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Symetra Heroes in the Classroom Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Symetra and Seattle Seahawks have partnered on teacher recognition program since 2006, honoring 200 King County, Washington educators

BELLEVUE, Wash. — As a new school year gets underway, Symetra and the Seattle Seahawks are once again looking for nominations for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom teacher recognition program. Symetra, a national provider of employee benefits, annuities and life insurance, and the Seattle Seahawks have honored 200 educators around King County since the program's inception in 2006. During the 2015 NFL regular season—the program's tenth anniversary—16 teachers will be selected as Symetra Heroes in the Classroom.

"The simple truth is that a high-quality education system begins with the person standing in front of students every day, gaining their trust, opening their minds and stimulating their curiosity about the world around them. I am proud of the work Symetra and the Seahawks have done together over the past ten years to honor accomplished educators and to support their students," said Symetra CEO Tom Marra.

Teachers are recognized in front of their students and peers at surprise in-school presentations, and they receive a $1,000 donation for classroom books and supplies. In addition, they receive tickets to a Seahawks home game and are acknowledged during an on-field presentation at CenturyLink Field. Cherie McIntosh, a second-grade teacher at St. Louise School in Bellevue, and Michael Bailey, a Chemistry instructor at Juanita High School in Kirkland, are the first two Heroes honorees of the 2015 season and will attend the Seahawks' first home game on Sept. 27 against the Chicago Bears.

"Symetra Heroes in the Classroom celebrates some of our most valued role models and community leaders — our teachers," said Seahawks VP Community Relations Mike Flood. "We are proud to partner with Symetra to recognize the distinct impact and dedication that teachers demonstrate every day."

The Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program has contributed more than $500,000 to King County schools since it began. The program started with Seattle Public Schools teachers and has expanded to include all King County schools. In 2014, seven school districts were represented by Symetra Heroes honorees, including Bellevue School District, Highline Public Schools, Issaquah School District, Lake Washington School District, Renton School District, Seattle Public Schools and Shoreline Public Schools.

"Community partnerships are vital to student achievement, and we appreciate the direct contribution of funds to support our work in classrooms," said Superintendent Susan Enfield, Highline Public Schools. "Symetra Heroes in the Classroom is especially unique because it also provides much-deserved recognition for outstanding teachers. Celebrating these individuals — and the teaching profession — in front of more than 70,000 fans at each home game sends a strong statement about the value that Symetra, the Seahawks, and our community place on public education. I want to express our collective thanks to everyone involved."

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.

In addition to the $1,000 donation for classroom supplies, each of the 16 Puget Sound-area schools with a teacher/Hero is eligible to submit an 'MVP Award' proposal to be considered for a $10,000 grant to fund an innovative student achievement program. Nominated programs are evaluated on a range of criteria, including innovation, feasibility and demonstrated need.

More information about Symetra Heroes in the Classroom is available at

About Symetra

Symetra Financial Corporation (NYSE: SYA) is a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Wash. 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

Symetra Heroes in the Classroom—2014 Teacher Roster

Erica Eller—East Hill Elementary School, Kent
Ellen Ferrin—Challenger Middle School, Issaquah
Elayne Grueber—Sammamish High School, Bellevue
DeAira Handugan—Chief Sealth High School, West Seattle
John Herrold—Meridian Park Elementary, Renton
Michael King—Renton High School, Renton
Rathan Mahendran—Redmond Middle School, Redmond
Kjell Mattson—Puesta del Sol Elementary School, Bellevue
Emily Morgan—Maywood Middle School, Burien
Bill McMurray—Kellogg Middle School, Shoreline
Jonathan Moore—Denny International Middle School, West Seattle
Susan Muller—Medina Elementary School
Melissa Norman—Maywood Middle School, Renton
Tia Nguyen—Midway Elementary School, Des Moines
Molly Oosterhof—Dimmitt Middle School, Renton
Christopher Soethe
—Hazel Valley Elementary School, Burien
*2014 $10,000 MVP Award grant winner: Sammamish High School—"Engineering Projects in the Community"

