Symetra Financial and the Seattle Seahawks honored the 24 Puget Sound-area teachers who were recognized as “Symetra Heroes in the Classroom” during the 2011 NFL season, at a special celebration at CenturyLink Field on Friday afternoon, May 18.
Among the 2011 honorees were 10 teachers:
- David Black — McKnight Middle School
- Stephane Eliason— Renton Park Elementary School
- Brian Hoskins—Lindbergh High School
- Amber Hronek—Campbell Hill Elementary School
- Stephanie Latimer—Lakeridge Elementary School
- Michelle Nobles—Dimmitt Middle School
- Jeff Porter—Maplewood Heights Elementary School
- Rebecca Ritchie—Nelsen Middle School
- Lisle Steelsmith—Kennydale Elementary School
- Kim Sweet—Sartori Education Center
Symetra CEO Tom Marra and Seahawks Vice President of Community Relations Mike Flood hosted a luncheon in the Coach’s Loft, welcoming the teachers, their school principals and special guests, including Seattle Public Schools Interim Superintendent Susan Enfield and Shoreline School District Superintendent Sue Walker.
Following lunch, the teachers received an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium, which included taking in a view of the field from the press box. The festivities wrapped up in the Seahawks locker room, where each teacher was surprised with a “customized” locker complete with nameplate. Each teacher’s locker’s contents included a plaque commemorating his or her “Heroes” award, a hardcover book that captured moments from the 2011 classroom presentations, and a copy of the May 18 edition of the Seattle Times, which featured a ¼-page ad saluting all 24 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom recipients.
Seahawks Defensive End Red Bryant was a special guest, joining the teachers and guests in the players’ locker room. Bryant shared a very personal story about Sue Brooks, his former English teacher at Jasper High School in Texas. “As for a teacher who had an impact on my life, there’s no question, her name is Sue Brooks,” Bryant said. “The impact that she had on my life gave me the opportunity to be before you guys right now.”
Background-Symetra Heroes in the Classroom Program
Twenty-four K-12 teachers across the Puget Sound area were honored for educational excellence in the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program during the 2011 NFL season. Teachers from the Seattle, Shoreline and Renton public school districts were recognized in front of their students and peers at surprise in-school presentations. In addition, they received tickets to a Seahawks home game and were acknowledged during an on-field presentation at CenturyLink Field.
Teachers are nominated by their principal, district staff, student or student’s parent. The winners are selected based on their ability to balance the core curriculum with students’ individual needs; build trust among students, parents and the community; and invest in their students’ long-term success.
In addition to honoring exceptional teachers on and off the field, each of the schools represented by a 2011 teacher Hero was eligible for an MVP Award, which provides funding to enhance learning via an innovative student achievement program. Three $10,000 grants were awarded at the end of the 2011 football season to Dimmitt Middle School in Renton, Meridian Park Elementary School in Shoreline and Roxhill Elementary School in West Seattle.
*Editor's Note: Information provided by the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom Program.