CC Public Arts Commission Hosts DATA Awards

On Saturday May 14th, the Cathedral City Public Arts Commision held the Third Annual DATA Visual Arts Awards at the Mary Pickford Theatre. The event showcased student photos and films, with the top 3 in each category taking home cash prizes!

1st Place: Gone Mad, created by Jose Aguirre and Marcos Correa
2nd Place: River's Diary, created by River Gibbs
3rd Place: To My Love, created by Jessica Ramos and Norma Vazquez

1st Place: Manuel Perla
2nd Place: Jessica Carillo
3rd Place: Guadalupe Cortez

All of the student projects can be viewed in their entirety at 

Thank you to Alan Carvalho and the Cathedral City Public Arts Commission for your generous support of our program.

Digicom Film Festival

Once again, DATA students earned major recognition at the annual Digicom Film Festival. In addition to having work showcased at the Palm Springs Convention Center on May 3rd, DATA seniors took home scholarships and cash awards. 

Congratulations to the following students who received Digicom Scholarships:

Antonio Arce - $1,000
Rio Chacon - $1,000
Simi Chacon - $1,000
Jonas Englemann - $1,000
Jordan Lazalde - $1,000
Camille Manalato - $1,000
Erik Medina - $3,000
Ambriel Styve-Hector - $2,000
Josue Valle - $1,000
Jadin Wash - $1,000

And congratulations to the following students who received cash awards:

Julia Angulo
Marissa Cruz
Adrian Hernandez
Diana Mejia
Janet Mosqueda
Manuel Perla
Darric Wilson

In total, Cathedral City High School students took home more than $15,000 in scholarships and awards. We'd like to offer a sincere thank you to the Digicom team for their continued kindness and support. 

Based on the overwhelming number of narratives submitted from PSUSD high schools, Digicom announced the Digicom X High School Film Festival, a new festival aimed specifically at narrative films created by high school students. Digicom X will take place at the Camelot Theatre in Palm Springs in June, where students will have their films shown on the big screen.

DATA Studio Day

On April 18th, DATA students were given the opportunity to participate in a live multi-camera studio broadcast workshop hosted by Leanna Bonamici and CV Studios. 

Bonamici and her professional production crew transformed an empty room on cmapus into a working studio, complete with everything from sets and lights to switchers and intercoms. Over the course of 2 workshop sessions, students were trained in specific production areas, including directing, audio, camera, floor directing, set managing, switching, and more. 

After a few practice run throughs, students filmed a short talk show format interview, live to tape with no post production– students had to work collaboratively to call shots, meet timing cues, and produce a well-run show. 

Students were then able to switch positions and gain hands on experience in another production role. All students were treated as working professionals– they were held to the same standards and expectations that would be found on a job site. 

Thank you very much to Leanna Bonamici and CV Studios for helping to orchestrate an awesome experience!

DATA at Youth Town Hall 2016

March 24th marked the final event in the 2016 Desert Town Hall Speaker Series. For the third consecutive year, DATA DS students were charged with the responsibility of archiving the Youth Town Hall portion of the program at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort in Indian Wells. The four speaking engagements took place on separate evenings from January through March. 

Prior to the main event each night, speakers attend a Youth Town Hall forum with more than 100 total students from all high schools in the Coachella Valley. Students in attendance are given the chance to ask questions directly to the speakers and gain insight into the unique experiences and knowledge of each speaker. 

DATA Junior Jennifer Reynoso operates the main camera for David Petraeus' Youth Town Hall. 

In addition to attending each event, DATA DS students film and edit the Youth Town Hall series for archival and promotional purposes. DATA students must then spend 10-12 hours editing together a final cut for distribution. This year's speakers included Bill O'Reilly, Nando Parrado, Felipe Calderon, and David Petraeus. 

We'd like to thank Desert Town Hall for providing our students with this awesome experience, and we look forward to a terrific 2017 Speaker Series!

Create Day 2016!

On March 2nd, nearly 80 middle school students from Nellie Coffman, James Workman, and Raymond Cree Middle Schools joined students from the Digital Arts Technology Academy to learn about the program and create original work in a single day.

DATA students lead workshops in Photography, Digital Cinema, Game Design, T-Shirt Design, Audio/Radio Broadcasting, and TV/Video production. The high school students guided middle school students through the entire production process, giving them an idea of just some of the opportunities available to them in the DATA program. 

The day wrapped up with a showcase of student work, including a mini-film festival and galley walk. Middle school students also left with a custom t-shirt designed by an 8th grade students and printed on the same day.

After attending Create Day, middle school students are able to enter high school with a familiar and a sense of belonging that helps them to be successful members of the DATA family. 

DATA-SkillsUSA Regional Skills Competition

Congratulations to the following students who earned recognition in the final weekend of SkillsUSA Regional Competitions! Good luck preparing for the State Conference in San Diego this March!

3D Visualization

Gold Jordan Lazalde & Antonio Arce

Silver Armando Perez & Javier Pardo

Advertising Design

Gold Blanca Granados

Silver Morgan Wash

Audio/Radio Production

Gold Trinity Walker & Mariah Vega

AME Career Pathway Showcase

Gold Guadalupe Cortez, Rosalina Rogel & Andrea Rojas

Crime Scene Investigation

Silver Michelle Velasquez, Citlally Alvarez-Sanchez & Elsa Delacruz

Digital Cinema

Silver Jebari Wooten & Manuel Aramburo

Game Design

Gold Sebastian Gomez, Miguel Platero, Diana Mejia & Jonas Engelman

Silver Redmyn Lee, Long Vay, Eduardo Rojas & Kimberly Vu

Bronze Conner Robles, Natalie Arce, AJ Burke & Leon Pena

Graphic Communications

Gold Sadrac Camacho

Graphic Imaging Sublimation

Gold Damian Jimenez

Bronze Andrew Russell

Page Layout

Gold Daniel Alvarado

Silver Ashley Chaldez


Gold Manuel Perla

Silver Mariafernanda Salazar

Screen Printing Technology

Gold Christian Suarez

Silver Jeanette Gonzalez

TV Video Production

Silver Jadin Wash & Juvan Hackett

Advancing to State

Game Design - Sebastian Gonzalez, Juan Martinez, Daniel Rodriguez, & Luis Galindo

Erick Inzunza, Jelani Wooten, Memorie Maglinti & Kevin Lopez

Miguel Covarrubias, Andrew Liza & Randy Avina

Crime Scene Investigation - Sebastian Garcia, Estefany Zavala & Aldair Zavala

Digital Cinema - Citlali Vazquez & Karen Meza

DATA SkillsUSA Leadership Regionals

Congratulations to the following DATA students for medaling at the 2016 SkillsUSA California Region 6 Leadership competitions at Granite Hills High School!

20 Second Elevator
 - Rosalina Rogel

Chapter Display
 - Karen Meza & Citlali Vazquez
Bronze - Makayla Coor & Lisa Rojas

Gold - Andrea Rojas
Bronze - Disneyruby Parra

Community Service
Bronze - Guadalupe Cortez, Jennifer Reynoso & Shan Vo

Extemporaneous Speaking
Gold - Michael Bowman

Pin Design
Bronze - Blanca Granados

Promotional Bulletinboard
Silver - Diana Mejia & Rosa Rodriguez

T-Shirt Design
Gold - Jeanette Gonzalez
Bronze - Sadrac Camacho

Quiz Bowl
Gold - Eric Diaz, Miguel Platero, Mariafernanda Salazar, Alexis Cruz & Sebastian Gomez
Silver - Jebari Wooten, Manuel Aramburo, Sebastian Miller, Jelani Wooten & Kevin Lopez

Advancing to State
Gina Milanovich - Creed
Ryan Culbertson - Pin Design
Shan Vo - Prepared Speech

Good luck to all students competing in the Skills competitions this upcoming weekend!

The Great California Shakeout

In an effort to be prepared for an earthquake disaster scenario, schools across the state of California participate in The Great Shakeout every year. Cathedral City High School takes the event to a new level through the Health & Environmental Academy of Learning (HEAL). HEAL students and staff work with community first responders to construct a realistic simulation of a disaster, including search and rescue missions and medical assistance provided by CERT certified students. 

