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DeVos presents Teacher of the Year award as Trump skips ceremony

DeVos presents Teacher of the Year award as Trump skips ceremony
© Greg Nash

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration America has a civic education problem — here's how to fix it Biden's Education secretary must expel the harmful policies of the last four years MORE presented the National Teacher of the Year award on Monday to Rodney Robinson, a teacher at the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center in Virginia, according to media reports.

The president has historically presented the award since its institution in 1952, but DeVos presented it Monday on President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE’s behalf in a shift that was first reported last week. Trump presented the award in 2017 and 2018.

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An Education Department spokeswoman told The Associated Press that Trump and Vice President Pence met privately with Robinson and the winners of the state awards in the Oval Office. 

White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere told The Hill that Trump "welcomed the 2019 National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson to the Oval Office Monday afternoon and congratulated him and the other statewide winners."

Robinson was named Virginia’s Teacher of the Year in October and previously said that he works hard to help his students reacclimate to society upon release.

"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 wrote. "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."

--This report was updated on April 29 at 9:17 a.m.