Roanoke City’s teacher of the year is first Black woman to receive the honor

Eboni Harrington received the top honor

ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke City Public Schools named their district teacher of the year and made history doing so.

Eboni Harrington, a seventh-grade math teacher at Lucy Addison Middle School, was named as the District’s Teacher of the Year.

The Roanoke native was recognized for her dedication to best serve her students both in and out of the classroom. She was also commended for her perseverance during the challenging year.

A mentor of Miss Harrington noted the history being made by saying, “You’re the second African American to receive this honor, and the first African American female to be the district teacher of the year.”

The decision was made by a committee comprised of RCPS employees, retirees and last year’s teacher of the year.

“Ms. Harrington’s passion for her students, her resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges and her unwavering determination exemplify our division’s vision to be a model for urban public education,” the committee said in a statement.

For the last four years, Harrington has served as a teacher at Lucy Addison Middle School, and before that, she taught at a charter school in North Carolina for two years.

Harrington is no stranger to the Star City and attended school in Roanoke as a child until the fourth grade. Growing up, she was inspired by her mother’s strength in the face of adversity.

“As the oldest of eight, I always find myself teaching and learning from my siblings daily,” said Harrington. “I aspire to be a great role model for my siblings by modeling resilience, confidence, and perseverance. I developed these characteristics by observing my mother advocate for my brother during a difficult period during his senior year. His privileges to graduate had been revoked and she fought effortlessly to reinstate his rights to walk. Watching her fight for my brother ignited something in me that reassured my career choice to become a teacher.”

The schoolteacher is passionate about bettering the lives of her students and said she hopes to, “empower, encourage, and uplift our youth through mentorship, community engagement activities, and education. Through this platform I hope to inspire our youth to believe in their aspirations and pull from the resources around them.”

Harrington received a $1,000 check from Teacher of the Year Sponsor Member One Federal Credit Union and will now compete for Regional Teacher of the Year.

About the Authors

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.

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