Six Tohopekaliga High School Digital Design students had a chance to show off their design talents recently when they traveled to Certiport’s Adobe Professional U. S. National Championship in Dallas, Texas, to compete with some of the best graphic design students in the country. One of them, Salma Sanchez Acevedo, returned home with a $1500 check and a start to a graphic design career that will begin this Fall Valencia College with the help of Osceola County’s Osceola Prosper program that pays Valencia tuition for 2022 graduates.
Salma may have walked away from Dallas with a second-place finish, a $1,500 check, and a spot in the upcoming World Championship in Anaheim July 24-27, but she wasn’t alone in Texas. Six other Tohopekaliga students that qualified for the trip to the Nationals in Texas were Aiyana Cremisio, Abigail Isaac, Luendy Melo-Oller, Sierra Aya Park, Nicole Bolanos, and Jasiah Sanchez.
Resource Director of Fine and Performing Arts Chris Burns shared his support for the digital design students and their extraordinary teacher, “Jenny Mohess and the students at Tohopekaliga High School have brought an amazing program idea to fruition at the Adobe Certified Associate competition. The students have worked tirelessly at their craft and have become true artists in their own right at such a young age.”
So, you might be asking who was the guiding force in the trip to the Adobe Professional U. S. National Championship. That would be TKHS digital design teacher, Jenny Mohess. Mohess, a former employee of Apple and Microsoft, began her teaching career at Valencia and then Tohopekaliga, where she has played a huge role in the success of the students in the digital design field.
Originally from Trinidad, Mohess came to Tohopekaliga High and built a Digital Design Career and Technical Education track that not only teaches best practices in today’s digital design, it also gives the aspiring digital design students in her classes real world experience at Tohopekaliga High, the Osceola School District, and last year the students took on a project at the H20 Waterpark at Margaritaville Resort where Mohess’ students pitched their designs to Island H2O Live representatives which became full murals at the waterpark.
“When I was in school I wasn’t what you would call the perfect student, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t succeed, and that’s the same today with students that have talent today. They have great potential, they just have to be given a chance,” Mohess shared with Positively Osceola the day after she and her students returned with from teh Adobe Nationals in Texas.
We asked Ms. Mohess what gave her the drive to do what she does every day and where her passion comes from as she drives up to TKHS. Her answer was simple, “Making 6 figures, or working 80 hours a week for an international tech company doesn’t bring happiness. Changing students’ lives and helping them find their talents and their passion, that makes me happy.”
After speaking to Ms. Mohess we can see why her students are succeeding, why she is succeeding, and why TKHS, the Osceola School District, and are blessed to have her students doing what they do!
Best of luck to Salma Sanchez Acevedo as she makes her way to Anaheim, California to the Adobe World Championship in July!