If selected, Hayes would be the fourth National Teacher of the Year from Connecticut.
"We are a state of amazing talent in the teaching profession, but I was not at all surprised when I got the phone call, although I was very excited, that Jahana had moved on to the National Teacher of the Year competition,” said Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell.
“This is not a profession where you look for recognition so I'm learning how to deal with it, encouraged by all the support everywhere,” Hayes said.
She is one of four finalists. The others are from Washington, California and Oklahoma.
A decision will be made in April.
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