Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 in Review

Here's a look back at DATA Digital Imaging's proud moments of 2015 . . .  
  • DATA recognized as a 2015-17 Apple Distinguished Program and continues as a California Partnership Lighthouse Academy 
  • First student-lead CCHS Instagram photography contest
  • Launch of Free Family Portraits for Cathedral City families and staff
  • First student-curated digital art displays at the Cathedral City Library
  • First student team to present at TCAP's Courageous Creativity Conference
  • The 9th DATA graduating class
  • California Student Media Festival: On My Way awarded Best Secondary - Cross Generational
  • On My Way airs on PBS SoCal
  • Desert Advertising Federation: $4,650 awarded for Vacation student campaigns 
  • $100,000+ in senior scholarships 
  • PORTRAITS- our very first student film and photography showing with the Cathedral City Public Arts Commission
  • Visiting Slideshow promotional video awarded by the California Student Media, SoCal, and Digicom student film festivals
  • Norma Vazquez becomes DATA's first SkillsUSA California state officer
  • SkillsUSA California: 2 Gold, 4 Silver, and 3 Bronze
  • Launch of Create Day, student-lead workshops for middle schoolers in DATA classrooms
  • SkillsUSA Region 6: 14 Gold, 11 Silver, 10 Bronze
  • California Streaming: 4 Honorable Mentions
  • Desert Art Center High School Show: Most Innovative
  • Year 6 of Student2Student Mentoring at Nellie Coffman Middle School
  • Exhibited Works: UC Riverside Palm Desert, Palm Springs Art Museum, Cathedral City Public Library, Mary Pickford Theater, Desert Art Center, and the CSMF, Digicom, & SoCal student film festivals. 
  • Event Photography: 111 Music Festival, Street Fest, The Foundation's Glo Run and Champions of Excellence, Digicom Film Festival, El Paseo Fashion Week, Indian Wells Arts Festival, Mary Pickford Oscars Night, and SMaRT Robotics.  
  • Collaborations: Year 6 of the Student Creative global arts collaborations and Year 5 of the Rio Vista Collaborations. 
  • Publications: The DATA iBook, CV Weekly magazine, and CCHS Theater productions.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

On the Road with Coachella Valley Art Scene

On Nov. 1st and 7th, DATA Digital Imaging and Storytelling teamed up with the Coachella Valley Art Scene to provide students an opportunity to shoot photo and video at the 111 Music Festival and Street, a free celebration of art, music, food, and fashion.

The 111 Music Festival was a unique experience with 7 bands playing on Sunline Transit Agency buses along Hwy 111 from Palm Springs to Indio. The public was able to pay the normal bus fare to hop on and catch local musicians jamming in an extremely intimate (and mobile) venue.

Street was held on the top level parking garage of the Westfield Mall, Palm Desert and offered local artists, musicians, and sub-culturistas an open air marquee for all things creative and street-culture based.

Both events connected DATA students to local art and culture while giving them professional learning experiences unique to the Coachella Valley.

A HUGE thanks to the 
for making this happen!

Friday, December 11, 2015

#DATAcademy Photo Contest

Congratulations to the winners of the very first #DATAcademy Instagram mobile photography contest!

(From left to right)

1st Place
Crystal Gerada

2nd Place
Rio Chacon

3rd Place
Rosa Hernandez
Prize = Gone Apparel T-shirt

See all entries here!
The top 100 prints will be on display in Gallery 808 at CCHS and the Cathedral City Library

Special thanks to Social Print Studio
for providing free printing for the show and top winners

Rock'em Sock'em Robolights

On Saturday, Dec. 5th, DATA students and families were invited to a special artwalk with local artist Kenney Irwin Jr. at his Robolights display in Palm Springs. The tour provided a wonderful opportunity to hear from the artist and spend time capturing images of this unique southern California installation.

A very special thank you to DATA Social Science teacher, Lee Wilson, for arranging the event!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Nalani Decal Demo

On December 3rd, local artist/designer Nalani Hernandez spent time with DATA Di students demonstrating vector graphic preparation for decal printing. This was an excellent opportunity to learn first hand how production designers optimize Adobe Illustrator files to cut vinyl on a Roland CAMM-1 24" cutter.

Stay tuned for more vinyl creativity!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Free Family Portraits

On Sunday, Nov. 29th, DATA Di launched Free Family Portraits in partnership with the Cathedral City Library. The student-lead community service project utilizes the skills that students are learning in the classroom and gives them another unique opportunity to interact with the public and build professional behaviors. The portraits will run in the Children's Reading Room at the library during normal business hours on Saturdays and Sundays through December 20th.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Now in 51 Stores

The Digital Arts Technology Academy's all-new interactive digital book is now available globally in 51 stores! Download it on your iPad or Mac using the iBooks app to learn more about how DATA is recognized as the only California Partnership Lighthouse Academy / Apple Distinguished Program

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Champions of Excellence 2015

On Monday, Dec. 15th, DATA Digital Imaging students photographed the 2015 Champions of Excellence for The Foundation of Palm Springs Unified School District.

The event was held to honor school-district and community leaders for mentoring and other contributions to students in PSUSD career and technical education programs.

Not only do awards shows such as this honor individuals in the West Valley, but it also provides valuable event photography experience for DATA students.

Monday, November 16, 2015

An Apple Distinguished Program

Learn more about Apple Distinguished programs and schools here
The Digital Arts Technology Academy named Apple Distinguished Program

Cathedral City, California — October, 26, 2015 — The Digital Arts Technology Academy (DATA) at Cathedral City High School, Palm Springs Unified School District is pleased to announce that it has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program for 2015–2017 ​for its use of iMac, MacBook, and iOS in a unique Career Technical Education program that challenges students with a range of art, media, and design opportunities.

The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and demonstrate a clear vision of exemplary learning environments.

Relying heavily on the powerful Mac platform, DATA students produce digital arts projects involving digital photography, graphics, animation, filmmaking, and audio production with a variety of tools that include Final Cut Pro X, iBooks Author, and GarageBand. 

Curriculum is online 24/7 and blends community connections with creativity to heighten learning. DATA students have a higher attendance and graduation rate among their peers and are prepared for college and career pursuits through a rigorous set of project-based experiences. 

“We are honored that DATA is being recognized for their innovative use of Apple technology to provide students an enriched learning experience,” says CCHS Principal Guillermo Chavez. “The selection of DATA as an Apple Distinguished Program highlights our success as an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment.”

With the integration of Apple technology, the cutting-edge studio classrooms inspire students to engage with their community through event photography and videography. Numerous media, multi-age collaborations and podcasts are published globally to iTunes. Students develop award-winning content that earns recognition far beyond the Coachella Valley. The first high school iPhone news app, CCNews, and iBooks projects like “Trashcans & Unicorns” illustrate DATA’s distinction as an educational leader where innovation is infused with technology.

DATA students perfect their CTE skills further in unique ways. They participate in SkillsUSA, a national career technical student organization, where they build technical/leadership skills and professionalism through yearlong competitions. They also participate in Student2student mentoring in which they teach technology skills at local middle schools. Academy students also lead visiting eighth graders in a full day of digital arts workshops during an experimental recruitment activity known as “Create Day.” Here, students are exposed to podcasting, photography, filmmaking, game design, and graphic design.

DATA is a California Partnership Lighthouse Academy with an emphasis in design, arts, and media. Students travel together as a cohort in core academic subjects and CTE electives, receive guidance from community mentors and designated counselor, intern with local industry partners, and produce professional quality content. Learn more at 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

#DATAcademy Instagram Contest

Submit Your Best, Forget the Rest!
Now through Nov. 30th, DATA Digital Imaging will be hosting a smart phone photography contest for all CCHS students and staff.

The top 100 images will be exhibited at the Cathedral City Library. 1st and 2nd Place winners will receive free printing from Social Print Studio and the 3rd Place winner will recieve a t-shirt from CCHS's very own Gone Apparels!