Symetra Heroes in the Classroom—2013 Teacher Roster

Karen Alleman—St. Louise Parish School, Bellevue
Shereen Allen—Cascade K-8 Community School, Shoreline
Allison Bowhay—Echo Lake Elementary School, Shoreline
Vincent Davis—Nelsen Middle School, Renton
Doug Edelstein, Nathan Hale High School, Seattle (Lake City)
Amanda Hall—Redmond Elementary School, Redmond
Robin Hicks—Roxhill Elementary School, West Seattle/White Center
Heather Ireland—Beaver Lake Middle School, Issaquah
Megan James—Lake Hills Elementary School, Bellevue
Jeannie Joseph—lssaquah Middle School, Issaquah
Gene Kolczynski—Lindbergh High School, Renton
Michelle McLaughlin—Sierra Heights Elementary School, Renton
D.J. Reed, Kent-Meridian High School, Kent
Stephanie Rietman—Shorecrest High School, Shoreline
Jan Sayers—Mercer Island High School
Alison Torres—Aki Kurose Middle School*, Seattle
*2013 $10,000 MVP Award grant winner: Aki Kurose Middle School—"Building Math Muscles"

Symetra Heroes in the Classroom—2012 Teacher Roster

Paul Chappell—Leschi Elementary School, Seattle
Cathy Daly—Alexander Graham Bell School, Kirkland
Paula Ferguson—Redmond High School, Redmond
Brooke Freeburg—Stevens Elementary School, Seattle
Andrea Gollob—Highlands Elementary School, Renton
Regina Grubb—Auburn Mountainview High School*, Auburn
Lane Helgeson—Tiger Mountain Community High School, Issaquah
Lori Henry—Kellogg Middle School, Shoreline
Frank Kleyn—Highland Terrace Elementary School, Shoreline
Kelly Kosir—Talbot Hill Elementary School, Renton
Paula Lorence—Valley Christian School, Auburn
Patricia Magnusson—Loyal Heights Elementary School, Ballard
Lyn Nelthropp—Global Connections School, SeaTac
Damion Oliveto—Shorewood High School, Shoreline
Sara Olson—Renton High School, Renton
Julie Parker—McGilva Elementary School, Madison Park
Elle Parsons—Health Sciences & Human Services High School, Seattle
Laurie Pearson—Lake Forest Park Elementary School, Lake Forest Park
Stephanie Pender—Dimmitt Middle School, Renton
Robin Russell—Open Window School, Bellevue
Jessica Scott—International School, Bellevue
Sarah Sweeny—Kenmore Elementary School, Kenmore
Mary Thurber—Einstein Middle School, Shoreline
Liz Villa—Issaquah Middle School, Issaquah
*2012 $10,000 MVP Award grant winner: Auburn Mountainview High School—"Cultivating Youth"

Symetra Heroes in the Classroom—2011 Teacher Roster

Ali Airhart—Syre Elementary School, Shoreline
Tracy Andersen—Meridian Park Elementary School, Shoreline
Jessica Jansen Becker—Wedgwood Elementary School, Seattle
David Black—McKnight Middle School, Renton
Michael Callahan—Room Nine Community School, Shoreline
Anne Marie Culver—Kellogg Middle School, Shoreline
Kent Daniels—Orca K-8, Seattle
Diana Dillard—Shorewood High School, Shoreline
Stephane Eliason—Renton Park Elementary School, Renton
Jennifer Etter—Shorecrest High School, Shoreline
Kevin Gallagher—Bryant Elementary School, Seattle
Brian Hoskins—Lindbergh High School, Renton
Amber Hronek—Campbell Hill Elementary School, Renton
Teresa Klein—Roxhill Elementary School
, West Seattle
Stephanie Latimer—Lakeridge Elementary School, Seattle
Kay Law—Ridgecrest Elementary School, Shoreline
Michelle Nobles—Dimmitt Middle School*, Renton
Ericka Johnson Pollard—B.F. Day School, Fremont
Jeff Porter—Maplewood Heights Elementary School, Renton
Rebecca Ritchie— Nelsen Middle School, Renton
Therese Russell—Brookside Elementary School, Lake Forest Park
Marybeth Scherf—Lake Forest Park Elementary, Lake Forest Park
Lisle Steelsmith—Kennydale Elementary School, Renton
Kim Sweet—Sartori Education Center, Renton
*2011 $10,000 MVP Award grant winner: Dimmitt Middle School—"Reading Workshop"
*2011 $10,000 MVP Award grant winner: Roxhill Elementary School—"Saturday Academy"
*2011 $10,000 MVP Award grant winner: Meridian Park Elementary School—"Creation Station & Learning Center"

