This year, Arcadia High School has been named a VANS Custom Culture High School for 2021. The VANS High School Custom Culture was created to inspire and empower high school students to embrace their creativity through art and design and bring attention to diminishing arts education budgets. Vans believes everyone should be empowered to express themselves creatively and should be given the tools to do so. Custom Culture High School is a national high school customization competition using blank VANS shoes to be customized around the specific themes, Hometown Pride and Head in the Clouds. This recognition is very rare as Arcadia High School is one of 250 high schools in the United States that earned this distinguished title this year based on a submission by Senior, Elijah Stith and art teacher, Ms. Tracy Kelly.

Since being named a VANS Custom Culture High School, Elijah and a team of other art students (Elyssa Woodward and Ethan West) have planned, designed, created, and submitted their shoes in order to be considered for the $50,000 Grand Prize. Submissions were due April 16, 2021, and if Arcadia High School advances past the first round (April 19-23), there will be an opportunity for the public to vote for their favorite shoe beginning April 26, 2021 through May 7, 2021. If Arcadia High School’s submission advances past the first round, information regarding how to vote will be available on the Arcadia High School webpage at

In addition to helping Arcadia High School earn this distinguished recognition, Elijah has been accepted to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and VCUarts, two of the top four Art Schools in the United States.