Media & Performing Arts Lab

The Media and Performing Arts Lab offers young creative minds the opportunity to explore the world of Art, Media, and Entertainment. While careers in this industry include videographer, graphic designer, YouTuber, journalist, photographer, editor, and performer, the skills learned in this lab will be applicable to nearly every career path. The most exciting portion of the Media and Performing Arts Lab is that all students will be exposed to how professional film sets are conducted and organized in the industry. The lab covers everything from writing, directing, shooting, editing, and performance to help students produce an entertaining and successful movie!

Students will be exposed to graphic design, page layout, and photo manipulation using Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. Student filmmakers will use still and movie cameras combined with editing software to create, produce, and edit public service announcements, commercials, documentaries, and short films using Adobe Premiere.

History and English in the Media and Performing Arts Lab will use multimedia sources to learn about historical topics that are still impacting our nation and valley today.  The literature will be chosen to represent the varying viewpoints and interests of Madera students. Additionally, students will build their collaboration and communication skills through the various projects they complete. Students will also become critical thinkers who adapt their skills through creativity.

If you have ever wanted to be in front of the camera or behind it, this is the lab for you.

Our Teaching Team
CODY ASHFORD, Media/Performing Arts Teacher
Cody has an extended background in both Film and Education. While this is his sixth year teaching in the Central Valley, he has worked as a screenwriter and producer for a variety of film and television projects during the past decade. Cody loves storytelling of all forms and believes in empowering the next generation to share their own story with the tools available. With a degree in Cinema and Media Arts from Biola University in Los Angeles, CA, and a teaching credential from Fresno Pacific University, Cody brings a blend of creativity and technology to the classroom. When he’s not working, Cody is reading an absurd amount of X-Men comics, hanging with his dog, collecting Star Wars action figures, or watching movies with his wife.
DONNA KOHLRUSS, English Teacher

Donna always wanted to be a teacher, and Mad TEC’s new model is exactly the way she has always wanted to do it. For 30 years, she has been teaching middle school English and history in Yuba City, Fresno, and Clovis. Through her sons’ experiences in high school drama, she has become a lover of theater. She loves stories in all forms — plays, movies, and novels. A fan of warm weather, she enjoys spending time in her backyard gardening. She is passionate about learning and taking risks and thinks words to live by are.

“I never fail. I either win or I learn.”

Mr. Sutherland is a fourth-generation teacher who has been studying history for over 20 years and teaching for five.  His love of history was sparked by a trip to Philadelphia, PA at age 11 and that love has continued to grow ever since. After graduating from Fresno State, he worked four years in the Clovis Unified School District before joining MTEC.  Outside of MTEC, Mr. Sutherland loves spending time with his wife and baby girl, traveling, model railroading, playing the bagpipes, doing restoration projects, performing on stage, and cheering on his beloved Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco Giants! Mr. Sutherland’s greatest inspiration is his grandfather who inspired many generations to NEVER QUIT!
Skip to content