RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Schools teacher Rodney Robinson was named a finalist for the 2019 National Teacher of the Year. Robinson, who teaches history at Virgie Binford Education Center inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center, was named Virginia Teacher of the Year in October.
"My students are the most vulnerable kids in society," Robinson said while he accepted the state-wide award. "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 is one of four teachers up for the national honor.
"Rodney is a remarkable educator and I wanted to be here today to personally congratulate him on this great honor," Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said at Wednesday during a surprise assembly at Binford Education Center.
Robinson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Virginia State University and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University, is a 19-year veteran of Richmond Public Schools.
"Rodney Robinson is the type of teacher that all parents want for their own children and that every single child in America deserves to have," Richmond Superintendent Jason Kamras said. "He is skilled, passionate and inspiring. He is a constant learner who challenges himself and others around him to be the very best. And above all, he wholeheartedly believes that every child, regardless of circumstance or past mistakes, has the ability to achieve greatness."
The 2019 National Teacher of the Year will be announced this spring at a White House ceremony.