Entertainment TV Kerry Washington to Voice Bart's New Teacher in Her 'Simpsons' Debut: 'Can't Wait' The voice actress who played Bart Simpson's former teacher, Edna Krabappel, died in 2013 By Dory Jackson Dory Jackson Instagram Twitter Website Dory Jackson is an Associate Editor for PEOPLE's digital TV team. While at the brand, she's had the opportunity to interview a long list of celebrities, from Kate Hudson to Pierce Brosnan to Billy Porter. She also recaps popular TV shows like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules.The New York-based Maryland native graduated from Randolph-Macon College in May 2016 with a focus in Communication Studies and Journalism. She came to PEOPLE in March 2021 after working at a number of major news companies, including Newsweek and Us Weekly. She also previously co-hosted a podcast called "Idol Nation." People Editorial Guidelines Published on April 22, 2022 11:54 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Dia Dipasupil/WireImage/Getty; FOX It's safe to say Bart Simpson's classroom shenanigans are handled. The Simpsons retired the trouble-making 4th grader's teacher, Edna Krabappel, in 2013 after voice actress Marcia Wallace's death. Nearly 9 years later, the beloved animated series has found its permanent replacement in Kerry Washington. The 45-year-old Scandal alum will lend her voice to Rayshelle Peyton on a recurring basis, making her debut in the role on Sunday. "Ms. Peyton handles Bart Simpson. Sunday!!!!!!" she tweeted. "Can't wait!" Teasing the new role, Washington spoke to Entertainment Weekly about Ms. Peyton being "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," she continued. "And teaching Bart is a job filled with growth opportunities." The long-running Fox series previously bid farewell to Edna during a season 25 episode. Since then, Willem Dafoe and Sofia Vergara have entered Bart's classroom at Springfield Elementary School to guest star as his teacher. Even his neighbor Ned Flanders (voiced by Harry Shearer) — who was married to Edna in the show's later seasons — became Bart's teacher in a season 29 episode. "I don't know why we've been putting it off," co-executive producer Carolyn Omine, who wrote Washington's debut episode, told EW of replacing Edna. "I do miss our dear Marcia, and I think there was a little sadness and reluctance to do it, but it's been nine years." Omine continued, "We would have a conversation at least once a year, maybe every other year. We couldn't really decide, and we couldn't really agree. There just wasn't the inspired thought — until we came upon this [with Kerry]." FOX Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. An influx of animated shows' white voice actors stopped voicing characters of color in 2020, including The Simpsons' Hank Azaria. At the time, Washington declared her interest in taking on an animated role as she tweeted: "Dear animators looking for black voices... I'm avail." Because of this, Omine said: "That just got it into my head. I began thinking, 'Maybe she could be the new teacher. We've had this spot.' I talked with [executive producer] Matt Selman, and we decided to write it with her in mind." The Simpsons premiered in 1989 and is currently on its 33rd season. New episodes air Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.