Manuel Urena

Principal Manuel Urena

Art And Design High School

School Number:


231-249 EAST 56 STREET



School Hours
Student Enrollment:
Grades Served:

09, 10, 11, 12, SE


Parent Coordinator:

Janeen Johnson

Police Precinct:
Geographic District:
High School Office



333 7 AVENUE



Family Leadership Coordinator:
Julio Mora
Family Support Coordinator:
William Mark
Education Council President:
Shino Tanikawa – Oglesby


  1. Former Staffer

    Mr.Ureña Interim Acting Principal has been at our school since January 25,2016.During which time many teachers have received several letters to file. He refuses to show the budget to the UFT chapter leader. Has ordered Assistant Principals to harass teachers by observing them on Fridays and several times during the day. He refuses to respect the contract and want to impose his lesson plan format.Has selected students missing instructional time to hang out in administrative offices where personnel and students files and confidential information is available. Several students tell others I know everything that goes on here. The observation ratings since he has been here have gone from effective to ineffective

  2. Interested Party

    Urena pulled the same crap at the last school he presided over. His game is about the money – more for him, less for you. His MO: not hiring enough staff and hiring low-cost probationary teachers. His objective: to show the super that he is running the school below budget (that’s why he won’t show the budget) and that translates into more money in his pocket and career promotions as “superintendent’s pet”. Urena is a classic “step up – kick down” type of guy and this is a time-worn strategy implemented by sociopaths. Urena has no concern for others. If you’re a teacher under Urena, expect your job to be at risk. Your MOTP will go from effective to ineffective, as the game is to replace you with a less costly teacher. Watch for him to include teacher practice handbook administrivia in his observation notes. Watch for of him shortchanging students requiring ICT assistance. The man is a disgrace.

  3. Isn’t his superintendent recently divorced? What exactly is meant by “superintendent’s pet?”

  4. Najee Rep student

    Mr.U is an amazing principal. If you all don’t want him Repertory Would gladly take him back. He was sent to art and design because the school was doing horribly. Mr.U is a no bs kind of guy. He has the right to observe the teachers it is truly for the benefit of the student. Some teachers are truly ineffective don’t be upset with him because he’s calling on the fact that you suck. You all are sour but his Repertory family loves him students and staff. He’s an inspiration to myself he’s someone I aspire to be like. He does what he does to benefit the student. If you can’t get behind him you may be apart of the problem.

    • Former Repertory Student

      You were obviously brainwashed by the foul smelling manure that came out of this man’s mouth whenever he opened it, if you truly do believe that Mr.U was an amazing principal. You might very well have that opinion because he definitely did select his favorite group of students based on who he could easily manipulate into believing that everything he did was for the good of the school, students and staff. This man was 100% a sociopath (in my opinion of course) and corrupted enough to do whatever it is that he had to do in order to get his way. He did not act on what was best for the school, he did whatever the hell he wanted to do, and would make any administrators life hell if they disagreed with him in any way. A true community is built on collaboration and not dictatorship and this man was drunk on power the second he became principal. This isn’t just based on my observations alone, but also including the multiple administrators/staff who know the truth and aren’t afraid to be vocal with me about this man’s tyranny. I am not the slightest bit shocked by the backlash he is receiving. If anything I’m happy that people are waking up and seeing Mr.U’s true colors. To say that this man is anything but selfish, delusional, and power hungry would be a misjudgment of character. At the end of the day he would put himself above the students or the school any day.

    • Our school was completely fine without him and frankly he isn’t doing anything to better our school. He is changing our schedule and with that change, it’ll remove the classes that make our school CTE and Art School in the first place. Then he blows smoke in our ass talking about some “you can paint on the walls” bullshit so we wouldn’t notice what he’s doing. It’s not cute and if you want him back so much, make a petition about how much you miss him my darling becayse we are gladly willing to hand him over (if that was possible).

      • Current A and D Student

        You are a fool. Hopefully you and I will meet in person so I can defend OUR principal! You all write on this site without knowing him. He has an open door policy for ALL students and will hear them out. He has been nothing but fair to students and for the first time we have a voice. Under the previous principal we had none. Now we have a functional student government and the culture is shifting in favor of supporting students. The real brainwashing is when the teachers use us students as pawns in their politics. I have experienced MANY uncaring teachers here and now that they are being asked to WORK they complain. I will support Mr. U and my friends will too! Hopefully he is not out off by your stupid comments if he ever read them…I’m embarrassed as an A and D atudent to read these comments by people who don’t care about us.

        • He should be out of the D.O.E. why isn’t he? Seen him personally humiliate teachers in front of others…
          doesn’t have a clue about the outside world..*worse than Gary Johnson and Allepo. Stay away from him! HE IS TOXIC!

          • Current Veteran Teacher

            You are a loser…we all see his value. He’s the best thing ever to happen to this school. You are one of maybe 8 teachers trying to intimidate others. He is fair, knowledgeable, and hardworking. Previous principals weren’t.

    • You are devoid of facts. A school with a B rating is not doing horribly, and that is the school’s rating. Who was rated horribly by his school community was Urena. The Learning Environment Survey shows green for every bar graph but the one that reflects his practice. That bar graph was blood red. Urena is a shiny well-dressed fraud whose skills are minimal. Frankly, A&D wishes Repertory would take him back too. But his ambition could not be satisfied in such a small school. When the Superintendent told him he’d never get tenure unless he left Repertory, you see how fast he ran. He thought so much of Repertory that he sacrificed staying with you to his ambition of climbing the ladder.

      Also, your lack of skill in grammar reflects a poor command of the English language. That’s something you share with your beloved Urena. Both of you have quite a long way to go before you reach the intellectual level of the A&D community. That includes adults and children.

    • He’s a pedophile, inviting students to his office, sharing lollipops with them and telling them to “call me daddy.”

      He was dismissed from Valley Stream High School after less than a year of his probationary period for inappropriate conduct with students. Contact the school and ask them about this.

      You have excellent taste in principals.

      • Hmmmm, I think I know who you are. You are that English teacher everyone complains about. You are the one who is disgruntled because Urena makes you work and put kids first. Why don’t you put your money where your dirty mouth is so he can sue you for defamation of character. I would love to see that. The teachers who work hard everyday, like me, would take umbrage to your tactics of self preservation. You worthless piece of crap! Show yourself for who you are and stop impugning this man’s integrity.

        • I think we ALL know who this teacher is at this point. lol. It’s no secret, believe that. It’s just a matter of time until he’s gone. Everyone else who is doing great work at this school amidst this drama, kudos and stay the course. The kids will thank you!!!!!

  5. Any school that has mr.u as a principal is lucky because he’s one of the most understanding & loving human beings I know of. He will try his hardest to do his job right and make sure everyone else is on task and doing their best. He is very respectful and knows what his doing. This is coming from a student from his previous school and I’ll take him back any day!! Mr.u is a great leader and he brings the best out of everyone that crosses path with him.

  6. Diamond Rep Student

    How dare you insinuate that this MARRIED man, let alone your BOSS, is having an affair with the superintendent? Urena is an amazing teacher who should be treated with respect for all that he has done and sacrificed in order to bring your troubled school to success. He has to constantly observe teachers not for the ideal that he is being cheap not domineering, but simply for the fact that you aren’t doing your job, whereas you are too busy writing irrelevant reviews.


      Excuse me, but why are you doing the same? There is no need to kiss his butt unless you are in his pocket like the others. The school was failing, but now its worse thanks to this “Genuine man of Reperturdy”, I mean Repertory.If he was so great, why did he leave your school. Obviously you were doing something wrong too.

  7. Angelica from Repertory

    The fact that former staff has something to say about this genuine man and also has the immaturity to imply such things about him, and his actions, show that you can not be taken professionally in a working environment. Behavior as like elementary students shown in these comments point out clearly why you have been dismissed of your duty from the school. As well as shows that you have no knowledge or education to know that principles or teachers don’t get any of the schools budget, or that supervision of teachers frequently ensures that the teacher is doing an effective job at all times, not harassment, which is what people who are lazy and who don’t do their job consider harassment. Clearly if you were fired for any reason and you are on here commenting on my old principle and making assumptions and accusations about him, shows that you did a mediocre job and that he did the right thing firing you in the first place.

