" at the Indian Wells Arts Festival.

Di has been working with festival producer Diane Funk for three consecutive years now shooting the event with student images being used online and in print. This year we notched it up a level by staging a full green screen studio completely run on energy harnessed from the sun! Festival goers were shot on-sight by a team of 12 students over the 3-day event, then Photoshopped into this year's festival print, Trail to the Pyramids, by artists Linda and Dusty Kinman.
"It was amazing to know that our computers and studio lights were seamlessly being powered by the sun. It was also great to work as a team with such an enthusiastic company like HPE who truly believe in doing exciting things in our community."
-Manuel Gomez
Di Junior and Photo Project Manager


Monday, April 8, 2013

Inspiration(al) Creativity

Congratulations to Di junior Jarelle Balanzat for winning the 2013 Joe and Pamela Bonino Award for Photographic Creativity from the Palm Springs Art Museum. The annual Fine Arts Creativity Awards and Scholarships was held on Match 16, 2013 at the Museum's Annenberg Theater. This is the 2nd time that DATA Digital Imaging has won this prestigious award in recent years.

Le Parkour
Digital Image

"My name is Jarelle Balanzat, I am a Junior at Cathedral City High School and am part of the Digital Arts Technology Academy. I find it convenient that a digital image can fabricate a new reality and provide an entrirely new level of inspiration from single elements captured in various moments of time.

I built this false reality of image and scanned pencil as an homage to a friend who struggles to go beyond. He is one who enjoys exploring his environment through Parkour, the art of displacement, in hopes of climbing above normality to obtain his dreams. It it is this, too, that I find to be an inspiration."

Monday, April 1, 2013

Building A Fashionable Tradition

The Digital Arts Technology Academy is honored to be the only school in California with the privilege of shooting the annual El Paseo Fashion Week four years in a row.

During the week of March 18-23, 2013, twelve DATA students worked alongside professional photographers from throughout the Southwestern U.S. to shoot the high energy event.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Continuing On CUE with Apple

In addition to the 5+ years that Di students have helped to support Cahuilla CUE and the Apple Education rooms at the annual CUE conference, several joined Mr. Cauthron to present our 3rd local arts and literacy collaboration between Rio Vista Elementary and James Workman Middle schools.

Students with several years of experience spoke about their various roles to a full room of California technology specialists and presented last year's fully interactive iBook using iPad 3 and Apple TV.

"Not enough students have an idea that what we do in DATA means something to people in other places. It is great sharing our work with teachers from California and beyond."
-Sara Lopez, DATA Junior and iBooks Authorista

Creating Tahquitz

Our 3rd multi-age, cross-media project from the Rio Vista Collaboration series is well under way! Legends of Tahquitz focuses on multiple perspectives of a local myth, while bridging this local arts & literacy effort with our 2013 Student Creative global collaboration, MyThology.

This year's project begins with three stories written by James Workman Middle School GATE English students from varying perspectives of the Tahquitz Canyon myth. From these three pieces, Di students again worked with Rio Vista Elementary 3rd graders to develop an exciting visual foundation for digital illustrations. After initial artworks were completed under the direction of PSUSD Visual Arts Specialist Louisa Castrodale, Di students then began to work in teams to create solutions for three separate animations which will be submitted to local and regional student film festivals. All media will be compiled as a fully interactive digital text for the iPad and downloadable for free from the iBookstore on iTunes.

Later this Spring, video from this project and further imagery will join our fourth Student Creative digital text alongside works from students sharing their mythological perspectives from around the globe.

Friday, March 22, 2013

About Face Awarded

For three years, PSUSD and Cathedral City's Public Arts Commission have worked to help promote photography as part of it's educational community. This year's theme, About Face, worked in concert with world-renown local celebrity photographer Michael Childers.

The show and awards ceremony on March 16th recognized talented students for their work at elementary, middle school, and high school levels from Cathedral City schools.

Congratulations to the following Di students!

1st and 2nd Place Advanced - Crystal Zacarias
3rd Place Advanced - Ella Ramirez

1st Place Beginning and Best of Show - Kandace Jovan
2nd Place Beginnig - Reesha Jessie

and a huge congrats to our upcoming photo students...

Willow Vega – Grade 5 - Landau Elementary
Melinee Ray, Kenia Gonzales, Erik Villa, Abigail Ortiz, Arianna Martinez, Angelica Rodriguez, Alyssa Cordero, Yullissa Rodriguez - Grade 4 – Agua Caliente Elementary
Daniel Behnam - Grade 1 - Rio Vista Elementary

Guadalupe Cortez - Grade 8 - Nellie Coffman Middle School
Isamar Meza  - Grade 8 - Nellie Coffman Middle School
Alexia Marquez - Grade 6 - Nellie Coffman Middle School

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Shooting the Oscars

On Sunday, Feb. 24th, DATA Di was invited by the Cathedral City Chamber of Commerce to shoot 'paparazzi style' on the red carpet at Hollywood's Biggest Night, a live broadcast of the Oscars at the Mary Pickford Theater.

