Academy for Design

  • The Academy for Design provides students with the foundational skills required of the various and diverse careers in the creative world; additionally, they will explore a multitude of these opportunities in more depth. The goals of the program are for students to build a well-developed portfolio of their work and to exercise creative thinking and problem solving skills.  

Academy Teacher

Mrs. Kerrie Bellisario

Phone: 973-627-4600 ext. 247


Degrees and Certifications:

MFA, University of Connecticut BFA, Maryland Institute, College of Art Certificate of Marketing Strategy, Cornell University Certificate of Performance Measurement, Harvard University Adobe Certified Associate

Mrs. Kerrie Bellisario

Designing for a Difference

I am Kerrie Bellisario – a designer, artist, educator and leader in cultivating engaging and innovative experiences that ignite the imagination.

I believe that art and design should inspire curiosity and pose divergent questions -that whether we are a student, consumer, leader or activist, methods and approaches in designing communications should always be evolving. Good design, like good teaching, makes us think and drives us to ask the kinds of questions which invite dialogue. This is why I love combining technology and art. We see the world through a visual lens and in effect through our laptops and phones, also a digital lens. Let’s fill that world with color, texture and imagination as we compel mind-opening exploration.


About My Background

Kerrie Bellisario is a creative and innovative leader in art and design with deep subject matter expertise in graphics and digital media. She avidly follows advances in the art world and cultural arenas. She has worked as a professor in arts education and studio art, has directed a nonprofit arts center awarded for leadership and excellence in community stewardship, and has applied her skills to non-arts contexts including science, healthcare and social justice organizations. In addition, she has run her own consulting business for nearly ten years working with clients including the National Park Service, Arts Education Partnership and Crayola. In most of these settings, spanning more than 15 years, Kerrie has served as the creative director and designer with highly effective experience managing staffs, budgets, contracts and diverse stakeholders.

Kerrie has a BFA in studio art from the Maryland Institute, College of Art and an MFA from the University of Connecticut. She holds a Certificate in Performance Measurement from Harvard University and a Certificate in Marketing Strategy from eCornell University. She was also recently awarded a Certificate from Rutgers University as an Adobe Certified Associate. She has received numerous awards for her work in the arts including a Ford Foundation grant, a Wallace Foundation grant, Senatorial citation, Governor’s Award for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a Mayoral citation from the City of New Bedford, MA, among others.

Academy Teacher

Mr. Rosado

Phone: 973.627.4600, Ext 256


Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Concentration in Painting, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University Minor in Spanish

Mr. Rosado

Career Field -Design

  • Career Pathways in Design (include but are not limited to):

    Visual Arts:  Interior Designers, Commercial/Residential and Home Furnishings coordinators ♦ Graphic Designers, CAD Technicians, and Fashion Illustrators ♦ Textile Designers ♦ Commercial Artists, Illustrators, and Artists, all Media ♦ Curators and Gallery Managers ♦ Fashion Designers

    Printing Technology: Graphics and Printing Equipment Operators ♦ Lithographers and Platemakers ♦ Computer Typography and Composition Equipment Operators ♦ Desktop Publishing Specialists; Web Page Designers

    Marketing Communications:  Advertising Managers •  Art/Graphics Directors • Creative Directors • Interactive Media Specialists

    Design/Pre-Construction: Modeler (traditional and computer) Planner/Designer • Renderer (traditional and computer) 

    2017-2018 Seniors in the Academy for Design completed internships with (including but not limited to):

    Artistic Kreations, LLC, Montclair Art Museum, Ai Studios, Lovable Keepsake, Fatrabbit Creative, Montclair Art Museum (Yard School of Art), Dealer Owned Warranty Company, JAM Graphics, Little Kids Rock, Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, Doug Bratton Comics


Academy Course of Study

  • 9th Grade

    Academy:  Design Foundations I

    This course provides an initial foundation for the 9th grade Academy for Design students. Students will explore the
    elements and principles of design through a two-pronged approach involving both theory and practice. During the year, students will learn basic drawing techniques, two-dimensional design principles, color theory and digital design concepts and skills. Students will begin to build a portfolio for future use. Students will have the opportunity to explore various career pathways in the design field.

    Core Courses:

    • English 9*
    • Algebra I, Geometry* or Algebra II*
    • Biology*
    • Health and Physical Education 9
    • World History*
    • World Language
    • Financial Literacy

    *Honors courses available and determined by placement testing upon acceptance to MCST


    10th Grade

    Academy: Design Foundations II

    This course builds upon an initial foundation of the 9th grade Design Foundations I course. Students will deepen their exploration of the elements and principles of design through a two-pronged approach involving both theory and practice. During the year, students will continue to refine and develop drawing techniques. Students will explore the techniques and skills required to create three-dimensional designs. In this course, students will have the opportunity to delve into the art of photography in order to apply and extend design techniques. Students will also be able to practice and apply more advanced graphics fundamentals such as typography, logo development and design.   During the course, students will continue to develop their portfolios and build exhibitions of their work. Throughout the academy program, students will explore various career pathways in design and continue to refine their goals and individual learning plans.

    Core Courses:

    • English 10*
    • Geometry*, Algebra II* or Pre-Calculus*
    • Chemistry*
    • Health and Physical Education 10
    • US History I*
    • World Language
    • VPA Elective

    *Honors courses available and determined by grades and teacher recommendation


     11th Grade

    Academy: Design Foundations III

    In this course, students will build upon the previous two years of foundational design principles to explore advanced topics in design. Students will create complex, challenging design pieces and further develop and refine their individual portfolios. Throughout the year, students will work in a variety of design areas including interior design, architecture, form development and digital animation.

    Core Courses:

    • English 11*
    • Algebra II*, Pre-Calculus*, AP Calculus
    • Physics*
    • Health and Physical Education 10
    • US History II*
    • World Language
    • Elective

    *Honors courses available and determined by grades and teacher recommendation


    12th Grade at MCST

    Career and Technical Education (Academy):

    • Career and Technical Education Elective (i.e. Virtual Enterprises International, Computer Science Principles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)
    • Senior Capstone
    • OR CCM for Academy coursework

    Structured Learning Experience (Graduation Requirement):

    • All Seniors must complete 120 hours of an approved internship in their respective career field.

    Core Courses: 

    • English 12* (required)
    • Health and Physical Education 12 (required)
    • AP Calculus, Statistics, Foundations of College Math
    • Environmental Science, Anatomy and Physiology I
    • World Language*

    *Honors courses available and determined by grades and teacher recommendation


    12th Grade at County College of Morris

    Eligible Seniors may complete their Senior coursework in full or in part at County College of Morris. See School Counseling Department for more information.

    Required Courses:


    • English Composition I (ENG111)
    • Lifetime Wellness (HED128) or PE (labeled HES)
    • Academy Course (1)

    ART 122 Drawing I
    ART 130 TWO Dimensional Design 
    DSN 115 Basic Drafting
    DSN 135 Fashion Construction Technology I
    COM 104 Interpersonal Communications
    COM 109 Speech Fundamentals
    CMP126 Computer Applications (all but CIS students)
    CMP128 Computer Science 1 (all but CIS students)
    BUS 112 Introduction to Business (all but FIB students)
    ACC 110 Elements of Accounting (all but FIB students)


    • English Composition II (ENG112)
    • PE or Lifetime Wellness (whichever was not taken in the Fall)
    • Academy Course (1) (see above list)

    *See Guidance (School Counseling) Department for additional information on CCM courses

    Structured Learning Experience

    • All Seniors must complete 120 hours of an approved internship in their respective career field.


Academy Video - Class of 2019