Richmond Public Schools teacher named 2019 Virginia Teacher of the Year

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Public Schools teacher Rodney Robinson was named 2019 Virginia Teacher of the Year Tuesday evening during a ceremony at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Robinson teaches social studies at Virgie Binford Educational Center which is housed inside Richmond’s Juvenile Detention Center.

“Most importantly, I want to thank my students,” Robinson said in accepting the award. “My students are the most vulnerable kids in society. They have succumbed to the pressure of urban living and made mistakes that they are paying for, but they still persevere and strive for success. They are my inspiration, and I will fight to my last heartbeat for them.”

Robinson was featured on Building Better Minds last month after being named Region 1 Teacher of the Year.

"I don't think of myself as a teacher," Robinson told CBS 6. "I'm a facilitator.  The students want to learn.  My job is to direct them toward the learning.  So, therefore, this isn't an honor for me, it's an honor for them. "

The Virginia State University graduate was chosen from eight regional winners and presented the award by Virginia’s First Lady Pamela Northam.

Robinson is the first RPS teacher to win the honor since 2011.

Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras celebrated the win on Twitter, saying Robinson represents everything that Richmond Public Schools stand for.

“We are SO PROUD of you!” said Kamras. “Words cannot express what this means for our students, our educators, and our community. Next up: National Teacher of the Year!”

The 2019 National Teacher of the Year will be announced next spring at a White House ceremony.