Meet Carolina Brito: Principal of the Year

  1. Updates

“Carolina is collaborative, she’s inclusive, and above everything she has a kind heart.” 

Carolina with Playworks Program Manager Dana and Coach A.

Marjorie Pita, K1 teacher at the Rafael Hernandez School, is not the only one who has kind things to say about Carolina Brito, who is the Principal at the Rafael Hernandez K-8 School located in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Carolina’s leadership amongst the staff, students, and community has been noticed and appreciated by many, and she has recently been named the Playworks New England’s Principal of the Year.

Carolina has been the Principal of the dual language school since 2019. Prior to working at the Hernandez, she worked in multiple other Boston schools in leadership roles, and received her Masters Degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education in 2015. Recently, outside of school she’s been spending her free time baking fancy cupcakes and cookies for the Ukraine Fundraiser bake sale.

Signs and posters made by 4th and 5th grade Junior Coaches.

Carolina is a Principal that gets things done, but also prioritizes play and connection with her students and staff.

“She comes out during my Class Game Times and at recess to play with the kids and hang out,” says Coach A, Playworks Coach at the Hernandez. “I’ve never seen that from a principal before.”

In April 2021, Carolina and her staff won the Boston Back in Motion grand prize, showcasing her value of movement and physical activity promotion in school. This month-long program was an effort to get young people across Boston to stay active as schools transitioned back to in-person learning, and the students and staff at the Hernandez took it and ran with it, participating in daily challenges and activities to boost movement and physical activity in classrooms.

Above and beyond her commitment to play and physical activity, Carolina has a community based mindset and does whatever she can to improve the wellbeing of those in her school building and beyond. This year, she started a new program called Primer@s Maestr@s, where staff are training parents to become better equipped to seek full-time jobs in the classroom. She regularly posts about COVID vaccination sites and resources, and has built such strong parental involvement that parents volunteered personal time to clear the Hernandez recess yard of snow this winter in support of students still receiving a typical outdoor recess from Playworks. Her impact in the community makes people feel included, cared for, and part of the Hernandez family.

Third graders showing off their posters to Carolina.

“She’s always caring, she’s always nice, and she’s always willing to help… that’s my ideal principal,” says 4th grader and Playworks Junior Coach Joshua. “The words I would use to describe her are bilingual, amazing, super cool, and powerful.”

Carolina will be featured on a speaking panel alongside our Coach of the Year during our Get in the Game Breakfast on May 6th. To hear more about her impact and commitment to play, community, and her school, be sure to join us at the breakfast. Reserve your tickets and RSVP today. 

More Updates

June 9, 2023

Celebrating our Junior Coaches at Junior Coach Graduation ›

On Saturday, June 3, over 85 Junior Coaches and their families gathered at the Lilla G. Frederick School to celebrate a year of hard work and leadership from these 4th and 5th grade student leaders. For many students across Boston, Lawrence, New Bedford, and beyond, being a Junior Coach is their favorite part of the…

students jump-roping
students jump-roping

May 31, 2023

The Significance of Play in Children’s Mental Health ›

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re exploring research around this topic and how play (and Playworks) can make a difference. The urgent need to support children’s mental health  The pandemic increased the loneliness and isolation that people, especially children, were feeling. As children re-entered school buildings, people quickly realized that academic recovery from…

April 7, 2023

Rock Paper Scissors Tournament 2023 ›

Rock, Paper, Scissors (RPS) is Back and Better Than Ever as Playworks Hosts its First RPS Tournament Since 2018 On April 6th, Playworks hosted Boston area professionals for a night of fun competition with its first Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament event since 2018. More than 60 players contended for the coveted grand prize, a uniquely…