For Local Presidents
Connecticut Education Association News Release
Statement from CEA President Sheila Cohen on Waterbury Teacher Named 2016 National Teacher of the Year
April 28, 2016
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.
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.
She facilitates learning in a way that engages students by connecting on a personal level and stimulating academic growth while simultaneously producing productive members of society. She helps her students master content, while also teaching them respect, responsibility, and integrity.
Her numerous accomplishments combined with the positive impact she has on her students have earned Jahana the nation's top educator award.
Jahana, who has been teaching for 13 years, exemplifies the National Teacher of the Year Program. The program identifies exceptional teachers, recognizes their effective work in the classroom, amplifies their voices, and empowers them to participate in policy discussions at the state and national levels.
Jahana is the fourth Connecticut educator to be named National Teacher of the Year. Greenwich teacher Tony Mullin was the 2009 National Teacher of the Year. Now Jahana is the national exemplar representing Connecticut's outstanding teaching force. (LeRoy E. Hay, English, Manchester High School, was named National Teacher of the Year in 1983, while Dorothy Hamilton, Social Studies, Milford High School, had the honor 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.
The Connecticut Education Association represents 43,000 teachers in Connecticut.