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National Teacher of the Year Thanks Retired Educators

National Teacher of the Year and Waterbury, CT teacher Jahana Hayes spoke to retired teachers at the CEA-Retired Fall Issues Conference on Sept. 20, 2016.

September 20, 2016

The nearly 200 retired teachers gathered this morning for the CEA-Retired Fall Issues Conference were reminded of why they went into teaching and everything they love about it still.

"We will always care about public education," said CEA-Retired President Gloria Brown. "Our organization provides many opportunities for retired members to continue to be active in public education."

The conference provided retirees with the chance to connect with other retired teachers, contribute to support retired educators in need, and learn from motivational speaker Nancy Butler who gave tips on Living Life to the Fullest.

The highlight of the morning for the retirees, and the part that most reinforced their love for education, came in a speech from Waterbury teacher and National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes.

"Thank you to you dedicated professionals," Hayes said. "You really leave me feeling inadequate when I'm surrounded by such a force in education—a room full of people who have provided a lifetime of service and commitment to the teaching profession."

Hayes shared some of the experiences she's had since being named National Teacher of the Year back in the spring, and encouraged the retirees, as well as all educators, to speak up and out about their profession.

"I can't do this alone. I rely on you so much," Hayes said. "Tell people how wonderful and amazing this profession is."

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