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From the Principal


Dr. Evelyn Collins

Dr. Collins has worked as an educator as a District Leader, Principal, Assistant Principal, and Teacher in Ann Arbor, Harlem, NYC and Mount Vernon for 35 years, and as an Adjunct Instructor (Parsons and the New School University) for 4 years in NYC. Her educational credentials include a Doctorate from Fordham University, Master of Arts – University of Michigan, Master of Science – College of New Rochelle, Master of Arts – Columbia University, and Bachelor of Arts – University of Michigan.   

She has directed theatrical productions in Mount Vernon including The Wiz (2015), Raisin, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Seussical, The Lion King, The Wiz (2019), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. She has produced Showcases celebrating Mount Vernon’s Got Talent, Motown Music and Berry Gordy, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life. She also produced and directed In Celebration of the Arts 2019 - a production celebrating the legacy of Phylicia Rashad and the renaming of the auditorium to the Phylicia Rashad Auditorium. 

Dr. Evelyn Collins is currently in preproduction for the musical Raisin to be executive produced by Phylicia Rashad at The Axelrod Theatre in New Jersey in February 2023. She has produced/directed over 60 productions in regional, college, community theatre, and educational theatre. She is the founder and principal of the Denzel Washington School of the Arts (DWSA) founded in 2015 in Mount Vernon, NY.  

Dr. Collins was a nominee for the 2022 Award for Excellence in Theatre Education presented by the Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University. She received an honorable mention – one of fifteen out of 700 entries.  She is the recipient of The Eagle Award - Entrepreneurship within the Arts (Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce); Bethune Woman of Distinction Award (National Council of Negro Women, Inc); she is the 1st Recipient of the Josephine Abady Award for Outstanding Direction in Theatre (League of Professional Theatre Women), and many others. 

The Denzel Washington School of the Arts is a high performing school with a 100% graduation rate in 2021 and a 98% graduation rate in 2022.  Over 65% of our students earn Honor Roll status every marking period, and DWSA offers the highest number of Advanced Placement courses in the District. Our college acceptance rate is 95%. We are proud of offering and nurturing excellence in the arts and academics.  


Dr. Evelyn Collins

Principal's Corner