Amarillo High graduate Jay O’Neal was named to the 2019 TIME 100 most influential people.
O’Neal was named after he became a vocal leader in the West Virginia teacher’s strike in 2018.
Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta wrote the following about O’Neal and Emily Comer,
When teachers stand up for themselves—as Jay O’Neal and Emily Comer did in West Virginia, and as others have since done in Oklahoma, Arizona, California and beyond—it is a message to all of us. If teachers are standing up, you can stand up.
These strikes have been a wake-up call about the lack of education funding and the wage crisis that exists across industries today. It can be hard for teachers to get civically engaged, but if more did, I think we would have an entirely different society.
Jay is the son of Randy and Paula O’Neal of Amarillo. He is married to Alice and is currently a middle school teacher in Charleston, West Virginia.
O’Neal is listed as a pioneer by Time.
O’Neal is joined on the list by Sandra Oh, Dwayne Johnson, Ninja, Emilia Clarke, Joanna and Chip Gaines, and President Donald Trump.