Monday, July 28, 2008

Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH)

The Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH) in Miami is one of the top high schools of any type in the country. As a design high school it may be the top.

Design and Architecture Senior High School offers opportunities in academics and in professional design fields. The academic programs include college preparatory courses at the standard, honors, and advanced placement levels. Areas of design taught include architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion design, visual communications, web design, entertainment technology, and a four year fine arts foundation program.

The principal, Stacy Mancuso, is known as someone who breaks the mold as both a principal and a teacher. “Very few principals are artists,” noted Ellen Abramson, who teaches AP art portfolio to DASH juniors and seniors. “She goes all out for her students and knows what it takes to make it. She gives us the resources we need to help them succeed.”

DASH’s classrooms are hives of creativity, where students are friendly, open and focused on designing and making art. There are posters of DASH graduates’ designs hanging everywhere. Many of those grads design the latest cars, electronics, sneakers and fashion.

One of the most famous DASH graduates is Duane Lawrence, who was hired by Converse to design a signature shoe for Dwyane Wade (right). The industrial design classroom is a shrine to former students’ real-world achievements; walls are decorated with posters of alumni designs from Honda, Volvo, Toyota, Panasonic, Adidas, Nike, Converse and Fossil. “We have four [DASH graduates] at BMW in Pasadena, California,” said industrial design teacher Kelly Kwiatkowsi, adding that “two working in Toyota are making big bucks with signing bonuses.”

Click on the heading above to go to the schools website (

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