Have a great school snapshot?

Contact Lesha Engels about posting it to this page.

2014 Symetra Heroes Recipients (Credit-Corky Trewin, Seattle Seahawks)

Two Issaquah School District Teachers Honored at “Symetra Heroes in the Classroom” at CenturyLink Field Celebration

Posted by User Not Found on 17 April, 2015

Symetra and the Seattle Seahawks honored the 16 Puget Sound-area teachers who were recognized as Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® during the 2014 NFL season, at a special celebration at CenturyLink Field on March 20. Among the 2014 honorees were two Issaquah School District teachers— Maywood Middle School’s Melissa Norman and Challenger Elementary School’s Ellen Ferrin. Melissa and Ellen were joined by their principals, Jason Morse and Sara Jo Pietraszewski.

Jim Pirak, Symetra SVP, Marketing, and Mike Flood, Seattle Seahawks VP, Community Relations & Special Projects, hosted a luncheon in the Coach’s Loft, welcoming the teachers, their school principals and district superintendents. 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 and a copy of the March 20 edition of the Seattle Times, which featured a ¼-page ad saluting all 16 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom recipients.

Seahawks Linebacker Brock Coyle was a special guest, joining the teachers, principals and guests in the players’ locker room. “You’re here for these kids and you teach these kids. But truly know and understand the impact you can have on young kids’ lives because truly with me, it’s the case,” said Coyle, who made the team last year as a rookie free agent from the University of Montana. “You guys are a huge influence in young people’s lives and, honestly, I look up to people like you because you guys are really the people who make the difference in the community and in life.”  [Read more about the 2014 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom teachers’ visit with Coyle on the Seattle Seahawks website: Brock Coyle on Symetra Heroes: ‘They’re the important ones’]

Profiles—Issaquah School District’s 2014 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom honorees:
Teacher:           Melissa Norman (Special Education)
School:            Maywood Middle School, Issaquah
Principal:         Jason Morse
Nominator:       Co-worker
Game:              Denver Broncos (Sept. 21)

“Melissa Norman makes a difference in every one of her students’ lives. She combines a calm, organized classroom structure with creative, individualized instruction tailored to meet each student’s academic and social needs. Her great sense of humor and inclusiveness create a climate of welcome for all in her classroom, which makes learning fun and meaningful,” said Betty Teel, a co-worker at Maywood Middle School. “What truly sets Melissa apart as a teacher is the relationship she establishes with her students’ families. She goes above and beyond to coordinate and communicate on a daily basis with each family, and this teamwork helps create continual improvements for students.”

Teacher:           Ellen Ferrin (2nd Grade)
School:            Challenger Elementary School, Issaquah
Principal:         Sara Jo Pietraszewski
Nominator:       Parent of former students
Game:              New York Giants (Nov. 9)

“Ellen Ferrin is a most vibrant, gifted and animated teacher — able to give her full attention with equanimity and patience to both the fast and slower learners in her classroom. Each child is made to feel important and successful as she cultivates a love of learning by inspiring her students to ask questions and become free thinkers,” said Janet Millian, a parent of former students at Challenger Elementary School. “I love that Mrs. Ferrin stays positive but firm and maintains a great sense of humor. She goes above and beyond normal classroom hours, taking her class on Saturday field trips and searching out great books to hook her students into reading. Her enthusiasm encourages her students to become life-long learners. Mrs. Ferrin’s students are made to feel special and taught that anything is possible if you put forth your best efforts. My daughter and son thrived in her classroom as kindergartners. They have both graduated from college and throughout all those years, they have remained in touch with Mrs. Ferrin.”

About Symetra Heroes in the Classroom®
Since 2006, 200 Puget Sound-area teachers have been honored as Symetra Heroes in the Classroom. Teachers are recognized in front of their students and peers at surprise in-school presentations. They receive 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 for classroom books and supplies. 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, visit

Photo Credit:  Corky Trewin, Seattle Seahawks