Antelope Valley School District


Departments, Academies, Pathways & More

Welcome to the home of PHS Academic information. Here you will find information on everything from our dynamic academic departments and programs to course descriptions and graduation requirements.

Social Science

Palmdale High School's Social Studies Department is committed to developing students' understanding of our cultural interdependency and the significant connections between our present, past and future. Our courses challenge students to become knowledgeable and participatory citizens who value the traditions and freedoms of our democracy. We offer a sequential and disciplined approach to study skills that prepares students for the academic challenges of our college preparatory and advanced placement programs as well as those of a post secondary education.


The English Department of Palmdale High School offers an integrated program which seeks to demonstrate to students that all areas of study are interrelated and to foster an awareness of the necessity of communication and thinking skills in all aspects of life.

The course of studies in English is designed to foster a sequential development in reading, writing, speaking, and thinking skills. The program recognizes that student abilities and future goals vary. Therefore, classes are designed so that students will be challenged and that they will be able to achieve within their own capacities. The course of studies emphasizes a mixture of skills necessary for the college-bound but also provides course work needed by job-oriented students. All courses seek to encourage skills and mastery of the state standards, as they help to promote the development of the whole individual.

Industrial Technology

Our Industrial Technology Department includes several courses that offer students the opportunity to learn real-world skills. Many of these courses offer an internship at local work sites. Four career pathways lead students through their high school years towards a career as well as post-secondary education. Three of the pathways within the department are included in a California Partnership Academy named “F.A.S.T.”. The Falcon Academy of Sustainable Technologies is a state recognized program that leads students towards exciting careers and education related to emerging technologies.

Industrial Technology Chair – Timothy A. Green

FAST Academy Coordinator – Ruben Rodriguez

The four career pathways are represented in the Industrial Technology Department:

  • Education
  • Vehicle Maintenance, Service and Repair (F.A.S.T.)
  • Media and Design Arts (F.A.S.T.)
  • Residential and Commercial Construction (F.A.S.T.)

Courses within the department include the following:

Mrs. Cook - Intro to Education and Child Care Occupations.

Mr. Green - Intro to Technology and Design, Computer Aided Design, Automotive Engineering and Design, and Automotive General Service Technician.

Mr. Moreno - Intro to Technology and Design, Computer Aided Design, Video Game Design I, and Video Game Design II.

Mr. Rodriguez - Intro to Technology and Design, Computer Aided Design, Construction Engineering and Design, and Building Technology and Design.

Visual and Performing Arts

Palmdale High School's Visual and Performing Art Department continues a long-standing tradition of excellence in arts education in the Antelope Valley. Our high school art program is one of the finest in the district, offering students a variety of classes with varying levels of difficulty to further challenge our students. Some of the classes offered by our talented staff include drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, Drama, concert band, Orchestra, guitar, chorus, and visual communications. Our students excel in their artistic endeavors as they learn from a knowledgeable staff that teaches classes using the California State Standards for art.

The Palmdale High School Visual and Performing department consists of eleven teachers offering over 25 different classes within the arts. Our students are given the chance to show off their talent on campus, in the community, and throughout the state of California as they compete and perform in a number of events throughout the school year. Our students consistently receive state, national, and international honors as well as numerous scholarships.

We are proud of our extensive, challenging, high-quality programming in the visual and performing arts, and are always looking to add new and exciting classes to our already dynamic program.

Art Department Chair: Steven R Calzada

Mr. Calzada teaches AP Art History, Art 1, Painting 1, 2, and 3, and Drawing 1 and 2.

Visual and Performing Arts Academy (VAPAA) Coordinator: Anne Kaser

Mrs. Kaser teaches Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra, and Percussion.

George Rothmaller - Mr. Rothmaller teaches Journalism, Visual Imaging, Yearbook, Photo 1, and 3D Media.

Corrine Lechelt - Ms. Lechelt teaches, Photo 1, Art 1, and Senior Seminar.

Dan Phelan - Mr. Phelan teaches Art 1 and Ceramics 1, 2, and 3.

Jon Rugan - Mr. Rugan teaches Art 1 and Senior Seminar.

