Jahana Hayes, a teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, has met President Barack Obama and she was on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” this afternoon as she begins her reign as National Teacher of the Year.
Hayes has demonstrated through her own life that students can overcome almost any obstacle. She grew up in a Waterbury housing project and wanted to be a teacher, but those plans were put on hold when she became pregnant as a teen as was sent to a an alternative school.
In her late 20s, she enrolled in community college and did not tell everyone, then continued getting degrees.
When taping the show that aired Tuesday, Hayes spoke with DeGeneres about meeting the president and how she was able to achieve this success.
She said she always tells her students to be kind and that it doesn’t matter how good your grades are, it matters that you are kind and keep going.