Trump not expected to attend White House ceremony for National Teacher of the Year |
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Trump not expected to attend White House ceremony for National Teacher of the Year

The Washington Post
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and 2018 National Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning listen as President Trump gives remarks during a reception in May.

In May, President Trump welcomed the state Teachers of the Year to the White House and gave an award to the National Teacher of the Year, Mandy Manning of Washington state. During the ceremony, Manning made no secret of her opposition to some of Trump’s policies.

This year, Trump is expected to skip the 2019 Teachers of the Year event, scheduled for Monday on the grounds of the White House.

Nancy Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the Council of Chief State School Officers, which sponsors the annual Teachers of the Year program, said in an email that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will instead give the 2019 national winner his award and that Trump was not expected to attend.

The 2019 National Teacher of the Year is Rodney Robinson, a nearly 20-year educator who works at a Richmond, Va., detention center where he teaches social studies to incarcerated young people. In 2015, he began working at the Virgie Binford Education Center, a school inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center.

Robinson was selected in the annual Teacher of the Year program, which is sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers. Every year, winners are selected from each state as well as the District of Columbia, all U.S. territories and the Department of Defense Education Activity. They come to the nation’s capital in the spring for the annual Teachers of the Year week, where the national winner is named.

In a statement, Paul Ferrari, senior program director with the National Teacher of the Year Program, said:

“We are pleased the National Teacher of the Year and State Teachers of the Year are being recognized and celebrated on a national stage during their time in Washington, D.C. Each year, CCSSO works with the White House to coordinate a recognition event. It is up to each administration to decide how to recognize the teachers, and it has varied throughout the 67-year history of the program in location and who has delivered the recognition to the National Teacher.”

In May 2018, Manning gave letters from her immigrant and refugee students to Trump. She also wore to the award ceremony a badge that said “Trans Equality Now,” which was a criticism for a president whose administration has promoted policies limiting the rights of transgender Americans. It was one of a handful of pins she wore to promote equality for all.

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