( CNN) Jahana Hayes moved one step closer towards becoming Connecticut’s first black Democrat in Congress on Tuesday when the former National Teacher of the Year bested Mary Glassman in the state’s 5th Congressional District primary.

President Barack Obama named Hayes, who was then teaching social studies at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, National Teacher of the Year in 2016. She was celebrated for her tale: She grew up in a housing project in Waterbury, was raised by her grandmother while her mother fought with drug addiction and became a mom at 17.

“Our teacher of the year here stands as proof that you can’t decide expectations high enough for our kids, ” Obama said. “There’s magic in those kids. We just have to find it.”

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