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Seattle Seahawks honor Kirkland teacher as classroom hero

Seattle Seahawk Left Tackle Russell Okung, who spoke to all of the 2012 Symetra Hero in the Classroom honorees May 24, took time out to speak with Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School’s Cathy Daly. - Courtesy of Larry Gill
Seattle Seahawk Left Tackle Russell Okung, who spoke to all of the 2012 Symetra Hero in the Classroom honorees May 24, took time out to speak with Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School’s Cathy Daly.
— image credit: Courtesy of Larry Gill

Symetra and the Seattle Seahawks honored 24 Puget Sound-area teachers who were recognized as Symetra Heroes in the Classroom during the 2012 NFL season, at a special celebration at CenturyLink Field on May 24.

Among the 2012 honorees was Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School second grade teacher Cathy Daly.

Jim Pirak, Symetra senior vice president of marketing, and Mike Flood, Seattle Seahawks vice president, hosted a luncheon in the coach’s loft, welcoming the teachers, their school principals (including Alexander Graham Bell Elementary’s principal Heidi Paul) and special guests.

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 award.

Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung was a special guest, joining the teachers and guests in the players’ locker room. Okung shared a very personal story about his fourth grade teachers Mrs. Howell and Mrs. Cook.

“Those two teachers, they believed in me,” he said. “They took me aside and they took that extra step to get me right. They had a level of belief in me that I didn’t have in myself. The patience they showed in me paid off.”

Since 2006, nearly 150 Puget Sound-area teachers have been honored for educational excellence as Symetra Heroes in the Classroom. Teachers are recognized in front of their students and peers at surprise in-school presentations. They receive a $350 Office Max gift card for classroom supplies and tickets to a Seahawks home game, where they are acknowledged during on-field presentations at CenturyLink Field. In addition, Symetra makes a $1,000 donation to each teacher hero’s school.

Teachers may be nominated by their principal, district staff, student or student’s parent. The winners are selected based on their ability to make a real difference in students’ lives; to go above and beyond in their day-to-day responsibilities; and to help students build life skills.

For more information about the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program or to nominate a teacher, visit www.SymetraHeroes.com/Seahawks.

 

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