Symetra and Seattle Seahawks Celebrate Teaching Excellence as King County Students Head Back to School

Apollo Elementary School’s Susan Harper the 217th teacher honored as Symetra Hero in the Classroom.

BELLEVUE, Wash.—(Sept. 6, 2016)—As King County students head back to school, Symetra and the Seattle Seahawks kicked off the 11th season of the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom teacher-recognition program. Seahawks mascot Blitz was on hand to help present the new school year's first Heroes award to Apollo Elementary School teacher Susan Harper during a Sept. 2 surprise assembly at the Renton Highlands K–5 school.

"Susan Harper gives the gift of reading to her students. As Apollo Elementary's reading specialist, she not only works with students that need more help, she helps build their confidence. She teaches them how to be responsible and how to be a learner," said Cassie Stuard, a teaching colleague, who nominated Harper for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award. "Susan provides life lessons to her students, and she helps each and every child that walks through her classroom door learn how to be a better person."

Harper is one of 16 K–12 teachers that will be honored for educational excellence in the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program during the 2016 NFL season. More than 200 Puget Sound-area teachers have been celebrated since the program's inception in 2006.

Symetra Heroes in the Classroom are recognized in front of their students and peers at surprise in-school presentations. Symetra makes a $1,000 donation to each teacher-Hero's school for classroom books and supplies.

Heroes honorees also receive tickets to a Seahawks home game, where they are acknowledged during on-field presentations at CenturyLink Field. "We are proud to partner with Symetra and recognize exceptional teachers committed to make a difference in the lives of their students," said Seahawks VP Community Outreach Mike Flood.

"Great teachers make such a powerful contribution to students' lives. We feel privileged to be able to honor the dedication and inspiration they deliver in classrooms every day," said Tracy Wort, assistant director, Community Relations at Symetra. "We know there are so many wonderful educators throughout our area—and we're always on the lookout for a compelling nomination!"

Teachers may be nominated by their principal, district staff, student or student's parent. Honorees 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. Nominations may be submitted through the program's online submission tool at

About Symetra

Symetra Financial Corporation is a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Washington. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions, and independent agents and advisors. For more information, visit

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