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‘Here’s to you, Mr. Robinson’

5/3/2019, 6 a.m.
Kudos to Rodney A. Robinson, the teacher at Virgie Binford Education Center located inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center, for ...

Re “Head of the class! Richmond Public Schools teacher Rodney A. Robinson, who mentors and inspires students at the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center, wins 2019 National Teacher of the Year,” Free Press April 25-27 edition:

Kudos to Rodney A. Robinson, the teacher at Virgie Binford Education Center located inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center, for being named the 2019 National Teacher of the Year. He is the first Richmond Public Schools teacher to obtain this honor.

What makes it even more gratifying for me is that I worked at the detention center for more than 30 years before retiring. I always felt that most of these residents just needed a chance and for someone to believe in them.

Through the years, we had many good teachers there who cared. I know because of working closely with the teachers while I was an administrator there.

Mr. Robinson definitely took teaching these kids to another level. These kids are detained and he still finds ways of reaching out to teach and educate them to the fullest. He is definitely one of a kind and, from what I read, is well deserving of this honor.

He stated after winning this award that he now has a big stage to fight for his students and what they need. This sounds like a person who is grounded and ready to meet these challenges on a bigger platform.

There are more than 3.6 million teachers in the United States and only one received this award — Mr. Robinson. I am sure other doors and opportunities will be open to him because of this.

Here’s to you, Mr. Robinson, for being a phenomenal teacher and receiving the highest award. Continue to go forth and do great things.

ERNEST PARKER JR.

Richmond

The writer is a former interim superintendent of the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center.