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Connecticut Teacher Honored as 2016 National Teacher of the Year

Connecticut Teacher Honored as 2016 National Teacher of the Year

National Education Association’s Jahana Hayes from Waterbury, Conn. has been named the 2016 National Teacher of the Year.

Hayes teaches history at John F. Kennedy High School and is being honored for being a “shining example” of how teachers as role models can make a difference in schools- especially those located in urban areas.

According to Virtual-Strategy Magazine, Hayes was encouraged to go into the profession by her teachers as she grew up facing adversity and challenges. Despite being a teenage mother and dealing with the challenges that economic disadvantage brings, Hayes took her teachers’ advice and followed her dreams through continued education.

Hayes is being honored as this year’s best teacher for now helping her own students do the same.

“Teachers exposed me to a different world by letting me borrow books to read at home and sharing stories about their college experiences...So many things that [teachers do] fall outside of traditional teaching responsibilities. It is those times when I am transformed into an advisor, counselor, confidant and protector. The positive experiences at school inspired me to become a teacher and that has always been my driving influence,” Hayes said, in a statement.

On the upcoming National Teacher Day (May 3rd), Hayes will be honored by President Barack Obama in a Rose Garden ceremony.

In the past, some award-winning teachers have made waves for saying despite their success, they would not encourage others to follow their footsteps. After winning an international teaching prize of $1 million, Maine educator Nancie Atwell said she would not recommend future teachers into the profession because of the over-emphasis on standards and testing.

Hayes, on the other hand, seemingly looks forward to recruiting more peers.

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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