RHS Junior Matthew Cislo Partners with Parsippany Leadership to Redesign PHS Logo
Randolph High School offers an Option II program, facilitated by Teacher of the Year Ashley Kanya, which allows students to earn credit towards graduation in a non-traditional way. The program is designed to give all students the flexibility and creativity to explore a program of interest while still earning credit toward high school graduation. Each student’s experience is authentic, unique, and autonomous. Randolph High School Junior Matthew Cislo gave a presentation yesterday outlining his Option II project in collaboration with Parsippany High School.
The project came to life thanks to RHS Art Teacher Steve Coleman who specializes in teaching computer graphics. Mr. Coleman is always looking for new and innovative ways for students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to the real world. As an alumnus of Parsippany High School, he reached out to PHS Principal Dr. Denis Mulroony in the hopes of providing an opportunity for an Option II student to complete an independent graphic design project. Dr. Mulroony was enthusiastic to partner with Mr. Coleman to provide an authentic learning experience. RHS Junior Matthew Cislo was selected and tasked with the opportunity to improve PHS’ logo and pixel quality as part of Option II.
Matthew was hesitant about taking on a project like this. However, given the amazing experiences he has had in his computer graphics classes, he felt compelled to pursue a project like this to see how what he has learned could directly translate to the real world. “I took computer graphics during my freshman year of high school on accident. I didn’t understand that it would be graphic design, but after I took the class I decided that this was kind of cool and I took the honors class during my sophomore year. At the end of my sophomore year, I was kind of skeptical about wanting to do Option II for a graphic design project. However, I realized that this is a field that I may want to consider pursuing and that exploring an opportunity like this could help me figure out if this is something I would like to do with my future.”
This was the first time Matthew had ever designed a professional logo and it took all of the second quarter for him to complete. At the conclusion of the project, Matthew had created a series of unique logos based on the original design concept which could be used for multiple promotional purposes. As one of the lessons he learned, he discussed the value of continuing to try new things and not being afraid to fail. “I am hoping that I can pursue graphic design in college. I would like to explore more of the business side of the industry where I am making logos for companies or advertisements in posters. I think it would be an exciting career. I have learned from this experience as well as graphic design in general that you’re going to hit road blocks. You have to work through it. If you get frustrated by something, it’s fine to take some time off, but ultimately you need to stick with it and keep trying. That’s what I would recommend to anyone who may be interested in pursuing a career in this or any creative role.”
In addition to this project, Matthew is very active at RHS. He is in Bridges Club where he participates in service projects such as providing food for the homeless. He is also a proud member of the Boys Ice Hockey program which is having a stellar season. He is optimistic and looking forward to the end of the ice hockey season. “We have had a strong track record this season. As far as contention goes, we are up there to be able to bring home a state title and we have a strong track record of winning championship games. We haven’t won one in 5 years so we are definitely looking to bring one home this year.”
As a district, Randolph Township Schools provides an exemplary learning community where graduates are prepared to excel in a complex interconnected and changing world. However, as this partnership has shown, our learning community extends beyond Randolph. We have sincere gratitude to Steve Coleman, Dr. Mulroony, and Parsippany High School for fostering this unique opportunity for one of our students. It is because of the collaborative nature of educators that students of all backgrounds and communities continue to have the chance to thrive. Thank you Parsippany High School for facilitating this learning opportunity for Matthew.