As the Principal of PS 224-Hale A. Woodruff, Ms. Rochelle Hinds has proven herself to be resilient. Hinds took on the role to lead an entrenched school community in 2017. PS 224 is located in the heart of East New York across from the infamous Pink Houses. Statistics show that  PS 224 had a 95% poverty rate, 64% African American student body, 30% students chronically absent, 26% students with special needs, 8% student proficiency in ELA, 11% student proficiency in math, and 64% level 2 infractions. Combine these factors with statewide budget cuts, limited resources, low teacher morale, and intensified city wide expectations. While most would shy away from the challenge of leadership, Ms. Hinds took on the role of a transformational leader committed to building a pathway that will prepare students academically, socially and emotionally for college and beyond. She has instilled high expectations for teachers, students and parents. Her school mantra known by all is, “Soaring Above and Bee-yond Expectations!” Ms. Hinds has secured significant grants to empower students and to advance school improvement projects. Students now have an after school program dedicated to education and the arts, a visual arts teacher, STEAM lab, and access to daily restorative practice. She’s also fostered community partnership with the YMCA to teach students how to swim and introduced service learning activities with shelters.

Ms. Hinds began her educational career at PS 118 in St. Albans, NY. Her professional experience has involved working as an elementary school teacher, Data Specialist, RTI/AIS Coordinator, Middle School Assistant Principal, Director of School Renewal and now Principal. However, she considers her most important job to be an advocate for children. Her educational philosophy is based on her uncompromising belief that all students deserve a quality education and an experience that will last a lifetime. As a native of Jamaica, West Indies who migrated to the U.S. at 8 years old, Hinds herself is a product of the New York City public school system. Her third and fourth grade teachers were influential in her educational journey and they have inspired her to pursue the path of education. Hinds received her Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education from St. John’s University and went on to pursue her Masters in Education Administration at Brooklyn College.


Yvette Padilla

assistant principal


Alexandria Frank

assistant principal

Alexandria is an Assistant Principal who enjoys creating appropriate learning environments for all scholars. She first started her career as a 5th grade teacher in Flatbush, Brooklyn and has taught grades 3-5 for the past 12 years. She has also served in various capacities such as Grade Leader, Model Teacher and Mentor to new educators, and had supported schools in district 19 and 21 as an Administrative Intern. In addition, she participated and chaired the School Leadership and Inquiry teams in previous schools. She takes theses blended experiences into the role of Assistant Principal at P.S. 224. Overall, Alexandria is passionate about education and ensuring that there is equity among all stakeholders delivered through effective and transformative strategies!

Her favorite quote “Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom”

By Oprah Winfrey

Nydia Southerland

AIS/RTI Coordinator

Ms. Southerland is new to the P.S. 224 community. After obtaining her Masters degree from New York University, she decided to bring use her expertise and join the leadership team where she currently serves as the AIS/RTI Coordinator supporting students with disabilities and their families.  Passionate about being able to produce a higher level of change, Ms. Southerland has participated in many educational programs through New Leaders, and The New York City Department of Education; she is currently in pursuit of her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University.  Ms. Southerland is also a public servant, leading several youth groups for adolescent females, providing mentorship opportunities and exposing them to civic engagement while building their self-confidence and resumes through hands on workshops, culturally relevant trips, and public service opportunities. 

Zoe Clark

Parent Coordinator

As the Parent Coordinator of PS.224 I feel it is important to maintain a welcoming environment in order to build strong and personal relationships with each individual family that attends this school. By establishing this bond, we can build partnerships while bringing together a community. As I am furthering my education it is imperative for me to have a hand in helping urban communities and low-income neighborhoods thrive. By doing so, I am providing a pathway for myself in the teaching and administrative field, which will better equip me to service those in need.

Olaitin Alabi


Towanna Hawkins

Guidance Counselor

Tawana Hawkins is the school guidance counselor here at the Hale A. Woodruff (P.S.224) school in Brooklyn, NY. She guides our scholars in expressing themselves emotionally and interacting socially in an appropriate manner. In her 33 years as being an educator, she has also been a Character Education and Conflict Resolution Specialist, firmly believing that academic success derives from nurturing the whole child. She holds Master’s Degrees in Early Childhood Education and School Counseling. In addition, Mrs. Hawkins holds an Advanced Certificate in School Counseling. Mrs. Hawkins is currently pursuing an advanced certificate in Mental Health.