    • Former Repertory Student

      You were obviously brainwashed by the foul smelling manure that came out of this man’s mouth whenever he opened it, if you truly do believe that Mr.U was an amazing principal. You might very well have that opinion because he definitely did select his favorite group of students based on who he could easily manipulate into believing that everything he did was for the good of the school, students and staff. This man was 100% a sociopath (in my opinion of course) and corrupted enough to do whatever it is that he had to do in order to get his way. He did not act on what was best for the school, he did whatever the hell he wanted to do, and would make any administrators life hell if they disagreed with him in any way. A true community is built on collaboration and not dictatorship and this man was drunk on power the second he became principal. This isn’t just based on my observations alone, but also including the multiple administrators/staff who know the truth and aren’t afraid to be vocal with me about this man’s tyranny. I am not the slightest bit shocked by the backlash he is receiving. If anything I’m happy that people are waking up and seeing Mr.U’s true colors. To say that this man is anything but selfish, delusional, and power hungry would be a misjudgment of character. At the end of the day he would put himself above the students or the school any day.

  8. Continue to report if comments are true. Disregard the comments of those that have a veil over their eyes. Principals and administrators lie and put careers in jeopardy for budgets and their own livelihoods. They get trained to harass and invent. Document everything and fight back.

  9. As a current teacher at Art and Design- here is what I can say with certainty. He is hard working and knowlegable. That being said- since his arrival- the morale in the school amongst faculty is very low. He has created a culture of fear mongering and animosity towards teachers. Each day, in the elevator- teachers comment tha they await persecution and his chesire cat grin telling them they are not good teachers. Even students are acknowleging teachers are not happy at work anymore… And this is NOT helping instruction- I assure you. He does NOT inspire teachers to work harder – but rather – the opposite. Any professional disagreement only leads towards targeting. When he gives compliments- it comes across as phony. There are VERY few teachers that embrace him- and the ones that do- do so – only for their own benefit rather than for the good of students.

  10. Student at Art and Design

    I have done research on this Principle of ours. The students have decided to do their own type of protesting for our teachers. For you kids at his Former school good for you that he was such and a good principle but in my defense hes sort of an ass. Many of my peers can agree and our school is not a bad school we are a specialized school filled with brilliant bright minds. Our other principle was said to had got fired. I notice how all the staff warns us when ever he is coming. Telling us in pure fear to hurry and go to class the principle is coming just because they know how he is. The guy is not some creepy old guy but he’s just not the right teacher for this school that only runs on creativity and open minds not fear and being strict because there is no limitation to imagination. It is unacceptable that we have lost our teachers I mean this guy literally stalks the kids the school just doesn’t feel the same anymore. And the more i here about him the more disturbing it is to know HE’S running our school…I just hope the rumors are not true and that these are just some teacher complaining about getting fired because there lazy but I don’t know there’s something up.

    • Former Repertory Student

      I assure you that the rumors are 100 percent true. This man treats his job like a dictatorship and if any student is defending him is because he has brainwashed them into believing otherwise. It would not surprise me in slightest if he is doing the same thing at Art & Design, if anything I expect it from him. And no the teacher complaining isn’t just doing it for the hell of it. There are valid reasons as to why they are saying these things. It was completely obvious what was going on when it was happening. He targeted teachers for personal vendetta’s (for disagreeing with him or just not liking them) and not based on their quality of teaching. I personally overheard him talking to one of his colleagues in his office, and they were talking about said fired teacher. He said something to the effect of the fired teacher being a smart ass and disliking him personally. And this i remember very clearly… “That’s why i’m going to fire his ass”. And just like that it happened. The students defending this man were oblivious to how he treated his staff behind the scenes and how they feared (not respected… but feared) for their jobs. Mr.U needs some anger management and to get knocked down a couple of pegs because he abuses his power as principal. And that is the cold hearted truth.

      • A and D student-senior

        You are a phony…you are a teacher who is probably not doing your job. Students don’t express themselves like you. I can see you are trying like others here to talk about this man. What a shame. This man has been nothing but a blessing to our school. Students were never acknowledged. We never even knew our former principal and everyone hated the other. Our school has changed for the better. I hope he is with us for a very long time. I just got my schedule. It’s the first time in my three years at A and D that this has happened so early. I’m very excited for the next school year which is my senior year. I will be one of many students supporting MY principal. If I hear anything I will ensure I gather my friends who feel the same way and petition the superintendent to get rid of those teachers standing in the way of our school’s progress. My mom is very involved in the school and she assured me that parents will support our principal and ensure that teachers don’t mess with him. You have my word on this…so keep messing around and you will see a real protest. We will make sure that students rise up against the ones who are hurting the school and trying to cause trouble.

