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Posts tagged ‘Waterbury’

Hayes Sponsors Legislation Against Arming Teachers

U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes today returned to the school in Waterbury where she taught for fifteen years to highlight legislation she has introduced to keep guns out of classrooms. Joined by students, teachers, parents, and other members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation in front of Kennedy High School, Hayes said she scheduled the event after school, at a school, because, “For far too long, these conversations have been happening without the input of those most directly affected.”

Congresswoman Jahana Hayes stood outside John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury today with students, teachers, parents, and community members to highlight legislation she has introduced to keep guns out of classrooms.

Hayes recently sponsored a resolution in the House aimed at blocking the use of federal education grants to arm teachers. U.S. Senator Chris Murphy sponsored similar legislation in the Senate. Recommendations by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ School Safety Commission have left the door open for districts to use federal funds to arm teachers, and the Connecticut lawmakers want to ensure taxpayer dollars will never be used for this purpose.

“Teachers should not have to worry about securing a firearm in a school, or being trained to use a firearm in a high-pressure situation,” says Hayes. Read more

New CEA Ad Campaign Spotlights Strength of Diversity in Our Public Schools

Waterbury fifth grade teacher Alison Kirchberger says, “We know that diversity enriches our schools, and we work hard to build safe, welcoming classrooms for all students.”

Connecticut’s neighborhood public schools are true cornerstones of our democracy, welcoming students from every country, speaking different languages, and providing them with a true pathway for success. Connecticut teachers have opened their arms, their hearts, and their classrooms to ensure that all students take pride in their heritage, and know that their classrooms are places where they are welcomed and valued.

That is the core message of a new public awareness advertising campaign sponsored by the Connecticut Education Association and the National Education Association.

The TV, radio, and online ads underscore the vital role of teachers in our public schools. The ads remind the public that teachers welcome students from every background and help them learn, grow, and pursue their dreams with passion. Read more

For English Learner Turned Ivy-Leaguer, Public School Teachers Made the Difference

On the morning of their promotion to middle school, fifth-grade girls from the Walsh School in Waterbury had a special visitor.

Sharing her story as an immigrant and English learner, Georbina DaRosa answers questions from fifth-grade girls at Waterbury’s Walsh Elementary.

About to embark on a promotion of her own—starting on her master’s degree at an Ivy League school—Georbina DaRosa had also once been a fifth-grader at Walsh, back in 2006. Like many of the girls she would now be speaking to, she had struggled as a child and faced incredible odds. With help from her teachers, she beat the odds and dispelled many myths—about immigrants, about ethnic minorities and females, and about public schools—every step of the way. Read more

Waterbury Building Rep Brightens Reed School for Colleagues

Building reps are often a teacher’s first point of contact when questions arise—ranging from practical matters to sensitive subjects. They are their colleagues’ contract enforcer, organizer, and spokesperson.

A building rep’s job is vital, but it’s time-consuming, and often receives little thanks.

That’s why, here at CEA, we’re recognizing building reps around the state for their dedication to their colleagues and their willingness to devote time out of their busy schedules to this important job.

Building Rep Ricardo Gibson has been a physical education and health teacher at Reed School in Waterbury for six years, but this is his first year as a building rep. Read more

Ready to Take on the Nation, It’s Waterbury’s Own Mrs. Hayes

Jahana Hayes

National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes in front of her beloved Kennedy High School.

Look out America! Teacher Jahana Hayes now has a national platform to advocate for students and teachers, as well as raise public awareness about the value of community service.

Hayes was named National Teacher of the Year yesterday. Today, at a special program at her school replete with dignitaries from across the state, J.F. Kennedy High School students exploded in celebration shouting, “We love you, Mrs. Hayes!” She replied, “I love you more!”

Hayes asked students, “Imagine, just for a second, if every kid in every school in every state felt how you feel right now. If every student had pride of ownership in his or her community.” Read more

Waterbury Teacher Jahana Hayes Named National Teacher of the Year

Waterbury John F. Kennedy High School teacher Jahana Hayes is the 2016 National Teacher of the Year.

Waterbury John F. Kennedy High School teacher Jahana Hayes is the 2016 National Teacher of the Year.

The announcement is in—Waterbury social studies teacher Jahana Hayes, Connecticut’s 2016 Teacher of the Year, has been named National Teacher of the Year! Below is a statement from CEA President Sheila Cohen.


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.  Read more

Experience as Student Motivates Teacher of the Year

Waterbury history teacher Jahana Hayes was honored as Connecticut's 2016 Teacher of the Year.

History teacher Jahana Hayes is making history as the fist Waterbury educator to be named Connecticut Teacher of the Year.

How will your students remember you? That was the question Waterbury history teacher and Connecticut 2016 Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes posed to her fellow district Teachers of the Year at a ceremony in their honor.

The desire to be a positive influence on her students clearly drives the Kennedy High School teacher, who said that she always wanted to be a teacher. Hayes, who grew up in Waterbury and at times struggled in school, said there were many teachers who made an important, positive difference in her life.

“I know what it feels like to have a dream and be in an environment where you’re not expected to thrive,” she said. “Teachers can make all the difference in these situations.” Read more

Astronaut Mastracchio Comes Home to Waterbury

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio stands at the podium while Waterbury Mayor Tim x welcomes the crowd to Chase Elementary School.

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio listens at the podium while Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary welcomes the crowd to Chase Elementary School.

Rick Mastracchio’s reputation may be for his work in outer space, but this week the astronaut proved to a group of Waterbury students that he is down to earth.

The Waterbury native, who attended Chase Elementary and Crosby High schools, returned to the Brass City to share his experiences at the International Space Station and demonstrate how hard work can pay off. A host of local dignitaries, teachers, police officers, relatives, and students were on hand to greet the astronaut who has become a high profile celebrity in the Brass City’s Schools.

“I love talking to the kids, I love talking about NASA,” Mastracchio said as students surrounded him. Dressed in a royal blue NASA jumpsuit adorned with patches from his space missions, Mastracchio happily greeted all who waited to speak with him, both young and old. Read more