heather deboer

Senior project: animal neglect prevention


My name is Heather DeBoer. I have been a student at Academic Arts High School for nearly six years! I was first enrolled at Sibley High School during my freshman year. I only lasted a week and a half before transferring to AAHS. The stress level I was enduring at Sibley was unbearable. I never did any of my work and was becoming progressively more and more depressed even in the short time that I was there. I never did any of my work at AAHS when I first started either, but the support I received from my new school is just what I needed to get back on my feet and start looking forward. I eventually caught up with my credits and was back on track to graduate on time.

After bringing my beautiful baby boy into this world when I was only 16, I started to fall behind again. My son had many health problems that pulled me out of school for long periods of time. Even though I wasn’t getting my work done during this time, AAHS continued to support me emotionally and helped me find the resources I needed for my personal life struggles. That brings me to where I am now. My son is healthy, I am attending all of my classes again, and I am on track to graduate this year! If it wasn’t for the staff at AAHS, I’m not sure I would be getting my diploma at all. It’s better late than never.

For my senior project, I am reaching out to pet owners who may be unintentionally neglecting their loved companions. I help them learn and understand their full responsibilities to ensure their comrades living situations are ideal. Neglect comes in many forms and is more common than many people realize. It upsets me to discover that an animal is being neglected as much as it does discovering that people are unaware that they are neglecting the companions they love. I have been working with representatives from my neighborhood PetCo and animal shelters to learn what they have been doing to reduce risks of animal neglect and what I can do to contribute to that.

I have added my own touch to the cause by reaching out to pet owners on a personal level. I will talk about their companions and educate them on the care they are providing compared to the care they should be providing. I will also provide information to pet owners to try and persuade them into wanting to provide proper care for their comrades by explaining consequences of mishandling their pets and the benefits proper care provides. I hope to someday own a business that takes in surrendered animals and finds them good homes using a similar process that adoptions for children use provide thorough follow up and support to the adopting families. I will continue to focus on reptiles and amphibians in my work, but I will not say my work is done until all animals are provided equal attention during adoption!

Bailey Dusterhoft

Senior project: aahs literary collection


My name is Bailey Dusterhoft, I'm 17 years old and I will be graduating the first semester of next year. I started my educational journey at Somerset Elementary, and from there, I went on to Heritage Middle School. I started my ninth grade year at Sibley, and though I enjoyed the extra-curricular activities such as cheerleading and acting, I wasn't fond of how big the classes were, and how little help I received. In October of 2015 I transferred to Academic Arts hoping it would be a better fit for me, and I've been here ever since. Once graduated, I plan to start working full-time, and fully invest myself in art and music.

My senior project is creating a school literary collection. I've created a Tumblr blog where the AAHS community can submit their work, and also view others work as well. I have edited and formatted all submissions received, and I have put together a collection of work. My goal for this project is to be able to bring the community together through literature, and creative writing. 

chelsea heroff

Senior project: AAHS GSA


My name is Chelsea Heroff, and I am currently a senior attending Academic Arts High School. Throughout my life, I’ve always struggled with anxiety, depression, and minor bullying. It wasn’t severe until I attended middle school, where I was bullied for three years, by both students and staff. After I graduated from middle school, I decided not to go to the district high school, and instead, I looked for other high schools to go to.  Academic Arts High School was the first to pop up while looking online, and I thought it was a perfect fit for me.  I’ve been here since, made connections with staff and students alike, and I don’t regret it.

My Senior Project revolves around starting and running a GSA. Although we’ve had GSA’s in the past, they always fell off for various reasons. I have a lot of friends who are LGBT+, and I wanted to create a safe space for not only them, but for all students and staff.  I’ve been holding GSA every Wednesday during lunch, and even if leading groups like this one are outside my comfort zone, it’s been very fun and rewarding.

Nick Vigliotti

Senior project: Recording an album


I am a senior at Academic Arts High School. This is my second year here, and I am happy to graduate at this school. The schools I’ve previously attended were Linwood, which I attended for five years, Monroe/Linwood Monroe Arts Plus for four years, Creative Arts for two years, and ny last few years I have spent at Academic arts High School. 

My senior project is making an EP album with Mathias E., Andrew B. and Leif T. it shows how tough making an album can be and how time consuming mastering and perfecting a song is. We also want to show that everyone who has a will can find the way to make their own music.