      • SHUT UP MR. MARKS!!

    • Ok researcher – maybe you should research the spelling of Principal. Credibility: none.

  11. Student at art and design

    This man is honestly the scariest, like I have never seen a whole group of teachers be so against a man in my life and the rumours? Yes they are 100% true, he gives absolutely no credit to teachers what so ever. I’ve spoken to teachers myself and I could tell just without them saying words about him that they are discouraged because caise of this man, and I’ve met urena before and I could tell just by the way this man presented himself he was self-intitled

    • Former Rep student

      You must be a teacher posing as a student…you idiot. I am a true former student and I can tell the way you write that you are a lazy ass teacher at Art and Design. This man works hard for his students and our school soared. I personally saw the changes once he took over. Students benefited and parents and teachers were happy. You are lucky to have him you idiot.

      • art and design student

        Principle Urena told my friend after coming to him about being bullied and sexually harassed to wait it out since the kids were graduating in a couple months…

      • art and design student

        Principle Urena told my friend after coming to him about being bullied and sexually harassed to wait it out since the kids were graduating in a couple months…

  12. To Those In Support of All Black Day

    Alright then, wow, took a while but now I’ll explain how everything this page is “fighting” for, is a complete and total web of lies. To begin, I’ll address the idea that Principal Urena is attempting to have the DOE give the school money that he will pocket the excess of. Make sure you read this, real carefully, the money given to a school by the DOE, never once goes through the Principal and never once goes back to him. In fact, the only job employed by the DOE that can make more money by cutting costs is the fucking janitors. Second, you can’t pay teachers in varied amounts, the whole system works in a way that every teacher, no matter how experienced or how good or bad they are, gets paid the same. Third, this idea that he’s firing teachers, isn’t even possible. A principal isn’t even able to fire anyone within his first three years, let alone SIX MONTHS, and even then the process is so tedious and has several hoops to jump through that it begs the question, why go through all the trouble to fire a good teacher. The fact that your one and only example of this, is a teacher who is not being fired, but is moving away, is laughable.

    • Current A and D Parent

      Thank you!!! At last a persin using their brains. I’m on the PTA board and let me tell you, this man puts kids FIRST. Don’t let these teacher fool you. I work with him and I respect his work ethics, knowledge, and passion for doing what is right for students. I am honored to have my child attend Art and Design because of him. If these teachers (those that don’t do their jobs and put kids last) think they will perpetuate the travesty that has happened at our school with regards to our kids not getting the quality education they deserve then they better watch out. This man is all about the kids and accountability. He will hold them accountable with whatever authority he has. I am so happy that that svhool FINALLY has a real Principal. I will be the first one at the Chancellor’s door ensuring he is supported. AND, the PTA feels the same. Shame on all of you posting negative things about him.

  13. Whats the connection between him and Donald Smirti?

    • Teacher at A and D

      I heard he left to become assistant superintendent in Queens. I loved him, not sure why people complained about him. He was a gentleman and very honorable.

      • Smirti left the school. Not sure where he ended up. He did seem very well aupported by the new principal and seemed very happy. He must have left for a better position somewhere. He directly supervised me and I agree that he was very fair and a good person. He was very knowledgeable and supported me tremendously. Those who attacked his character were ones who never wanted to work and do what was right for the kids and our social studies department. Shame on them for apreading aspersions. As for the new principal, he has a track record of great success at his previous school and seems fair, amart, astute, and has high standards for all. I hope he stays there for a very long time. Our school and students need that leadership. As a teacher, it is a very exciting time in the stories history of our school. I look forward to the new year full of optimism and hope.

