Boston Teacher Makes History as First Black Man to Become Massachusetts Teacher of the Year


by Veracity Savant

November 14, 2023

His students cheered!

De’Shawn Washington is a fourth-grade teacher at Maria Hastings Elementary School in Lexington, Massachusetts, Boston 25 news reports. A dedicated and committed teacher, Washington was recently named Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, making history as the first Black man to receive the state’s highest honor for educators. 

The Massachusetts Teachers Association congratulated Washington, noting that he is an active member of the Lexington Education Association as well. 

Maria Hastings Elementary also held a ceremony for Washington, announcing his historic accomplishment in front of the school’s staff and students. As they called his name, students erupted in cheers. 


“As a teacher, advocate, student, and a cultivator of young changemakers, it is my duty to continuously learn how to empower my students to not only master grade-level standards but to be upstanding individuals with the capacity to ignite change in their communities,” Washington said via statement.

Massachusetts Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler was in attendance for the ceremony, honoring Washington for his contributions while meeting and thanking De’Shawn’s mom, Melanie Evans, for raising “a brilliant community leader.”


“Secretary Patrick Tutwiler was honored to celebrate De’Shawn Washington today, our 2024 MA Teacher of the Year, recognized for fostering inclusivity, advocacy, and growth in his students. We’re so grateful for educators like him, who dedicate their time to MA students every day,” Tutwiler tweeted from his official account. 

Maria Hastings Principal Christopher Wai spoke highly of Washington, saying, “We are so lucky to have him at Hastings! He is just one of the many amazing staff here!!”


Cover photo: Boston Teacher Makes History as First Black Man to Become Massachusetts Teacher of the Year/Photo by @CWai09/ChristopherWai/X

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