Two middle school teachers in Renton recently received a surprise from the and Symetra Financial when they were recently honored as “Symetra Heroes in the Classroom.”
sixth grade teacher Rebecca Ritchie was honored on Sept. 19, and seventh grade teacher Michelle Nobles was recognized on Sept. 22.
Colin Falk, principal of Nelsen Middle School, had nothing but praise for Ritchie.
“Rebecca Ritchie is a positive force for Nelsen Middle School’s students and staff. As a computer and study skills instructor, Rebecca makes sure that she has an understanding of each sixth grade class curriculum so that she can better assist the students in her classes,” he said. “Rebecca takes time to see how students are doing in their core classes, and helps them complete their assignments and learn how to become better students. Through her hard work, diligence and personal commitment, her students become more successful in school, not just for sixth grade but for all the years to come.” Falk nominated Ritchie for the Symetra Hero in the Classroom award.
In addition to her regular classroom responsibilities, Ritchie organized an "early bird" club that meets twice weekly before school so that students have more time for homework and can meet with her for assistance. She also has run an after-school academic support class for the past two years, which focuses on teaching students how to "do” school. Every Wednesday, Ritchie phones parents to share the positive academic or behavioral progress students have made. She organizes the National Junior Honor Society at Nelsen and enjoys taking students on outings to locations like Benaroya Hall, Woodland Park Zoo and the Space Needle.
John Schmitz, principal at Dimmitt Middle School, nominated Nobles.
“Michelle Nobles is an incredibly motivated, dedicated and results-driven educator who has high expectations for her students. Her efforts and leadership have directly resulted in students achieving higher levels at our school,” he said. “Ms. Nobles really fosters a sense of community within the seventh grade through her collaboration with her grade-level colleagues, and they work in unison to create a supportive, high-caliber environment for their students.” Schmitz nominated Nobles for the Symetra Hero in the Classroom award
“Ms. Nobles truly sees our families as partners in their children’s education, and she treats them as such,” adds Schmitz. “She regularly communicates with her students’ families about ongoing activities and learning at school, which is appreciated. She is an amazing young educator who has already made a profound difference in our students' academic lives.”
Symetra Heroes in the Classroom Program:
Ritchie and Nobles are two of 24 K-12 teachers across the Puget Sound area who will be honored for educational excellence in the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program during the 2011 NFL season. Teachers are recognized in front of their students and peers at surprise in-school presentations, where they receive tickets to a Seahawks home game. They also are acknowledged during an on-field presentation at CenturyLink Field. Ritchie and Olander were recognized at the Sept. 25 game, which the Seahawks won against the Arizona Cardinals. Teachers may be 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 is eligible for an MVP Award, which provides funding to enhance learning in Seattle-area schools. Three $10,000 grants will be awarded at the end of the 2011 football season.
More information about Symetra Heroes in the Classroom is available at www.symetra.com/heroes.
*Editor's Note: Information for this report was provided by Symetra Financial Corporation.