Hartford consolidates journalism and culinary schools

Journalism and Media Academy reporters

  • Johnathan Torres - reporter/voice over
  • Nevaeh Bland - producer
  • Becky Clarke -  interviewer/editor
  • Brandon Piquant - cameraperson
  • Shanyce Johnson- cameraperson/editor
  • Timothy Gibson - cameraperson
  • Jazmen Randolph
  • Jose Colon
  • Isaiah Palmer
  • Jaydin James

The Journalism and Media Academy of Hartford Connecticut (JMA) opened its doors in 2017-18 year to merge with The Culinary Arts Academy also of Hartford.  Tenth grade student Isaiah Palmer said the two schools integrated nicely with students uniting under one roof and one school name. In time, the schools will move together to become the new Weaver High School in a completely renovated $100 million building on Granby Street.

In 2019, when the renovation is expected to be complete, the new JMA will  merge with more schools--possibly Kinsella Magnet High School of Performing Arts, and High School Inc.-- to become a state of the art Hartford neighborhood school.  Which schools and themes officially occupy the space is not guaranteed as Hartford works hard to continually improve its educational offerings.

As of now, Principal Sheldon Neal, former head of the Culinary Academy, is in charge of the combined school.   Together, the JMA campus at 150 Tower Avenue is home to almost 300 students.  Principal Neal stated heading the combined school was “energetic” and “challenging,” but one of his most gratifying experiences.

The students at both schools were excited to unite, make new friends, and grow as a unified campus.  Students currently are offered required and elective course that take place in state of the art classrooms.  The school provides every student their own personal chromebook equipped a portable hotspot, case and charger.  All classrooms are equipped with Apple desktops and the school houses a T.V. studio and radio interview room. Lunch and afterschool clubs related to art, music, journalism and sports are offered.

Juniors and seniors spend their afternoons at Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN) taking classes and working in fields related to journalism and media.  The students enjoy their time at CPBN learning about real-world careers and video technology. What more’s in store when the student’s move to the completely renovated Weaver High School is anybody’s guess.  But one thing’s for sure...there is excitement in the air!!!


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