Symetra Heroes in the Classroom—2010 Teacher Roster

Bryce Anderson—Laurelhurst Elementary School, Seattle
Aubrey Ashenbrenner—Kimball Elementary School, Seattle
Scott Brown—Roosevelt High School, Seattle
Nathan Courtney—Kellogg Middle School, Shoreline
Moc Escobedo—Eckstein Middle School, Seattle
Dede Ford—Syre Elementary School, Shoreline
Marcia Garrett—Einstein Middle School, Shoreline
Randy Harkness—Sanislo Middle School, West Seattle
Kathy Hitchner—Ridgecrest Elementary School, Shoreline
Bethany Ibach—Parkwood Elementary School, Shoreline
Michael James—Ballard High School, Seattle
Carole Lynch—Broadview-Thomson K-8 School, Seattle
Janine Magidman—Roosevelt High School, Seattle
Kim Menon—Lakeridge Elementary School*, Renton
Mollie Merkley—Meridian Park Elementary School, Shoreline
Kristin Mesler—Parkwood Elementary School
Lynne Morgan—Highland Elementary School
Jill Owen—Shorewood High School, Shoreline
Mark Owen—Highland Terrace Elementary School
Kathryn Pihl—Echo Lake Elementary School
Mark Sabo—Hazen High School
Paul Villanueva—Shorewood High School, Shoreline
Kevin Zelko—B. F. Day Elementary School, Fremont
Spring Zoog—Thurgood Marshall Elementary School
*2010 $10,000 MVP Award grant winner: Shorewood High School—"Sea 3-D Program"
*2010 $10,000 MVP Award grant winner: Lakeridge Elementary School—"Scholars Club"
*2010 $10,000 MVP Award grant winner: Thurgood Marshall Elementary School—"Content Area Reading Program"

Symetra Heroes in the Classroom—2009 Teacher Roster

Michael Agrellas—B.F. Day School, Fremont
Julie Black—Bryant Elementary School, Seattle
Lynn Barnicle—Arbor Heights Elementary School, Seattle
Stacia Braaten—Madison Middle School, West Seattle
Kelley Butler—Garfield High School, Seattle
Debra Carmen DiDomenico— AS#1 at Pinehurst
Gerardine Carroll—The Center School, Seattle
Shannon Conner—Nathan Hale High School, Seattle
Helen Finch—Beacon Hill International School
Chris Gustafson—Whitman Middle School, Seattle
Summer Haskell—Stevens Elementary School, Seattle
Carol Hoerster—Lowell Elementary School, Seattle
Pat Howard—Laurelhurst Elementary School, Seattle
Peter Hubbard—Lawton Elementary School, Seattle
Ruth Kutrakun—Ballard High School
Marian Laughlin—Broadview-Thomson K-8, Seattle
Jean Lutgen—Roosevelt High School, Seattle
Pam Mushen—Chief Sealth High School, Seattle
J. Scott Norman—Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, Seattle
Christopher Robert—Roxhill Elementary School, Seattle
Ellen Saltsman—Loyal Heights Elementary School, Seattle
Elizabeth Sims—John Muir Elementary School
, Seattle
Cheryl Sylanski—West Seattle High School
Mary Wellehan—Eckstein Middle School, Seattle
*2009 $15,000 MVP Award grant winner: John Muir Elementary School—"Math Victory Program"
*2009 $15,000 MVP Award grant winner: Nathan Hale High School—"High-Tech Science Program"

