Return to Headlines

Virgie Binford Education Center Teacher Named 2018 RPS Teacher of the Year

Rodney Robinson, RPS 2018 Teacher of the Year

RICHMOND, Va. – Rodney Robinson, a History and Social Studies teacher at Virgie Binford Education Center, has been named Richmond Public Schools’ 2018 Teacher of the Year. Robinson and other Teacher of the Year nominees were recognized during a special award ceremony sponsored by Wells Fargo and held at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Richmond Downtown on Thursday, November 2.

Robinson has been a teacher for 17 years and has taught History and Social Studies at Virgie Binford Education Center since 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Virginia State University and a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University. Robinson was named Armstrong High School’s 2009 Teacher of the Year, received the 2012 R.E.B. Award, named a 2013 Veterans of Foreign Wars National Citizenship Education Teacher Post Recognition Award recipient, and has served as an active participant in the Yale Urban Teacher Institute of which his curriculum units have been published.

As noted in his application, “Teaching is not a profession, it is a calling. We are the number one determinant of the future of children and therefore the future of the nation.” He added, “The student teacher relationship is the most important tool in fostering academic success and I work hard to get know as well as understand my students.”

Chris Lombardi, a fifth grade teacher at Mary Munford Elementary School, was named first runner-up. Lombardi began teaching in 2003 at Southampton Elementary School and later joined Mary Munford Elementary School, where he has remained through out his career. Among his many contributions, Lombardi has served as Action Team Leader for the Strategic Planning Team at his school, presented on a textbook management system during district-wide professional development, and trained new student teacher interns and practicum students over the past 12 years. Lombardi holds an associate’s degree from John Tyler Community College, and both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Libby Germer, History and AP Government teacher at George Wythe High School, was named second runner-up. An educator for 13 years, Germer credits the responsibilities that came with being the older sibling to a sister with special needs and an adopted brother as the factors that influenced her to become a teacher. She has served as a Yale National Initiative Fellow and a Fullbright Scholar. Germer earned a bachelor’s degree from Whitworth College and a master’s degree from The College of New Jersey. She also holds a post-graduate professional license in History and Social Sciences with an endorsement in Gifted & Talented Education.

“We are appreciate the hard work of these extraordinary educators and are proud to recognize them for their commitment to educational excellence for all of our students,” said Interim Superintendent Thomas Kranz. “We commend each of them for continuing to go above and beyond in our classrooms.”

As program sponsor, Wells Fargo provided cash prizes for the top three award recipients and iPads for the top 10 finalists. This year marks the fourth consecutive year of the company’s sponsorship. For being named Richmond’s 2018 Teacher of the Year, Robinson received a $1,000 cash award. Lombardi and Germer received $750 and $500 cash awards, respectively.

“We at Wells Fargo recognize that the passionate dedication of teachers is what shapes the future of our communities,” said Corliss Archer, Community Affairs Officer for Wells Fargo in Greater Richmond. “We’re honored to celebrate the finalists and all of our teachers for their service to Richmond Public Schools.”

Other top ten finalists include: Jamie Midyette, Albert Hill Middle School; Jonathan Walker, Binford Middle School; Erin Campbell, Chimborazo Elementary School; Amy Harr, Linwood Holton Elementary School; Chelsie Smith, Miles Jones Elementary School; LaJuanda Bland, Southampton Elementary School; and LaTriece Haskins, Swansboro Elementary School. Criteria used to evaluate the nominees include contributions to the field of education, demonstration of innovative practices, effective school-community relations and the use of activities and strategies that result in improved instruction.

Read the Teacher of The Year program.


2018 Teachers of the Year