This year, a team of 10 DATA sophomores collaborated with HEAL to document the unique event.

New student work for 2015-2016!

To kick off the year with a burst of creativity and fun, DATA DS juniors and seniors were responsible for creating 3 original projects during the first quarter of the school year. Each project was required to be between 1 and 3 minutes in length, one project must be a stop motion animation, and one project must incorporate a visual effect (either digital or practical).  Other than that, students were given total creative freedom. 

Students now have a more current body of work to polish and revise for contests and competitions throughout the year. Here are a few highlights, and many more can be found on our 1st Quarter Vimeo Album.

DATA Student Work on PBS

Two DATA student projects will air on PBS SoCal (KOCE) on September 20 at 3pm and October 3 at 3pm. 

Visiting Sideshow, created by DATA students Donielle Gerrell, Monico Castaneda, and Adrian Fernandez to document the Digicom-sponsored student visit to Taylor Sherrill's photography studio in March was awarded Best Representation of Visual Arts.


Giddy Up, a Spanish documentary about a local horse trainer created by 9th grade students Paola Granillo,Daniela Gonzalez, and Itzel Tolama was recognized as Best Foreign Language Film. 

DS Fest II!

On May 29th DATA students screened many of the more experimental, avant garde, and just plain odd projects created throughout the year at the Second Annual DATA Digital Storytelling Short Film Festival. DS Fest has become an unofficial end of the year celebration, bringing all four grade levels together to watch films while reflecting on the past, thinking about the future, and enjoying each others' company for one last time before graduation. 

The festival was broken into three segments: short films, web series, and international films submitted via DATA students Donielle Gerrell and Juvan Hackett culled through 756 Film Freeway submissions to find the top contenders from around the world. 

At the end of the night, students voted for their top three picks:

First Place: Conversations with Alfonso (original web series)
Created by Donielle Gerrell and Alfonso Hernandez

Second Place: Goodbye Class of 2015 (music montage)
Created by Damian Jimenez

Third Place: Mask II (original short film)
Created by Monico Castaneda, Adrian Fernandez, and Cruz Moreno

All short films can be found on the DS Fest Vimeo Channel.

CCHS Named California Gold Ribbon School

This week the California Department of Education selected Cathedral City High School as a California Gold Ribbon School. Gold Ribbon status is awarded based on the implementation of standards and practices that greatly improve academic and content performance. 

Both CCHS California Partnership Academies, DATA and HEAL, were featured in the Gold Ribbon application as examples of how students are engaged and pushed to achieve, a very strong example of how the Academy model impacts student performance in a positive way. 

Read the Desert Sun article here!


"Portraits" Film and Photo Festival

On Saturday May 2, the Cathedral City Public Arts Commissioned hosted "Portraits," a film/photo festival at the Mary Pickford Theatre based around the work of DATA students. Students were able to submit short films and photos to be judged, recognized, and displayed. In total, 7 projects from DATA DS students were chosen to be screened as finalists, with the top three earning gift cards to Adorama Photo, certificates, and trophies. 

Additionally, the top three films were all created by students in the DATA freshmen class of 2018, showing a lot of talent and potential! A big thanks to Jim Cox and the Cathedral City Public Arts Commission for providing this opportunity to our students. 

First Place: Labels

Paola Granillo, Britney Jaime, Gillian Mercado, and Luis Rodriguez 


Second Place: Giddy Up!

Daniela Gonzalez, Itzel Tolama, Paola Granillo

Third Place: Sharing Success: On Our Way to Giving Back

Donielle Gerrell, Jebari Wooten


Chalk Art
Adrian Fernandez, Monico Castaneda, Donielle Gerrell

I Am Here
Monico Castaneda, Adrian Fernandez

Rocket Man
Matt Donez

Unknown Stories: Cruz Moreno
Monico Castaneda, Adrian Fernandez

Photo contest submissions and winners can be seen at at

Skills USA State Conference!

