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Jahana Hayes Named 2016 National Teacher of the Year

AACTE congratulates 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes, who teaches history at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Connecticut.

The Council of Chief State School Officers announced Hayes’ selection last week following a rigorous selection process. She will be honored Tuesday, along with the other three finalists and all of the state teachers of the year, by President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House.

Hayes, who has been in the classroom for more than 12 years, earned her bachelor’s degree in history and social science from Southern Connecticut State University and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Saint Joseph (CT).

Ann Monroe-Baillargeon, dean of the School of Education at the University of Saint Joseph, offered congratulations and praise to the newly honored alumna. “Jahana Hayes, a 2012 graduate of the University of Saint Joseph’s School of Education, exemplifies the school’s mission in her commitment to actively pursue social justice and ensuring each individual achieves his or her full potential,” she said. “She is a reminder to us all of the positive impact one teacher can have on the lives of her students. Congratulations, Jahana!”

“I was raised by my community,” Hayes said, “so I don’t take the responsibility lightly of being a teacher. That role doesn’t end at the classroom.” She is known for her focus on service-learning opportunities, encouraging her students to be productive members of their communities.

AACTE is a member of the National Teacher of the Year Selection Committee, comprising representatives from 15 national education organizations that choose four finalists from state nominations, conduct personal interviews with the finalists, and ultimately select the national teacher of the year.

For more information about Hayes and the National Teacher of the Year Program, visit www.ccsso.org/ntoy/.

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