  14. Art and Design Student

    I’m currently a senior at the High School of Art and Design and I’ll give my honest impression on him. Mr. Urena is quite the polarizing principle in my opinion. I heard many great things about him from students at Repertory Company High School and with the last two principles before him, there were high hopes.
    For positives, he’s more engaged with the students than the previous principle. He’s quite nice to the students and seems like he cares for us. The elevator stops on the 7th and 10th floor now, but only in the mornings though. Lockers are free, and students will be receiving “Agenda books” which will regulate the times a student goes to the bathroom. The new curriculum seems odd but hopefully there won’t be any issues.
    That being said, I’m not as fond of him as I was when he arrived. At first the only gripe was the situation with the nude models at the annual draw-a-thon. Now there has been less than stellar changes, ones concerning teachers. It was a known fact that some teachers would leave and new teachers would come to the school. It’s tradition at this point. But it raises an eyebrow when 16 longtime and beloved teachers are no longer teaching at the school. The students are also aware of the attitude change towards him and how unhappy some of the teachers are. In fact some are slowly learning that there is a possibility that he is behaving in an unethical manner and are treating teachers like less than human beings.
    I would be thrilled to have him as a principle but now I’m not so sure about him. He seems nice to students but not so much to the teachers we care about.

    • You can say what you want but I really respect him. He tutored my friend in American history and ahe passed with an 86 after failing the exam several times. He stayed after school and helped. There were other students he tutored as well. I’m a senior and I doubt that 16 teachers left. I know them all. And, the ones I know left to another school were disliked by students. Tqo who I loved left because of personal issues. I know because we atill keep in touch.The principal has only been there for a few months and has made great changes. We are the focus now. We never were before. Don’t get fooled by whoever is putting ideas in your mind. I love my school!

    • I think you are being unfair. I spoke to a few of my friends and they told me that teachers have been approaching them to try to convince them to go against him. They all said no. This is disgusting that teachers would look out for themselves at our expense and be unfair to him. When my friends and I reviewed the names of those teachers we made the connections that those are the ones who we have the most problems with. Since he took over the school is very organized and very focused. You see ALL doing their jobs. My mom is extremely happy and so am I.


    • Art and Design Student

      I’m only judging based on observation. The 16 teachers that left most of the students knew and were favorites. However some of them did leave due either moving or DoE policy. But As a little update, Mr. Urena has done presented the students with great things that we wanted or needed. SAT Prep is used by seniors for writing college essays, lockers are free this year and the ability to leave the school for lunch again. However a downside is that there is no more weight room which really sucks.

      Also who the hell is Mr. Mark?

  16. This principal is only looking out for himself. He picks and chooses favorite students and makes them report things back to him. Teachers work in a stressful environment and have barely enough time to grade or even spend time with their families. He is extremely inconsiderate and manipulative. If you don’t believe me here is some evidence:

    • You are a phony. He is the first principal that cares about students. He has made our school a great place that is home to us.

    • Mr. Urena is the only principal of the last three that has gotten to know us. I will stand by him. He really has changed Art and Design for the better. I wish he was my principal from the beginning. I will graduate this year and feel that I have missed the greatness that is to become of Art and Design

  17. I am a new teacher at Art and Design and have personally witnessed the Chapter Leader (Jason Agosto) bully, disparage, yell at, harrass teachers. Upon arriving to Art and Design I didn’t know what to expect. The principal and my AP have been nothing but supportive. The Chapter Leader, on the other hand, has been nothing but CRAZY! He yells at members, forces them to agree with him, and is simply trying to thwart any attempt by the Pricipal to help students and improve the school. At first I reserved judgment, but at this point uderstand the bad and the good. The Chapter Leader is out to simply harm the school to preserve his status. I can’t believe I pay Union dues for this crap. I saw Alice O’Neil (UFT District Rep) allow Mr. Agosto yell at a teacher who argued on behalf of students and the changes at the school during a Union meeting. I totally lost respect for the UFT. Students must come first and we MUST respect ALL UFT members. The UFT is simply DISGUSTING.

    • Yes, this is now the new culture at Art & Design. Mr. Agosto’s days of bullying and berating teachers to intimidate them are over. The new principal, Mr. Urena, has inherited a very challenging atmosphere but nonetheless has stayed on task to make the school better. The teachers who are protected by Mr. Agosto would be wise to turn their attentions elsewhere. It is really nice to see a principal in charge who cares about the students’ achievement. If there are new teachers reading this, stay the course, do good work. If there are students reading this, trust that the principal cares about all of the students, and you are in a great school.