Mike McCullough - Mr. McCullough teaches Senior Seminar, Choral Ensemble, Mixed Chorus, Concert Choir, Acapella, Chamber Singers, and AP Music Theory.

Staci Haight - Ms. Haight Teaches Drama 1, 2, and 3 for the Art Department.

Anastacia Rivera - Ms. Rivera is the Drama Club Advisor.


The math department at Palmdale High is committed to providing all students with an exceptional learning program that will excel their future careers and academic activities. We offer courses ranging from Math Intervention to Advance Placement Calculus. Students are taught through the use of the latest technology and a wide variety of teaching methods in order to nurture a deep understanding of mathematical concepts. The school as a whole has given an extensive amount of resources to help the math department succeed in developing the desire in students to become life-long learners of math. Whether the student is preparing to enter a field which requires advance mathematics or a field that is not so inclined, the teachers in the math department are dedicated to helping every student succeed.

The following is a list of the math teachers at PHS:

Sandra Anderson, Donna Austin, Jose Angel Barajas, Peter Blanton, Murray Bradshaw, Barry Butler, JerryConchas, MauroDominguez, BobGoldberg, TamaraJurado, Don Justice, RebeccaLevi, Craig Mesler, Janet Pennington, Rudy Rivera, Marcia Roth, Craig Russell, LaraSweitzer, Robert Zima

Behavioral Science

Healthful Living, a Behavioral Science, ninth grade, two semester, 10 unit course, is required for graduation.The curriculum is structured with primarily social issues covered in first semester and physical issues covered in second semester. Those issues generally encountered by our teenage population will be covered. Providing our students the knowledge to deal with many of the critical issues they may have to respond to during their high school years and beyond. Our 2007/2008 school year department staff consists of four instructors; Mr. Vernor (Rm. 523), Ms. O'Keefe (Rm. 522), Ms. DiMeglio (Rm. 394) and Mr. Setzler (Rm. 518).

Agricultural Science


Business Technology

The Business Technology department is designed for the student who has or might have an aptitude or interest in the world of business and/or information technology. From the young entrepreneur to the budding Bill Gates, our students will be given the opportunity to tap into their interests, skills and abilities in an academically challenging and technologically rewarding environment. All students will be provided an opportunity to gain valuable career-specific skills and knowledge as well as a wealth of transferable skills that will serve them well in the world of work and in the pursuit of higher education.

The Business Technology department is defined by its commitment to helping all students achieve the highest levels of success academically, vocationally and personally. Our purpose is to provide students with abundant opportunities to learn more, explore interests, develop new skills and enhance those they already possess, ensuring their years at PHS and beyond will be positive and productive.

Courses offered in Business:

  • Contemporary Study of Business - course is offered online as well
  • Economics of Business Management
  • International Business

Courses offered in Media Design:

  • Multimedia Contemporary Design I (a-g approved)
  • Multimedia Contemporary Design II (a-g approved)
  • Digital Design for the Web (a-g approval pending)

Foreign Language

This world is no longer a place where one language meets the needs of society. Knowledge of a foreign language is necessary to communicate and link students’ understanding with the meaning of tolerance and acceptance of other people and culture. Foreign Language proficiency is becoming a necessity to succeed in our economically and politically interdependent world. Our Foreign Language Department is dedicated to ensure that our students here at Palmdale High School experience the learning of the foreign language in a meaningful way, so they are able to take their education’s practical value and enhance their academic achievements in any professional field of their choice.

Special Education

The goal of the Department of Special Education is to provide appropriate educational programs in the least restrictive environment for all students with disabilities. In providing educational services to students with disabilities, the PHS Special Education Department is responsive to the continually evolving nature of the field of special education, the requirements of federal and state legislation, court mandates, and the relationship between special and general education.

Further, it is believed that the goal of providing appropriate special educational services to students with disabilities can be achieved by working together with parents (i.e. natural/adoptive parents, legal guardians, and surrogate parents). It is our goal to continually work to improve and strengthen our special education programs and services is based upon the following principles:

Educational services are built on an appropriate evaluation that determines the level of support, related and/or instructional services required to meet the individual educational needs of students.

Educational services are provided in the least restrictive environment and to the maximum extent appropriate with non-disabled appropriate peers.

Educational services should emphasize the educational needs of the students.