Symetra Heroes in the Classroom—2008 Teacher Roster

Toni Bader—Lowell Elementary School, Seattle
Amy Baeder—Cleveland High School, Seattle
Dan Cerquitella—Garfield High School, Seattle
Nina Chambers—Madison Middle School, Seattle
Mary Ann Crawford—Whittier Elementary School, Seattle
Britta Culbertson—The Center School, Seattle
Vince Delaney—B.F. Day School, Seattle
Lilleanne Ferrer—Meany Middle School, Seattle
Norha Giraldo—Ballard High School, Seattle
David Grosskopf—Roosevelt High School, Seattle
Carrie Hale—Kimball Elementary School, Seattle
Debora Hare—Montlake Elementary School, Seattle
Tim Hilton—Nathan Hale High School, Seattle
Darice Johnson—African American Academy, Seattle
Paula King—West Woodland Elementary School, Seattle
Ann Kumata—John Muir Elementary School, Seattle
Phi Ho Le—Orca K-8, Seattle
Kathleen Newell—Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, Seattle
Ricky Ohashi—Eckstein Middle School, Seattle
Vickie Steinway-Provenza—Broadview-Thompson K-8, Seattle
Nancy Ruzycki—Chief Sealth High School, Seattle
Trevor Stevenson—Maple Elementary School, Seattle
Mary Thompson—Beacon Hill International School
, Seattle
Jennifer Watts—Franklin High School, Seattle
*2008 $20,000 MVP Award winner: Chief Sealth High School—"Lap Hawks Program"
*2008 $20,000 MVP Award winner: Beacon Hill International School—"Heroes at Home: Our Most Valuable Readers Program"

Symetra Heroes in the Classroom—2007 Teacher Roster

Mollie Boswell—Broadview-Thomson, Bitter Lake
Debbie Bower—Ballard High School
Brian Coon—Nathan Hale High School, Seattle
Adam Gish—Garfield High School, Central District
John Granados-Greenberg—The Center School, Seattle
Pat Horne-Brine—Maple Elementary School, Seattle
Nancy Howard—Van Asselt Elementary School, Beacon Hill
Shannon Isaacson—Laurelhurst Elementary, Seattle
Nicole Johnson—AS # 1 at Pinehurst
Krista Jones—Homeschool Resource Center
Kim Lessig—Rainier Beach High School, Seattle
Kathy Leveque—West Woodland Elementary School, Seattle
Connie Locke—Lawton Elementary, Magnolia
Kathy Nunan—Eckstein Middle School, Northeast Seattle
Andy Pickard—Beacon Hill School
Janet Raymer—B.F. Day School, Fremont
Irene Rodriguez—Secondary Bilingual Orientation Center School, Seattle
Erika Shearer—Alki Elementary School, West Seattle
Stacy Stark—Orca at Whitworth (now Orca K-8) Columbia City
Anne Superfisky—John Muir Elementary, Seattle
Shiree Turner—Hawthorne Elementary, Columbia City
Paige Vanderhoff—Meany Middle School, Capitol Hill/Central District, Seattle
Julie Way—Lowell Elementary, Capitol Hill
Noah Zeichner—Chief Sealth High School, Seattle
Symetra Heroes in the Classroom—2006 Teacher Roster
Deanna Barrett—Aki Kurose Middle School, Seattle
Katie Barrett—West Woodland Elementary School, Seattle
Janet Cartwright—Loyal Heights Elementary School, Seattle
Mary Correa—Van Asselt Elementary School, Seattle
Sheila Espinosa—Chief Sealth High School, Seattle
Maria Fletcher—Broadview-Thomson Elementary School, Seattle
Gina Gerlitz—Hamilton International Middle School, Seattle
Jill Irwin—Northgate Elementary School, Seattle
Richard Kearns—Coe Elementary School, Seattle
Doug Kinne—AS #1, Seattle
Marjorie Lamarre—John Muir Elementary School, Seattle
Mark Landreville—Roosevelt High School, Seattle
Mary McDaniel—Wedgwood Elementary School, Seattle
Kimberly Mullen—The Center School, Seattle
Kristin Nichols—Summit K-12, Seattle
Dr. Richard Piccioni—Garfield High School, Seattle
David Posner—Meany Middle School, Seattle
Bryan Pule—Whittier Elementary School, Seattle
Shirley Swarts—Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, Seattle
Kurt Thompson—Eckstein Middle School, Seattle
Scott Thorpe—Montlake Elementary School, Seattle
Diane Trudnowski—Maple Elementary School, Seattle
Cathy VanWinkle—Wing Luke Elementary School, Seattle
Megan Vogel—Ballard High School, Seattle

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