Rockdale Academy Principal Recognized for Community Impact


Belinda Tubbs-Wallace, principal at Rockdale Academy, will be honored by the Cincinnati chapter of the Top Ladies of Distinction at the organization’s 2019 gala.

This award recognizes Wallace’s commitment to education, service and partnership. As principal of Rockdale Academy, she:

Wallace will be honored by the Cincinnati chapter of the Top Ladies of Distinction at its gala on February 9, 2019.

  • Led Rockdale Academy to progress from a “F” to a “C” rating on the Ohio Department of Education Report Card.
  • Facilitated relationships with more than 40 community partners. On any given day, those partners are tutoring, reading to students, providing experiences around the city, or meeting the tangible needs of Rockdale families.
  • Started programs such as Parents on Point, which teaches parenting skills.
  • Co-founded and currently serves on the advisory board of Girls with Pearls, which has expanded to other schools in Cincinnati.
  • Hosted an annual college tour for families and created the Knowledge for College program.
  • Designated space within Rockdale Academy’s building for a Groom Room and a Parent Pantry. These spaces help supplement what students or families may need, including extra uniforms, personal care and household items.

For Wallace, her path has always been one of service:

“Daily, my passion is the betterment of all mankind through righteousness, service and life principles,” she said. “This will never change … I just happen to be a principal.”

After graduating from Aiken High School in 1987, Wallace studied sociology and anthropology at Central State University. She pursued a career in social work, investigating sexual abuse and neglect cases for Franklin County Children Services. Her love for children led her to pivot her career to education.

Joining CPS in 1998, Wallace served as a high school teacher and lead teacher before moving into administration and serving as assistant principal at Pleasant Hill Academy and Woodward Career Technical High School. Wallace became the principal of Rockdale Academy in 2014.

Students and parents contributed to Wallace’s nomination for the Top Ladies of Distinction Award. Below are excerpts from what parents and students had to say:

“My son goes to Rockdale and I have noticed a difference in him. He is thriving with all the programs that are in place.” — Rockdale parent

“My experience in the school system runs more than 20 years. Principal Wallace is special. She is concerned about the students and the families. She actually holds parents accountable in a loving way.” — Rockdale parent

“Principal Wallace does it all. I love the fact that she is adamant about communicating and connecting with the parents. She truly cares about us and the community.” — Rockdale parent

“Dear Mrs. Wallace, You have been supportive to me. Thank you for having after-school tutoring to help me pass the fifth grade.” — Rockdale student

“Dear Mrs. Wallace, You have been a role model to all teachers, students and parents. You always welcome new people and make them comfortable and make them feel loved. Thank you!” — Rockdale student

Wallace has earned lots of recognition over the years. In 2016, she was nominated for the Hawkins Educator of the Year Award and was the recipient of the Ohio Alliance of Black School Educators’ Principal of the Year Award. She was also honored by City of Cincinnati in March 2018 for her commitment and outstanding leadership.


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