Group of students together

A Letter From The Principal.

Ever since I joined Media in 2017, I have known that this is a very unique place. There is no other school like ours. The adults in the school are passionate and will stop at nothing to make sure our students are safe and successful. The students in the school are caring, funny, and brilliant. The parents of the school are truly our partners and they go out of their way to support us when we need them most. This is why I feel humbled and honored to become Principal of the High School for Media and Communications beginning today, Monday, December 13th.


There is absolutely no one who could ever replace Mr. Juan Villar, our retiring Principal. He has guided us to where we are today, and we will continue his legacy of empowering one another to make our school the shining jewel of Washington Heights. My promise to all of you reading this letter is that: As Media’s new Principal, 1) I will always listen to you and support you to make your thinking visible so that ideas become action plans; and 2) I will be honest and transparent with you.


Students, I want you to know that my core value is Service Leadership. I am committed to serving every one of you so that you graduate from this school empowered with the skills you need to be successful and make a meaningful impact on your family, your community, and our world. My expectation from you is that you: 1) believe in yourself and push yourself to always improve; 2) show your kindness for our school to be a safe, welcoming, positive learning environment; 3) graduate on time. We, the adults of the school, will always be there for you all to help.


You can always come to me if you know what you think is going well and what suggestions/recommendations you have.


I am so excited to continue this journey together, as your Principal.




With love and gratitude in education,



Sofia Russo

Interim Acting Principal

Expectations of our Scholars

Our History

The High School for Media and Communications seeks young scholars who have and will strengthen the following characteristics:

  • Grit: You will work hard to achieve your goals and strive for excellence.

  • Optimism: You believe in yourself and will push through tough times knowing that there is a positive outcome at the end.

  • Zest: You will be socially active and participate fully in our school community.

  • Commitment: You will take responsibility for your education and future.

  • Self-Discipline: You will manage your time wisely and build good study habits.

George Washington Logo

High school for media and Communications is one of four schools created from the reorganization of George Washington High School in 1999. Most students come from homes where Spanish is spoken and about a quarter of students are English language learners. During a visit in the spring of 2011, new immigrants taught by a dynamic veteran instructor were conversing and raising their hands to recite dialogues in English.


They go on field trips to the American Museum of Natural History and the Jewish Museum to build their vocabulary and speaking confidence.

We believe that quality education is every student’s right.  At the High School for Media and Communications, this is characterized by:

  • A curriculum that is rigorous, well-rounded, and includes Advanced Placement classes.

  • Interdisciplinary studies that focus on theme-based multi-media projects.

  • Opportunities for acquiring technological competence.

  • Emphasis on media and communications arts.  Specific courses of study include journalism, drama, film, creative writing, advanced art, speech, Photoshop, STEM, and computer technology.

  • Opportunities for students to apply and extend their learning beyond the classroom to serve and improve their community.

  • Students exploring career and college options available to them.

  • Student-centered teaching practices that focus on inquiry and cooperative learning.

  • A team approach that will include common meeting time, case conferencing, and academic planning.

  • Parental and community involvement.

  • As a Community School, we are committed to leveraging community resources and opportunities to address the needs of our students and their families.

  • Partnerships and collaborations with colleges, universities, local organizations, and members of the public and private sectors.

Our Vision