After a career in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), spanning over 40 years, Beverly Robinson retired on January 15. Her next full-time project: “resuming my joy of traveling when it’s safe.”
Robinson served as an Instructional Assistant, Special Education teacher and administrator for OUSD. She got her first job as an A.I. at Claremont Middle School right after graduating from UC. Berkeley in 1977 under Title I funding and worked in that position for two years.
She later returned to school to earn her teaching credentials. Robinson was then hired as a special education teacher in 1981 and taught early childhood pupils for seven years at Ralph Bunche Center in West Oakland.
At Manzanita Elementary School and Manzanita Child Development Center, where she taught for 12 years, Robinson pioneered one of the first integrated pre-school programs to include children with disabilities.
Robinson later became a site administrator in the Early Childhood Education Dept. with responsibility for developing and implementing programs for children aged 3 to 9 years old in multiple child development centers. She supervised child development centers in North, West and East Oakland for 10 years.
As a site administrator, she worked with Jewish Family Services to provide a consultation model of mental health care services to children, families and staff. Through a federally funded Early Reading First grant, she was part of the implementation of classroom learning strategies contributing to the early literacy of pre-schoolers and the improvement of their standardized assessment scores.
In her last position, Robinson was a home and hospital teacher. Here, her students had disabilities who were ill and medically fragile. Because her students were not permitted to attend school, she would drive to their home and provide instruction on an individual basis.
Robinson participated and served as a mentor teacher in the Special Education Induction Program for six years.
She is currently a member of St. Paul AME Church, Berkley, and serves as the chairperson of the Stanley A. Whittaker/Maxine Irvine Scholarship Committee. Robinson is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Nu Omega Chapter – Oakland/Berkeley/Richmond, CA.
Her parting words for her fellow teachers were: “Never hesitate on what you can do for a child,” said Robinson. “Be committed, be bold, be courageous, be compassionate and most importantly, shake things up in the system for children.
“As for me with this welcoming retirement, I am looking forward to spending more time with my nieces and nephews, developing a mentor program, and implementing fundraising activities for college students at my church. I will see you in my travels,” she said.