Submit your best 3 images 
using #DATAcademy on Instagram

Sponsored in part by

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Connecting Day of the Dead

DATA Digital Imaging has experienced a rich response to works produced around the cultural celebration of Day of the Dead. This includes the purchasing of student prints, as well as photography exhibited at the Desert Art Center, UC Riverside, and through the Cathedral City Arts Commission.

This Fall we launched things a little differently with our created imagery, both locally and beyond. Through a new partnership with the Cathedral City Library, we hung our first of (hopefully) many student-curated digital arts shows- the first being Dia de los Muertos on display until December 18th. And, as part of our global arts network, The Student Creative, we extended an invitation to other schools from various parts of the U.S. and oversees to explore this cultural event with us. We hope that the collection will inspire others via the upcoming digital book available soon on the iBook Store.

Until then,

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Courageous Student Creativity

On June 25th, DATA students Hillary Rivera and Sebastian Gomez co-presented at The California Arts Project's 2015 Courageous Creativity conference held at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel. 

The student panel discussion, Preparing College and Career Ready Students in the Arts,  was in partnership with the A.B. Miller Dance Academy and provided first-hand information to arts educators from around the state of California in support of the creative economy.

In addition to being the very first students to speak at the conference in it's 9 years, they also had direct access to Disney Imagineering presenters and went behind the scenes of Soarin' Over California with it's chief engineer.

Friday, June 12, 2015


Congratulations to the 2015 DATA Graduates!

This was the ninth and largest group to date with 68 seniors

Monday, June 8, 2015

On My Way Hollywood

On June 6th, On My Way, our fourth collaboration with Rio Vista Elementary Schoolwas selected as the winner in the 49th Annual California Student Media Festival for the Secondary - Cross Generational category. The animation along with other selected student films will run on PBS SoCal during the month of October, 2015! 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Vacation Ad Fed

On June 3rd, three Di students were recognized for their vacation advertising campaigns by the Desert Ad Fed at a special event at the Mary Pickford theater.

Congratulations to the following

Ofelia Salas 
$2,500 Scholarship

Bonnie Vo
Fall for the scenery
$2,000 Scholarship

Mariafernanda Salazar
$150 Honorable Mention

Monday, June 1, 2015

Spring Scholarships

Congratulations to the following DATA Digital Imaging seniors for earning $100,000+ in scholarships!

Cruz Moreno
$1,000 Digicom Student Film Festival Scholarship

Bonnie Vo
$2,000 Desert Advertising Federation

Ofelia Salas
$2,500 Desert Advertising Federation

David Vo
$5,000 Georgia Fogelson Scholarship, Palm Springs Art Museum

Jazmine Valles
$5,000 Museum Artist Council Scholarship
$1750 La Quinta Arts Foundation

Kandace Joven
San Francisco Art Institute
$40,000 over 4 years

Robert Stevens
Bethany Lutheran College
$44,000 over 4 years

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Now Showing at UCR

Clockwise from top left: Cruz Moreno, Jazmine Valles, Jetzabel Villaescusa, Mariafernanda Salazar, Ofelia Salas, and Monico Castaneda.

The 2015 PSUSD Showcase Art Exhibit is now on display through June 12th at UC Riverside, Palm Desert. This annual exhibit of the next generation of innovative artists features mixed media, drawing, and ceramics, as well as large photographs from DATA Digital Imaging's top creatives.

Congratulations to the following DI students for being selected
Cruz Moreno
Jazmine Valles
Jetzabel Villaescusa
Mariafernanda Salazar
Ofelia Salas
Monico Castaneda

and special thank you to PSUSD VAPA Coordinator, Louisa Castrodale for curating the show!