While working the event, several of the 14 students were interviewed by KESQ and DATA grad, Laura Yanez, for Oscar Fever Takes Over the Valley as well as for The Desert Sun.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour 2013

On February 20th, The Digital Arts Technology Academy took 50 CCHS freshmen and 50 incoming 8th graders from Nellie Coffman and James Workman middle schools on a VIP tour of Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Ca. This was an awesome time for all students entering the DATA proram and/or thinking about careers in arts, media, or entertainment.

While on the tour, students (and teachers) were treated to a tour of various on site shooting locations, several sets, the WB Museum, the extensive prop room, and the car warehouse showcasing vehicles from WB films. The entire experience provided a first hand look into the history of film and TV, as well as one of California's leading industries.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

2013 Scholastic Awards

Congratulations to the following DATA Di students who were recognized by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers as 2013 Scholastic Art award winners. Gold Keys recipients' artwork advances to New York to be considered for National recognition. An awards show and gallery reception will be held on February 28th from 5:30-7:30 at the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art at California State University, San Bernardino.

Gold Keys

Emilia Jimenez,  
Winter in New York
Digital Photograph

Nancy Zavala,
Dia de Los Muertos
Digital Illustration

Silver Keys
 Branden Joven (3d Rendering)
Denisse Gonzalez (Photography)
Geraldine Morataya (Photography)
Leslie Rocha (Photography)
Manuel Gomez (Photography)

Honorable Mentions
Cristian Herrera, Emilia Jimenez, Maggie Arechiga, and Nancy Zavala for photography 
Jacquelyn Isais & Angie Ochoa for animation 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

2013 SkillsUSA Regionals

Congratulations to the 55 DATA students who earned medals at the 2013 SkillsUSA California Region 6 skill and leadership competitions!

They won 26 Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals in 15 individual and team events over the two Saturdays at San Bernardino Valley College. 56 total students (up from 40 in 2012) qualified to advance to the state competitions at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego this April.

Leadership Events

Prepared Speech
Gold - Moises Murillo

Gold - Antonio Arce

Quiz Bowl (Team)
Gold - Christian Orduno, Alex Eisman, Moises Murillo & Kyel bullen

Chapter Display (Team)
Gold - Marina Texel, Mariah Wells & Narcisso Barragan
Silver - Nancy Zavala, Maggie Arechiga & Jazmin Orozco
Bronze - Melissa Munoz, Kaylin Murphy & Jazmin Simon

AME Career Pathway Showcase (Team)
Gold - Jessica Gallardo, Nancy Zavala & Melissa Munoz

Promotional Bulletin Board (Team)
Gold - Crystal Zacarias, Mariah Wells & Tammy Melendez
Silver - Yolanda Cortez, Denys Loaiza & Andrea Alvarez

Skill Events

Digital Cinema (Team)
Gold - Jarelle Balanzat & Melissa Medina
Silver - Jonathan Serna

3D Visualization (Team)
Gold - Branden Joven & Alex Eisman
Silver - Kyle Bullen & Brady Guitterez
Bronze - Jason Bullen & Manuel Lopez
w/3 other DATA 3D teams advancing to State

Gold - Emilia Jimenez
Silver - Ella Ramirez
Bronze - Melissa Guevara

Broadcast Journalism (Team)
Gold - Kaylin Murphy, Linda Ha, Taylor Burns & Sara Lopez
Silver - Derrick Serrano, Jessie Villareal, Kimberly Martinez & Yolanda Cortez

TV Video Production (Team)
Gold - Andrea Alvarez & Denys Loaiza
Silver - Rio Chacon & Simi Chacon
Bronze - Mayra Garcia & Tracy Sanchez

Graphic Communications
Gold - Sebastian Vasquez

Screen Printing Technology
Gold - Paul Acevedo

T-Shirt Design
Bronze - Christian Orduno

Audio/Radio Production (Team)
Gold - Sebastian Gomez & Alan Anguiano

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Day in Print

On December 12th, two DATA-Di groups of students visited local printing agencies in preparation for the 2012-13 SkillsUSA competition season.

In the morning, students interested in screen printing technologies had an opportunity to visit Desert Promotions in Palm Springs. Here, students had a first hand look at a production facility that handles silk screening and embroidery, as well as a peek into their new online marketing as OMG Tees.

In the afternoon, student teams focusing on large scale display printing returned to one our favorite community partners, Photo Colorgraphix in Palm Desert. New and returning competitors were introduced to back-lite and vinyl printing techniques that they could you as print media to help spread the word about SkillsUSA and the DATA program.