|Jahana Hayes is the U.S. Representative for the Fifth Congressional District of Connecticut. Representative Hayes was elected to the United States House of Representatives in November 2018, making her the first African-American woman and the first African-American Democrat to ever represent the state of Connecticut in Congress.
Hayes first garnered widespread notoriety when she was selected as the Connecticut Teacher of the Year, before going on to earn the distinction of 2016 National Teacher of the Year (NTOY), leading to an invitation to the White House by President Barack Obama. In her capacity as NTOY, Hayes traveled the country and the world as an ambassador for public education engaging all stakeholders in policy discussions meant to improve outcomes for students.
Congresswoman Hayes’ story is one of achievements despite the odds and overcoming the obstacles that life can place before you. She has been quoted as saying that “education saved her life” and is a fierce advocate for ensuring that equitable access to educational opportunities exists for all students and families.
Congresswoman Hayes currently sits on the full House committees of Education and Labor, and Agriculture. Her subcommittee assignments include Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, Civil Rights and Human Services, Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, Nutrition/Oversight and Department Operations. She is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Pro-Choice Caucus, Coalition for Autism Research and Education Caucus and Co-chair of the College Affordability Caucus. Congresswoman Hayes serves on the Emergency Task Force on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health, Education and Labor Task Force, Freshman Working Group on Addiction, Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and is a Deputy Whip.
The 5th district is home to Sandy Hook Elementary, where 20 children and six staff members were tragically killed by a gunman in 2012.