Symetra and Seattle Seahawks host 'Symetra Heroes in the Classroom' recipients at CenturyLink Field celebration
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 May 18.
Among the 2011 honorees were five Seattle Public Schools teachers:
• Jessica Jansen Becker—Wedgwood Elementary School
• Kent Daniels—Orca K-8
• Kevin Gallagher—Bryant Elementary School
• Teresa Klein—Roxhill Elementary School
• Ericka Johnson Pollard—B.F. Day Elementary School
Right photo: Front, from left, Tom Marra, Symetra CEO; Susan McCloskey, principal, B.F. Day Elementary School; Carmela Dellino, principal, Roxhill Elementary School (West Seattle); Ericka Johnson Pollard, B.F. Day Elementary School and Symetra Hero in the Classroom recipient; Teresa Klein, Roxhill Elementary School and Symetra Hero in the Classroom recipient; Kim Fox, principal, Bryant Elementary School; Jim Pirak, Symetra SVP, Corporate Marketing. Rear, from left, Kevin Gallagher, Bryant Elementary School and Symetra Hero in the Classroom recipient; Jessica Jansen Becker, Wedgwood Elementary School and Symetra Hero in the Classroom recipient.
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.” Read more about Bryant and Sue Brooks here http://www.seahawks.com/news/articles/article-1/Remembering-his-classroom-hero/f87af09f-415d-44bc-ada2-6061b6c97785
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.
B.F. Day Elementary School second grade teacher—and 2011 Symetra Hero in the Classroom recipient—Ericka Johnson Pollard poses in the Seahawks locker room with her Heroes commemorative book (she’s on the cover!).
B.F. Day Elementary School Principal Susan McCloskey and second grade teacher Ericka Johnson Pollard celebrate in the “personalized” locker that Pollard found waiting for her in the Seattle Seahawks locker room on May 18, 2012.
Seattle Seahawks Defensive End Red Bryant chats with Wedgwood Elementary School physical education instructor and 2011 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom recipient Jessica Jansen Becker.
Photo credits: Larry Gill