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    Six Teachers Win Heroes in the Classroom Award
    Posted on 12/13/2017
    Brian Robertson at a school assembly

    This fall, six educators from across Seattle were recognized for excellence in teaching. The honorees are nominated by their school principal, colleagues, students or student’s families; and selected based on their extraordinary efforts inspire and engage students.

    Danielle Woods, Leschi Elementary School, Maret Poole, McGilvra Elementary School, Teresa Scribner, Cleveland High School, Jessica Torvik, Nathan Hale High School, Brian Robertson, Broadview-Thomson K-8 School, and Jennifer Morris, McDonald International Elementary School, were recognized as a 2017 Symetra Hero in the Classroom.

    Each of these teachers were recognized for creating a positive climate for learning in the classroom. They all go above and beyond daily responsibilities to make a significant contributions to help students reach their academic and social potential.

    Throughout the fall, the Symetra Hero in the Classroom awards and a donation for classroom books and supplies were presented to the educators in a surprise school assembly in each school. The honorees also received Seahawk home game tickets and acknowledgment during on-field presentations at the game.

    Danielle Woods holds her awardDanielle Woods
    Leschi Elementary School
    Kindergarten and First Grade

    “Danielle Woods has made a lasting impact on her students, the school and the wider Leschi community." said Heidi Trudel, who nominated Woods for the award. “A few years ago, Danielle, along with her partner teacher, spearheaded a movement to combine two learning environments at Leschi Elementary. The goal was to bring more cohesion and create equitable classrooms. The transformation she helped drive has had a positive impact, and I feel fortunate to have witnessed how our school and community have changed for the better as a result of her leadership and guidance,” said Trudel.

    Maret Poole
    McGilvra Elementary School

    Maret Poole poses for a photo “Mrs. Poole is able to differentiate for students at all levels, providing opportunities that meet each child's specific needs — from advanced learners to those who may be struggling to meet standard. She is what we call a ‘warm demander;’ she has high expectations of her students, but she also is warm and genuinely caring. Her impact upon her students is obvious as first- through fifth-graders regularly poke their heads in at recess to say hello and proudly share their accomplishments.” Maggie Burgess nominated Poole for the award.




    Jessica Torvik receives a Seahawk t-shirt during the assembly Jessica Torvik
    Nathan Hale High School
    Science and Urban Horticulture

    “Brilliant, creative and innovative, Jessica Torvik loves her work almost as much as she loves her students. Ms. Torvik teaches science and urban horticulture, and manages Nathan Hale's highly successful Urban Farm, where students who may have struggled in more mainstream classes find ways to be brilliant and successful. “[She] is a wonderful role model for young women who love science, and many of her students go on to careers in the hard sciences,” said Doug Edelstein, who nominated Torvik for the award.


    Teresa Scribner poses for a photoTeresa Scribner
    Cleveland High School
    Journalism, Graphic arts, and Multimedia

    “Ms. Scribner perfectly embodies Cleveland’s school motto: spirit, unity and progress. Everything she does is for students. Whether they have seen her running assemblies or selling concession at basketball games, every student knows who she is and how committed she is to Cleveland and to their education,” said Hewan Mengistu, a former student who nominated Scribner for the award.




    Brian Robertson walks up to receive his award at a school assembly Brian Robertson
    Broadview-Thomson K-8 School
    Special Education

    "Somehow, Brian knows what’s happening in every class; he knows when the science fair project is due, even though he doesn’t teach science. He knows that there’s a map test coming in Washington state history, even though he doesn’t teach that either. This information is crucial for his students and that’s why he knows it. He goes out of his way to have conversations with other teachers and other students about what’s going on so that he can make sure his students have the best chance to succeed,” said Emily Sugiyama, who nominated Robertson for the award.



    Jennifer MorrisJennifer Morris poses for a photo
    McDonald International Elementary School
    Third Grade 

    “Jennifer Morris is an amazing teacher who works hard every day to make a real difference in children’s lives,” said Kate Koester, the parent of a former student. “Ms. Morris finds way to connect students to real issues impacting the community. For a social studies project around food insecurity in Seattle, she brought her students’ classroom learning to life by organizing a trip to a local farm where the children harvested spinach to donate to a local food bank.”

    Read more about these six Seattle teachers who received the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom.