See and Hear Why MAD is Such a Special Place For Students
to Navigate their High School Experience
MAD students and story-tellers speak up and explain in their voice what makes MAD so meaningful to them
The MAD Academy DifferenceHere are the top reasons MAD students and parents rave about their experience:
Key Questions / Answers
What is the ideal student MAD seeks to serve?Just as there is no one typical Santa Barbara resident, there is no one typical ideal MAD student. MAD is a diverse community filled with many voices and many backgrounds. MAD Students, however are strivers and thrivers – they look to persevere and excel not only within the classroom but within the broader community. They are eager to find their voice to share their stories and to pursue some level of excellence after they graduate – whether that’s at a university, a community college, art school or directly at work.
What makes the MAD Academy experience better than other academies within Santa Barbara?Parents & students considering any academy experience within the greater Santa Barbara area should do their research to understand the pros and cons of each option. We believe the MAD Academy is the best academy experience for many of the reasons listed above. It is a comprehensive, integrated 4 year program that focuses on not just academic prowess but also valuable professional and social skills development. Our students are well prepared for their next challenge whether that be excelling at a top university or producing media in Hollywood. Truly, however, the biggest difference between the MAD Academy and academies at other schools in Santa Barbara is the fact that MAD is part and parcel of Santa Barbara High School. In addition to its long and storied history, Santa Barbara High School is a microcosm of what makes Santa Barbara so great – many voices and many backgrounds coming together as one in a beautiful setting.
What’s makes the MAD Academy experience different / better than traditional SBHS experience?Once a Don, Always a Don – which means all MAD Students first and foremost are deeply proud members of Santa Barbara High School. The MAD Academy and its programs, per se, are not better than other programs offered at SBHS. Rather, it’s different. For those students who are interested in becoming digital storytellers and like the idea of a smaller tight-knit peer group to rely on, MAD is likely for you.
Is MAD free? Or are there additional fees required for a student to attend?MAD is completely free. We want amazing kids regardless of their socio-economic background. In fact we actively seek ethnic, economic, and all types of diversity to ensure a more interesting and wider set of student voices. However, because we offer a range of additional trips, services, supplemental AV equipment and facilities that our state and local funding don’t cover, we rely on those who can afford to contribute to donate generously. And, like most programs at SBHS those who can give, do, and those who can’t, often volunteer their time. What we do ask is for parent involvement in the program to ensure all students get the absolute most out of their academy experience.
MAD Academy Facilities
Students in the MAD Academy learn in state of the art facilities that were designed by media professionals to accommodate film and photography shoots, digital media creation and provide an innovative learning environment. Students access all of the industry level tools that prepare them to step right into jobs in studios, media houses or careers that they create.. The hub of MAD media courses is the Pulice Media Center which houses two studios, two digital media labs, a lounge, a food kiosk and offices. The lynda.com Studio is a nearly 2,000 square foot silent stage and Studio S is just over 600 square feet. Both studios are outfitted with lighting grids, industry level lighting, sound and grip equipment. The Max Whittier Lab is comprised of 34 high end Mac editing stations and the New Media Lab contains 34 Windows video editing stations. Each media art course utilizes the space and equipment best suited to uniquely prepare MAD students for a globally competitive world.
Director of Operations
Steve BerkusDistrict & Facilities
Angela SiemensAlumni Outreach
James WahlbergIndustry & Colleges
- Kirsten Bennett
- Jennifer Drury
- Barbara Hage
- Kristi Gordnier
- Melissa Miller
- Shae Obando
- Cara Chiarappa
- Tiffany Doré
- Doreen Sales
- Kirsten Bennett
- Shelley Foy
MAD Academy Gala
- Chair – Jennifer Caesar
- Co-Chair –Allison Marcillac
President (12th Grade)
Chief Editor (12th Grade)
Communications Officer (12th Grade)
Media Manager (12th Grade)
Student Stories (10th Grade)