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A&DAA 2014 Awards

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On May 29, 2014 the High School of Art and Design presented to senior honor roll students scholarships and achievement awards. The A&DAA was in attendance to present the numerous alumni awards and well as the association. Here are the award recipients:

The Marcel Fitzner Memorial Award
for Excellence in Architecture and Service

Narciso Martinez

The Victor Stabin Daedal Doodle Award
for Excellence in Conceptual Drawing
Melissa Guachun
Diana Vidal
Eunbi Cho
Hazien Lyles-Saunders
Xena Vazquez

The Alan Hipwell Memorial Award
for Excellence in Photography

Angelina Ko

The Barbara Nessim Award
for Excellence in Illustration
Kreg Franco


The Art Spiegelman Maus Fund Award
for Visual Narrative

1st Place- Danielle Duemesi
2nd Place- Cindy Arguello
3rd Place- Danika Grace Sanchez

The Ron West Award
for Visual and Academic Achievement

Graphic Design- Tasnima Tanzim
Graphic Design- Nicolette Francis
Illustration- Anna Niklova
Illustration- Lisa Li

The Broader Brush Award
Melissa Rodriguez
Luke Raymond

Graphic Design–Skyla Mangine

Fashion Design–Aiko Taniguchi

Cartooning–Anthony McDonald

Photography–Daquan Nelson

Illustration–Edwin Flores

Animation–Adiel Hernandez

Video/Film–Christopher Regan

Architecture–Carolina Estrada

Community Service–Gustavo Romero

School Spirit–Abbygayle Williams

The Class of 1980 Merit Award

Fashion–Heather Chin

Photography— Christian Moses

Graphic Design–Kesha Hollins

Illustration–D’Andra Wright

Cartooning and Animation
–Samantha Colon

Architecture–Vanessa Arias


*The Victor Stabin Daedal Doodle Award for Excellence in Conceptual Drawing is a school award and not associated with the A&D alumni association.


A Tribute to SIA/A&D Veterans

Posted by  | Categories: A&D/SIA Artist, Portraits, Uncategorized


“From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
“From this day to the ending of the world,

But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

From Williams Shakespeare’s Henry V, those words couldn’t be more apropos for our art & design classmate veterans. May marks “Military appreciation Month” and the alumni association is paying tribute and honor to all those vets who answered a calling to serve in the United States armed forces. From WWII through the present, our student veterans have fought in every campaign since the school’s founding.

Some went on and stayed and made the military their career. For others, the military provided a launch into their art career. Al Plastino – co-creator of Supergirl and Brainyac and John Romita Sr- (Captain America), both designed and painted war posters while serving in the United States army.  SIA and A&D teacher Frank Eliscu (designer/sculptor of the Heisman Trophy) while serving in the army, invented and patented a medical tattoo device, which was applied on battle scars. Frank Eliscu taught at both schools and retired in 1972.

Here at the association, we –this writer, any day is a good day to pay tribute and honor to those who answered the call of duty.

We would also like to acknowledge and give thanks to their families and friends for remaining strong and reminding the rest of us that when a loved one is deployed, in peace or in war time– the families too endure much until their loved ones return. Thank you to all the SIA/A&D veterans, we’re more than proud and you all are the true meaning of every day heroes. I leave you with a salute for a job well done.

Now meet a few of our classmate veterans.



A Tribute to SIA/A&D Veterans--continued

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A Tribute to SIA/A&D Veterans

World War II (1941-1945)


As the German Army was pushed back to its homeland, Benedetto and his company saw bitter fighting in cold winter conditions, often hunkering down in foxholes as German 88 mm guns fired on them. At the end of March, they crossed the Rhine and entered Germany, engaging in dangerous house-to-house, town-after-town fighting to clean out German soldiers; during the first week of April, they crossed the Kocher River, and by the end of the month reached the Danube.During his time in combat, Benedetto narrowly escaped death several times. The experience made him a pacifist; he would later write, “Anybody who thinks that war is romantic obviously hasn’t gone through one,” and later say, “It was a nightmare that’s permanent. I just said, ‘This is not life. This is not life.'” At the war’s conclusion he was involved in the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp near Landsberg,where some American prisoners of war from the 63rd Division had also been held.

Benedetto stayed in Germany as part of the occupying force, but was assigned to an informal Special Services band unit that would entertain nearby American forces.  His dining with a black friend from high school – at a time when the Army was still racially segregated – led to his being demoted and reassigned to Graves Registration Service duties.

Source: Wikipedia

Al Plastino
SIA Class of 1939
Sunrise: 12.15.1921 | Sunset: 11.25.2013

Eliscu served in the army in WWII from 1942 to 1945. He was first put to work on camouflage and maps for the Allied invasion. In 1943, he developed a unique technique used by the US Army to rehabilitate facial disfigurements from war injuries. According to his discharge papers, “Made drawings in the operating room of surgical procedures, modeling of features for reconstructive surgery, and carving cartilage for grafting in plastic surgery, pigmentation of skin in plastic procedures. Had three assistants working under him. Served at Valley Forge General Hospital in Plastic Surgery Department.”

Source: Wikipedia

Albert A. Verber
Former SIA teacher
Sunset: 11.07.1943
Albert A. Verber who was a navy and test pilot died on November 7, 1943 in a plane crash upon take off in Virginia.



Korean War (1950-1953)


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A Tribute to SIA/A&D Veterans (Women Vet)--continued

Posted by  | Categories: A&D Now, In Memoriam, Portraits, Uncategorized

A Tribute to SIA/A&D Veterans

Meet the Art and Design women veterans.


 Beatriz Trujillo, Art and Design class of 2008 is in her fourth year in active duty — United States Army. Sergeant Trujillo’s Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) is 27D, Paralegal. She’s a paratrooper assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and her current deployment is with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Sergeant Trujillo is presently deployed at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Janet Gonzalez was a 25 year career navy personnel. This writer’s high school classmate. She was a fun person to be around, nice and truly missed. Janet passed away in January 2014 of breast cancer.

Deirdre Wexler, class of 1974 joined the navy right out of high school.

Charon Hannink, class of 1975 is a 13 year navy veteran.

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A Tribute to SIA/A&D Veterans (Vietnam)--continued

Posted by  | Categories: A&D/SIA Artist, In Memoriam, Portraits, Uncategorized

A Tribute to SIA/A&D Veterans

Vietnam War (1955-1975)

PFC Eric Ribitsch was in the 173rd Airborne Brigade, was killed in action–South Vietnam in 1968 under hostile enemy fire. A sketch of his fiance which he kept was found in his wallet.

CPL Ghalib Ahmed Abdullah
SIA Class 1960
Sunrise 2.16.1943  |  Sunset 1.31.1968
Ghalib Ahmed Abdullah was in the 20th Engineer Brigade, was killed in action –South Vietnam in 1968 under hostile enemy fire.





Nestor A. Rodriguez
A&D Class 1962
Sunrise 1.29.1944  |  Sunset 12.16.2008
Nestor A. Rodriguez majored in modeling at Art & Design and was a navy veteran.

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A Tribute to SIA/A&D Veterans (1980s-Present)--continued

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A Tribute to SIA/A&D Veterans (1980s-Present)

When I graduated from Art and Design in 1980, it seemed like a good portion of my male classmates “disappeared.” Well, not quite. Years later, I was told during our 30th year class reunion in 2010 they literary had to report to boot camp the next day after graduation. Though the United States was no longer in an “active war” during the 1980s, still many of our classmate veterans faced hostile situations abroad prior to the Gulf War. Thomas Michael Tracy was a young marine in Beruit when terrorist blew up the marine barracks.


Nelson Narvaez
Class of 1980

Henry Ortega
Class of 1980


Wayne Truhart
Class of 1980
Photographer for
Joint Forces Command

Patrick Lewis
Class of 1985
Operational Specialist
USS Theodore Roosevelt Aircraft Carrier

Edward Lora
Class of 1988

Gulf War (1990-1991)



Our recently retired career military servicemen.



From one of many tribute to Colonel Rivera. “My wife and I are are very appreciative that you and our sons crossed paths serving in the Reserves. They always had high respect for you and it rubbed off on this Old Marine. I could see that you were a fine Officer, had Great Integrity and was a fabulous leader. I would have been proud to have served with you myself.”–Sam Otto


How about a father and son tag team?

Afghanistan & Iraq War (2001-Present)

Finally, we’re honored that among our classmate veterans we have a Bronze Star Medal recipient.

CPT Quiles had numerous deployments in various locations like Kosovo, Sarejevo, Macedonia, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. During his deployment to Afghanistan, CPT Quiles was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. CPT Quiles has obtained an undergraduate degree in Information Technology and a Masters Degree in Education during his time in the military. Captain Quiles obtained his commission as a Signal Officer.


We thank all classmate veterans for their service to our country.

No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation
— General Douglas MacArthur