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National Teacher Of The Year Wins Key To City Of Bridgeport

President Barack Obama recently honored teachers Elizabeth Capasso, left, and Jahana Hayes.
President Barack Obama recently honored teachers Elizabeth Capasso, left, and Jahana Hayes. Photo Credit: Contributed

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Jahana Hayes, a 2016 National Teacher Award honoree and teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury has been given a “Key to the City” of Bridgeport by Mayor Joe Ganim.

The Council of Chief State School Officers awarded Hayes with the title of National Teacher of the Year this past spring, and President Barack Obama honored her in May at the White House.

Hayes was chosen for her ability to inspire at-risk students to seize academic and civic opportunities. She currently teaches government and history. Hayes earned her sixth-year degree from the University of Brigdeport in 2014.

“Jahana Hayes goes above and beyond for her students and her community, and is a shining example of what an educator should be,” Ganim said. “I am thrilled to award her with a key to the City of Bridgeport, where she received her own education at the University of Bridgeport to launch her successful career as a teacher. We know that she will continue to be an inspiration to both students at UB and to the teachers we are honored to have in our own public school district.”

Ganim’s giving of the “Key to the City” to Hayes represents a succession of positive recognition for the city of Bridgeport and its educational institutions. Obama also recently awarded Elizabeth Capasso, a mathematics teacher at the Jettie S. Tisdale School, with the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for grades 7-12. Capasso also was recognized at the event.

Allen Cook, University of Bridgeport dean of the School of Education, said: “Jahana Hayes is the kind of teacher young people remember long after they’ve graduated. Her dedication to her students’ success–profound and inspiring — has made her a transformative force in the classroom. She exemplifies the best of the profession, and we are immensely proud that Mayor Ganim will honor her accomplishments with the ‘key to the city.' "

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