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Wellness Center Recognition (Continued)

California State PTA President-elect Celia Jaffe and Vice President for Health & Community Concerns Shereen Walter got a chance to see how one high school is doing just that in a recent visit.

Championed by Vice Principal Libby Madding, Atascadero High School made some significant changes to its Wellness Center. Surrounded by student art work and supportive quotes, students participate in individual and group counseling on a scheduled or drop-in basis. The center provides family counseling and parent/caregiver education during the after school hours.

Counseling is led by a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who coordinates the Wellness Center services and supervises the counseling provided by MFT trainees and interns from local colleges.

The Wellness Center also provides opportunities for student involvement including weekly Gay/Straight Alliance club meetings, the “Close to Home” program through RISE, and special speakers and events.

1 in 5 children ages 13-18 live with a mental health condition. Atascadero High School IS providing mental health services to do something about the needs of young students.

Logo Design for Hilltop Cafe

Makayla Nettleton created a new logo for the Hilltop Cafe on campus as a project for the, new this year, Portfolio Development/Field Experience course. The design was printed on aprons used by students in Ms. Melton’s Hospitality 2 classes that operate the café. By all means stop by and grab a coffee or tasty treat. This project was only one of many that students worked on this year under the mentorship of Jeffrey Bacon and teacher Mr. Bradley.

Local Photographer Shows Her Work and Provides Creative Inpiration

Students from the Photography, Portfolio Development/Field Experience classes and other students were privileged to attend a presentation by local photographer Cheryl Strahl held prior to Spring break. She showed a number of her photographs providing insight about the photographic characteristics of each and about her experience taking each photograph. One instant in particular was her photographing a welder in Cuba, who was initially reluctant until she, through some effort, explained that her husband at one time was a welder.

Students saw some exceptional work, inspiring themMorro Rock photograph by Cheryl Strahl to, as she said of herself, "go from taking pictures to capturing images.”

Originally from the Midwest, Cheryl relocated with her family to the West Coast in 1985. Her education and career have been centered in mathematics and software engineering. With my retirement in 2008, she refocused her time on photography.

She says, “Much of my experience and knowledge has been gained from domestic and international photography workshops, including a workshop by National Geographic.” She continues to learn, and is thankful for the beautiful Central Coast of CA for it's many photographic opportunities and community.

Her award-winning photography has gained both local and national recognition, it has been juried into fine art exhibits at the Museum of Art in San Luis Obispo, CA, with a "Best of Cuban welderShow" award in the 2016 Up Close and Personal macro exhibit. Three of her images have been accepted into the prestigious Best of Nature Photo Exhibit at the Natural History Museum at Balboa Park, San Diego, CA.

AHS students were fortunate to had this opportunity and Ms. Strahl commented afterwards that “It was a joy to share my photography passion with such an interested - and interesting - audience! The energy and curiosity of the students was apparent, and the questions afterward were thought-provoking and important. I hope that I helped to inspire and further their interest in photography in some way.”

Cheryl Strahl Photography Website.

Cuban welder, by Cheryl Strahl

Movie Poster Exhibit and Opportunity for Students

Jeffrey Bacon mentoring students.

Jeffrey Bacon is the creative person behind the movie posters exhibit currently on display in the library. With a design business of up to 180 employees before retiring, Jeffrey created promotional work for the film industry including many iconic films that you see posters for in the display. This show was recently at the SLO Art Museum and will also be on exhibit at UCLA, Cal State Fullerton, and other venues. A student movie poster contest was an addition to the show in which AHS students were finalists and the winner.

Fortunate for Atascadero High School and creative students, Jeffrey acts as a mentor for the Portfolio Development/Field Experience course that had its initial offering this year. Students in the course work in a design studio setting where they create designs for clients locally, as well as regionally, and even for a client in Europe. Mr. Bacon assists students in the creative process often incorporating Skype interaction with professionals in Hollywood. The development of an online portfolio, résumé, and other career assets are part of the course as well as learning the “business” of graphic communications. Mr. Bradley is the teacher of record, who himself is a lecturer/professor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Graphic Communication department in addition to teaching at AHS. He has been working closely with Mr. Bacon developing the course. Short internships at local businesses are being planned. This is a very unique opportunity for Junior and Senior students. Candidates to enroll in next year's class are being sought now.

Video overview of the course.

For further information and to be listed as a candidate for the course see Mr. Bradley in I-4 or your counselor. One may also contact Mr. Bradley to arrange to meet with Mr. Bacon during selected Study Halls.


Movie Poster Contest Awards

Melissa Webb movie poster- winner
Melissa Webb's winning entry, Catch Me If You Can.

A number of Atascadero High School students created entries for the “Dreams for Sale” movie poster contest sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art in partnership with Jeffrey Bacon, an artist behind many of the most iconic movie posters, of which he is having a show in two of the museum’s galleries during January 2018. This exhibition is both a trip down memory lane for movie fans, plus an educational component for those interested in the creative process and the inner working of the movie industry. He was fortunate to work with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Steven Spielberg and fellow poster designer Drew Struzan, and to work on films such as The Goonies, Back to the Future, Terminator 2, Judgment Day, and Gladiator.

SLOMA has been working with Jeffrey Bacon on one more of his Student Poster Competitions to coincide with this exhibition. The winners were announced during the opening reception for the exhibition on Friday, January 5 at 7 pm. The students’ awards were presented by Julie Berk, Senior Vice President Creative Advertising, Universal Pictures. Additionally, the winning posters will be finished professionally and exhibited at SLOMA. Mr. Bacon’s competition invited full-time college and high school students from the San Luis Obispo County to create their own movie poster design for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with Hollywood. The two winners—one college and one high school—will receive a private behind-the-scenes tour of Universal Pictures Marketing and a one-week internship at The Refinery, (one of Hollywood’s top creative advertising groups).

Owen Sullivan movie poster
Finalist, Owen Sullivan,
Need For Speed

The four high school finalists for the completion and winner are all from Atascadero High School. Melissa Webb had the winning entry for her poster for the film “Catch Me if You Can.” Lyndsi Edmonston,“Harry Potter”, Owen Sullivan, “Need for Speed,” and Taylor Johnson, “The Incredibles,” received Finalists awards. Students not selected as a finalist will be receiving certificates of participation. This competition was a great opportunity for students to apply what they are learning at Atascadero High School through their Art and Career Technical Education courses and showcase their talents— as well as add to their portfolio and résumé.

Dreams For Sale

Taylor Johnson, finalist, The Incredibles.
Lydsi Edmonston movie posterLyndsi Edmonston, finalist, Harry Potter- The End Begins

In Addition:

Mr. Bacon has been working this year with students as a mentor in partnership with graphics teacher Ivan Bradley for the Portfolio/Field Experience course offered as a capstone course for the Design, Visual, and Media Arts Pathway at AHS.

CAPS Grants Awarded

CAPS award winners

Congratulations! Teachers, counselor's, and staff were presented with their CAPS Grants during the December 8th staff meeting. The Committee for Atascadero Public Schools (CAPS) was created in 2007 to help AUSD enrich the educational experience of its students through awarding grants to certificated AUSD teachers. It is comprised of dedicated members of the AUSD school community who volunteer their time to plan, organize, and execute a Fundraising Dinner/Auction. This event is called the “Evening for Education” and is held each August.

The CAPS grant are funds that is are awarded to an AUSD certificated employee to encourage and reward the creativity of teachers whose passion is to effectively reach and educate children. CAPS do not fund personnel expenses, items that are the responsibility of AUSD, or capital improvements.

Collaborative Digital Book Published 2017

Cover of Nature of Hope digital book
Cover Photo by Lauren Tarica

Nature of Hope is the result of a collaborative project between Atascadero High School students and staff. Students wrote in the categories of fiction, humor, non-fiction (expository and personal essay), poetry, and script as part of a writing contest. Art students created illustrations, photography students created photosaQ, and Graphic Communications students produced the layout for this digital book. It is an example of students utilizing 21st century skills to produce literature in a contemporary format.


Previously published books

Myths of Atascadero digital book

Tide and Tender digital book


Artwork by Amanda Martin

Illustration by Amanda Martin

Photo by Dylan Wyke

Photo by Dylan Wyke

Illustration by Santana Sanchez

Illustration by Santana Sanchez

Illustration by Jennifer Panek

Illustration by Jennifer Panek

Netflix in New York by
Claire Livengood
Illustrated by Jennifer Panek

The Secret of Truth by
Anneline Breytenbach
Illustrated by Kelly Wales

In Which I Challenge A Teacher and Timed-
Multiplication Test by
Julia Zielke
Illustrated by Nha Hung Thach

Bad Kids by
Gracielle Li
Illustrated by Jearon Gilbert

She Was A Rose by
Amanda Martin
Illustrated by Amanda Martin

The Iron Feet of Oppression by

Jennifer Zielke
Illustrated by Logan Williams

Female Spies of the Civil War by
Maci Christianson
Illustrated by Sydney Holt

Olivia Benda
Illustrated by Oliva Benda

Big Blue Blanket
Grace Curtis
Illustrated by Avery Kobeta

Silhouette of a Warrior
Kahler Penland
Illustrated by Allexis Adams

Far too Loud for Him
Cora Balogh
Photo by Cora Balogh

Greatest Moment of Seventh Grade
Jaycee Haynes
Illustrated by Kinsley Cones

A Simple Gift
Jennifer Zielke
Illustrated by Kylah Ospina

It Won’t Happen Again
Lauren Tarica
Photo by Lauren Tarica


Landon Kindel
Giovanni Librizzi
Colby Stith
Samantha Hallmark

Non-Fiction: Expository Essay
Julia Zielke
Christina Rogers

Non-Fiction: Personal Essay
Evelyn Rinkenberger
Mackenzie Wright

Courtney Basden
Erica Best
Erika Cadwising

The “Beib”

Katie McKinley
Illustrated by Cario Murphy

Mouth Chewing
Elenor McCall
Illustrated by Jennifer Panek

The Perfect Gift
Haddie Daner
Photo by Haddie Daner

Super Deep Poem
Sabrina Van Beek
Photo by Sabrina Van Beek

If Weapons were Made
Kahler Penland
Illustrated by Santana Sanchez

Word Vomit
Olivia Robasciotti
Illustrated by Olivia Robasciotti

Writer’s Block
Claire Liengood
Illustrated by Lauren Briley

Black, White, and Red All Over
Jennifer Zielke
Illustrated by Stella Deskin & Ella Godfrey

Hopeless Romantics

Joseph DeLuca
Illustrated by Joseph DeLuca

The Acceptance Letter
Elenor McCall
Illustrated by Nha Hung Thach

Jazmin Acosta
Jacob Black
Sara Beth Pauls
Christina Rogers
Jessica Schroder

Alyssa Guzman
Pia Kollar
Erik Mauk
Hailey Shiffer
Megan Wessel

Dr. Libby Madding — Vice Principal
Kris Bell — Librarian/Media
Ivan Bradley — Graphics
Tess Harback —Art
SuzAnne Hogan — English
Julie Steyer — Art

Student Editorial Board,
Faculty & Community Editorial Board
CAPS for their Grant for the Writing Contest
AP Lit Students for Editing
Galaxy Movie Theatre
Atascadero High School Staff & Administration

Atascadero High Recognized
with Award at National
Education Conference

Career Choice award

Atascadero, August 2017. During an awards ceremony at the conclusion of the 10th annual Focus on Freshmen conference, Atascadero High School was awarded a Bronze medal in front of several hundred educators from across the country. The award was presented by Olympic Gold Medalist Dain Blanton, and was given in recognition of the time, energy, and attention devoted to the Career Planning program, which is aimed at increasing student success. As a Bronze medal school, Atascadero High School has demonstrated exemplary implementation of the Career Choices series, an award-winning curriculum that builds college and career readiness skills as it walks students through the development of a personalized 10-year Plan.

Interact Club Gets Greybots

Greybots receiving award.

Greybots proclamation from Mayor Tom O'Malley and Supervisor Debbie Arnold.


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