The 2007-2008 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program kicked off the week of September 2, with the Seattle Seahawks and Symetra Financial honoring Seattle Public School teachers for educational excellence. Symetra Heroes in the Classroom recognizes local teachers for outstanding leadership and instructional skills throughout the Seahawks season.

Twenty-four exceptional teachers are selected from the district’s 3,100 educators to receive the award. These teachers will be honored both in their classrooms and on the field during Seahawk’s home games this season.

Symetra also hopes to raise over $45,000 to outfit Seattle classrooms with books and supplies. In addition to providing support for classroom supplies, teachers at a number of high-poverty elementary and K-8 schools will use the funds to select and purchase books for students.

Seattle Public Schools superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson said, “We know that the most critical element for student achievement is to have a highly effective teacher in every classroom. I am delighted that the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program celebrates their outstanding accomplishments and gives them the recognition that they deserve. Community partnerships are vital to this district, so it’s great to see the Seahawks and Symetra step up to support local educators.”

Several National Football League players participated in the program last season by surprising teachers and students in their schools, and some even honored their own former teachers during away games. Josh Brown, Leroy Hill, Darryl Tapp, Craig Terril, Tom Ashworth, Grant Wistrom, Darrell Jackson and Joe Tafoya were among the players involved.

Hill, who is a Seahawks outside linebacker, said “These teachers represent the very best of what it means to be an educator. Their enthusiasm, encouragement, creativity and dedication fill their classrooms everyday, making it an environment where students can succeed.”

More information about Symetra Heroes in the Classroom, is available at www.symetra.com/heroes.