A social studies teacher at a juvenile detention center in Richmond, Va., was named the National Teacher of the Year on Wednesday by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Rodney Robinson, a teacher at the Virgie Binford Education Center, was honored with the award on "CBS This Morning," after previously being named Virginia's Teacher of the Year in October.


"I try to treat my students with whatever they need to be successful," Robinson said Wednesday on CBS. "Some need more, some need less. But I'm going to be there to give you what you need."

Robinson's application indicated that he assisted his students in readjusting to normal life upon reentry to society, including helping those with felony convictions regain their right to vote.

“My lessons always contain a local reference or connection to inspire my students to change their surroundings and themselves. My most important duty to students is to inform them of their legal rights and responsibilities," Robinson added in his application.

"One of the proudest moments is when my students are able to legally advocate for themselves, resulting in a positive outcome in their legal case," he wrote.

Robinson, an educator for nearly 20 years, beat out three finalists to win the award Wednesday, including Washington, D.C.'s Teacher of the Year, third-grade teacher Kelly Harper at the Amidon-Bowen Elementary School, according to The Washington Post.

He also was up against Alaska's Teacher of the Year, Danielle Riha, who works with indigenous communities in the state.