      Just as a side note: if you look at the You Tube video of Mr. Agosto and his revelations, you should also take note of how many people are there with the poor guy. Hardly anyone.

      • You must be one of the teachers Urena has recruited to spy and report on teachers who are active in the school’s UFT Chapter. It is a violation of federal and state labor law to engage in such practices. Urena is a criminal; he has repeatedly violated state and federal labor law. And if you’re one of the teachers who assists him in this, you’re a criminal as well. Congratulations.

        • You are such a loser. Not even worthy of a response.

        • New English Teacher at A and D

          What evidence do you have? I heard that some teachers, the bad ones, were in the process of fabricating allegations. This man has been nothing but supportive of students.

  18. You must be one of the untenured teachers Urena shanghaied into spying and reporting on teachers who are active in A&D’s UFT chapter. Leaving aside his many other shortcomings, Urena violated federal and state labor law in asking colleagues to spy and report. Doing so makes him a criminal, as it does you if you do his bidding on this. Wise up: He is no one’s friend but his own. Not just a liar, but a liar who is transparent in his dishonesty. His hubris demands recognition of achievement, even if the achievement is breaking federal and state law.

    The other possibility is that you are not one of Urena’s untenured spies, but that you are Urena himself. Each re-reading of your comment leads to that conclusion. What a shiny little well-dressed fraud you are. Worthless.

    • I check this website regularly to monitor the posts. Just to be clear, I am an avid supporter of the principal. I don’t like every decision he makes but understand the reasoning behind why he does things. He is addressing the needs of our school which have improved dramatically. We had shit results and never knew about our status until he camebon board. I have taught at Art and Design for over 20 years and know past, present, and future. I can tell you that the school has a bright future under his leadership. You are probably one of the whiners due to the accountability this man brings to the school. It never existed here. I have to work harder for the benefit of our students. So what!?!? Just do your job and you will be fine. I’m sick and tired of listening to fools like you who only hurt our school and the credibility of teachers. Leave if you don’t like it at our school.

      • You work at a school over 20 years and don’t know or understand its performance profile? That’s because you are not a teacher with over 20 years experience here. It is well-known that NO teacher here with over 20 years trusts or likes this principal. Wait until the learning environment survey results are tabulated. Then you’ll get the real story of what the faculty thinks of this person.
        Your self-identification above is phony. It couldn’t be more obvious you are not who you represent yourself to be. Whoever you are, it does not change the facts of Urena’s abuse of teachers, staff and law. Teachers who do not pass students here(regardless of the students’ lack of anything on which to base a passing course score) are threatened. As a result, we currently have a very skewed passing rate statistic. Looking forward to how dramatically the Regents results fall short of that bullshit pass rate in June. Then everything phony about this principal’s “achievements” will be clear as day.

        • Your comments are unbelievable. You must be a miserable human being and disgusting person and teacher. I can see that your hate goes beyond considering what this man has done to benefit kids and the school. When you hear about why the Renewal schools don’t improve it is because of scum like you. I hope the Principal has you fired you self promoting POS.

        • Whoever you are, and I am 99% sure I know because I have heard you talking shit to my peers, you are the reason why Irena is here in the first place. Just do your job you scumbag.

    • You funny yo!!! Shanghai??? WTF…you smelly fart face.

  19. Teacher up for tenure

    I was informed today that I was being extended by Urena and not getting tenure. He had data to support his decision and the conversation was reapectful and supportive. My AP was there as well. I spoke to some other teachers who are in the same boat and they feel the same as I do. He is a classy man who is knowledgeable, supportive, and fights for what is right for kids. I worked under the last two principals and can say that this man is a visionary I find hard to compare with anyone I know. You must be one of those jaded veteran teachers who are used to doing nothing and getting away with it. You give teachers a bad name. You should be ashamed of youself.

  20. Francess Verjes-Rosario

    I absolutely love Mr. Urena I am a former graduate of Repertory High School where he was the Assistant Principal and then the Principal. Repertory was at it’s highest with Urena. He really cared about the students and was able to really reach us. Words cannot express the impact he had on so many students in Repertory. Education was key and he cared about the mental well being of his students as well

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