Monday, May 11, 2015

25 Years of Fine Arts Creativity

On May 8th, the Palm Springs Art Museum, celebrated Our History: 25 years of the Fine Arts Creativity Awards Program with a retrospective exhibition of the entire college and secondary collection at their Palm Desert gallery. Impressively, Cathedral City High School had the largest portion of the collection with 3 of the 9 from DATA Digital Imaging students. This shows how Di students earn recognition in both CTE and the fine arts!
Brian Evans
Let Me Know

Jessica Smith
White Out

Kimberly Gonzalez
The Birden

You can visit the exhibit now through July 26th 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Digicom 2015

The 2015 Digicom Film Festival raised the roof of the Palm Springs Convention Center this Cinco de Mayo. Not only did DATA students receive over $20,000 in awards, but DATA Di captured the "red carpet" for the sixth year in a row with a mobile studio setup and shot the event with a team of student photographers.

A special treat for Di this year was the recognition of Visiting Side Show, a promo about DATA's studio workshops with renowned local photographers Michael Childers and Taylor Sherrill sponsored by the Digicom Learning Institute.  

A huge congratulations to the to all the award-winning schools and a huge thank you to the Digicom staff and Sponsors, including NBC Universal and private local donors!

Shooting Glo Run

On Saturday, May 2nd in downtown Cathedral City, The Foundation for PSUSD held the first ever Health Glo Run in the Coachella Valley to support classroom grants for arts and technology. DATA students were right in the mix shooting event photography and video, running a black lit photo booth, and earning general community service.

The event, which also included a health fair in partnership with CCHS's HEAL Academy, was a huge success and enjoyed by the greater Palm Springs Unified School District community.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


1st Place Photography
Mariafernanda Salzar

On Saturday, May 2nd, Digital Arts Technology Academy students were honored at the Mary Pickford Theater for their creative talents as part of the first ever DATA film and photography showing. The   event was put on by the generosity of the Cathedral City Public Arts Commission and included guest filmmakers and an artist's reception on the theater mezzanine. 

2nd Place Photography
Cruz Moreno

3rd Place Photography
Jazmine Valles

Honorable Mentions
David Vo
Reesha Jesse
Rebecca Monay


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Sideshow Hits SoCal Festivals

Visiting Sideshow, the documentary about DATA's day-long workshop with professional photographers Michael Childers and Taylor Sherrill, was selected as official entries to the 2015 SoCal Student Film Festival held on May 2nd in Irvine, CA and the California Student Media Festival June 6th in Hollywood.

Congratulations to DATA students 
Donielle Gerrell, Monico Castaneda, and Adrian Fernandez 
for an amazing job well done!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Art is Happening!

The Indian Wells Arts Festival continues to be an awesome venue in multiple ways. Not only is it a great 3 day event for the public to interact with artists from all over California, but it provides DATA students a fish bowl environment to practice their camera and interpersonal skills in.

During spring break 2015, DATA photography and video students continued to run a photo booth in partnership with Hot Purple Energy, shot the event as official photographers, and shadowed local pro Greg Peterson.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fashion Week 2015

For eight nights during Spring Break, DATA students photographed the annual Fashion Week El Paseo in Palm Desert. This has always been a coveted experience for the Academy as the only school in the Coachella Valley to take part in this unique professional opportunity.

A huge thank you to the Saxony Group, Palm Springs Life magazine, and the DATA team for making this happen!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Full Sail Alum Returns

2014 DATA graduate, Jose Reyes, returned today to speak with Media Literacy students on his experiences as a graphic design student at Full Sail University near Orlando, Fl.

Jose shared about school life, the unique accelerated learning environment at the college, and some of his design work. An especially useful part of the program are the visits by many high end design and production companies and that they learn valuable employment skills such as client management and public speaking.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

SkillsUSA California 2015

The SkillsUSA California 48th Annual State Leadership and Skill Conference was more competitive then ever! Over 2,000 students from all 6 regions brought their A game to the Town and Country Resort in San Diego for four challenging and exciting days. 

DATA took home a total 9 medals in 7 different events and was recognized as a Chapter of Excellence. Even more impressive this year was the effort of the 11 DATA chapter delegates who worked to elect our first ever state officer, Statesmen, and national delegate, Norma Vazquez. Norma will be training with the other California officers this summer in Louisville, KT., then returning to lead chapters in Region 6, at CCHS, and the 2016 SkillsUSA California state conference.

