2022 Winner

Jaya Neal

Nominated at Wade Park; now at William Rainey Harper

4th Grade

“Jaya is caring, creative, and innovative. She skillfully crafts lessons to touch the unique learning style of her scholars. … When you walk into her classroom, you’ll see the magical, child-centered learning environment and immediately notice scholars diligently engaged in learning.”

Jaya Neal has been an educator in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District for over 20 years. She received her bachelor’s degree from Cleveland State University and a master’s degree from Notre Dame College in special education. In addition, she earned a reading endorsement from John Carroll University and a gifted endorsement from Cleveland State University. In 2004, Jaya Neal also became a National Board Certified teacher. She has experience teaching elementary students including students with special needs and gifted and talented scholars.

Jaya is a proud Cleveland educator, and she believes that all students should receive a world class education no matter their race, disability, household income, or zip code. Her goal is to create a warm, positive, and caring learning environment so that every child can flourish. She believes that it is critical to close achievement and opportunity gaps for culturally diverse children and that all students can achieve at high levels if they are taught at high levels.

Jaya is committed to making high-quality literature available to her students. She believes strongly in nurturing children’s positive reading identities, reading engagement, and academic growth by increasing students’ access to authentic literature. She strives to create a classroom surrounded by books so that students live in “book floods” with “fingertip access to books.” Jaya believes that all children deserve to see their experiences and their families reflected in the books they read in the classroom. Her mission is to cultivate the “genius” in all of her children.

Contact Ms. Neal