National PTA Applauds 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes


Hayes and other educators from across the country honored at the White House

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (May 4, 2016) — Last evening, President Barack Obama honored Jahana Hayes as the 2016 National Teacher of the Year in a special ceremony at the White House. Hayes teaches history at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Conn. She was selected to receive the honor for her commitment to the importance of service-learning and ensuring students are prepared to achieve success in life. In addition to Hayes, other educators from across the country were also selected for personal recognition by President Obama, including Jennifer Doll-Fowler, a second-grade teacher in Omaha, Neb. and president of Nebraska PTA.

“Jahana, Jennifer and teachers like them across the country have an immense impact on the lives and futures of our nation’s children,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “National PTA congratulates Jahana on her recognition as the 2016 National Teacher of the Year and applauds her, Jennifer and all teachers for the hours they spend and efforts they make to ensure every child reaches his/her full potential and is prepared for long-term success.”

Hayes strives to send students into the world not just academically prepared but as conscientious and productive members of society. Connecting lessons learned in school to real life is an integral part of her instruction. As the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, Hayes is committed to engaging people who have not traditionally been part of the conversation to join in the effort to prepare well-rounded students for success—in school and beyond.

The National Teacher of the Year is chosen from among the State Teachers of the Year by a national selection committee representing leading education organizations, including National PTA. The National Teacher of the Year program is run by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

In addition to being a part of the National Teacher of the Year program, National PTA designates the first week of May as Teacher Appreciation Week to thank, support and elevate these real life superheroes for their important contributions and the difference they make for children nationwide.

“Our teachers give so much,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, executive director of National PTA. “It is vital that teachers have our support and that we honor and thank them during Teacher Appreciation Week and all year round for going above and beyond for our kids.”

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth.

Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
[email protected](703) 518-1242

“Read MOre, Missouri!” Summer Reading Challenge

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is once again promoting the “Read MOre, Missouri!” summer reading challenge. This year, they are adding a math challenge as well.

You can Help Prevent “Summer Slide”

Your kids are probably already talking about what they’re going to do over the summer. Their plans could involve a slide: the slide at the water park, sliding into second base or flying along a Slip ‘N Slide® hooked up to a garden hose in the back yard. There’s one slide, though, that isn’t so much fun. It’s “summer slide.”

Summer slide is the loss of learning that can occur when children are away from school. It can rob kids of a month or more of grade-level learning during their break. Missouri has a couple of ways to help you put the brakes on summer slide.

“Read MOre, Missouri!” is our summer reading challenge. It’s easy and fun to help your children choose books to read during break. By visiting our website, you and your child can determine which books they’d want to read to keep up or increase their reading skills so that they’re ready for school to start again in August. You might find a few books to enjoy yourself, so you can read along with your child.

Missouri Math Challenge is a way for kids to keep their math skills sharp all summer long. Parents can help their children sign up for fun math activities and resources. Summer Math Challenge is intended for kids who have just completed 1st through 7th grades. The problems are based on the Missouri Learning Standards, so you know they are appropriate for Missouri students.

No one expects – or wants – your children to spend their summer doing school work. But along with playing ball, riding bikes, swimming and other fun summer activities, encourage your kids to spend a few minutes each day keeping up their reading and math skills. That will help get them ready for a new year of learning when they head back to school in the fall.

Have a wonderful, fun-filled summer!

Nancy Bowles | Communications Specialist | 573-522-8311 | | | |

JC/DC ACTION ALERT:  Powdered Alcohol

HB1786 has received Do Passes from the Senate committees.  This will soon come before the body for a vote.
HB 1786 would ban the sale of powered alcohol in the state of Missouri.

Powdered Alcohol is a particular concern for PTA because underage drinking creates and environment that can be extremely dangerous to children.  Because of the potential for abuse, powdered alcohol has been banned in more than 27 states.

Dear Senator,

As a community we prioritize safety with regard to our kids. We have laws that require young children be restrained in car seats.  Medicines must be sold in childproof containers.  We encourage classes on fire safety.  And our schools and communities work hard to raise awareness of the dangers of underage drinking.  Powdered Alcohol has a high potential for abuse creating a dangerous environment for children. 


Powdered Alcohol is not “freeze-dried alcohol” but rather ethyl alcohol encapsulated by a sugar container.  It can be easily concealed, sprinkled onto food products, taken as a pill, snorted, injected and mixed with other alcohol and drugs such as cocaine and marijuana making it even more potent and inhibiting the user’s ability to fight off alcohol poisoning.

Help keep our children safe from such harmful products.  Please support HB 1786 by voting yes.


Your name and PTA

Not sure how to contact your state legislators? Click here and insert your street address or 9-digit zip code.

Carla Wiese

Vice President & Director of Legislation

[email protected]

National PTA Reflections Awards Announced – Missouri Students Recognized!

The 2016 National PTA Reflections Award recipients were officially announced today and Missouri students did well.  Missouri PTA advanced the twenty three entries that received first place in their art categories and divisions to the national round on March 1st.  Six students have received the Award of Merit from National PTA.  Congratulations to the following students:

High School Film Production
Amaya A. Tangled Kickapoo High School PTSA Springfield
High School  Literature
Jesse P. Reminiscing in Red Velvet Greenwood Laboratory School PTA Springfield
Middle School Literature
Alyah C. A Vivid Dream Discovery Middle School PTSA Liberty
Middle School Music Composition
John Y. I, Clown
West Middle School PTSA Columbia
Primary Music Composition
Thomas K. Thousands of Birds Flying Rountree Elementary PTA Springfield
High School Visual Arts
Tinlley H. Inside Kickapoo High school PTSA Springfield

NEA Webinar Events

Event One:

May 11, 6:00-6:45 p.m. Central Time, A Google Hangout

Childhood Mental Illness — A Growing Epidemic In Our Schools

Learn about childhood mental illness including instructional and classroom strategies to help the 1 in 5 children diagnosed with mental illness learn. All school staff, parents and community members are invited to join this FREE event.

Use this link to join at 6 p.m. on May 11:

Event Two:

May 17, 5-6 p.m. CDT

The No. 1 Crisis Facing Our Children Today- Mental Illness & Its Alarming Effects

This online event covers topics such as mental health, suicide prevention, and the 
effects of bullying on mental health. Learn strategies for improving children’s mental 
health. Learn what solutions are offered by schools, and obtain resources including 
mental health screenings and the Medicaid free care rule.  All educators, ESP, school staff, 
parents, mental health workers and community members are welcome to join this FREE

Presenters: Theresa Nguyen – Senior Director of Policy and Programming-Mental Health America, and Christy Buck- Executive Director of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan

Register now for this free event at

On the day and time of the event, join using this link: