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B-CU Alumna Named a National Teacher of the Year

Valencia Robinson, a 1994 alumna of Bethune-Cookman University and a 20-year veteran of the Volusia County public school system, was named by “People” magazine as a Teacher of the Year.

Robinson teaches intensive reading to seventh- and eighth-graders. With limited resources, she has secured more than $20,000 in grants to fund new technology for her students and helps other teachers do the same.

Once a struggling student herself, Robinson has become a trusted mentor for some of the school’s most troubled kids, and she has extended help to her students’ families for everything from paying utility bills to arranging free mammograms.

As a survivor of breast cancer, she encourages her students to make healthy lifestyle choices. One of her students wrote in support of her application: “I always think of you as the teacher who cares. It’s like you see the diamond underneath and you’ll be damned if you let it go.”

Read the article in “People” magazine’s Oct. 28 issue.

Valencia Robinson

Office of the Provost

Beveryly James
Director of Communications
PH: 386-481-2991

About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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