Entertainment Weekly is reporting that The Simpsons has cast Primetime Emmy-winner Kerry Washington (Scandal; Little Fires Everywhere; Fantastic Four) in a recurring role as Rayshelle Peyton, who will serve as Bart Simpson's very thoughtful, highly capable, and rather unfiltered fourth-grade teacher.
The major casting announcement comes nearly a decade after Mrs. Edna Krabappel was officially retired in 2013, following the death of longtime cast member Marcia Wallace, who won an Emmy for the part in 1992. While the series has had special guest stars, including Spider-Man: No Way Home star Willem Dafoe, voice new teachers for Bart over the past few years, Washington's Peyton will be a permanent fixture on the long-running show moving forward.
She'll make her debut in this coming Sunday's episode, titled "My Octopus and a Teacher." The synopsis reads, "Bart can't control his feelings when he gets a new teacher. Meanwhile, Lisa befriends an octopus."
Teasing the installment, co-executive producer Carolyn Omine says, "She's really good at figuring out what the kids need, but she can't really figure out what his problem is until he finally comes clean," while Washington adds, "She's a great teacher, but like all the best teachers, she knows that her students have just as much to teach her as she has to teach them. And teaching Bart is a job filled with growth opportunities."
This season, Peyton will only appear in Sunday's installment, but multiple appearances across Season 34 are already being planned, so expect to see a lot more of her in the fall.
Get your first look at Washington's new role in the following clip: