Vans Custom Culture, 2012 National Champions

Top Row: Manuel Salcido, Hannah Mercek, Cody Kirk, Ethan Worten
Middle Row: Laodecea Barrack, Jordan Williams, Kat Larne, Brett Wethington, Roejuen Cortina, Stephanie Gonzales, Jorian Stevenson*
Lower Middle Row: Gabriella Duran, Olivia Faust, Evie Pope
Bottom Row: Matthew Lutz
, Matthew Marquez, Jacob Lutz, Zachary Jury, Amanda Mast
Not Pictured: *
Alexandra Anders, Isabella DeCruz


In 2012, nineteen students from Rio Rancho High School competed against teams from 900 registered high schools across the United States to win the 3rd annual Vans Custom Culture shoe design contest for a second time.

In the first round of the contest, Vans selected the top 10 schools in each region. Round two involved an incredibly difficult online voting campaign; Rio Rancho emerged as number one in the Southwest. At the final round at the Long Beach Museum of Art in California, a panel of celebrity judges awarded Rio Rancho the grand prize of $50,000, and the $5,000 Local Flavor award. Upon returning home, the prize money was shared among all the Fine Arts teachers at Rio Rancho High School and two middle schools.

Vans fully funded all the transportation, accommodations, food, entertainment, and other expenses for the trip from Albuquerque to Los Angeles for team members and chaperones; it was amazing! The four shoes were reproduced by Vans and was sold in select Vans stores accross the United States. The experience would have been impossible without the artistically gifted and hard working students of Rio Rancho, the support of the local community, and God's blessing. Custom Culture is Awesome!


Rio Rancho, Vans Custom Culture, Action Sports Shoes


Rio Rancho, Vans Custom Culture, Art Shoes


Rio Rancho, Vans Custom Culture, Local Flavor Shoes


Rio Rancho, Vans Custom Culture, Music Shoes


Rio Rancho Vans Team in Hollywood


Amanda Mast with the $55,000 check from Vans


Rio Rancho High School production Vans shoes display at Cottonwood Mall