More than 100 DATA students traveled to San Diego from April 9-12 to compete in 28 Leadership and Skill competitions at the SkillsUSA State conference against 2,100 other students from all over California.

Here are the results:


Creed- Shan Vo
Occupational Health- Irene Barragon, Alan Montoya, Gianfranco Zena


Screen Printing Technology- Stephanie Suarez
Graphic Communications- Eric Cuahuizo
Career Pathway Showcase- Jocelyn Chicas, Guadalupe Cortez, Tatiana Miles
Audio/Radio Production
- Rosa Rodriguez, Janett Tirado


Creed- Citlali Vazquez
Interactive App/Game Design- Jose Bermudez, Salvador Camino, Ramiro Escobar, Sebastian Gomez
Audio/Radio Production- Rio Chacon, Norma Vazquez
Graphic Communications
- Victor Hernandez (NCMS)

In addition to medals, DATA Junior Norma Vazquez was elected to SkillsUSA California State Office as Parliamentarian. Norma will be attending the SkillsUSA National Conference in June as a California Representative and will help organize SkillsUSA California events and competitions next year. 

Congrats to Norma and to all DATA-SkillsUSA students!

DATA Students Earn White House Recognition for 2nd Time!

Jebari Wooten and Donielle Gerrell

For the second consecutive year, DATA Senior Donielle Gerrell has earned recognition from The White House for her work. Out of more than 1,500 submissions nationwide, Sharing Success: On Our Way to Giving Back was one of only 200 selected to earn an Honorable Mention.

For this year's project, Gerrell collaborated with DATA Freshmen Jebari Wooten, working after school and during Winter Break to complete the piece under a tight deadline. The documentary, based on the theme of "The Impact of Giving Back," centers around Digicom founder David Vogel and his journey from entertainment industry executive to education leader and advocate. 

Through Digicom, Vogel has not only promoted Digital Storytelling as a relevant and transformative element of education, but has also formed the Digicom Learning Institute, dedicated to helping teachers incorporate Digital Storytelling into their classrooms through trainings, workshops, and collaborations with industry professional artists-in-residence. 

The video created by Gerrell and Wooten will be featured on the White House's website and YouTube channels, providing a fantastic exposure opportunity for both students and the Digital Arts Technology Academy. "This is huge," said Wooten. "I couldn't believe it when I heard the news, I was so excited."

In light of these accolades, Gerrell hopes to turn the attention on others. "Last year's video earned a lot of recognition, not only for me, but for the DATA program," said Gerrell. "I hope this video can turn the spotlight on Digicom, which has already given so much to Jebari and myself. After seeing all it's done and how much it's grown, Digicom deserves more recognition." 

Sharing Success: On Our Way to Giving Back can be viewed on the DATA DS Vimeo page and on the White House's 2015 Student Film Festival YouTube Playlist, along with all of the Honorable Mentions.

Create Day 2015!

On March 11, 2015 students from Nellie Coffman, James Workman, and Raymond Cree Middle Schools spent the day in the DATA studios creating original material in workshops lead by DATA students as part of Create Day 2015. Middle school participants were able to build skills in Digital Cinema, Audio Production, T-Shirt Design, Video Game Design, and Photography, leaving CCHS with copies of their work at the end of the day (including a student designed and screened shirt).

Students filming "The Race"

Students filming "The Race"

Create Day was devloped by the DATA team in an effort to promote our California Partnership Academy  and recruit incoming students. Through Create Day, Middle school students were able to spend time in the DATA classrooms working with teachers and students, and getting a feel for what it would be like to be a part of the Academy and to attend CCHS.

Jose Aguirre and Raymond Galeana work on Final Cut Pro X with middle school students.

Through the continued support of Digicom, DATA students who were not leading their own workshops were able to participate in filmmaking workshops with Digicom Artists-in-Residence Frank Guttler and Max Finnerman. 

Videos produced by students in the Digital Cinema workshop can be viewed via the DATA Create Day 2015 Vimeo Channel:

SkillsUSA Gold medallists Rio Chacon and Norma Vasquez lead students in Audio Broadcast Production.