Waterbury teacher named national teacher of year - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Waterbury teacher named national teacher of year

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Waterbury teacher Jahana Hayes was named national teacher of the year. (WFSB) Waterbury teacher Jahana Hayes was named national teacher of the year. (WFSB)
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WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

A teacher in Waterbury named 2016 national teacher of year.

Jahana Hayes was named the National teacher of the year on Thursday.

“We are extremely proud of Jahana Hayes and her unyielding passion for all of her students. She is a shining example of the countless educators who are making a difference in the lives of each and every one of our students,” Connecticut Education Association President Sheila Cohen said in a statement on Thursday.

In January, Hayes was named a finalist for the 2016 National Teacher of the Year. Last October, she earned that honor at the state level.

Hayes has been teaching at John F. Kennedy High School for 10 years and has been teaching for 13 years. Hayes,grew up in Waterbury and attended schools in Waterbury, will now travel around the country as an ambassador for education, sharing ideas and shaping education policy.

“As a graduate of the Waterbury Public Schools, Jahana says her Waterbury teachers helped her become who she is today. They continue to be a driving influence in how she approaches her own teaching—focusing on students as unique individuals and helping them achieve their dreams,” Cohen said.  

Hayes is the fourth teacher from Connecticut to be named National Teacher of the Year. Greenwich teacher Tony Mullin won in 2009, Manchester High School English teacher LeRoy E. Hay won in 1983 and Milford High School social studies teacher Dorothy Hamilton won in 1953.

“Jahana is an outstanding spokesperson and ambassador for the teaching profession. Jahana goes the extra mile representing all that is great in the teaching profession. She sets high expectations for her students and even higher expectations for herself.  She encourages her students to be the best they can be and inspires dreams,” Cohen said.  

On Thursday, Gov. Dannel Malloy congratulated the new teacher of the year. 

Hayes is an alumna of University of Bridgeport School of Education. She earned her sixth-year degree from the University of Bridgeport in 2014. 

“She was looking for ways to get parents involved who really were not yet involved,” UB School of Education professor Gail Perilli, who taught Hayes in her Educational Leadership Class, said in a statement on Thursday. 

Hayes is the co-adviser of HOPE, a student-service club at Kennedy High School that has raises money to support local Relay for Life cancer walks and to participate in Habitat for Humanity builds in New Orleans and Charleston. She also chairs the Kennedy SOAR Review Board, which provides a “school within a school” for highly gifted students who apply to participate in its advanced courses.  

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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