Congratulations to the following students

Region 6 Parliamentarian and Statesmen Award
Norma Vazquez  

Occupational Health and Safety
Gold: Irene Barragan, Alan Montoya, Gianfranco Zena

Gold: Shan Vo
Bronze: Citlali Vazquez

Interactive Application and Game Design
Bronze: Jose Bermudez, Sebastian Gomez, Salvador Camino, Ramiro Escobar

Screen Printing Technology
Silver: Stephanie Suarez

Graphic Communications
Silver: Eric Cuahuizo

Arts, AV, and Communications Career Pathway Showcase
Silver: Guadalupe Cortez, Jocelyn Chicas, Tatianna Miles

Audio/Radio Production
Silver: Rosa Rodriguez and Janett Tirado
Bronze: Norma Vasquez and Rio Chacon

Monday, March 16, 2015

Create Day MMXV

On March 11th, 70 students from Nellie Coffman, James Workman, and Raymond Cree middle schools spent the day with the Digital Arts Technology Academy as part of our first ever Create Day.

Middle schoolers had an  A W E S O M E  time working directly with current Academy students and were deeply engaged in day-long photography, cinema, game design, audio production, and screen printing workshops. A special component to the event was a filmmaking workshop by the talented Frank Guttler and Max Fennerman as part of Digicom's Artist-in-Residence program.

This was an amazing opportunity for incoming 9th graders to learn about the DATA program offerings and give current students a chance to deepen their content knowledge by teaching to others.

Friday, March 6, 2015


On March 6th, 25 DATA students had the rare opportunity to work directly with renown photographers Michael Childers and Taylor Sherrill in their clandestine Palm Springs studio complex.

SideShow, sponsored by the Digicom Learning Institute, provided a real-world learning environment with high end studio equipment setup for small product, fashion, dance, and motorcycle subject matter. This was truly a once in a life experience for all students.

Stay tuned for a behind the scenes video and upcoming collection of student works!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

2015 Global Collaborations

This year's Student Creative global challenges are underway with a recent article from co-collaborator David Gran in the March 2015 issue of SchoolArts magazine!

For the first time in the 6 years of the world-wide projects lead by DATA Digital Imaging and the Shanghai American School, we are offering two projects...

BOT: Transform your ordinary life in to something super sci-fy or down right robotic using Photoshop, video, or anything technology assisted. 
Sketches of the City: A 12 part video compilation with film composer Rolf Becker, challenging students to capture the uniqueness of their own cities.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Catch it in CV Weekly!

DATA and the upcoming SkillsUSA California state competitions were featured in CV Weekly's Youth and Leadership column. The article was written by DATA mentor and AMFM Festival Director of Education Outreach, Edward Prichard III. In case you missed it in print, you can

> > > view it online here < < < 

Friday, February 13, 2015

A Job Well Designed

DI Junior, Ambriel Styve-Hector did such a wonderful job designing the poster image for the CCHS Theater's fall production, that she was invited to apply her digital illustration abilities to the spring production of Cinderella.

Keep an eye out for her upcoming animated short... 

Monday, February 2, 2015

2015 Regionals

The 2015 California Region 6 SkillsUSA leadership and skill competitions were bigger then ever! Cathedral City students upped their game from the past to earn of 16 Gold, 12 Silver, and 12 Bronze medals in 22 different competitive events. A total of 100 students will be advancing to the SkillsUSA California 48th Annual State Leadership and Skill Conference in San Diego April 9th through the 12th, including 15 from Nellie Coffman Middle School and one from the HEAL program.

A huge Congratulations to the following students...

Jan. 24th Leaderships at Granite Hills High School
Quiz Bowl
Gold: Kandace Joven, Nadine Gallegos, Ariana Davis, Sebastian Gomez
Silver: Antonio Arce, Mariafernanda Salazar, Alexis Cruz, Alan Anguiano, Eric Diaz
Bronze: Viviana Martinez, Jennifer Reynoso, Hillary Rivera, Julia de la Torre, Jessica Zacarias

Chapter Display
Gold: Samual Oropeza and Kenia Meza
Silver: Donielle Gerrell, Denys Loaiza, Yolanda Cortez
Bronze: Liza Rojas and Makayla Coor

Promotional Bulletinboard
Gold: Alexis Cruz and Miguel Platero

T-Shirt Design
Bronze: Angela Improm

20 Second Elevator
Gold: Ramon Arcos
Bronze: David Vo

Extemporaneous Speaking
Gold: Mikie Bowman

Gold: Karen Meza
Silver: Citlali Vazquez
Bronze: Shan Vo

Job Demo A
Gold: Michael DeLeon
Silver: Nathan Scarantino
Bronze: Emily Garcia

Occupational Health and Safety
Gold: Irene Barragan, Alan Montoya, Gianfranco Zena

Jan. 31st Skills at UTI and RCC
Gold: Carolina Vazquez
Silver: Manuel Perla
Bronze: Jetzabel Villaescusa

Screen Printing Technology
Silver: Stephanie Suarez

Advertising Design
Silver: Morgan Wash

Graphic Communications
Gold: Eric Cuahuizo
Silver: Jose Arellano
Bronze: Victor Hernandez (NCMS)

3D Visualization
Silver: Jordan Lizalde, Ezequiel Tirado
Bronze: Miguel Platero, Jonas Engleman

Graphic Imaging Sublimation
Gold: Damien Jimenez

Interactive Application and Game Development
Gold: Sebastian Gomez, Jose Bermudez, Salvador Camino
Silver: Sebastian Gonzalez, Juan Marinez, Luis Galindo, Celeste Medina
Bronze: Erick Izunza, Redmyn Lee, Blanca Granados

Digital Cinema Development
Gold: Jebari Wooten, Manuel Aramburo
Bronze: Monico Castaneda, Adrian Fernandez

TV Video Production
Gold: Nathan Scarantino, Myra Castillo (NCMS)
Silver: Hillary Rivera, Julia de la Torre
Bronze: Rebecca Alvarez, Mitaya LaPierre

Audio Radio Production
Gold: Norma Vazquez, Rio Chacon
Silver: Janett Tirado, Rosa I. Rodriguez
Bronze: Miguel Covarrubias, Randy Avina (NCMS)

Broadcast News Production
Gold: Jessie Villareal, Yolanda Cortez, Kimberly Martinez, Andrea Alvarez
Silver: Araly Lopez, Kandace Joven, Louis Saucedo, Nadine Gallegos
Bronze: Daniel Alvarado, Andrew Liza, Nelman Sabillon, Citlaly Alvarez (NCMS)

AME Career Pathway Showcase
Gold: Jocelyn Chicas, Tatianna Miles, Guadalupe Cortez

Crime Scene Investigation
Gold: Simi Chacon, Camille Manalato, Jessica Ramos
Silver: Jose Aguirre, Raymond Garcia, Andrew Russel

.. now the game begins!!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Desert Art Center

Congratulations to Senior Reesha Jesse for receiving the Most Innovative award at the Desert Art Center's 2015 High School Art Show. Her image, Fear of Injection, will be on display January 16th through the 25th in downtown Palm Springs.

Monday, January 12, 2015

PSIFF Student Day 2015

On January 12th, 150 DATA students joined 850 of their peers from across the Coachella Valley for the Palm Springs Film Society's 2015 Student Screening Day.

They were treated to a great lunch and two excellent short films

Keep On Keepin' On about legendary jazz trumpet player Clark Terry and his friendship with his gifted and blind student pianist Justin Kauflin. Justin also surprised the audience by making an appearance after the film to play a tune and answer questions with Australian director Alan Hicks.

Natural Sciences about a 12 year-old girl who struggles with adolescence in the remote hills of Argentina and sets off on an adventure to find a father who she has never met.

Both films were powerful and very well received by everyone in attendance. A huge thanks to the Palm Springs Film Society and to PSUSD's Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator Louisa Castrodale for making this annual event happen for students valley-wide.