Virginia teacher takes home 2019 National Teacher of the Year

WASHINGTON – A Richmond social studies teacher not only has proven he is one of the best teachers in the Commonwealth — but that he’s one of the best in the country — after becoming the 2019 National Teacher of the Year.

Rodney Robinson

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced that Rodney Robinson of Virgie Binford Education Center, a school inside the Richmond Juvenile Justice Center, received the award.

“I am honored and humbled to be the 2019 National Teacher of the Year,” Robinson said. “This year I hope to be the voice for my students and all students who feel unseen, unheard, unappreciated and undervalued in America.”

Robinson was one of four finalists from across the country, and his win shows how he creates a positive school culture by empowering his students – many of whom have experienced trauma – to become civically-minded social advocates who use their skills and voices to affect physical and policy changes at their school and in their communities, according to CCSSO.

“Rodney is a remarkable teacher and mentor to his students—Virginia is proud to see him receive this well-deserved recognition as National Teacher of the Year,” said Virginia’s Gov. Ralph Northam. “He personifies the Commonwealth’s commitment to making sure that every student, no matter who they are or where they live, has access to the educational services and supports necessary to succeed in school and in life.”

As part of the honor, Robinson will have the chance to travel both nationally and internationally, representing and advocating for educators.

Robinson said he wants to focus his travel on advocacy efforts on creating an equitable education for all students and improving the teacher pipeline by recruiting more men of color into the field of education.

The finalists for 2019 National Teacher of the Year included Donna Gradell (Oklahoma), Kelly Harper (Washington, D.C.), and Danielle Riha (Alaska).

Learn more about the honor received by Robinson here.

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