Obama honors Connecticut woman as Teacher of the Year - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Obama honors Connecticut woman as Teacher of the Year

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Jahana Hayes was honored by the president after winning teacher of the year in Connecticut. (WFSB) Jahana Hayes was honored by the president after winning teacher of the year in Connecticut. (WFSB)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) -

President Barack Obama is honoring as National Teacher of the Year a Connecticut woman who has demonstrated through her own life that students can overcome obstacles.

Obama says high school teacher Jahana Hayes' enthusiasm makes her a natural talent in the classroom.

The 44-year-old history teacher grew up in a Waterbury housing project and became a mother while in high school. She says the influence of her own teachers taught her that a school's job sometimes overlaps with the job of parents. She says she wants her students to know there are no dead ends.

Obama says Hayes is more than a teacher; she's also a counselor, confidante and mentor to high school students in Waterbury.

Hayes teaches at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury.

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